Law And Order: SVU's Mariska Hargitay Shared Fun Pic For Christopher Meloni's 61st Birthday, But His Jacket Is The True Gift

Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni doing press for NBC's Law & Order Day
(Image credit: NBC)

When it comes to the cutest couples on TV, Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni technically don't count, since their respective Law & Order franchise characters Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler aren’t even on the same series anymore, nor are their characters romantically entangled. Not to mention the actors themselves have long been happily married to other people. But no one can deny the oozing joy and shared respect that are always abundantly on display when Hargitay and Meloni are hanging out. Case in point: the SVU star shared a sweet social media post to celebrate the Organized Crime actor’s 61st birthday, and neither his face  nor his famed butt needed to be in the picture for it to be an instant classic. Because that jacket…my, my, my, that jacket.

Taking to Instagram to celebrate 61 years of Christopher Meloni walking the earth with pizazz and badassery, Mariska Hargitay made sure to point out her occasional co-star’s shiny and highly appropriate jacket choice for the night out.

I think we can all agree that the “61” stands for his current age, and “21” stands for…the age he was when he first started on Law & Order: SVU. No, wait, it only seems like it’s been on for 40 years already. The 21 must stand for how long he’s been playing Elliot Sta…no, that doesn’t add up either. Maybe it’s the age that both Hargitay and Meloni feel when they’re around each other. It’s also half of the title of the Meloni-starring 2013 biopic 42. As we all know, the very best time for numerical conjecture is during birthday bar crawls. 

Okay, so I got lost in the numbers purely as a way of trying not to lose myself in the glitz of everything surrounding them on that jacket. From the flag-inspired stars adorning the collar and shoulders to the endless sparkle-shine below, it’s looks like something that should be hanging up at the Smithsonian. Or something that would be sent to space to reflect the sun’s rays in just such a way as to destroy an incoming asteroid. It’s possible I’m projecting a bit too much onto Meloni’s fashion choice, but then it’s also possible the jacket is mentally goading me into doing so. 

While not as many comments on Mariska Hargitay’s post were about Meloni’s style choices as I would have predicted, fans were quick to ooh and ahh over the celebs’ adorable nature. And adorable may be playing things too G-rated, as there were more than enough lustfully charged comments in there to keep at least Stabler’s libido sated. 

It’s likely that Hargitay and Meloni would have been co-mingling in recent days even if the actor’s birthday wasn’t involved. As he shared on Instagram at the start of April, he was filming for his next appearance on SVU proper, which would be his first episode of 2022, and what would appear to be his seventh episode overall since returning to the Law & Order franchise. Check those smiling faces out below.

Sadly, the two actors won’t be sharing any more fun with Dylan McDermott, who has moved on from L&O: Organized Crime for the greener pastures of CBS’ FBI: Most Wanted after former star Julian McMahan’s somewhat abrupt exit. I kinda feel like McDermott would have tried to nab that jacket when Meloni wasn’t looking, and that he would have brought it to me under the cover of night.

Outside of all things shiny and birthday-related, Law & Order: SVU and L&O: Organized Crime air Thursday nights on NBC at 9:00 p.m. ET and 10:00 p.m. ET respectively, following new episodes of Law & Order's revival season. Everything in this particular Dick Wolf procedural library is available to stream for those with a Peacock subscription.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.