New Year’s Eve in Times Square may have lacked the raucous crowds, but in typical fashion, the spirits were flowing, and CNN host Anderson Cooper and Bravo’s Andy Cohen didn’t shy away from tossing a few back.
For the fourth year in a row, the duo rang in the New Year on live television with the help from musical guests, international icons, and correspondents. And despite the sparse turnout due to the pandemic, Cohen continued his tradition of plying Cooper and various celebrities with shots of liquor during the broadcast, and the internet loved it.
The CNN broadcast started at 8 p.m., and featured virtual live interviews with a number of celebrity guests, including Carole and Howard Baskin from the Netflix series “Tiger King,” CNN’s Don Lemon, who has hosted the event in the past, podcast personalities Desus Nice and The Kid Mero, late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert, Mariah Carey, rappers Pitbull and Snoop Dogg, and more. One segment featured a round of COVID-themed “never have I ever” with Cameron Diaz, where both hosts admitted to eating a pint of ice cream in one sitting. Live performances by Gloria Gaynor, John Mayer, and Andra Day were also sprinkled throughout the special.
When the ball dropped at midnight, the television network panned the intimate crowd celebrating the new year to the classic ballad “Auld Lang Syne,” followed by Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.”
Cooper has hosted the network’s New Year’s Eve programming for more than a decade and was joined for years by comedian Kathy Griffin, known for countering Cooper’s normally serious demeanor with R-rated jokes, including appearing on stage in her underwear in 2011. Since Griffin’s firing from the cohost spot in 2017, Cohen has taken on a lead role on the Times Square set.
Here are some moments from the CNN broadcast worth watching:
“You are really not alone.”— CNN (@CNN) January 1, 2021
“Late Show” host Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) shares an uplifting message for everyone watching.
“If it is one thing that Covid has taught us is that we cannot get through crises alone.” #CNNNYE https://t.co/4y2d7mVTdQ pic.twitter.com/8f4mRCyYaX
Our @randikayeCNN is ringing in the new year with some champagne and the cutest puppies ever!— CNN (@CNN) January 1, 2021
“I traded in my KN95 for canines this year,” Kaye says. “This really is a great, great rescue. They have saved more than 45,000 dogs.” #BigDogRanchRescue #CNNNYE pic.twitter.com/BnTkGVj9CV