By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com January 01 2013 1:13 AM ET
Kathy Griffin one year dropped an f-bomb during CNN's New Year's Eve broadcast. The year before that she shouted down a heckler with a blowjob joke. And this year, Anderson Cooper apologized ahead of time via Twitter for any number of possible TV infractions. But he probably never imagined this one.
As a reporter based in a small town in Maine explained the local new year tradition of kissing a sardine on the mouth, Griffin was inspired. The comedian dropped to her knees and viewers watched as Cooper slowly realized what was happening.
"Kathy, oh, did you drop something?" he joked. But soon Cooper was giggling and maintaining eye contact at all times so he could dodge Griffin's red head as it targeted his crotch. At one point, he intercepted her with a "no nudity" sign that producers keep on set to warn Griffin away from stripping down (which she has done before).
The night was, of course, filled with giggling. When Cooper had to take a moment to impart some serious news on the fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington, Griffin kept things light, reminding him it actually should be called "the fisting cliff." They talked about random topics, including Cooper once castigating a woman who attempted to throw out a banana peel in a mailbox, or a dream he had about Ryan Seacrest. In one conversation, Cooper actually asked Griffin, "I'm not the only one that you sext?"
Early in the night, during an equally random visit from the South Korean musician PSY, the creator of Gangnam Style, Cooper attempted to sum up the night: "We're basic cable. It's OK."
This was the first New Year's Eve with Cooper as an out gay man, and the subject was mentioned a couple times. Griffin said she was relieved, for example, to avoid the awkwardness of not being able to say what's on her mind during the annual interview with Sushi, a Key West drag queen who signals the new year by being dropped to the ground while riding inside a giant high heel.
Sushi offered Cooper her own simple congratulations on air, saying, "Anderson Cooper, I am so proud of you."