Don Lemon may often seem a little bit drunk, but on last night’s CNN New Year’s Eve coverage, there was absolutely no doubt that the anchor had indulged in some holiday alcohol.
Just a year after being chosen as 2014’s worst reporter by the Columbia Journalism Review, Don may have solidified his reputation as network news’ biggest goofball. If video evidence is any indication, Lemon may have had a few too many drinks on his live coverage in New Orleans Thursday evening.
Don was, of course, in good company. All the CNN anchors were throwing back a little champagne. Comedian Kathy Griffin, who was guest hosting, may have actually taken the honor from Lemon for least Federal Communication Commission-approved moment when she took off her shirt and walked around in her bra, ignoring pleas from Anderson Cooper to, please, put her clothes back on.
— Constitutionalist (@TrueCOT) January 1, 2016
With that move already sending the night off in a bizarre direction, Don took it one step further. Lemon looked into the camera and uttered two words undeniably non-CNN friendly: “nice rack.” Brooke Baldwin, who was Don’s co-host last night, flashed an uncensored “Why me?” look into the camera before taking the drink out of Lemon’s hand and possibly internally vowing to never appear on live television opposite him ever again.
— Mike B. (@42MikeB) January 1, 2016
Oddly enough, Don’s strange New Year’s drunk hosting may have been an overall net positive for his public image. Lemon received a fair amount of positive feedback on social media for his on-camera shenanigans. Often the butt of jokes levied at CNN and broadcast news in general, Don at least seemed to supply his own punchlines this time around. Some viewers even suggested Lemon be given the liberty of being drunk on-air all the time.
Alcohol makes Don Lemon likable… He should drink on-air more often. #CNNNYE
— Tara Manis Benson (@taramanisbenson) January 1, 2016
Don Lemon is straight up hammered on CNN right now and it’s my new favorite show.
— andy lassner (@andylassner) January 1, 2016
Drunk Don Lemon is infinitely better than sober Don Lemon.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) January 1, 2016
— Weird Voyeurism (@WeirdVoyeurism) January 1, 2016
Lemon himself made references to his altered state today on his own Twitter, with fans eagerly wondering if he was really as inebriated as he appeared. Don seemed to be tenderly approaching the topic, perhaps because he was dealing with a post-New Year’s Eve headache. Lemon actually seemed pre-occupied about the death of Natalie Cole than any potential career damage.
That goes double for you baby girl. Love you Lons. happy new year. https://t.co/6qWRx6EIC6
— Don Lemon (@donlemon) January 1, 2016
Of course, an actually drunk Don Lemon at least has an excuse for his missteps. As previously mentioned, he had the worst reputation in news last year — an accomplishment for a time period where Rolling Stone‘s fake campus sexual assault story was headline news. If last night is any indication, it seems there will no shortage of Lemon-isms in 2016.
[Image via Getty Images]