Mariah Carey sang instead of pouted, the ball dropped on time, Kathy Griffin wasn’t there, and Steve Harvey made a faux pas that drew some online reaction.
That was the sum total of New Year’s Eve online and off, as 2018 arrived with less bombast than past year-end celebrations. There was little water-cooler fodder, as the overwhelming cold of Times Square might have frozen some of the usual energy.
On CNN, Andy Cohen complained bitterly about how cold he was, making his debut as Anderson Cooper’s co-host of CNN’s Times Square New Year’s Eve coverage. Cohen, dumbfounded that people stood in Times Square in the frigid weather for four hours without access to a toilet, reported his own genitals had vanished.
Amy Sedaris was recruited to deliver weather updates on what’s reported to be the second coldest Times Square New Year’s Eve on record:
“Anderson and Andy, I’m her to give you an update on the weather. It’s still freezing outside. I think it’s 14. Back to you.”
Wolf Blitzer several times apppeared to “sing” the hits, including “Fetish”:
You got a fetish for my love
I push you out and you come right back
Don’t see a point in blaming you
If I were you, I’d do me too
You got a fetish for my love
Cohen put his foot in his mouth, asking Nicole Kidman to explain her unusual hand clapping that went viral during the Oscars, which Cohen reported she did on advice from husband Keith Urban so as to not ding her jewelry during a full night of clapping.
“I wish there were more important things for people to focus on,” Kidman responded.
“I think she just shaded me a little bit; I guess she’s not coming on my show,” Cohen told Cooper. “Why was that such a bad question?”
Cooper explained why it was a bad question.
“You know what? I don’t judge your question, and you don’t need to judge my questions,” Cohen scolded back.
To that point, he chewed on his foot a little more when they interviewed Celine Dion during her performance in Vegas, informing his arena crowd Lady Gaga was coming to town and asking Dion what advice she had for Gaga.
“Come on, Lady Gaga, we’re waiting for you,” Dion answered.
“Don’t ask her Lady Gaga questions!” a horrified Cooper told his new co-host. “You insulted Nicole Kidman, then Celine Dion!”
“I kind of thought she was going to give me the business about asking,” Cohen confessed. “I thought it was an innocent question.”
The Watch What Happens Live host brought video of his various Real Housewives reading Donald Trump tweets, by way of demonstrating his oft-repeated claim the President is stealing the Real Housewives’ best material. Trump’s tweets about “Russia hoax,” “Crooked Hillary” and Mika’s “bloody” face do not sound better with cleavage.
At 15 minutes before midnight, Cohen suddenly reported “Mariah Carey just did a very good performance behind us” for ABC’s Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Years Eve with Ryan Seacrest, then asked Cooper if he was allowed to talk about a competitor’s Times Square broadcast.
“So, she did redeem herself?” Cohen continued, without listening to Cooper’s response. “The emancipation of Mimi is complete.”
When midnight struck, Cohen observed all the revelers were beating a hasty retreat from the freezing square.
“I would not want to be a bathroom on Eighth Avenue in the 40’s,” he commented.
The atmosphere on Fox was equally sedate. Jesse Watters and Kennedy hosted what was billed as an “All-American New Year’s Eve,” and had some fun during a skit in which Kennedy played a wacky version of Kathy Griffin, laying down some jokes on Anderson Cooper and lamenting that she has no work.
The real Griffin was far more dignified, sending out a tweet to loyal fans who have stuck by her in the wake of her show-biz banishment for her stunt regarding President Trump’s severed head.
As for Steve Harvey, his own Fox special caused a slight online kerfuffle when he effusively praised three youngsters who, he claimed, “sang better than any white people I know.” Harvey also drew some comment online for his all-white outfit, a winter wonderland delight.