Simon Pegg Reacts To Meme That Makes His Face Of Everyone's Reaction To Global Pandemic

Basically everyone who got a shelter-in-place order has seen some variation on a meme featuring Simon Pegg's character from Shaun of the Dead, hunkered down at The Winchester, waiting for the zombie apocalypse to blow over. In the context of the movie, this is how all of Shaun's plans ended, and it was repeated several times, usually getting shorter or changing variables each time (think the Spider-Man origin stories in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse). And as he wrapped up his plans with "have a pint, and wait for this all to blow over," he hoisted the pint toward the camera and winked.

That's the image -- and the caption -- that the internet glommed onto in the early days of social distancing. And on the latest episode of Conan, host Conan O'Brien asked Pegg what he thought about it.

You can see the interview below. The exchange takes place at around the two-minute mark.

"I couldn't be more proud, to be honest. It was something I'd always hoped would happen," Pegg joked about being the face of a global pandemic. "The funny thing is that meme has popped up through various -- through Brexit, through the re-election for the Tory party, whatever. It's popped up a lot. Then as the coronavirus started to spread, it came up again. But then, you passed the point when going to the pub was actually allowed. So the meme itself became outdated quite quickly, when going to the Winchester was no longer advisable. So Nick Frost and I kind of recreated that scene from Shaun of the Dead. I called him one morning, I was on the school run. I said Nick, I'm going to send you some lines. We'll do the thing again but we'll make it about staying home. So that's on YouTube in the early stages of the pandemic when celebrity videos were cool. That two week period."

In the interview, they also talked about the blowback that Pegg got from fans when Shaun of the Dead, a low-budget zombie comedy made in the UK with largely unknown actors as far as Hollywood was concerned, suddenly became a huge hit.


A pair of other moments from Shaun of the Dead have also become popular pandemic-themed memes, prompting the film's director, Edgar Wright, to tweet, "The world must be going downhill fast if we're already onto our third wave of Shaun Of The Dead memes."