The New Year’s Eve party on CNN, in which Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen have been known to do tequila shots live on air, is still on, insists Cohen, but the traditional boozefest is off.
On Wednesday, Cohen told Rolling Stone that while the correspondents will not be drinking, “Anderson and I will be the people partying on CNN [though] we will be partying responsibly.” He later clarified to Page Six on Thursday, “We aren’t drinking, but we’re going to have a blast.“
In November, CNN chairman and CEO Chris Licht told staffers that on-camera drinking was damaging the network’s “respectability,” and laid down a new policy banning alcohol. According to Semafor, Licht later said that the policy was a “joke,” and that he would prefer “no drinking on-air at all.”
“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 said. “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 will join Anderson once-again for CNN’s live broadcast from Times Square in New York City.
“One of the very cool things about doing New Year’s Eve with Anderson is that I don’t have to plan anything,” Cohen said. “New Year’s Eve is a holiday that stresses people out; it rarely delivers. For me now, this is going to be my sixth year, and it has delivered every year. I absolutely love it.”
Ryan Seacrest, who hosts Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve on ABC, said he agrees with the drinking ban and doesn’t indulge on air himself. “I prefer not to do that on a live broadcast so I get the countdown right, I don’t want to screw it up,” he told EW earlier this week.