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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
New Year's Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin
Aired December 31, 2014 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(MUSIC: "AULD LANG SYNE")
(MUSIC: FRANK SINATRA, "NEW YORK, NEW YORK")
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And a happy new year!
KATHY GRIFFIN, CO-HOST: Happy, happy!
COOPER: Four minutes after the stroke of midnight, 2015.
GRIFFIN: Is it really a happy new year for you?
COOPER: It is a very happy new year.
GRIFFIN: You're wearing a hat of shame.
COOPER: I'm wearing a hat because you have died my hair red, white and blue.
GRIFFIN: But I just love the idea that there's even one person out there that was maybe not paying attention and then saw you with red, white and blue hair and is wondering, what the heck happened?
GRIFFIN: You're welcome, America.
COOPER: Yeah. So there you go. And --
GRIFFIN: You're going to be the most popular person wherever you're going, which I assume we're going out together.
COOPER: I'm told there's actually a poll of whether people like my hair like this or not.
GRIFFIN: They're going to say -- they're going to demand it every night.
COOPER: Yeah, every night.
GRIFFIN: You know who's happy? Billy Corgan.
COOPER: All right.
GRIFFIN: He's --
COOPER: I wish him nothing but a great new year. I've got to tell you, I just -- I love the scene in Times Square at the stroke of midnight for those couple of minutes.
GRIFFIN: The fact that it is, what, 25 degrees and people are still out here having fun no matter what.
COOPER: Yes, absolutely. And people have been waiting for half the day.
GRIFFIN: It's a bucket list, admit it.
COOPER: It is. It's a bucket list item.
GRIFFIN: This is a bucket list moment. Yes.
GRIFFIN: Yes, yes.
COOPER: And I'm -- I --
GRIFFIN: Not for you. You're miserable.
COOPER: I would not want to be -- no, I would not want to be anywhere else right now in this moment. That's true.
GRIFFIN: Prove it!
COOPER: I volunteer to do it every year.
GRIFFIN: Prove it!
COOPER: Prove it how? How would I prove it?
GRIFFIN: Prove it by taking your shirt off.
COOPER: No, it's too cold. It's too cold for that, plus America's not ready for the paleness.
GRIFFIN: And by the way --
COOPER: The paleness is like a blinding --
GRIFFIN: I get it. Whenever I am --
COOPER: It's like a newt.
GRIFFIN: -- papparazzied swimming, it's all about how pale I am. Like that took the most -- like I'm like an anatomy doll, you can see my organs and my veins. Sorry, folks. COOPER: We want to -- again, the scene here is --
GRIFFIN: Are we going to drop anything?
COOPER: We're going to show you -
GRIFFIN: Drop the crab a guitar.
COOPER: We're going to show you some of the scenes from around the country that have already -- that have like just taken place --
COOPER: Easton, Maryland, the cruise ships --
GRIFFIN: And when I think New Year's, I think Easton, Maryland.
COOPER: That's very true. Let's just, again, let's -- I like this song. Let's listen in and let's --
GRIFFIN: What? You don't want me to talk?
COOPER: Not really. Let's listen. I like the sounds.
(MUSIC: LOUIS ARMSTRONG, "WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD")
(MUSIC: ISRAEL KAMAKAWIWO'OLE, "SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW")
COOPER: And let's check in with our Michaela Pereira and Richard Quest who are down in the crowds.
GRIFFIN: Dancing, they are dancing.
COOPER: Dancing, they have been dancing. Guys, how you doing? Happy New Year!
PEREIRA: You know what? I was really listening to what you guys were talking about, about just what a beautiful moment this is.
QUEST: It's -- the problem with being in Times Square is it spoils you for any other New Year's Eve.
PEREIRA: Yeah. We've both decided that we have to sign up for this next year because you can't just sit at home on the sofa anymore.
PEREIRA: What's really interesting to watch when they were playing that music how like everybody got really kind of quiet, they were looking longingly into their loved one's eyes --
PEREIRA: -- and having a moment, reflecting on the year that we had, which was a tough one.
(MUSIC: "AULD LANG SYNE")
QUEST: Should old acquaintance be forgot --
PEREIRA: Oh, now he has to sing. I knew it wasn't going to last. We had a nice --
COOPER: By the way, that's what Kathy was doing. She was looking longingly into my eyes as well.
PEREIRA: Actually, she might have been just staring at the blue streak in your hair, Anderson.
COOPER: Well, you know, she was looking longingly into my eyes. I, of course, was checking my, you know, Twitter feed.
GRIFFIN: Twitter and crying. But Richard, how do you get that cadence in your voice when you say things like I wouldn't be anywhere but here New Year's?
QUEST: Long years of practice.
GRIFFIN: That's it. That's it. I love it.
QUEST: It's time to undress!
PEREIRA: Oh, wait, we're going to do this. Watch. Ready? It was supposed to be a big reveal.
COOPER: Oh, OK. Uh-oh.
PEREIRA: There's no alcohol in Times Square. I think we might have to reverse that. I might need some.
COOPER: Well, you guys have done a terrific job --
PEREIRA: You guys have been.
COOPER: -- and we really appreciate --
GRIFFIN: And I notice that Richard is wearing a sympathy hat.
COOPER: Yes, Rick, and I appreciate you wearing a hat in sympathy with my hat as well.
PEREIRA: No blue here!
QUEST: (INAUDIBLE) not see your hair now.
PEREIRA: Yeah, let's see. He showed you his, let's see yours.
COOPER: Yeah. Here we go. It's still --
GRIFFIN: It's live TV.
COOPER: Yeah. There -- yeah.
GRIFFIN: What do you think Ryan Seacrest would have done to me if I did that to him?
COOPER: I think Ryan Seacrest would have fainted.
GRIFFIN: Yes, but I also think he would have had me killed.
COOPER: And then his security people would have taken you away.
GRIFFIN: Absolutely. OK.
GRIFFIN: So you won't admit that Oprah and Ryan are trying to kill me now, but you'll admit that if I ever did that to Ryan Seacrest, he would secretly six months later have me killed.
COOPER: I don't know about that, I wouldn't go that far.
GRIFFIN: All right. I think --
COOPER: I think there's some poll we just did of -- let's take a look.
COOPER: Do we have it up there?
GRIFFIN: I hope it's as accurate as the straw poll.
COOPER: I'm sure it is.
COOPER: Does Anderson's hair look better now? Forty-two percent --
GRIFFIN: Yes, yes! Thank you, people.
COOPER: Well, I don't know what that means. Does the 58 --
GRIFFIN: That means -
COOPER: Oh, they like it, yes. They think it looks better now --
GRIFFIN: Of course.
COOPER: -- 58 percent think it looks better. OK, well, then --
GRIFFIN: You know what? COOPER: -- you have spoken.
GRIFFIN: Shake it off.
COOPER: Shake it off.
GRIFFIN: Shake it off.
COOPER: Haters gonna hate, players gonna play.
GRIFFIN: That's right.
COOPER: Play, play, play.
GRIFFIN: Your hair's playing, not hating.
COOPER: Let's -- we're going to take a quick break and when we come back we're going to show you ringing in the New Year's in Key West, also on that ship in the Bahamas.
COOPER: Also in Cuba.
GRIFFIN: I'm sure a guitar's going to drop somewhere.
COOPER: We'll be right back. A lot more ahead.
COOPER: And you can really see how quickly the crowd in Times Square --
GRIFFIN: People are running from your new hairstyle.
COOPER: Yes, people are running away. But how quickly Times Square really starts to empty out.
COOPER: In the next 10 or 15 minutes it really gets virtually empty. But we want to wish you a happy new year from Times Square, 2015.
GRIFFIN: And we should give a shout-out to Ryan Seacrest who's probably back in Los Angeles by now.
GRIFFIN: He's on his private jet.
COOPER: Probably is.
GRIFFIN: He's probably asleep by now, frankly.
COOPER: But we hope he had a good show. 2015 has arrived here obviously on the East Coast of the United States. Stay with CNN, though, because in the -- we're going to ring it through --
GRIFFIN: We're going to stay on until 5 this year for the first time.
COOPER: No. In the Central Time Zone, Brooke Baldwin and Don Lemon are going to be there from New Orleans, Memphis as well.
GRIFFIN: They're not. They can't make it.
COOPER: Randi Kaye rang in the new year at sea on a cruise ship in the Caribbean.
GRIFFIN: Where they nervously cut a cake that had a picture of me --
GRIFFIN: -- and they were like slicing it like a little bit of scary "Saw III."
COOPER: She's the hardest working reporter at CNN. Let's check in with her now.
Randi mike-less -- Randi, how you doing there? Randi, what are you doing there?
GRIFFIN: What are you saying?
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're doing pretty well. We have -- a lot of people are drinking this big, giant bottle of champagne here, which is what goes on on a cruise ship. Would you guys take this off my hands? (INAUDIBLE)
COOPER: Randi, I like how you pointed the mike at the champagne as if you were going to interview it.
KAYE: I don't know. It's crazy here. But let me show you. We've been celebrating here and we had our own ball drop as I was telling you about earlier. So we have some video. It's called the North Star. And I want to show you because it was our ball drop here on the ship. It happened at midnight while you guys were watching the ball drop in Times Square. It holds about 15 people and it goes 300 feet up above the main level of the ship. And that's where this party is taking place. There's about 2,000 people onboard the main level.
COOPER: Wow. They're not messing around.
GRIFFIN: That would scare me. I'll be honest.
COOPER: They are not messing around with that.
GRIFFIN: Yeah. That's a big ball.
COOPER: That looks like fun. GRIFFIN: I don't think Randi is safe, I'm going to be honest. I
don't think she's safe.
COOPER: That is -- it's quite a scene on that ship.
COOPER: It looks like they're having a lot of fun.
GRIFFIN: And that's not appropriate for children. I'm just going to say, I -- where's the nanny?
COOPER: OK. But do you know what's funny? We lost Randi just now. Do you know why?
COOPER: Because someone spilled champagne on her microphone.
GRIFFIN: OK, that's what it's come to.
COOPER: Her microphone is out.
GRIFFIN: And then the (INAUDIBLE) this is CNN.
COOPER: But I don't know. And I love Randi and she's the hardest- working reporter.
COOPER: But I loved how -- I think she's had a couple because I loved how she was with that huge bottle of champagne. I don't know if you noticed, she pointed the mike at the champagne as if --
GRIFFIN: As if the champagne was talking. Yeah.
COOPER: I don't know if you noticed that.
GRIFFIN: Yeah. Do you guys have talking champagne this year?
GRIFFIN: I like that you're so flustered that you watched her for a moment. She was in the middle of chaos and you literally just were reduced to, how are ya? That was your (INAUDIBLE) question: How are ya?
COOPER: I didn't know what to say. Well, I was thrown by the huge bottle of champagne.
GRIFFIN: That she was talking to.
COOPER: Yes, that she was --
GRIFFIN: Because she said people?
COOPER: Not far from where Randi is in Key West, they did what they do and no one else does at the stroke of midnight.
GRIFFIN: That's true.
COOPER: Take a look.
(VIDEOTAPE SEGMENT SHOWN)
GRIFFIN: Not an easy gig.
COOPER: Not easy, no.
GRIFFIN: And I've done them all.
COOPER: Not -- no -- not if Sushi -- traditionally, Sushi, who descends in the pump -- is the pump always that color? I always thought it was a different red.
GRIFFIN: I don't remember the dress covering so much of the pump.
COOPER: That's true.
GRIFFIN: That's called a train.
COOPER: That's true.
GRIFFIN: And Sushi also has to do commentary as well as shooting off the champagne. It's a hard gig.
COOPER: It's very hard.
GRIFFIN: It's multitasking.
COOPER: It is multitasking.
GRIFFIN: I'll be playing Key West, by the way.
COOPER: Will you?
GRIFFIN: Yes. I have 30 shows coming up in 30 cities, Key West is one of them.
COOPER: Really? How, like -- in a row or what?
GRIFFIN: Like pretty -- in the next few months. A lot, yeah.
COOPER: Wow, OK. Do you go do one show and then fly home or --
GRIFFIN: Yes, I do. I'll do "Fashion Police" and then hit the road, and back to "Fashion Police" and hit the road. And that's what I love.
COOPER: And when does "Fashion Police" start?
GRIFFIN: January 12th.
COOPER: Are we having a big party?
GRIFFIN: Yeah, a big party.
COOPER: OK, good. OK, I'll wait for the invite.
GRIFFIN: You have never even come to my house. Tell them.
COOPER: I have been to your house. You don't even remember.
GRIFFIN: When did you come to my house?
COOPER: Or maybe I just saw it on TV.
GRIFFIN: Yeah, exactly.
COOPER: I watched it on TV.
GRIFFIN: He saw my house on (INAUDIBLE). I swear, he saw it on (INAUDIBLE).
COOPER: No, no, I saw it on "Your Life on the D List."
GRIFFIN: This is what this man is.
COOPER: I saw your house on --
GRIFFIN: He sees an image and goes, I was there, I was there.
COOPER: That's true. Isn't that weird?
GRIFFIN: I've been to your house.
COOPER: I know. I've seen --
GRIFFIN: I didn't ask.
COOPER: I felt like I've been to your house, but I realized I've never been there, I've just watched it on TV.
GRIFFIN: No. My mom is waiting for you right now.
COOPER: It's better. I find it's better that way.
GRIFFIN: I haven't --
COOPER: I'd rather just experience things through the television than actually --
GRIFFIN: You know, I see the glass going up right now. All right? Shields up, "Star Trek."
COOPER: Hey, let's check in in Easton, Maryland, the huge crab --
GRIFFIN: Oh, boy!
COOPER: -- dropped to the ground marking the start of 2015. Lindsay Tuchman, our intrepid reporter, is there for us, daughter of Gary Tuchman, also an intrepid reporter.
Lindsay, how was it? How'd it go?
LINDSAY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was really fun. And I know -- I'm sorry about this, but we're not talking about crabs anymore. We are talking about champagne here at Bennings Tavern. Just 100 yards away we had the crab drop. I can show you a look at that crab dropping earlier. Just everyone was really excited about it. Let's take a look.
(VIDEOTAPE SEGMENT SHOWN)
GRIFFIN: That's not a safe environment for that poor little (INAUDIBLE).
COOPER: I love the crab drop. That actually may be my new favorite tradition. Lindsay, that was like a lot of fun.
GRIFFIN: Lindsay, check your body for lacerations.
TUCHMAN: And you know -- I will. You know, unlike your other reporters, I actually live here. And so my friends are here celebrating as well, so that's pretty cool. I got to celebrate with my coworkers here, so it's been a fun night for everyone. As you can see, everyone is having a really good time at the crab drop. So happy new year.
COOPER: So are these all -- Lindsay, are these all news people behind you?
TUCHMAN: Yeah. These -- only these three right here.
GRIFFIN: Really? I thought it was a casting call for the (INAUDIBLE).
TUCHMAN: Oh, right, I know.
COOPER: All right. Well, listen, Lindsay, you did a great job and thank you so much for filling in for your dad. And we wish you the best and give --
GRIFFIN: Lindsay, get out of there.
COOPER: We wish you a happy new year and a happy new year to all your coworkers.
GRIFFIN: Be safe.
COOPER: All right. Lindsay, you did great. Thank you so much.
It was quite a night here in Times Square. Wolf Blitzer's body paint -- Wolf Blitzer was running through the crowd. I don't know if you saw that.
GRIFFIN: What was Wolf really doing? Like, what is -- have you talked to him?
COOPER: I saw him running through the crowd completely covered in body paint.
GRIFFIN: Nothing but body paint.
COOPER: Just body paint.
GRIFFIN: All right, but very artistic.
COOPER: What was the dancers doing? The Dougie?
GRIFFIN: The Dougie. He likes to Dougie.
COOPER: He was doing the Dougie, yeah.
GRIFFIN: I mean, he'll do -- he'll bust out a Cabbage Patch.
COOPER: Let's take a look at some of the best moments from tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: This is how you lay around your house and you won't admit it.
COOPER: I think we'll have a funner New Year's, though.
COOPER: Yes. More fun.
GRIFFIN: Why'd you go to Dalton's? All that money that your poor mother Gloria Vanderbilt spent at Dalton when if you had gone to Choate you would have been -- had a better education.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: Aka, Ryan Seacrest.
COOPER: You think he's the devil?
GRIFFIN: I know he is. He and Oprah share co-devilship.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: It's typical that he's like running to (INAUDIBLE) because he'll never be a royal, but he is. He's a Vanderbilt. You are a royal. That's the irony. Never be a royal. He's like this, I am a royal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: OK, let's style down the gay a little bit, OK? You literally just said, I know who's performing at the Super Bowl and then said Madonna.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I apologize.
GRIFFIN: I don't.
COOPER: I apologize.
GRIFFIN: I don't one bit. I think you --
COOPER: For what she had said. I'm apologizing what she will say.
GRIFFIN: All right. I --
COOPER: And for what she's wearing.
GRIFFIN: OK. But you clearly made a conscious to go, I'm going to take off the Prada, take off the Hugo Boss. I'm going to find, what do the kids call it, grunge and I'm going to put it on. And I can just see you like ruffling into your hotel room like twirling around in it and go, oh, my gosh, I could be in Pearl Jam.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: Why are you shouting at me? What have I ever done to you but love you?
COOPER: What is that?
QUEST: She's supposed to touch it first.
COOPER: Oh, OK, all right.
GRIFFIN: Oh, my turn. COOPER: Here, here, so that's like a metal vest.
GRIFFIN: It's beading. It's beading.
COOPER: That's what it is.
GRIFFIN: It's probably been gently beaded. Uh-oh. I'm not afraid, Questie. Questie brings the heat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: At about 3 in the morning, he will be in a ball, sobbing, being spooned by his mother again because he will not believe that like three out of 10 million loving tweets are somewhat negative. He cannot get over it. So Gloria, get ready, keep the light on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: We are back.
GRIFFIN: I think what's great is that Anderson is nervous and nauseous and then sees the words -- he sees the words "live crab" on the teleprompter. So I just want to explain his facial discomfort. Go ahead.
COOPER: That's what it says on the teleprompter: "live crabs."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Look at this special cake. We had this cake made for you guys. What do you say?
GRIFFIN: That's very special.
KAYE: It has --
KAYE: Do you like that? Does that bring back memories for you?
COOPER: It's very nice.
KAYE: It took 36 eggs and it's a rum cake. It is a rum cake filled with fruit. We are going to eat it during the next live shot we have.
GRIFFIN: That's more eggs than I have right now in my body. (END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Yes, well, it's been about two hours of taunting thus far. Only another hour-and-a-half -- game night.
GRIFFIN: Game night.
COOPER: Game night. That's -- yeah.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: This is temporary and it shows how fantastic you are. All right, open.
COOPER: Oh, you've got to be kidding me. Oh, my God, what have you done?
GRIFFIN: I've dyed your hair. I've dyed your hair red and blue. And I've decided if you argue with me that you don't love America. I had it all planned. This is it. Every year I try to think of something. I dyed his hair red, white and blue.
COOPER: How am I going to get this out?
GRIFFIN: I don't know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And that is why I am wearing a hat as we speak right now.
GRIFFIN: Come on, we had fun.
COOPER: We did. We had a lot of fun. And I hope --
GRIFFIN: But your face when I was putting in that hair dye --
COOPER: And it's still, I mean, like, it's -- I just -- I put some water in it, but it's just gotten --
GRIFFIN: No, it's not going to go away.
COOPER: The blue is all right, but the --
GRIFFIN: But your face was so scrunched up, like, she couldn't be doing anything that bad, right?
COOPER: Honestly, I thought you were doing like some sort of static electricity thing and I --
GRIFFIN: Like a science experiment?
COOPER: Yeah. And I thought it was going to be like, oh, crazy, frazzle hair.
GRIFFIN: But that doesn't even make sense. You couldn't possibly have -
COOPER: Well, none of it makes sense.
GRIFFIN: But your hair is never frazzled.
COOPER: Nothing you do makes sense.
GRIFFIN: That's why America loves it. There is a poll. There's a poll.
COOPER: Nothing -- I don't care --
GRIFFIN: It wants your hair frazzled.
COOPER: Yes, I'm sure the two people who responded --
GRIFFIN: You're not perfect for one night. For one night.
COOPER: I know I'm not perfect. You don't have to tell me.
GRIFFIN: I made him cry. I won that -- two polls, two polls.
COOPER: Listen, we really do appreciate you sticking with us for, what, this is our eighth year together?
GRIFFIN: This is our eighth year together.
COOPER: Ain't nothing better.
GRIFFIN: Oh, my gosh, that's great, it's awesome, I love you.
COOPER: Excellent, yeah, yeah.
GRIFFIN: Way to go.
COOPER: Yeah, yeah. Great. All right. When is this going to be over? Geez, anyway.
GRIFFIN: You can't swear. You have to give the check back. Someone's giving the check back.
COOPER: I didn't swear. Listen, it's been a lot of fun. I hope you had fun as well. And wherever you are, if you're with a loved one, if you're by yourself, thank you so much for spending the night with us. Our coverage, though, continues. 2015s yet to come in New Orleans, in Memphis, Brooke Baldwin and Don Lemon, they're going to handle that. It is time for us here in New York to say good-bye. There are the scenes there in New Orleans and in Memphis. We wish everyone a happy new year. GRIFFIN: A happy new year!
BROOKE BALDWIN: Are you trying to tell me something, Don Lemon?
DON LEMON: Have a little toast with me?
BALDWIN: Are you trying to make this the Don show?
LEMON: No, I'm not. Have a little toast with me, though.
BALDWIN: I am not toasting you until it is time to toast. You go ahead.
LEMON: All right. Happy new year.
BALDWIN: I love you, Don Lemon, but I'm rolling on. We have half an hour to go before the clock strikes midnight here in -- how do you -- New Orleans.
LEMON: New Orleans, you have to say New Orleans.
BALDWIN: New Orleans.
BALDWIN: But we're going to rock out as well in Memphis.
LEMON: Yeah, because right behind us we have Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience here on the stage right in front of Jackson Square. We're right in front of the river here, the Mississippi River in New Orleans. It is -- look how crowded it is.
BALDWIN: Look, I've been here the last couple of years, I have never seen it this crowded.
LEMON: That's because the Sugar Bowl is going on as well with Ohio State and --
BALDWIN: Roll Tide Alabama.
LEMON: Roll Tide Alabama -- I can't say that --
BALDWIN: And once we --
LEMON: -- I was an LSU tiger, I can't not say that.
BALDWIN: And once we see those fireworks, it's all going to be all red up in the night sky, so stay with us.
BALDWIN: We've got Beale Street. We've got Pamela Brown out there at Memphis. We've got Patrick Oppmann in Havana, Cuba. LEMON: Yep. And we're going to go to Cuba. And I'm actually really
jealous of the cruise ship of Randi Kaye. That's a pretty good gig, don't you think?
BALDWIN: Really? Would you rather be on a cruise than standing next to me in New Orleans?
LEMON: No, I'd rather be in New Orleans. I'd rather be in New Orleans. This is my home. You know, I grew up just 90 minutes down the road in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. But let me show you, first of all, let me put this on you.
BALDWIN: Oh, Lord, have mercy.
LEMON: Should I bead you? Can I bead you live on the air? You have to have some Mardi Gras beads. I got those for you.
BALDWIN: Thank you.
LEMON: And I have one more. You want two?
LEMON: But these are mine that I debuted earlier on CNN. This is mine. What do you think?
BALDWIN: I think I'm going to keep my eyes right here. I'm keeping my eyes right there.
It is a crazy, huge party here. And what's really cool is they've been for the last number of years doing the big fleur de lis drop at the top of Jackson Brewery.
LEMON: It's 8 feet by 5 feet.
BALDWIN: Wow, look at us studying our numbers of the fleur de lis.
LEMON: Yeah, it's huge. And it's going to -- it's actually started coming down already.
BALDWIN: Over there.
LEMON: Yeah. It comes down just in a couple of minutes. So there it is.
BALDWIN: And then we have -- there we go, there's the fleur de lis. And so we'll be watching that drop in about 20 minutes from now. There's the guitar drop on Beale Street in Memphis. And also really cool, they have Baby New Year on the top of Jackson Brewery as well. Which fun back story, it actually was in one of the big warehouses from, of course, Mardi Gras, it was one of the floats, one of the (INAUDIBLE), and during Katrina somebody actually found it floating through the city. So they saved that and for year after year after year they've had Baby New Year on the top.
LEMON: Yes. They want to re-do Baby New Year. They have -- BALDWIN: They want a new Baby New Year. So --
LEMON: I think I should keep that one. I like it.
BALDWIN: How big is your living room?
LEMON: Not that big. I have a New York City apartment so --
BALDWIN: Well, aren't we fancy pants.
LEMON: -- that wouldn't even get through the front door. You want to check out Memphis? What do you think?
BALDWIN: Let's go to Memphis.
LEMON: You want to go to Memphis. Pamela Brown, what are you doing? What's going on in Memphis?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's actually a good idea to come to Memphis, because let me tell you something, this a happening place, Don and Brooke. I know you all have really good music there in New Orleans and a lot of energy and a fun crowd. But right here in Memphis let's not forget, this is the home of the blues. And you can hear the music is playing. We've got a little bit of rock and roll, a little bit of jazz, a little bit of the blues, a little bit of everything. As you see here, B.B. King Blues Club right behind me.
So let me just put this in perspective. I'd say two hours ago this place was pretty desolate. Now it is packed with New Year's Eve revelers, as you see here around me, up to 50,000 people here on Beale Street right next to the Hard Rock Cafe, of course world famous Beale Street.
Everyone is here to listen to the good music, but also to watch the 10-foot fiberglass Gibson guitar drop when the clock strikes midnight here in Memphis. There is also going to be a fireworks display. This is the place to be this New Year's Eve. I've pretty much decided that.
Another great place to be I hear is Havana, Cuba and that's where we find our Patrick Oppmann.
Patrick, how's it going where you are?
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hola, Pamela! And you know, the show is over at the Tropicana Night Club and Cabaret, but the party just keeps on going. Really, an amazing night here. You hear the salsa rhythms, you hear the conga drum and you can't help but dance and that's what many of the audience have been doing the last half an hour, so they've gone up on the stage to dance. These amazing dancers have put on really just a show that you will not see anywhere else in the world.
And of course, we see very few Americans here, one or two here or there, because, of course, up until really today there's a travel ban on Americans coming here. Very difficult for Americans to come to Cuba, even though just 90 miles away. That's changing, though, with the historic agreement announced just two weeks ago between the two countries.
Americans in 2015 will have more possibilities of coming to Cuba. We'll see probably next year more Americans here. That's got a lot of people excited in the hope that it will improve the Cuban economy. And that they'll just be able to come here, hear the music, dance as we've been doing here tonight and really soak up some real Cuban culture.
So it's been an incredible evening in Havana, an incredible night in Havana. And it's nowhere close to stopping yet, Pamela.
BROWN: Patrick, I know you've spent a lot of time in Havana. I imagine this is not your first New Year's there. But given all the developments you just pointed out, what is this New Year's there like? Is the energy different given all that's been going on there recently?
OPPMANN: It's like nothing else, Pamela. Cubans have hoped. It's just a change in tone here. For years they've been living under this sort of Cold War atmosphere of the two countries almost at war, and yet Cubans and Americans share so much in common and Cubans really look to the United States, they love baseball, they love American music and they really love American culture.
And there's a hunger here to get to know their neighbors to the north, to really put away, put aside the politics of the past and hope for a better future. So this year, more than any other New Year's that I've spent in Havana, there's an expectation, there's a hope that things will get better and people will be really demanding of both governments that 2015 is a better year for both Cubans and Americans.
Back to you, Pamela.
BROWN: OK, Patrick Oppmann there in Havana, Cuba for us. Thank you so much.
I'm Pamela Brown here in Memphis where the crowd is excited for the clock to strike midnight.
But now I'm going to go over to my colleague and friend Don Lemon in New Orleans.
LEMON: Pamela, thank you. We've got about 20 minutes, 20 minutes to go until it's a new year in the Central Time Zone, especially here in New Orleans where I am. This place is packed. I've never seen this many people except for maybe outside of Mardi Gras. But that's because the Sugar Bowl's in town. We've got Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience on the stage behind us. They're going to be rocking us out all night as well as some other performances for you that we're going to get to tonight.
So happy new year for all you East Coasters, but we still have a lot more to come. Next, we're going to give you a heaping helping of what this city is all about. More music as we count down to 2015. Laissez les bon temps roulez, let the good times roll!
LEMON: The fireworks. And boy, it is quite a display. You're looking at the fireworks now in Dubai. You know what I like about New Orleans is that people come by and they bear gifts and usually those gifts are food and drink.
Come on. Look who I found. Andy Scholes from CNN Sports "Bleacher Report," what did you bring me?
ANDY SCHOLES, HOST, CNN "BLEACHER REPORT": What's up, Don? I brought you a hand grenade.
LEMON: You brought me a hand grenade.
SCHOLES: When you come to New Orleans and you go on Bourbon Street, you've got to get a hand grenade, especially on New Year's.
LEMON: Aren't you working?
SCHOLES: I worked this morning. I'm having a good time tonight for New Year's.
LEMON: So you have been hanging out in the French Quarter. What did you see?
SCHOLES: I saw a lot of Ohio State and Alabama fans. They've basically taken over the French Quarter.
SCHOLES: Everywhere I went it was either O-H or Roll Tide.
LEMON: Who's going to win, Andy Scholes? LSU -- oh, they're not in it.
SCHOLES: No, LSU is not in the Sugar Bowl. I think Alabama is going to win tomorrow.
LEMON: How many of these have you had?
SCHOLES: This is the only one I've had.
SCHOLES: And I figured you needed one, too, right, Don?
LEMON: Thank you. I cannot do this until we're --
SCHOLES: I'll let you finish the show.
LEMON: -- until we're absolutely done. Thank you, Andy. Happy new year to you.
SCHOLES: Happy new year. LEMON: We've got about 10 minutes before it's the new year here in the Central Time Zone here in New Orleans.
I want to go up now to Brooke Baldwin who's up on the Jackson Brewery roof with, what else would you have on the roof but a fiddler. Brooke, who do you have?
BALDWIN: I know. I've got a gal. She's pretty impressive. This is 24-year-old Amanda Shaw who is up here, who knows a thing or two about New Orleans. Because listen, when we roll into this city, I feel like we've done it pretty well the last couple of years.
And so, Amanda, happy almost new year.
AMANDA SHAW: Happy new year to you, too. And thanks for coming to New Orleans.
BALDWIN: Thanks for having me in your beautiful city. I'm seeing some fireworks. But we're about 10 minutes away.
SHAW: I'm so excited. I know, we've got a big crowd here.
BALDWIN: So you have been playing music for how long?
SHAW: Since I was 4, so 20 years.
BALDWIN: You were itty-bitty. I mean, was your violin just teeny- tiny?
SHAW: Yes, it was a quarter-size violin.
BALDWIN: Before I get you to play, can you just explain for people who have never been to New Orleans like in the soul, in the DNA is music in this city.
SHAW: Oh, everything is so great here. It's not just the music. It's the people here, too. It's the place. And I mean, you can tell everybody, too, as you've been here, like all the apartment doors are --
BALDWIN: Oh, I've been hanging out with perfect strangers all night long. Are you kidding me?
SHAW: I know. It's that kind of place where everybody's doors are open and you are more than welcome to always come over to my house and have a drink and some food. So it's that kind of place.
BALDWIN: Would you mind playing me a little tune?
SHAW: Of course. Let's do it.
BALDWIN: What is it?
BALDWIN: Here we go. (MS. SHAW PERFORMS)
BALDWIN: Keep jamming. Keep jamming. We are mere minutes away from the stoke of midnight, Central Time Zone here in New Orleans. We want to take you to Memphis on the other side of this break. You're watching special coverage here.
Oh, there we go!
(MUSIC: "STAR SPANGLED BANNER")
LEMON: Just minutes away from midnight here in New Orleans, in Memphis, in Chicago, in St. Louis, all up and down the Central United States, 2015 just coming into view really. And someone is singing "A Change is Gonna Come" behind us, the famous Sam Cooke song.
So you know, it's New Year's here, but it's also the Sugar Bowl as I've been saying. And my buddies who are watching me in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, my college buddies who I went to LSU with, on a dare -- there you go, Mike Sunseri, Mike Wilson, Dennis Mitchell, Mark Ray. Happy new year to you guys. I love you and also my family down in Baton Rouge.
Just a couple of minutes away, Brooke Baldwin, come on in here, join me.
LEMON: So it's getting close.
BALDWIN: Oh, I'm going to turn you down. I'm going to fly here.
LEMON: And Amanda's show was great.
BALDWIN: You're loud.
LEMON: Can you hear?
BALDWIN: I can hear only too well.
LEMON: Brooke's having a little trouble with her microphone. She can't hear it with that earpiece.
BALDWIN: So I'm all good.
LEMON: There you go. That was great. Sounds good. This is beautiful, we're really enjoying it.
We're going to check in, too. Pamela Brown is in Memphis, Tennessee and she's on Beale Street.
Pam, what's going on there? First, when we saw you earlier there was hardly anybody there. Now the place is filled up.
BALDWIN: Oh, wow, look at that. Look at that crowd.
BROWN: I know. I promise you all. Look at this, all the way back, up to 50,000 people here on Beale Street. How you guys doing?
So here I am standing next to a Memphian, OK? Nate, you are from Memphis. You say this is the best place on earth to be on New Year's Eve. Why is that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely, greatest place on earth. This is the home of the blues. It is the best place on earth to live, to raise a family. We're having a ball. We love CNN. We're here and it is awesome.
BROWN: So what is it that makes Beale Street here with the guitar drop so special, though? Why should people care about it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's special because there's no place like this on earth. It's great because we get a chance to commune with 50,000 people in a city of a million, not like New York where it's people you don't know each other. I know everybody around me. It's awesome. It's fantastic.
BROWN: All right, Nate. Well, happy new year to you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Happy new year to you as well.
BROWN: Brooke and Don, I know you have a great crowd there in New Orleans. But let me tell you, the crowd is rocking here. We've had great music all night long.
LEMON: Oh, we do.
BROWN: Oh, I know you do. And I'm sure you've been having some great bands, too. We've been having a little bit of rock and roll, some blues bands out here. We've been having a great time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nothing like the home of the blues. Great job, CNN. We love you guys.
LEMON: But don't go away because you're going to help us out. We love you guys, too. We're going to --
BROWN: Oh, I'll stay right here. Don't worry.
LEMON: You're going to help us out, Pamela, so don't go away.
BROWN: I'm having a great time.
BALDWIN: Yeah. We're still a few minutes away.
BROWN: I'm not moving.
BALDWIN: Tell everyone --
BROWN: I'm making new friends here.
BALDWIN: Tell everyone hang tight just for a few more minutes. I leave you and you get more booze?
LEMON: Andy Scholes came by to give us a hand grenade. This is what you do in New Orleans. Relax, it's New Year's Eve.
BALDWIN: I know how you do when you do in New Orleans. Thank you very much. I know. Cheers.
LEMON: People have been asking us, is Brooke drunk, is Don drunk? We're not drunk. We've been working all night. We're not drunk.
BALDWIN: Although this isn't really work.
LEMON: You don't think?
BALDWIN: I mean, are you serious? When they send us to New Orleans to ring in the new year, this is work?
LEMON: And they would send the both of us.
BALDWIN: No. I know.
LEMON: I cannot believe the crowd here. Seriously. I know that Pamela said she has about 50,000 people. I would imagine --
BALDWIN: I mean, as far as -- I know you can't -- I don't know if you can see either way of us, but as far as the eye can see here along this main road, we're parallel to the Mississippi River in Jackson Square, and we're surrounded, we're surrounded by people.
LEMON: Yeah. I can't wait to see the fireworks. Not only are they going to drop the fleur de lis, right --
LEMON: -- which is the symbol of courage here in New Orleans. There is going to be fireworks on the river in just a couple of minutes and also great music that we've been listening to from Terrence Simien & the Zydeco Experience.
Do you know about Zydeco, girl?
BALDWIN: I know about that. I know how to dance to Zydeco, how about that?
BALDWIN: Hey, who sings that song?
LEMON: Sorry about that. Oh, I forgot.
BALDWIN: Not you.
LEMON: Oh, not -- oh, good one!
BALDWIN: Zing, zing!
LEMON: Zing, Brooke! All right, I see how you roll.
BALDWIN: Do you believe in new year's resolutions, Don Lemon?
LEMON: Of course I do. I never keep them. I always say that I'm going to get like a six-pack and not have a keg.
BALDWIN: I think you look pretty darn good. What's your resolution this year?
LEMON: I think -- that's a good one.
BALDWIN: I'm putting you on the spot. I'm putting you on the spot.
LEMON: I think my resolution is what it is every year: No regrets.
BALDWIN: No regrets.
LEMON: No regrets, live life to the fullest, get out there and do it and enjoy. And I think everyone should, as Oprah said, step into your life --
BALDWIN: I love that.
LEMON: -- and turn up the volume on your life. And that's what I do. That's my resolution every year.
BALDWIN: I feel like in the past I've always tried to stay still in the quiet because there's so much noise around, right?
LEMON: Yeah. That's a good one. Don't pay attention to the noise. My boss always tells me that. Thank you, boss. Happy new year. Yeah.
BALDWIN: This year I want to travel. Do you know what I'm doing in February?
LEMON: What are you doing?
BALDWIN: I've never been to Africa and I said, why not? I did stand- up comedy for the first time moving to New York this year.
LEMON: Oh, yeah, you did.
BALDWIN: And I thought I was nuts. I'm climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
BALDWIN: I mean, talk to me after I do it.
LEMON: Africa is a beautiful, beautiful experience. I've gone several times. And you know, I just went back, chased my roots through Africa. It was good.
We have, what, less than a minute. The (INAUDIBLE) is less than a minute until it is New Year's here in the Central Time Zone.
BALDWIN: We got the good stuff thanks to some friends.
LEMON: And we got the good stuff. Thanks. Who brought that? Did you?
BALDWIN: Some friends. Some friends in New Orleans.
LEMON: Andy Scholes, you bring us this, but where is the expensive champagne? That's what I want to know?
BALDWIN: Tastes mighty sweet. Where's that fleur de lis? Can we get that live picture of the fleur de lis? How far out are we?
LEMON: Probably about 30 seconds away.
BALDWIN: There we go, 20 seconds.
LEMON: We've got 20 seconds. There it is, the beautiful fleur de lis.
BALDWIN: So beautiful.
LEMON: By the Crescent City.
BALDWIN: Oh, let's listen.
LEMON: Happy new year again.
BALDWIN: Happy new year.
LEMON: Live on CNN.
BALDWIN: So fun. Oh, look at those fireworks. Look at those fireworks.
LEMON: There's nothing like the music in New Orleans, right?
LEMON: The fireworks are amazing. I wish you guys could see this. Happy new year.
LEMON: Cheers to you, love you, I love you.
BALDWIN: Pleasure, a pleasure. Love you back.
LEMON: Pleasure to work with you, yes.
BALDWIN: So fun.
LEMON: It's a pleasure.
BALDWIN: Happy new year. Happy new year.
LEMON: What are you guys doing at home? What's your resolution? I think your resolution should be --
BALDWIN: Let's marinate on that.
LEMON: -- to live life to the fullest, right?
BALDWIN: I like that. And be quiet in all the noise.
You happy now? You get your champagne.
LEMON: I am very happy. I'm very happy. And I'm in my home state and I get to do this.
BALDWIN: Here we go.
LEMON: Would you like a hat? Would you like a hat?
LEMON: All right, let me get you one.
BALDWIN: Is this from Mama Lemon?
LEMON: No, this is from CNN New Year's a couple of years ago when I was with Kathy and Anderson in Times Square. So I will give you that one.
BALDWIN: Oh, I like that.
LEMON: And I will wear this one.
BALDWIN: I like that.
LEMON: This one was given to me by my parents. This is my LSU tiger hat. And this is my CNN winter hat. How do you like that?
BALDWIN: I'm so happy.
LEMON: Come on, baby. Let the good times roll.
BALDWIN: I am so happy.
LEMON: Let the good times roll. There's nothing better. If you cannot be in Times Square, this is the best place to be.
BALDWIN: I mean, palm trees, music, soul, magic, New Orleans.
LEMON: No other place parties quite like New Orleans and you don't need an excuse to drink and party and have a good time here.
BALDWIN: This place is (INAUDIBLE).
LEMON: New Year's Eve or New Year's is a good excuse if you're to have one. I love this band. I absolutely love this band.
BALDWIN: They said, we're a little bit reggae, a little bit zydeco.
LEMON: Is that what it is? I don't know what that -- I don't know what song this is. Look at those fireworks.
We're going to take you to Chicago and those are pictures that you're looking at on the left-hand side of your screen. Fireworks in Chicago. I just got a text from a friend David Stone who says they are watching from Lakeshore Drive. So --
BALDWIN: I got a friend, they're watching from Thailand.
LEMON: Oh, really?
LEMON: Yeah, we're all over the world.
BALDWIN: That's that whole CNN global thing.
LEMON: You're big time there, Brooke Baldwin.
BALDWIN: Oh, wow. Pamela Brown, should we check in with Pamela Brown in Memphis?
LEMON: (INAUDIBLE) Pamela Brown in Memphis, Tennessee on Beale Street. How's the celebration?
BALDWIN: Pamela, happy new year!
LEMON: Happy new year to you!
BROWN: I've been waiting for you all. Happy new year to you. To a great 2015, I have no doubt it will be.
Let me tell you something. It's surreal being in Memphis on New Year's Eve. This is my first time and it's just incredible. As soon as the clock struck midnight, we had the drop of the Gibson guitar, 10-foot fiberglass Gibson guitar, we had fireworks display, confetti going everywhere, people galore cheering. There's just a great enthusiasm out here in Memphis, so much excitement and it's just a great place to be.
And not to mention all the great music. I mean, let's not forget B.B. King, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, so many iconic musicians got their start here in Memphis. And the music has not disappointed tonight. It's just been incredible all around.
Brooke and Don?
LEMON: It has been incredible all around. And Brooke is going to -- we have been drinking the cheap stuff here, right? We won't tell anybody what this is, we won't see the label, but Brooke is going to open tonight's expensive stuff that our friends brought us.
Pamela, where's your champagne? Did anybody bring you champagne?
BROWN: I've been waiting for my producer to bring me some. I think it's on its way. I think he's got to fight through the crowd because as you can see there are tens of thousands of people here. So I'm waiting for my champagne.
But let me tell you something, I ready to (INAUDIBLE).
BALDWIN: If we could hand you a glass of champagne, Pamela Brown, we would.
LEMON: Right through the TV screen. Look at that.
BROWN: People in Memphis are so generous.
LEMON: I love the purple and gold.
BROWN: Wow. This is actually on New Year's Eve.
BALDWIN: (INAUDIBLE) on the planet.
LEMON: Stand by, Pamela. There we go.
BALDWIN: There you go, my dear.
LEMON: Thank you very much. It's not very often that you get to drink --
BALDWIN: It's a pleasure.
LEMON: -- on live international television.
BALDWIN: Popping champagne. I think I just had a first.
LEMON: Except for that one time with Anthony Bourdain.
BALDWIN: Would you stop?
LEMON: In Las Vegas. No, Anthony Bourdain and I had a little drink on Las Vegas.
Pamela Brown, happy new year.
BALDWIN: Happy new year to you.
LEMON: Happy new year to all of our viewers in the United States and around the world.
BROWN: Same to you.
BALDWIN: Thank you so much for being with us. And here's to a fabulous 2015, my dear.
LEMON: 2014 was great; 2015 is going to be even greater. The night is still young, but that's it for us. All the best from CNN. Best wishes in the new year to you.
I'm Don Lemon.
BALDWIN: I'm Brooke Baldwin. Have a fabulous 2015, everyone.
LEMON: Happy new year!
BALDWIN: Happy new year!