• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Leslie Jordan Shares How Debbie Reynolds Once Called His Mama in New Book, How Y'all Doing?

Rebecca Angel Baer
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Tennessee native Leslie Jordan has been entertaining us for decades. Whether you know him from his Emmy-award winning turn as Beverly Leslie in Will & Grace or more recently in the new Fox sitcom, Call Me Kat, or maybe on the darker side of things, you are a devotee of American Horror Story—any way you look at it, Jordan has long been a staple on our television screens, and we are forever grateful.

But during the pandemic, Jordan became a viral sensation when he began to share stories and check in with his "fellow hunker-downers" on Instagram. That group swelled to over a million very quickly and is now nearing six million! We don't mind telling y'all that many Southern Living editors are now counted in this unexpected and extremely loyal fan base.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Jordan has also spent many years on the road performing various one-man shows but now there is a new place to find stories from the actor that are sure to make you deep belly laugh. His new book, How Y'all Doing: Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived, is out now wherever books are sold. (BUY IT, Amazon, $22.99) You will absolutely want to get this delightful collection of essays written in a way that Jordan's voice just sings right off the page. It's the perfect before bed read because the chapters are self-contained stories that are the greatest bite of delight to cap off your day on a bright note.

HowY'allDoing_hi res cover
HowY'allDoing_hi res cover

William Morrow

Jordan shares some excellent tales, some from his childhood that highlight his family and others that chronicle his life in Hollywood. If it wasn't clear before, you will definitely learn that he is a natural raconteur. As he says in the book, "I have been blessed with a family that loves to laugh and loves to tell funny stories. I've seen families out in restaurants where they eat a whole meal, and no one says a word. Well, that ain't my family. We are all big talkers, big laughers, and big storytellers."

We loved learning about the pony Jordan received from Santa one year that he named Midnight and about the wild adventure he went on with Ronnie Claire Edwards, best known as Corabeth from The Waltons. But perhaps the story we love the most was the one where Debbie Reynolds called Peggy Jordan, Leslie's mama. We won't ruin the whole story for you but that one phone call from the film legend changed the dynamic of the relationship between mother and son. This tale alone is worth the price of purchase of the book.

"It was not until the conversation with Debbie Reynolds that my career choices began to make sense to her. I have never reached the pinnacle of an acting career, where you are allowed to make big decisions about what roles you'll choose. I've always taken what's offered and hoped for the best. Not all the roles I have played have been in the kind of shows my mother could brag and tell her friends about… But somehow, her conversation with Debbie Reynolds opened a door." To read the full story you can grab your copy of How Y'all Doing here.

And a bonus? The book itself is small and compact so it will fit in your handbag if you carry it with you to the beach or to the hair salon as we are all beginning to venture back to such places. Happy reading, y'all.