Andy Cohen Clarifies CNN’s Alcohol Ban, Says He’ll Still Drink on New Year’s Eve: ‘Anderson and I Will Be Partying’

Andy Cohen confirmed to Rolling Stone that he will be drinking during CNN’s upcoming New Year’s Eve telecast. Cohen is once again hosting the network’s festivities alongside Anderson Cooper. The duo’s on-air drunken antics during New Year’s Eve have become a television staple, but Cohen courted controversy last year after he drunkenly dissed Ryan Seacrest and ABC’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”

Cohen, while on air, addressed “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” as “Ryan Seacrest’s group of losers that are performing behind us,” adding, “I mean, with all due [respect], if you’ve been watching ABC tonight, you’ve seen nothing. I’m sorry.”

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CNN announced in November that it would be scaling back the drinking on its New Year’s Eve telecast. While rumors have persisted that CNN is banning Cohen and Cooper from drinking on-air this year, Cohen clarified to Rolling Stone that the network’s cut-back may not apply to the duo.

“CNN said the correspondents will not be drinking,” Cohen clarified, noting that he is a host of the program. “Anderson and I will be the people partying on CNN, [though] we will be partying responsibly.”

“My job is to take Anderson out of his comfort zone, [and] my job is to be a party ringleader for everyone watching us on New Year’s Eve,” Cohen added. “And that is what I will continue to do. And as a matter of fact: If the correspondents are not drinking this year, I will be partying even harder on their behalf.”

Cohen is entering his sixth year as host of CNN’s New Years Eve telecast. “One of the very cool things about doing it with Anderson is that I don’t have to plan anything,” he said. “New Year’s Eve is a holiday that stresses people out; it rarely delivers. For me, it has delivered every year. I absolutely love it.”

Seacrest recently told Entertainment Weekly that it’s “probably a good idea” that CNN is having its New Year’s Eve anchors cut back on drinking. The ABC host said he doesn’t “advocate drinking when one is on the air” and added, “I don’t know how that started as a tradition, but it’s probably a good idea [to cut back], CNN.”

Cohen admitted at the start of the year that drunkenly dissing Seacrest was a huge mistake. “The only thing that I regret saying, the only thing is that I slammed the ABC broadcast and I really like Ryan Seacrest and he’s a great guy,” Cohen said on his SiriusXM radio show. “And I really regret saying that, and I was just stupid and drunk and feeling it.”

Visit Variety’s full New Year’s Eve guide to see all of this year’s television celebrations.

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