Andy Cohen had some big shoes to fill as Anderson Cooper’s co-host on CNN’s New Year’s Eve show. Cohen was tapped to replace Cooper’s longtime co-host, Kathy Griffin, on the news network’s live New Year’s Eve countdown show after she was fired for posting a controversial photo of a fake Donald Trump mask last spring. Kathy Griffin co-hosted CNN’s New Year’s Eve broadcast for 10 years before she was terminated by the network in May.
In a live countdown to the ball drop in Times Square, Andy Cohen, and Anderson Cooper braved below freezing temperatures as hosts of CNN’s annual New Year’s Eve bash, which included a lineup of special guests including Amy Sedaris, Celine Dion, Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman, Dave Chappelle, and John Mayer.
But even the A-list star power wasn’t enough to offset Cohen and Cooper’s co-hosting chemistry. Reaction to real-life besties Anderson and Andy’s first #CNNNYE, which included the duo’s handpicked New Year’s resolutions for one other, was lukewarm at best. Social media had a field day over the awkward back and forth banter between the CNN anchor and his Bravo best friend, with many people predicting CNN will beg Kathy Griffin to return to Anderson Cooper’s side for next year’s New Year’s Eve show.
"Stop pretending you are on the phone so you don't have to talk to people"
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) January 1, 2018
In response to Anderson and Andy’s CNN New Year’s Eve, one viewer posted a GIF of a train wreck to describe the show, while another fan posted a photo of Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley, writing, “Couple with better chemistry than Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper.” Others felt Anderson Cooper seemed bored by Andy Cohen’s comments (at one point Andy even said it!), while others said Griffin’s wildness balanced out Anderson Cooper’s more conservative style.
You can see more social media reaction to Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper’s CNN New Year’s Eve below.
— Eddie Starr (@EddieStarr) January 1, 2018
Andy Cohen to Anderson: I feel like you’re bored with me.
— bobby cherry (@GoBobbo) January 1, 2018
Considering they are best friends, Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen have absolutely zero chemistry. Anderson seems like he wants to be anywhere but Times Square. #CNNNYE
— Sidney Joel Stokes (@TheSidJoShow) January 1, 2018
Andy Cohen has done the impossible: He's driven me away from Anderson Cooper and to Ryan Seacrest. #CNNNYE.
— Andy Dehnart (@realityblurred) January 1, 2018
Andy Cohen: I feel like you're turning on me…I feel like you're bored with me
Anderson Cooper: *stares at ground* no. not at all.
I just died ???? #CNNNYE
— 69th Ward Alderman (@DanaHollyWood) January 1, 2018
I understand why CNN had to let Kathy Griffin go, but this show needs her (or someone’s) wild energy & fun banter with Anderson Cooper. Andy Cohen isn’t uninhibited enough to counterbalance Anderson’s calm sensibility. #justsaying
— Shannon Fisher (@MsShannonFisher) January 1, 2018
Andy Cohen just actually asked Anderson Cooper if he was bored with his stories. #CNNNYE is terrible. (And yes, Andy's stories are boring. And awkward.)
— Emily McLennan (@emclenn) January 1, 2018
Who would’ve thought Kathy Griffin’s best revenge would literally be just Anderson and Andy bombing on their own #CNNNYE
— dan (@seedantweet) January 1, 2018
Wanted to be fair. Tried watching #CNNNYE . @CNN , bend over backwards, swallow your pride, do whatever it takes to get Kathy Griffin back. I had more fun watching The English Patient. Off to #RockinEve it is.
— Shawn Barry (@SBMichael72) January 1, 2018
Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper just had a very awkward hug to close the show. 50 bucks says Anderson is already on the phone to Kathy begging her to return for next year #CNNNYE
— Gen X Chronicle (@genxchronicle) January 1, 2018
Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper were close friends for 17 years, but their friendship ended after the comedian posted a controversial fake photo of the severed head of Donald Trump. Cooper publicly stated that he was appalled by Kathy Griffin’s stunt so the comic cut ties with him due to his lack of support in the aftermath of the photo scandal. Griffin told The Cut it took Anderson Cooper two months to reach out to her with a text message after the photo fiasco, and by that time she had decided she no longer wanted to be friends with him.
While Kathy Griffin didn’t spend her New Year’s Eve in Times Square with Anderson Cooper, the comedian did take time to thank her fans for helping her to get through a difficult year in 2017.
“Thank you for all the kind tweets. Happy New Year! KG,” Griffin wrote on Twitter. “I sincerely want to thank all of you who have stuck by me with support, especially since May 30th. You guys have kept me going. I want you to have a better, if not great year ahead.”
You can see highlights from Anderson Cooper’s past CNN New Year’s Eve shows with Kathy Griffin below.