With an unidentified drink in hand, one CNN anchor enjoying the network’s wild and crazy annual New Year’s Eve festivities late Monday evening made an astonishing remark.
Speaking with his fellow anchors — including Andy Cohen, Anderson Cooper and Brooke Baldwin — Don Lemon called the network’s 2018 to 2019 festivities the “gayest New Years show on air.”
“We were watching, Anderson and Andy, and we were saying that this is probably the gayest New Year’s show on the air,” Lemon said, provoking looks of shock from Cohen and Cooper. “I like it.”
He wasn’t technically wrong. He, Cohen and Cooper are all openly gay men. And since all three men were on the screen at the same time, it was a pretty “gay” New Year’s Eve show, not that there was anything wrong with that. Of course, it’s unclear if that’s what he meant.
“Yeah, well, we’re 15 years running,” Cooper replied, almost sounding as if he was offended.
Eighteen, actually. Cooper’s been hosting CNN’s “New Year’s Eve Live” live show since 2001. He used to host it with comedian Kathy Griffin until she posed with a fake severed head of President Donald Trump in 2017. Because of the backlash from that bizarre stunt, CNN replaced her with Cohen that year.
While a few Twitter users took offense to how Lemon used the term “gay,” most seemed to enjoy his gay sense of humor, pun intended:
@donlemon pretty incensitive to say on national TV “this is the gayest NYE show ever”, especially coming from someone who stands up for so many human rights issues. Sad. I hope Don Lemon apologizes. # @CNN @Andy @andersoncooper
— Be Kind (@BeKind80925420) January 1, 2019
— MJ Swanson (@panoplyprose) January 1, 2019
Sitting at home on New Years eve studying (yes at 54, still trying to learn) and I turn on CNN in time to see @donlemon tell @AC360 that they have the gayest show on TV. Love it! Happy New Year everyone!????
— Karen (@karen_m45) January 1, 2019
— JustSewYouKnow (@SewKnow) January 1, 2019
— Paige Kirkley (@momofdjk) January 1, 2019
Gotta love @donlemon “gayest New Years” honey it’s 2019, it should be gay, colourful, free, happy, joyful, equal and inclusive. @Andy @andersoncooper @CNN …..Somebody kiss trump on the lips at midnight maybe he’s a frog that turns into a #President
— Niki ‘Banjo’ Smith (@miss_nik) January 1, 2019
Cooper and Cohen also made some interesting remarks Monday while responding to questions from social media. It turned out Twitter users wanted to know why Cohen had been tasked with holding an umbrella that was shielding them both from rain.
“We don’t have a really big budget,” Cooper said. “I thought the umbrella should go to Andy.”
“I like to be in control, so I feel like I have more control over where this thing sits if I’m holding it. I’m probably going to ask you to hold it in about an hour,” Cohen replied.
And then came this astonishing remark from Cooper: “I also feel I’m manly, so I don’t care about the elements. You’re concerned about your fake feather.”
“The way you’re holding it, it’s dripping down my back,” the allegedly very manly Anderson Cooper than complained to Andy Cohen, to which Cohen responded by apologizing.
“That’s all right,” the very manly Cooper then said.
What a man!