Anderson Cooper had trouble holding it together as co-host of CNN’s live New Year’s Eve celebration. The longtime anchor broke down in hysterics as Saturday Night Live star Cheri Oteri revived her iconic impression of news legend Barbara Walters during the New Year’s Eve broadcast.
The retired 90-year-old news icon is famous for announcing the TV news show 20/20, and online fans had petitioned for her to recite her iconic “This is 20/20” catchphrase at the Times Square ball drop. Instead, Oteri stepped in to ring in the actual year by impersonating Walters, amid rumors of her failing health.
In a hilarious year-ending spiel, Oteri — as Walters — noted that her 2014 retirement didn’t “suit” her as she had hoped it would and that she had decided it was time to make a comeback for her signature year, 2020.
“Now that I’m trending on social media with the likes of Korean boy band BTS, climate change activist Greta Thunberg, and body-positive songstress Lizzo, I’ve decided to dust off my power suit and get back in the game,” Oteri’s Walters said. “It’s no longer going to be a Chico’s kind of day for this gal because I can finally say with confidence, ‘This is 2020.'”
Cooper, who co-hosted CNN’s New Year’s Eve festivities alongside pal Andy Cohen, completely lost it as Oteri resurrected her classic impersonation of Walters. His animated reaction included him doubling over in laughter as he leaned on Cohen while Oteri delivered her announcement.
At one point, the 52-year-old CNN veteran had to step away from the camera because he was laughing so hard. It probably didn’t help that Cooper had downed a few shots of Casamigos tequila with Cohen throughout the evening, but anyone who saw the bit would have to agree that Oteri totally nailed it.
Cheri Oteri was a regular on Saturday Night Live from 1995 to 2000. Some of her most famous characters included Philadephia neighbor Rita DelVecchio, pill popper Collette Reardon, and Spartan cheerleader Arianna alongside Will Ferrell‘s Craig character. But during Oteri’s reign on SNL, Walters also debuted her daytime chatfest The View on ABC, so the Saturday Night Live comedian also frequently spoofed the iconic host on that show.
Unlike the late Gilda Radner’s famous “Baba Wawa” bit, which poked fun at Barbara’s speech patterns, Walters did not seem to take offense to Oteri’s impersonation of her. In fact, the news legend once sat down for an interview with Oteri where the latter played the former.