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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

New Year's Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin

Aired December 31, 2013 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT/ANCHOR: We wish you all of the best and none of the worst in 2014.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And good evening, everybody. Welcome to Times Square. For hundreds of thousands of people tonight, this is the only place to be. They have come from all around the world so they can say, by the end of the night, and for years to come, that they were here and that they sent this year out in style.

Thanks very much for joining us again this year, Kathy Griffin and me, for the next three...

KATHY GRIFFIN, COMEDIAN/CO-HOST: I'm not talking to you.

COOPER: What do you mean you're not talking to me? Why?

GRIFFIN: Three...

COOPER: Three and a half hours.

GRIFFIN: ... and a half hours. This was your idea.

COOPER: I honestly -- I promise everybody, I thought this was her idea.

GRIFFIN: I swear, this is his idea.

COOPER: No, I thought it was her idea.

GRIFFIN: Because he's mad at me about something I did, you know, seven years ago or something.

COOPER: This is not true. I actually thought this was some sort of contractual...

GRIFFIN: How am I supposed to go to the bathroom? How, America?

COOPER: Please, let's not even -- it's a little early for that sort of thing.

GRIFFIN: Three -- this is a marathon.

COOPER: It is a marathon.

GRIFFIN: Whatever I did to you, we're even. OK? Three and a half hours. It's 7 degrees or something. COOPER: I honestly thought this was some sort of bargaining negotiation on your part, because I was like, three and a half hours is a long time. Anyway, I'm very...

GRIFFIN: I'm not even getting paid for the first hour. So I would like -- I agree with the president. Minimum wage should go up. I'd like you to actually give me $7.40 or whatever the minimum...

COOPER: Well, $7.25 is the minimum wage in New York City, in New York state.

GRIFFIN: OK. Why don't I do the jokes and you do the news? The point is, you owe me $7.25. OK, go on with your going on and on.

COOPER: All right. We are -- we are going to bring you celebrations from around the city, around the country, around the United States and around the world. We're even going to show you how they are celebrating the new year on that research ship that is stuck in the ice off the coast of Antarctica.

Have you been following that?

GRIFFIN: Of course I've been following it. Are you serious?

COOPER: Yes -- no, we actually are. We have a live shot with...

GRIFFIN: That's -- OK, so other stations have Miley Cyrus licking a ball and we have a ship stuck? I feel like we're a ship stuck.

COOPER: Is she licking a ball tonight?

GRIFFIN: She's licking a lot of things tonight.

COOPER: OK.

GRIFFIN: It's early. Trust me.

I mean, really? We're going live to a cold ship?

COOPER: Yes, we are. No, they're great guys. They're really fun.

GRIFFIN: Here's the good news, folks.

COOPER: They're going to be so drunk by now.

GRIFFIN: We have Taylor Swift coming up in 10 minutes...

COOPER: We don't have Taylor Swift.

GRIFFIN: ... live on the platform. And we have the Captain and Tennille reunion. That's coming at the -- what do you call it, the 20 or whatever?

COOPER: Yes, the 20. GRIFFIN: And at the 30, we have...

COOPER: Melissa Etheridge is actually going to be at the 20.

GRIFFIN: Oh!

COOPER: Performing live, on our...

GRIFFIN: Honest?

COOPER: Yes. I swear. That is actually true.

GRIFFIN: I didn't think we were telling anything truthful tonight.

COOPER: No, no, she's lying about everything. I'm telling the truth. Melissa Etheridge is going to be performing at 9:20.

GRIFFIN: And she is with Grand Funk Railroad...

COOPER: That's not true.

GRIFFIN: ... live.

COOPER: Isha Sesay is down at the street level, along with hundreds of thousands. They say there will be as many as a million people here in Times Square.

GRIFFIN: Not this early. I really think we're the only two here this early.

COOPER: No. A lot of them have been here since early this morning. Brooke Baldwin is in New Orleans.

GRIFFIN: Oh, brrr! Oh, brr!

COOPER: She's got a great assignment.

GRIFFIN: She must be freezing.

COOPER: And in an awesome city. We're going to check in with Brooke a little bit in New Orleans.

GRIFFIN: Don't get me started on the dude in Florida.

COOPER: Well, we're going to go to the dude in Florida.

GRIFFIN: Because that's the gig I want next year.

COOPER: Susan Hendricks is in Music City, in Nashville, Tennessee.

GRIFFIN: Brr.

COOPER: The music note drops.

GRIFFIN: It could be 55 there.

COOPER: She's going to be joined a little later tonight by country music legend Hank Williams Jr. He's going to be joining us.

And in what is now a CNN tradition...

GRIFFIN: Yes.

COOPER: ... John Zarrella is in Key West, Florida...

GRIFFIN: Of course.

COOPER: ... indulging the mother of all foot fetishes, a giant...

GRIFFIN: That's a little offensive to me. He gets a little dirty during these shows, and as an American, I apologize for what Anderson said about the foot fetish.

COOPER: A giant woman's shoe will be lowered at the stroke of midnight in Key West. We're going to talk to John Zarrella, who has been covering this for us for a lot of years. We appreciate it.

Gary Tuchman...

GRIFFIN: Who obviously, you're also mad at.

COOPER: No, he is in Indiana...

GRIFFIN: Yes.

COOPER: ... for the annual New Year's Eve watermelon drop. They drop this giant watermelon, and it's exciting.

GRIFFIN: OK. So this is the part where you act shocked, and clearly, you can't just say something like there's a watermelon drop.

COOPER: I don't know what you just said -- just let it go.

GRIFFIN: ... and say I'm not going to refer to...

COOPER: I don't know what you're talking about.

GRIFFIN: Well, do you think by holding my hand it's going to silence me?

COOPER: I'm just hoping that...

GRIFFIN: Do you want to just get duct tape and just end it?

COOPER: No, I just want to start off the evening by saying I love you and I'm glad you're here, but I just want this year...

GRIFFIN: This is like an intervention.

COOPER: Do we have the contract? GRIFFIN: Oh, no. OK.

COOPER: Did we write that down? OK.

GRIFFIN: I think my drunken mom signed that for me. It's a forgery. My contract has been forged.

COOPER: I actually have written up a separate contract...

GRIFFIN: Oh, there's a rider?

COOPER: ... that I want to you sign.

GRIFFIN: Really?

COOPER: Yes.

GRIFFIN: There's an addendum?

COOPER: We're -- it's being delivered.

GRIFFIN: And so about the watermelon dropping, you're saying...

COOPER: Let that go. I don't know -- even know what you're going to be referencing.

GRIFFIN: OK. I'm not the person who sent poor Gary Tuchman to watch watermelons drop.

COOPER: Well, because last year...

GRIFFIN: Yes.

COOPER: He was in another place...

GRIFFIN: Where people had to kiss the sardine.

COOPER: ... and it got really bad.

GRIFFIN: And I was being a journalist...

COOPER: No, and it was terrible. That was bad.

GRIFFIN: ... caring about my journalistic integrity.

COOPER: That's not going to happen again.

I'm having you sign a new contract. So what is...

GRIFFIN: We have the Lennon Sisters coming up in 20 minutes. The Lennon Sisters, reunited here.

COOPER: Who?

GRIFFIN: Here on this platform.

COOPER: The who?

GRIFFIN: The Lennon Sisters.

COOPER: Who are the Lennon Sisters?

GRIFFIN: That's for the older demo. Keep talking. Go ahead.

COOPER: Um...

GRIFFIN: The Eagles are going to be here live.

COOPER: They are not going to be here.

GRIFFIN: The Eagles. Don Henley. Joe Walsh.

COOPER: But we've got a great show. What I love about the show...

GRIFFIN: Yes.

COOPER: ... besides having you on, how people celebrate New Year's all around the world.

GRIFFIN: Correct.

COOPER: We're going to take you to Moscow. We're going to take you to London, Dubai. All sorts of places.

GRIFFIN: Dubai had the most fireworks ever. And your network really won't let that go. Every time I turn -- in between the ads for Christian Mingle, which of course, I'm a subscriber, there's a lot of plugging the Dubai fireworks.

COOPER: Well, you know, we had a correspondent there, so we're...

GRIFFIN: What's your profile on Christian Mingle?

COOPER: I'm not on any dating Web sites?

GRIFFIN: What about Tinder? Tinder's really blowing up.

COOPER: I don't know what Tinder is.

GRIFFIN: Grandma, you don't know what Tinder is. All the kids are talking about it.

COOPER: I probably don't want to know, do I?

GRIFFIN: No, you don't. You know, if you're afraid of a watermelon drop, you don't want to talk Tinder. Trust me. It's very innocent.

COOPER: It's very innocent.

GRIFFIN: I can't believe that you -- first of all, I want to say what we should say, everybody, is obviously welcome. And also...

COOPER: Now you're welcoming people when we're 10 minutes in?

GRIFFIN: Well, I think it's -- because I know you get shy about these things, but I think it's very brave of you to use tonight to announce your endorsement for future president Ted Cruz in 2016.

COOPER: No, I obviously do not endorse anybody.

GRIFFIN: Anderson has announced his endorsement for the Texas senator and his platform and everything he stands for. And I think it's so brave of you to just use this, literally, platform and talk about what are -- what are his talking points that you agree with the most?

COOPER: I obviously do not endorse any candidate, because that's not my role.

GRIFFIN: You said, I'll see you at Vice President Rand Paul's party after the show tonight. I thought that meant you were going to the Cruz/Paul.

COOPER: No. So how was your -- you have had -- in case you don't know, Kathy Griffin has had a huge year. I was surprised we were even able to book you for this gig tonight.

GRIFFIN: To snag me this year.

COOPER: To snag you for this night, and for three and a half hours. But -- but -- at the rate for two and a half.

GRIFFIN: That is really true.

COOPER: But -- but you have had an awesome year. First of all, I saw you at Carnegie Hall performing.

GRIFFIN: Anderson came to my sold-out show at Carnegie Hall.

COOPER: Not only that, I threw Kathy a little soiree.

GRIFFIN: A little something called the after party.

COOPER: Exactly. I threw her an after party.

GRIFFIN: That's true. It was very exciting.

COOPER: Which, I mean, I'm very proud for.

GRIFFIN: He paid for it out of his pocket. There were only about 17 people.

COOPER: There were about 17 people. That's all I could afford.

GRIFFIN: Well, but it was very prestigious and thank you for coming.

COOPER: But you broke -- you are in "The Guinness Book of World Records"...

GRIFFIN: Yes.

COOPER: ... for the most stand-up.

GRIFFIN: The Most Televised Stand-Up Comedy Specials.

COOPER: How many have you had?

GRIFFIN: I've done 20.

COOPER: That's incredible.

GRIFFIN: The latest one is called, "Kathy Griffin, Record Breaker." And in fact, in it, I tell a story about the Daytime Emmys, which you and I off-camera were lovingly poking fun at.

COOPER: Well, let me just say -- can I say?

GRIFFIN: Yes. You can say anything.

COOPER: Yes.

GRIFFIN: I don't work here.

COOPER: If you've never seen the Daytime Emmy Awards, you really ought to go.

GRIFFIN: You're missing a treat.

COOPER: You're missing a treat. Because -- was Susan Lucci there?

GRIFFIN: If you can. Susan Lucci is too big to go. And...

COOPER: No, she -- the year I was there, and she made a...

GRIFFIN: You sat with Lucci?

COOPER: No, I didn't sit with her, but she was on the stage. And she gave a very gracious...

GRIFFIN: Yes.

COOPER: ... statement, and there was a lot of this. A lot of this.

GRIFFIN: A lot of Lucci. And there's a lot of Namaste. Lucci is a legend. And you got an award yourself, the Wonk of the Year?

COOPER: Yes. From American University. Yes. It doesn't compare to your "Guinness Book of World Records," but I appreciate it. It was very sweet of American University.

GRIFFIN: You don't think that's funny, that you got an award called the Wonk of the Year? COOPER: You know what? I'll take -- I'll show up for, you know, the opening of...

GRIFFIN: OK. Opening of envelopes? OK. Explain to them, at least, what a wonk is, because I have my theory.

COOPER: Well, you know, I took it to mean -- you know, I don't really know.

GRIFFIN: OK, wow. Do you not know what it stands for?

COOPER: No. Well, I mean, it's like somebody who's, like a specialist or, like, focuses on stuff. You know? Like a policy wonk.

GRIFFIN: Wow. I hope your speech was a little more specific and filled with gratitude at American University where you received it.

COOPER: I did -- I did actually go to a great event with the group TAG, a citizen (ph) action group which fights HIV/AIDS and which does amazing work, and I went to an event for them recently. So that was my -- what I...

GRIFFIN: That was your year.

COOPER: That was my year. So you had the "Guinness Book of World Records."

GRIFFIN: And I'm a Grammy nominee.

COOPER: You're a Grammy nominee.

GRIFFIN: How about that?

COOPER: Yet again. I feel like...

GRIFFIN: Sixth year in a row.

COOPER: Sixth year in a row?

GRIFFIN: I haven't won yet. Sixth year for Best Comedy Album.

COOPER: I feel this year, sixth is the charm. Sixth is the charm.

GRIFFIN: You said that about the wonk awards, and then you stole it from me.

COOPER: Do you know that this is actually our seventh year together? They said it was...

GRIFFIN: It's actually our eighth, but I love your attention to detail.

COOPER: Is it really, already?

GRIFFIN: Yes. This is our eighth. COOPER: Sorry.

GRIFFIN: So special to me, as it is to you.

And by the way, I love the billing this year with "Anderson Cooper and cohost" and then the much smaller letters.

COOPER: And I also like how our printer, like, started to run out of ink on the Kathy Griffin part. Yes.

GRIFFIN: You know, we should have a name for this show.

COOPER: We should have a name for it.

GRIFFIN: It should be like, you know, "CNN Presents..."

COOPER: You know what we should do?

GRIFFIN: ... "New Year's Eve Lean Forward."

COOPER: We should do, like -- lean forward? No. That's taken, I think.

GRIFFIN: That took a minute. That took a minute.

COOPER: Yes, it did take a minute. Because I was thinking about...

GRIFFIN: That's still taken.

COOPER: What I was thinking about is we should, like -- Seacrest, I think Seacrest owns his show. I think he has some sort of...

GRIFFIN: OK. You actually think there's value in us owning, like, the big ownership of like a two-foot space on a riser?

COOPER: Kathy Griffin, who has been a -- Ryan Seacrest has been her nemesis for years. You were convinced he was trying to kill you for a while, or was that Oprah.

GRIFFIN: I believed for a while that Ryan Seacrest and Oprah were in a coven trying to kill me.

COOPER; OK.

GRIFFIN: That you also were a member of for at least years.

COOPER: I was never a member of any coven.

GRIFFIN: I think you went to some meetings.

COOPER: I did not. But now I'm told, suddenly you're Team Seacrest.

GRIFFIN: Yes. OK. What happened was Anderson Cooper blew us off. We were going to have dinner. Ryan Seacrest, a.k.a. Beelzebub, said we should all have dinner with Carson Daly.

COOPER: Look at you hugging Ryan Seacrest.

GRIFFIN: Yes, you know why? He gets me.

COOPER: He gets you?

GRIFFIN: Ryan Seacrest gets me. He also has -- he also has so much more money than you. I don't mean double; I don't mean triple. I mean, he could actually come up here and purchase you now.

COOPER: He sent -- OK, so...

GRIFFIN: He could just take you in a car and go, "I just bought him."

COOPER: For those of you who don't know, Ryan Seacrest two years ago invited us all to a dinner...

GRIFFIN: Yes.

COOPER: ... like the people who have New Year's Eve shows. So does Carson Daly and me and Ryan Seacrest.

GRIFFIN: Right. And then you start giving away all our secrets. Like, oh, Kathy is going to kiss a sardine. Kathy is going to be profane.

COOPER: No, no. First of all, I didn't know you were going to do that; nor would I have approved it if you had.

GRIFFIN: Neither did I. It was the moment.

COOPER: Yes, it was.

GRIFFIN: I stand by it.

COOPER: I do not stand by it.

GRIFFIN: Hash tag no apology. Are you hash tagging a lot? We'll get to Kim and Kanye later.

COOPER: I like it that you use the expression "hash tag" in sentences.

GRIFFIN: I'll offer up a hash tag. Hash tag no disrespect to Ben Affleck.

COOPER: Hash tag what?

GRIFFIN: No disrespect to Ben Affleck.

COOPER: Why would anybody...

GRIFFIN: Where have you been with the Kim and Kanye? We're going to get to the... COOPER: Why would that be a disrespect to Ben Affleck?

GRIFFIN: All right. It was a big year for Kim and Kanye.

COOPER: I like -- Ben Affleck is great.

GRIFFIN: Of course he is. Don't be so afraid of Ben Affleck. When you said that, it's like you're so rooted in fear, like you think he's really the guy from "Argo," and he's going to come and take you.

COOPER: No, he's a nice guy. I like him. He does good work. He's very talented.

GRIFFIN: Who else are you afraid of? Say one bad thing about Oprah. Go ahead.

COOPER: No. Why would I? Why would I? I have nothing but respect for her.

GRIFFIN: Because -- I'll tell you why. Because you don't think it's weird that Anderson hasn't been on "Next Chapter" yet?

COOPER: But -- OK. But anyway, back to Seacrest...

GRIFFIN: Obviously, there's some tension.

COOPER: ... this year, I couldn't go to the dinner because I had to work last night.

GRIFFIN: Yes.

COOPER: And he sent a very expensive bottle -- I don't know even know what agave is, but it's...

GRIFFIN: First of all, he sent me a personalized bottle of tequila.

COOPER: Yes, that's what he sent me, too.

GRIFFIN: No, no. He sent me a personalized bottle of tequila, one-of-a-kind.

COOPER: Yes, he sent me one, too.

GRIFFIN: He didn't send to anybody else.

COOPER: Yes, he sent me one, too. Yes, it's like some fancy gift that he just generically sends out.

GRIFFIN: Let's do something with it.

COOPER: Well, I don't really drink that much.

GRIFFIN: We can beat him up with it. Or just like slightly...

COOPER: No. GRIFFIN: ... crash in and then threaten him, be like, "Hey, get out of our New Year's, man." Like...

COOPER: Should we -- let's go down in the crowd. Is Isha there? Can we go down to Isha and just...

GRIFFIN: She's not going to save you. Isha, good luck saving this one.

COOPER: Isha, so people have been here since -- what's the earliest you know that people started to get here?

ISHA SESAY, HLN ANCHOR: We heard, Anderson and Kathy, that people have been here since 6 a.m. Not necessarily here at the barriers but being allowed into the areas.

They are in good spirits, as you can tell, even though they are freezing. Let's be honest.

I want to introduce you to a couple all the way from South Africa. They're here for this special night. This is Kevin and his girlfriend Lindsay (ph). Why on earth are you freezing with all of us here in Times Square?

KEVIN, NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTIER: Well, we reckon that it was the best night of the year in the best city in the world. So I think it's a no-brainer. This is why we're here.

SESAY: OK. Just to be clear, Anderson, just so you know, this guy was here last year. This is his second year freezing. How does it compare?

KEVIN: I think right now it's a lot better. Because I'm just -- I enjoy the vibe much more. Last year I was alone. So I have somebody with me here as well and I'm making more friends. So it's better.

SESAY: You mentioned the girlfriend. Let's ask Lindsay (ph) what she thinks of being down here with the crowd. Lindsay (ph), are you having a good time?

LINDSAY (ph), NEW YEAR'S PARTIER: Yes, I absolutely love it.

SESAY: You really do. What's so good about being here in Times Square with all these people?

LINDSAY (ph): Well, firstly, I've met a lot of people from different countries, and I get to spend it with Kevin. So that's awesome for me.

SESAY: Aww, you big softie. Make some noise, everybody.

What's your name and where are you from?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm Cindy (ph). I'm from Houston, Texas.

SESAY: Is this your first time in Times Square for New Year's Eve?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, this is my first time.

SESAY: Are you having a good time?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm having an awesome time.

SESAY: All right. Thank you. Thank you, guys.

It may be cold, Anderson and Kathy, but people are loving it down here. So back to you.

COOPER: Isha, you look beautiful. I love Isha's red -- It's beautiful.

SESAY: Thank you.

GRIFFIN: I like, Isha, when you turned into a D.J.: "Make some noise."

SESAY: Make some noise!

GRIFFIN: I'm liking it.

COOPER: OK. A quick reminder. If you want to join the conversation with us tonight on Twitter, the hash tag to use is #CNNNYE.

GRIFFIN: There are at least 29 followers. I checked it.

COOPER: No, we've got a lot.

GRIFFIN: I'm live tweeting, as is my mother, @TippetMaggieG (ph).

COOPER: Is she really?

GRIFFIN: She really is.

COOPER: All right. Cool. Tweet us your questions. My mom asked if she should join Twitter this year. I was like...

GRIFFIN: Yes.

COOPER: ... "I don't think so, Mom."

GRIFFIN: Yes. Gloria Vanderbilt should be on Twitter.

COOPER: She should not.

GRIFFIN: Hash tag go, Glo, go.

COOPER: We're going to try to answer as many as we can, try to put some of your tweets on the air. You can also follow me. It's always @anderson -- @andersoncooper.

GRIFFIN: And I have some of your tweets to read...

COOPER: Oh, really?

GRIFFIN: ... over the past year.

COOPER: Great. Great.

We're going to have more with Kathy Griffin. Kathy is @kathygriffin.

GRIFFIN: Yes.

COOPER: Also on Instagram, #CNNNYE. Send us your pictures of your parties. We'll put it on the air. On the night ahead, Melissa Etheridge is next as we -- as we rock it out here on New Year's Eve. Did I say rock it out?

GRIFFIN: Yes. You said we're going to rock it out. To the kids. Wow. OK.

COOPER: As we go to break, let's take a look at one of the first places to ring in the new year in 2014, Auckland, New Zealand.

GRIFFIN: Perfect.

COOPER: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Those fireworks in Dubai. Kathy likes to say record- breaking fireworks.

GRIFFIN: I've never seen so many fireworks in my life.

COOPER: It's the biggest show the world has ever seen.

GRIFFIN: They're all over Dubai.

COOPER: A special musical guest is going to be performing right now. Joining us live from the other side of Times Square, Melissa Etheridge performing her hit song, "Bring Me Some Water." Let's listen in.

MELISSA ETHERIDGE, MUSICIAN: Yes, doing it right, right here tonight. You and me. Come on. Let's rock a little bit more. All right? We've got to stay warm! Move it. Move it. Rock 'n' roll. Come on. Bring me some water, baby.

(MUSIC: MELISSA ETHERIDGE, "BRING ME SOME WATER")

ETHERIDGE: Thank you. See you again! Thank you. See you again!

COOPER: Melissa Etheridge performing live here.

GRIFFIN: Fantastic. COOPER: She's great.

GRIFFIN: She's the real deal. She really sings.

COOPER: She's the real deal. Yes, she really gets...

GRIFFIN: Not like you were talking trash about poor Britney.

COOPER: Well...

GRIFFIN: I mean, you were really ripping her a new one.

COOPER: No, no, no. First of all...

GRIFFIN: And she has been an inspiration to so many young people. And the things you said about here were just vicious.

COOPER: No, no. I didn't say anything bad about her.

GRIFFIN: Vicious.

COOPER: It just there was this thing on Live Week where...

GRIFFIN: You implied that she lip synchs.

COOPER: Well, no, on this video...

GRIFFIN: Which is appalling to me.

COOPER: It's -- it seemed as if...

GRIFFIN: she is like a young Maria Callas. She's a young Beverly Sills.

COOPER: Let's just -- I'll show you this video. Just listen to a few seconds.

GRIFFIN: All right.

COOPER: This is apparently her microphone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... ease my mind. A little tighter than that. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Boys, when I (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: I can't confirm, actually, that that is her audio, but it's -- it is painful.

GRIFFIN: I am not going to take the heat for this one on Twitter. OK? This is -- this one...

COOPER: I like Britney Spears.

GRIFFIN: I love her. I get her. You know what? Maybe that show isn't so much singing; it's a dance extravaganza.

COOPER: I would actually like to -- you know what, it's actually gotten really good reviews.

GRIFFIN: And she -- she sort of talks.

COOPER: It's actually gotten really good reviews.

GRIFFIN: Not in the "times."

COOPER: Well, I didn't read that.

GRIFFIN: I doubt she read it. You don't read "The New York Times"?

COOPER: Well, no, I didn't read the Britney review.

GRIFFIN: Anderson Cooper does not -- breaking news. Anderson Cooper doesn't read "The New York Times."

COOPER: OK. So here's the deal. Just for the record...

GRIFFIN: Doesn't think it's important.

COOPER: ... for the record, I enjoy Britney Spears.

GRIFFIN: What does -- what does -- I'm afraid...

COOPER: I enjoy Britney Spears, and I -- I have nothing...

GRIFFIN: It's not like she has, like, millions and billions of Twitter followers that, when they hear that you, Anderson Cooper, don't support Britney Spears...

COOPER: I was talking about -- no.

GRIFFIN: ... are going to be crushed.

COOPER: OK. I just thought that was.

GRIFFIN: Because I love her.

COOPER: I thought that was a mean video. And I thought it was floating around the web, and a lot of people have been actually asking me about it.

GRIFFIN: Yes.

COOPER: And I'm just saying, we cannot confirm that that is actually just her microphone.

GRIFFIN: OK. I like how you're acting like that's a hard news story: "We cannot confirm or deny."

COOPER: OK. So here's -- I wrote this up because...

GRIFFIN: Oh, boy.

COOPER: ... I just had some concerns about tonight.

GRIFFIN: You know what? You can't control me.

COOPER: So this -- I know Kathy's already signed a contract. This is my own...

GRIFFIN: Do you know what you just said?

COOPER: That Kathy's already signed a contract.

GRIFFIN: Just before that. If you guys are taping this, roll back, like, ten seconds.

COOPER: I don't know what you said.

GRIFFIN: It was good.

COOPER: I don't know -- I don't know you said. Anyway, no swearing, no stripping. And for what are most important for me, no touching and no simulations, if you know what I mean. Simulations.

GRIFFIN: I'm not going to simulate it. I'm going to do it.

COOPER: I don't even know what you're doing.

GRIFFIN: I'm going to try to...

COOPER: So will you just sign this?

GRIFFIN: OK.

COOPER: Please. Anywhere just down here.

GRIFFIN: All right.

COOPER: Just sign.

GRIFFIN: All right.

COOPER: You signed it "Miley Cyrus."

GRIFFIN: I feel like Miley Cyrus sometimes. I feel like he's my wrecking ball. I'm going to climb on him naked, with nothing but some Doc Martins and a chain.

COOPER: You know, I -- I...

GRIFFIN: People actually asked if I was going to lick you tonight, like Miley Cyrus. That was like a genuine question.

COOPER: I like Miley Cyrus's album.

GRIFFIN: I love it.

COOPER: I think it's really good.

GRIFFIN: I'm pro-Miley all the way. I changed my tune.

COOPER: I enjoy Miley Cyrus.

GRIFFIN: Yes. Why do you hate Britney Spears? That's such a -- hash tag, Anderson hates Britney.

COOPER: I don't hate Britney.

GRIFFIN: I just can't figure it out.

COOPER: I'm glad that she's still out there and...

GRIFFIN: She's such a wonderful entertainer.

COOPER: All of you watching at home or at a party, you can send us photos.

GRIFFIN: Or at Dubai at that awesome fireworks show.

COOPER: I think that's over by now.

GRIFFIN: Oh.

COOPER: You can send us photos on Instagram using #CNNNYE.

GRIFFIN: I love that you're trying to push that hash tag, which I swear is up to 31 followers. Just stick with @CNNBreakingNews. That's the big one.

COOPER: No, to send us the photos. And that way we'll find them and we'll put them on the air maybe. The photos.

GRIFFIN: So you can make fun of people like you did to poor little Britney Spears.

COOPER: Here's -- here's some -- oh, man.

GRIFFIN: She's done so much for the troops. Probably.

COOPER: Oh, man. Here are some photos that people have already sent us from their New Year's Eve parties. Look at that.

GRIFFIN: That's great.

COOPER: It's nice.

GRIFFIN: You know what? I would love you to tell the people about...

COOPER: That's a very cute picture.

GRIFFIN: ... what was it like when you spent Christmas Eve at the Bachmanns'? You went to Michele Bachmann's for Christmas Eve. And she and her husband, Marcus, cooked a dinner. And you were talking to me about it in the commercial break. So what did you guys have that night?

COOPER: You're making this up. I...

GRIFFIN: Anderson Cooper went to Michele Bachmann's for Christmas.

COOPER: I've never been invited, no.

GRIFFIN: Talk about reaching across the aisle. I thought that was so great. What kind of conversation is that?

COOPER: We're going go down to New Orleans where they certainly do things right. I love New Orleans. You've probably played there.

GRIFFIN: Oh, I know. You love the NOLA.

COOPER: I do love NOLA.

GRIFFIN: Do you know the name of the team? The professional football team?

COOPER: The New Orleans Saints.

GRIFFIN: Nice. Basketball?

COOPER: You know what? I'm not going to do it.

GRIFFIN: You can't yell at me. I signed a contract.

COOPER: The Hornets. The Hornets. I'm not going to be quizzed about New Orleans. I can take you...

GRIFFIN: It's not the Hornets.

COOPER: I will take you down.

GRIFFIN: What's the New Orleans basketball team?

COOPER: What?

GRIFFIN: The Pelicans.

COOPER: The Pelicans?

GRIFFIN: Hey, there's no arguing.

COOPER: Maybe they changed it.

GRIFFIN: It's not the time you lost "Jeopardy" to Cheech Marin.

COOPER: I'm not a big sports guy, but I love New Orleans and I know the Saints.

GRIFFIN: Sorry, Pelicans fans, hash tag Anderson hates the Pelicans. I can't figure it out either. COOPER: Take a look at this shot high atop the Marriott marquee as we ring out 2013. We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back.

Oh, my God.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(music)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is the scene in The Spotted Cat in New Orleans on French Mint (ph), which is my favorite bar in New Orleans. They have great music there. The groups like the Jazz Vipers play. It's really a lot of fun.

KATHY GRIFFIN, CO-HOST: What is your drink of choice...

COOPER: I'm not...

GRIFFIN: -- when you're getting drunk there?

COOPER: -- I don't drink. I don't really drink so -- but I just enjoy the music. And the people are great.

GRIFFIN: Yes.

COOPER: The owner is a great guy. It's an amazing place. New Orleans is a city that is so close to my heart and I love it.

GRIFFIN: I love your fake image. I love when you act like you're like the guy that just goes into a bar, nobody notices me. I'm seeing him in a bar. He's like in a ball in a corner. I'm not even kidding.

Am I right?

In public, he just tries to shrink. He offers to take pictures. Like if someone wants a picture with him, he's like I'll take it...

COOPER: By the way...

GRIFFIN: -- with you and a street sign.

COOPER: No, by the way...

GRIFFIN: It's very awkward.

COOPER: Kathy Griffin...

GRIFFIN: It's very awkward.

COOPER: -- Kathy Griffin, during the break, has been texting Ryan Seacrest, saying that I am saying terrible things about Ryan Seacrest and texting, who, Rachel Ray, saying that I'm insulting her cooking. So Kathy Griffin is...

GRIFFIN: I did.

COOPER: -- is trying to stir things up.

GRIFFIN: I texted Ryan Seacrest and I was like, Anderson Cooper has some issue with you. I don't know what it is.

And then to Rachel Ray, I said, he thinks your cooking sucks. Sorry. I can't (INAUDIBLE)...

COOPER: How do you even have Rachel Ray's text?

GRIFFIN: I roll deep.

COOPER: Oh, you apparently (INAUDIBLE).

GRIFFIN: I know Macklemore.

COOPER: I think that Macklemore is actually going to be joining us on our show...

GRIFFIN: He is actually.

COOPER: -- live right here.

GRIFFIN: Yes. Yes, a fellow Grammy nominee.

I'm in the Grammy world, what can I tell you?

COOPER: All right. Well, you can talk about your (INAUDIBLE).

GRIFFIN: I roll with that crowd.

COOPER: So that's -- you should stick around for that, as well as all the other festivities.

Brooke Baldwin is down in New Orleans in Jackson Square.

Let's check in with her -- so, Brooke, how do people roll in the new year in New Orleans?

BROOKE BALDWIN, HOST: You know, a little king cake, (INAUDIBLE) tonight for dinner, some music. It's the soul of the city. I can't help but, you know, move and groove, move and groove as we are counting down to the fleur-de-lis drop here in New Orleans.

Go ahead, Steve Zorg (ph), zoom out, because you've got to see these guys who are with me. You think New Orleans, you think amazing food, you think the soul of the city is music.

And you've got to find a way to dance this off, right?

So I am surrounded by these amazing men, these ordinary men with extraordinary moves, the Sixton Stompers (ph), dance. They've been in so many parades. This is my buddy, Meatball.

Meatball? MEATBALL: How are you doing?

We are the Sixton Stompers. We're an all male dance group. We do everything for charity. And we're big around the city of New Orleans.

BALDWIN: Big around the city. These are teachers and lawyers and dads and brothers and so quickly, I got my -- my man Sir Dance A Lot...

GRIFFIN: Brooke, it's Kathy Griffin here.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: -- to the mike.

GRIFFIN: Brooke?

BALDWIN: Could you do some dancing?

MEATBALL: Absolutely.

BALDWIN: Kathy, Kathy, these guys want to dance for you.

MEATBALL: Oh, yes.

(CROSSTALK)

MEATBALL: We're going to do it.

All right, here we go.

(CROSSTALK)

GRIFFIN: No, I just wanted...

BALDWIN: OK.

MEATBALL: Here we go.

(CROSSTALK)

MEATBALL: Low. All right, now, squat. Squat. Yes. Bounce back. And shimmy. Other side.

COOPER: And they said we couldn't (INAUDIBLE).

GRIFFIN: No. And what's great is, Brooke, I'd like you to ask those guys how they feel about Anderson being a big fan of the New Orleans Hornets...

(CROSSTALK)

GRIFFIN: -- the New Orleans Hornets basketball team.

BALDWIN: Are you jealous? COOPER: Oh, by the way...

BALDWIN: New Orleans says hello.

GRIFFIN: They will kick your butt. You would not last with those guys.

COOPER: By the way, Brooke, thank you very much.

Appreciate it.

GRIFFIN: (INAUDIBLE).

COOPER: By the way, the New Orleans Hornets...

GRIFFIN: Go Hornets.

COOPER: -- changed their name...

GRIFFIN: Go Hornets.

COOPER: -- just last year...

GRIFFIN: Hash tag anderson...

COOPER: -- to the Pelicans...

GRIFFIN: -- hatesbritney.

COOPER: -- the Pelicans.

GRIFFIN: I don't get it.

COOPER: I want you to stop that.

GRIFFIN: She seems like such a nice girl.

COOPER: She seems like a lovely girl and I'm glad for all her success.

GRIFFIN: Well, that's not what the hash tag says.

COOPER: (INAUDIBLE) the hash tag.

Hey, let's check in with Susan Hendricks, who is in the great city of Nashville, where I just was earlier this year, another terrific city.

GRIFFIN: Yes.

COOPER: You've probably played Nashville.

GRIFFIN: And she has Carrie Underwood live...

COOPER: No, she does not...

GRIFFIN: -- doing with "The Sound of Music."

COOPER: She doesn't have...

GRIFFIN: Three songs in a row from "The Sound of Music."

Let's take a look.

COOPER: Susan, how is it -- so how do people -- what's the big thing that happens at midnight in Nashville?

SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'll tell you, Anderson and Kathy, the big thing is Hank Williams, Jr. That's what people here are looking forward to.

But Carrie Underwood wouldn't be bad. But we'll settle for Hank Williams, Jr..

And I'll tell you, I spoke to a woman. She flew in from Canada just to see Hank Williams. So we're expected to talk to him on stage in just a few.

Seventy thousand people are expected tonight. Last year I was here. It was about 50,000. This is only the fifth year, but wow, is it growing.

And, Anderson, I heard you say you're rocking it out. And they are rocking it out here behind me, excited to bring in 2014.

Also expected, fireworks. (INAUDIBLE) but we're expecting that, as well.

GRIFFIN: Nothing is.

COOPER: Cool.

Susan, we'll check in with you in a little bit.

I'm glad you reminded me that I said rock that out.

GRIFFIN: A lot of people are talking about how you like to rock it out, because when I say rocking it out, I think Anderson Cooper.

COOPER: Yes, I know.

You know, I'm very down. I'm very straight. I'm very -- I'm keeping it real.

GRIFFIN: You're...

COOPER: I like to keep it real.

GRIFFIN: You keep it very, very real.

How did you prep for tonight?

I'm just wondering. I'm picturing you in your sad little cubicle.

COOPER: I took a nap. I took a...

GRIFFIN: You took a nap?

COOPER: I took a two hour nap, which technically is not even a nap. That's a sleep. I had dreams.

GRIFFIN: So today, while I was doing things like looking up weird Tweets...

COOPER: Yes.

GRIFFIN: -- that you sent up through there, you were napping.

COOPER: Actually, I'll tell you what I did today. I went to "The Nutcracker," which is a tradition -- a Christmas tradition for me. And I bought this coat, because I didn't have a warm coat. And then I took a...

GRIFFIN: You went to the play...

COOPER: -- two hour nap.

GRIFFIN: -- the ballet, "The Nutcracker?"

COOPER: Yes, I went to the ballet. Yes. Yes.

GRIFFIN: Come on. Just be honest for once.

COOPER: No, seriously. It's true.

GRIFFIN: Wait. So I don't know what you're on. I think that in Colorado, pot becomes legal and you and Sanjay are all about it, with that weed special that you ran every 20 minutes. But you didn't go to "The Nutcracker" ballet today.

COOPER: I did.

GRIFFIN: That's weird. I want a picture. I don't believe you.

COOPER: Well, actually, you're not allowed to take pictures inside Lincoln Center.

GRIFFIN: Exactly. Somebody has got to have a picture of this weirdo...

COOPER: It was on Twitter.

GRIFFIN: -- walking out of the ballet.

COOPER: There were people sitting near me Tweeting that I was there.

GRIFFIN: Because a minute ago, you were taking a nap and then dogging poor Britney Spears. COOPER: No, at 12:00, the matinee, "The Nutcracker" got added to. I bought the code and I took a nap.

GRIFFIN: Let's just go over some of your Tweets that you sent.

COOPER: OK.

GRIFFIN: This is one -- I'm not even going to say when you sent it.

COOPER: OK.

GRIFFIN: But this -- I hope you're proud of this, @andersoncooper.

"I'm in South Africa and will be reporting on the celebrations of life of hash tag nelsonmandela."

Then you said, "Any South Africans have any recommendations for dinner?"

I mean -- and you still have a job here?

Let me tell you something, there's got to be a local affiliate, maybe Gainesville. Wake up, Gainesville can take him. This is not appropriate.

OK. And then there was one from two days ago...

COOPER: By the way...

GRIFFIN: (INAUDIBLE).

COOPER: -- I got very me -- a lot of good (INAUDIBLE).

GRIFFIN: Oh, please go on. Please go on about how during the Mandela celebrations...

COOPER: By the way...

GRIFFIN: -- you were looking for a good restaurant. I'm out. This is all you, Cooper.

COOPER: I mean I...

GRIFFIN: I hope you got a good tuna melt.

I mean what -- what was the point?

And then there was one -- I love when you get like really cranky on Twitter, like your Piers Morgan. And there was one with some poor, probably innocent guy, who says something like "Anderson Cooper is texting me."

COOPER: Oh, yes. Somebody -- this was just the other day. Somebody said, "Anderson Cooper is texting me." And then I thought, OK, well, this is going to become some sort of thing, that I'm texting some random person who I don't know.

So I e-mailed -- I texted -- I Tweeted back, saying, "I have no idea who you are." I believe that was my Tweet.

GRIFFIN: Wow!

You know it by heart. It says, "Um...

COOPER: There's (INAUDIBLE)...

GRIFFIN: -- dot, dot, dot. I have no idea who you are."

COOPER: I don't know who that person is.

GRIFFIN: Well, OK, you have five billion followers. Of course someone is going to randomly, whether it's truthful or not, say, hey, I just got a text from Anderson Cooper...

COOPER: But why would someone -- I don't like the fact that somebody would lie and say that...

GRIFFIN: You know, why do you read every single Tweet?

COOPER: I don't read every single Tweet.

GRIFFIN: I know the hurt little boy who lives inside the model body. And let me tell you, he's five years old. His mommy is missing. She's at Studio 54. He's -- his soup is cold and all he wants love. So he's reading every single Tweet.

I scroll through mine and I'm like, next, next, next. Go to kathygriffin.com and buy tickets. He's just -- there's one tear, like Demi Moore in "Ghost." He's doing some pottery. And that little boy never grew up. He's got short pants. He's got suspenders. He's having high tea. Somebody just love him. Just love him for who he is. He's just a model. He's an underwear model that became a newsman by mistake.

Get me Rick Sanchez.

Rick, if you're watching, come on back.

COOPER: Oh, man.

GRIFFIN: You're welcome.

COOPER: You are funny. You make me laugh.

GRIFFIN: Really?

COOPER: Yes, you really do.

GRIFFIN: Well, you just gave yourself the commercial for next year. And please next year, please, let's do eight to 10 hours, because my catheter is starting to get sore. I -- this is his stuff. You're actually trying to walk -- you can't refrain from your own network. I don't work here. I see you going like this, like you're trying to leave the broadcast.

COOPER: Oh, that was funny.

GRIFFIN: Your only alternative is to go...

COOPER: I love...

GRIFFIN: -- off the railing. That's it.

COOPER: It's a little strange to be confronted with my own lame Tweets.

GRIFFIN: Well, gee, they're so hard to see, except that five million people can see them at will. Hash tag andersonlovesthehornets. That's not even the team name. I apologize to the city of New Orleans, who's been through enough.

COOPER: Listen, I don't pretend to be a sports fan. I've never pretended to be a sports fan.

GRIFFIN: Well, you should. You're supposed to know all news.

COOPER: Well, no. I mean I love New Orleans. There's a million things I know about New Orleans.

I just...

GRIFFIN: All right, give me a sports question.

COOPER: Oh, no.

GRIFFIN: Just give me any -- your job, you're on -- what is that show you're on, "50 Minutes?"

He's got a lot of jobs. He's supposed to know these things.

COOPER: I'm on "60 Minutes."

GRIFFIN: Exactly.

COOPER: Right.

GRIFFIN: And I know you want to get to the crocodiles. He's been just itching...

COOPER: (INAUDIBLE).

GRIFFIN: -- to get to the part where he's -- like in the commercial break, he's like, Kathy, make a big deal about how I swim in the (INAUDIBLE). My life was in danger. Go ahead.

Do your spiel...

COOPER: No, I have no spiel. I want (INAUDIBLE)...

GRIFFIN: All right, so here's some sports acronyms. What are they?

One is the NHL.

COOPER: The National Hockey League.

GRIFFIN: OK. RBI?

COOPER: Runs batted in.

GRIFFIN: Good. Good.

COOPER: Thank you.

GRIFFIN: PAT?

COOPER: PAT?

GRIFFIN: PAT.

Point after attempt.

COOPER: Point after what?

GRIFFIN: No, wait. Yes...

COOPER: (INAUDIBLE).

GRIFFIN: -- point after attempt.

COOPER: Oh, OK.

GRIFFIN: That's right.

COOPER: Yes, read that on the card. Yes, yes, yes.

GRIFFIN: Well, I don't know it, either.

OK, what's a -- what's this word?

Fleecea flicker (ph).

COOPER: A Fleecea flicker?

GRIFFIN: All right, look, folks, I'm trying to broaden our demo.

COOPER: I mean really -- you're broadening our (INAUDIBLE).

GRIFFIN: And that -- it's when the quarterback hands the ball to the RB, who then tosses it back...

COOPER: I believe it's a flea flicker (ph).

GRIFFIN: I think you're right.

COOPER: I believe it is, actually. GRIFFIN: Wow!

Go -- go Pats.

Is that a team?

COOPER: Up next, we're going to head down to Key West, Florida.

GRIFFIN: Oh, yes.

COOPER: I'm not even sure how this became a tradition, but we...

GRIFFIN: You're -- you fight for it every year.

COOPER: No, I don't. But...

GRIFFIN: And I -- sometimes I feel like Sushi kind of gives you crap, which is very amusing to me.

COOPER: But they have...

GRIFFIN: You'll see.

COOPER: -- the shoe will drop at midnight there, a giant high heel pump. And in that shoe is Sushi. Our John Zarrella is again this New Year's Eve. We'll go there live when we come back.

GRIFFIN: It's like a Statue of Liberty of our event, what the Statue of Liberty is to football, that's what's this is to CNN New Year's.

COOPER: We are here (INAUDIBLE). There's as many as a million revelers.

We'll be back right after the break.

GRIFFIN: What's a reveler?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Diana Magnay in Moscow's Red Square.

There are around 100,000 of us here, Anderson. And we are all waiting for that clock there to ring in the new year.

And that is it.

There you have it, Anderson. From Russia with love.

Happy New Year!

COOPER: And a look at how they celebrated New Year's in Moscow earlier.

I am joined -- Kathy and I are joined by the amazing Melissa Ethridge.

It's so great to have you here.

Happy New Year.

MELISSA ETHRIDGE: Oh, what a pleasure to be here.

GRIFFIN: It's a little awkward coming from Moscow to you two, but we can handle it.

ETHRIDGE: I think that's...

GRIFFIN: It's a news organization.

ETHRIDGE: That's what we need to do. We need to do bridge some love between those two places.

GRIFFIN: That's right. I agree.

ETHRIDGE: We've been sending lots of love there.

GRIFFIN: (INAUDIBLE) the song.

ETHRIDGE: Yes.

COOPER: You were on -- before, when we played you live on the air, you were awesome. So now you have a new album coming out this summer?

ETHRIDGE: Yes, it's going to come out this summer.

COOPER: "This Is Me."

ETHRIDGE: "This Is Me." I'm going to do -- when I get back on right before midnight, I'm going to do a song called "Uprising of Love," actually, sending it out to Russia.

COOPER: Cool.

GRIFFIN: Oh, perfect.

ETHRIDGE: So, yes. So it's kind of (INAUDIBLE).

COOPER: And you're also going to sing "Imagine" tonight, which is...

ETHRIDGE: Yes, I can't wait.

COOPER: -- it's one of my favorite moments when "Imagine" plays here after the (INAUDIBLE).

ETHRIDGE: I have never sung it. I have never sung it in public before.

COOPER: Oh, really?

ETHRIDGE: So I'm really -- and when a -- just -- and New York City, come on.

(CROSSTALK)

GRIFFIN: Well, you'll see, everybody gets so nice and quiet and oddly respectful, not the way I treat Anderson.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Even you?

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Before you came on, I said, you know, I met Melissa Ethridge...

GRIFFIN: Yes.

COOPER: -- and Kathy said, oh, I've been to her house.

GRIFFIN: I've been to her house...

COOPER: And I said, oh, I've been to her house, too. I did an interview with her...

ETHRIDGE: Both of you.

COOPER: -- and then she said.

GRIFFIN: She was on my TV show.

COOPER: And I said, well, I interviewed her on a TV show...

ETHRIDGE: You're totally fighting over me.

(CROSSTALK)

GRIFFIN: And I said she wrote "Come To My Window" about me.

ETHRIDGE: I love this.

GRIFFIN: No?

ETHRIDGE: I think we can stop (INAUDIBLE) actually, it was about Anderson.

COOPER: Oh, thank you. Thank you. I appreciate that. I win.

GRIFFIN: (INAUDIBLE) Ryan Seacrest right now. I'm calling Ryan Seacrest right now.

What do you love about performing here with all these people in this freaking cold?

ETHRIDGE: I love that it's free.

GRIFFIN: Yes? ETHRIDGE: I love anything that's -- you know, music that's free. I love that they're all in blue hats and they all...

GRIFFIN: Yes.

ETHRIDGE: -- they've got the silver things going. I love that everyone is here celebrating one thing. It's kind of a -- it's like a beautiful sea of diversity here.

GRIFFIN: Correct.

ETHRIDGE: And celebrating all of us moving into the next year. I just -- I love that about our human race.

GRIFFIN: Are you getting a huge kickback from Nivea, because you're pushing the Nivea.

ETHRIDGE: Can't you see my skin?

GRIFFIN: You look very moist.

ETHRIDGE: Lovely.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Now, when you're performing here, can you feel the energy of everybody in the crowd?

ETHRIDGE: I -- I can -- I only feel cold.

(CROSSTALK)

ETHRIDGE: It's -- they're kind of -- you know, yes, I can. You feel -- I mean just standing here. Come on.

(CROSSTALK)

ETHRIDGE: They feel the energy.

(CROSSTALK)

ETHRIDGE: This is freezing.

COOPER: Do you have a New Year's resolution?

(CROSSTALK)

ETHRIDGE: I call them New Year...

(CROSSTALK)

GRIFFIN: -- just ignore him.

(CROSSTALK)

ETHRIDGE: I call it... GRIFFIN: Are you wearing underwear?

ETHRIDGE: Sort of.

GRIFFIN: OK. Thank you.

That's a question.

ETHRIDGE: Well, that's a -- no. That's a good -- now, I've forgotten the question now.

COOPER: (INAUDIBLE) New Year's resolution.

ETHRIDGE: See what you've done.

(CROSSTALK)

ETHRIDGE: I call them New Year's intentions.

COOPER: Oh, OK.

ETHRIDGE: And that is to celebrate this year, to bring diversity into the forefront, to get rid of fear and to just rock all year long.

GRIFFIN: Well, you know, Anderson has been talking about rocking it out, was it, dear?

COOPER: I used the expression rocking it out.

ETHRIDGE: Oh, no.

COOPER: And she's been making fun of me all night long.

(CROSSTALK)

GRIFFIN: He's an hep cat.

COOPER: I like to keep it real. You know that about me...

ETHRIDGE: Come on.

COOPER: Melissa.

ETHRIDGE: He does. He keeps it real.

GRIFFIN: Yes. He's hosting the BET Awards this year, breaking news. This is breaking news.

COOPER: I'd be happy to. I'd be happy to.

GRIFFIN: If you were to write a song about Anderson, what would it be called?

ETHRIDGE: It would be called "Blue Eyes."

COOPER: Oh, there you go. Thank you. I like that. ETHRIDGE: Yes.

GRIFFIN: Not -- not "Shallow Guy with A Secret?"

ETHRIDGE: No.

GRIFFIN: Sorry, I just (INAUDIBLE)...

ETHRIDGE: Not at all. I'm proud of my Anderson.

COOPER: By the way...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: So we...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course not.

COOPER: -- have you ever -- did you know that in Key West for New Year's they drop a giant woman's shoe with a drag queen named Sushi inside it?

GRIFFIN: It's a tradition.

COOPER: It's -- and we actually air. We actually air it.

ETHRIDGE: Do you really?

COOPER: Yes. Every year.

GRIFFIN: Oh, yes.

COOPER: Oh, yes. It's a tradition.

ETHRIDGE: See, equality. I love that.

GRIFFIN: It is the LGBT QIA2 community...

ETHRIDGE: Diversity -- I know.

GRIFFIN: -- at work.

ETHRIDGE: INWXYZ. There's a lot.

GRIFFIN: It's LGBT QIA2S...

ETHRIDGE: Oh?

GRIFFIN: -- lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (INAUDIBLE)...

ETHRIDGE: You are so politically correct...

GRIFFIN: I know.

ETHRIDGE: More so than me.

GRIFFIN: I know all the letters. I know all the letters.

ETHRIDGE: No, so more so than me.

GRIFFIN: All the numbers, yes.

ETHRIDGE: Wow!

COOPER: Well, listen, thank you so much for being with us.

ETHRIDGE: Well, you guys, I wish I could stay here.

COOPER: And I hope you have a great, great New Year's.

ETHRIDGE: I -- I totally will.

You guys, too.

Love you.

GRIFFIN: You're the best.

COOPER: Thank you very much.

ETHRIDGE: All right.

COOPER: Melissa Ethridge. Amazing.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Let's check in with John Zarrella, who's outside Bourbon Street Pub in Key West, Florida -- John, how's it going there?

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, Anderson, you know, every year it gets bigger. This is our 11th year doing this. Look at this crowd, from one end of Duval Street to the other end of Duval Street, absolutely packed, as it always is. And it gets bigger every year.

Sushi, the drag queen, isn't here yet. But I'm told she's wearing a champagne-colored dress this year.

If you can still hear me, I've always wanted to get in the shoe. So I'm going to get in the shoe, since Sushi's not here. I'm getting in the shoe.

Let's do it.

All right.

COOPER: Uh-oh, John's going to do it.

Oh, my goodness.

ZARRELLA: Yes.

All right, Anderson...

GRIFFIN: Wait. I (INAUDIBLE).

ZARRELLA: I'm in the shoe this year.

GRIFFIN: John, I'm sorry. I don't mean to interrupt you...

ZARRELLA: And I may not get out.

GRIFFIN: -- but John...

ZARRELLA: I may not.

GRIFFIN: John, are you saying that Sushi was too busy?

ZARRELLA: Yes, Kathy?

GRIFFIN: And you are getting in the shoe personally?

Is this a budget cut, Anderson?

COOPER: I don't know. I don't know.

ZARRELLA: I confiscated the shoe for a brief period of time, but Sushi will be in it momentarily. But I had to do this at least once.

COOPER: And, John, in past years, you have brought your whole family to this event.

What does your family think about you covering this every year?

ZARRELLA: Yes. You know, at first -- oh. At first, Anderson, this is what they were a little bit, well, not so crazy about. But after a few years, after a few years, everybody got used to it. And if the shoe was big enough, I'd get them all in here, too.

COOPER: Well, John, we love having you there. And I'm a huge John Zarrella fan.

John is a great guy who...

GRIFFIN: I'm sorry.

COOPER: What?

GRIFFIN: I've got to -- I've just got to stop this at some point.

COOPER: OK.

GRIFFIN: I'd just like to imagine like maybe somebody in America for their first day turning on their first television and the first thing they see is John Zarrella in a giant fake shoe.

COOPER: You know what, that's what makes this America...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: -- the diversity of America, as (INAUDIBLE)...

GRIFFIN: I love you, John. I still don't quite get the tie-in to a giant shoe and New Year's and you being in Florida. I think it's a free vacation for your family. I think that's what it is.

ZARRELLA: Yes.

COOPER: Well, John, we're going to check in with you at the stroke of midnight...

ZARRELLA: (INAUDIBLE).

COOPER: -- as the shoe is lowered down into the crowd.

ZARRELLA: Got it.

COOPER: Sorry, go ahead, John.

GRIFFIN: Is Sushi at the ballet?

ZARRELLA: I was just going to say...

(CROSSTALK)

ZARRELLA: -- next year, Kathy -- next year, Kathy...

GRIFFIN: Yes?

ZARRELLA: -- should be in the shoe.

GRIFFIN: I agree. Absolutely.

COOPER: (INAUDIBLE) it there.

GRIFFIN: Absolutely.

COOPER: They would love love down there.

GRIFFIN: Absolutely.

COOPER: All right, John, we'll check in with you in a little bit here.

Gary Tuchman...

GRIFFIN: Oh, no.

COOPER: -- I don't even want to talk about where he was last year. I don't want to revisit that.

GRIFFIN: He had (INAUDIBLE)...

COOPER: We're moving on. We're moving on.

He was in Maine last year, a lovely town.

GRIFFIN: Yes.

COOPER: This year he is in Indiana.

GRIFFIN: Maine is a lovely town.

COOPER: Gary, explain what happens at the stroke of midnight where you are.

GRIFFIN: Go ahead, Gary.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I will say, if you're not going to say it, Anderson, I'll say it. I was with a giant sardine in Maine last year. This year I'm with a giant watermelon in Vincennes, Indiana, where here in Vincennes, because Knox County, Indiana, one of the capitals of watermelon growing. Two hundred million watermelons were grown here this year.

And that's why this 500 pound steel watermelon that's 18 feet long and 12 feet tall, will be lifted 10 minutes before midnight. And out of the bottom of that gigantic watermelon, 14 locally grown real watermelons will be brought. And at midnight, the 14 watermelons will come down and will splat.

And I use the splat purposely, because they splat on what they call a splat board. Fourteen watermelons because it's 2014.

And all over Vincennes, Indiana, watermelon fans -- 18,000 people live here, but they expect thousands of people to be here close to midnight.

Right here, right now there is a carving exhibition of watermelons taking place.

And I want to introduce you to someone, the biggest celebrity here. Her name is Briston Anderson (ph). She is the Iliana watermelon queen.

BRISTON ANDERSON: Yes.

TUCHMAN: It's nice to meet you.

ANDERSON: It is nice to meet you.

TUCHMAN: Really quick, if you could tell anyone who's listening in the world what they need to know about watermelons, what would you tell them?

ANDERSON: Watermelon is actually the leader in lycopene. So lycopene is what gives watermelon its red color and it has great health benefits.

TUCHMAN: So watermelon is healthy?

ANDERSON: Very healthy.

TUCHMAN: Thank you for talking to us. I hope you're in the national competition...

ANDERSON: Yes.

TUCHMAN: -- (INAUDIBLE) I hope your the national watermelon queen.

ANDERSON: Thank you very much.

TUCHMAN: Iliana, the (INAUDIBLE), Illinois and Indiana -- Illinois is literally 100 yards away from us, Anderson and Kathy. And that's important because Illinois is in the Central time zone. So 100 yards away, they'll still be in 2013, when we're in 2014. And the final thing I want to tell you, a fun fact, man. I never thought about this before. But watermelon is not just a fruit. It's also a vegetable and it's also a gourd. I have no idea what a gourd is, but it is a gourd -- back to you.

COOPER: All right.

GRIFFIN: Am I allowed to ask Gary a question?

COOPER: Yes.

GRIFFIN: Gary, it's Kathy Griffin.

Can you hear me?

COOPER: Yes, he can hear you.

TUCHMAN: I hear you, Kathy.

GRIFFIN: All right, Gary, first of all, did that girl with the crown just say the word micropene (ph)?

COOPER: Yes. Yes.

GRIFFIN: All right, so she said the watermelon has a micropene?

COOPER: No. No, no, no. A what?

GRIFFIN: A micropene?

COOPER: Oh, gee.

GRIFFIN: Did I hear that correctly?

COOPER: So -- all right, so we're going to check in...

(CROSSTALK)

TUCHMAN: -- now, what is the nutritious element of it?

ANDERSON: Lycopene.

TUCHMAN: Lycopene.

COOPER: It's like a (INAUDIBLE).

TUCHMAN: It's lycopene, Kathy. Lycopene.

COOPER: Oh, God.

GRIFFIN: That's good enough for me.

COOPER: OK.

Oh, I've got to go.

I don't know how we walked into that.

GRIFFIN: What was the second syllable of that word?

COOPER: Our New Year's Eve celebration continues.

We are -- we're heading back to New Orleans, national Key West, the watermelon drop...

GRIFFIN: They have a triple (INAUDIBLE).

COOPER: -- in Indiana.

We're coming up to the top of the hour here...

GRIFFIN: And watermelon has what ingredient?

COOPER: -- in Times Square. We're just over two hours away from midnight...

GRIFFIN: (INAUDIBLE).

COOPER: -- when the famous crystal ball makes its descent, ringing in the new year, 2014.

Stick around.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Hey, welcome back to Times Square in New York City somewhere...

GRIFFIN: We are rocking it on out.

COOPER: We are rocking. Somewhere down in that sea of humanity, a cable news anchor is trying to preserve his career while a multitalented comedienne does her best to end that career.

GRIFFIN: Why are you talking about us in the third person like you're Bobby Brown?

Is it your prerogative...

(CROSSTALK)

GRIFFIN: Oh, God, I miss her.

COOPER: Oh, I miss her, too.

GRIFFIN: I love it so.

COOPER: I have the...

GRIFFIN: You are trying to kill me. I knew it. That was some sort of a drone attack. Stop it.

COOPER: That was -- no, no, that's...

GRIFFIN: What do you think about those...

COOPER: -- that was FedEx.

GRIFFIN: -- Amazon drones?

Do they freak you out?

COOPER: I don't believe it. I believe it's a P.R. stunt.

GRIFFIN: What if one just hit you in the head and ruined your face, which is your fortune?