CNN’s Andy Cohen, Anderson Cooper host dry New Year’s Eve

CNN earned lots of boos for the dearth of booze throughout its 2022 New Yr’s Eve particular. However sober co-hosts Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen nonetheless made an effort to maintain issues fascinating all through the newly dry countdown to midnight.

On the high of the present — taped reside at Instances Sq. — Cohen wasted no time addressing “the elephant in the room”: In November, CNN Chairman Chris Licht made the controversial determination to ban its New Yr’s Eve correspondents from consuming alcohol on air.

The sobering announcement was met with outrage from CNN viewers who look ahead to Cohen, Cooper and post-midnight anchor Don Lemon’s drunken shenanigans annually.

“We can’t drink,” Cohen stated throughout Saturday’s present. “But it’s fine.”

Cooper mused that the consuming ban wasn’t “a big deal” for him as a result of he doesn’t “normally drink” — to which Cohen replied, “We know, as we see every year. That’s the thing” of us tune in for.

Requested by Cooper if he would “be able to make it” to the ball-drop with out imbibing, Cohen stated, “That’s the question. We will see.”

“Do I have a pocket full of edibles? I do!” the “Real Housewives” producer added. “Will I take them? I don’t think so. I don’t know. It’s a long night. This is a telethon with no disease. Do you understand? We’re here all night, passing time.”

“We’re enjoying time,” Cooper interjected. “We’re enjoying every minute.”

After touting CNN’s “great” lineup of New Yr’s Eve friends and performers, Cohen defined how the pair could be altering their custom of toasting with viewers on the high of each hour underneath the community’s new consuming coverage.

As a substitute of downing alcoholic drinks, the longtime associates and colleagues took hourly “mystery shots” containing spicy Bloody Mary combine, apple cider vinegar and different shock liquids. Cooper and Cohen then promptly chased the nonalcoholic drinks with juice bins allegedly borrowed from Cohen’s 3-year-old son.

“I can’t see anything,” Cooper stated whereas placing on a pair of goofy eyeglasses functioning as a blindfold earlier than throwing again the primary thriller shot of the night time: pickle juice.

“That’s the point,” Cohen stated. “We will take the shot and then we will guess what it was. Sound fun? I think so. It could be torture. … I am not gonna smell it because I’m freaked out.”

Although Cooper and Cohen shunned directing any severe criticism at their employer, comic Kevin Hart didn’t maintain again whereas appearing as a guest on CNN’s New Yr’s Eve particular and bashing the community’s new consuming coverage.

“You guys can’t say anything about it, but I can,” Hart stated. “This is absolute bulls—. I don’t like it one bit. I’mma say what you wanna say. … I’mma do what you can’t. I’mma take a shot because you guys have been hoodwinked! …

“I can’t believe CNN telling you guys not to go and cut loose in such a good, true fashion. That’s perfect TV. You don’t tell you guys not to drink. And I’m pissed off about it. Listen, I’m gonna drink for you. … This is me celebrating for you, through you. I’ve always been a fan. And New Year’s is special because of the energy you brought to it. I can’t believe they pulled this s— on you guys! That’s right, CNN. I said s—!”

By the point CNN lastly began to censor Hart’s expletive-ridden rant, Cohen and Cooper have been guffawing up a storm.

“Kevin, bless you,” Cohen stated. “Thank you for that. We appreciate your anger. You are a vessel for us.”