CNN New Year’s Eve 2018 review: Don Lemon, Brooke Baldwin try to save Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen

CNN New Year's EveWe’ve endured CNN New Year’s Eve 2018, and “endured” really is the world for it.

For the past several years, CarterMatt readers know that this show is an annual tradition. There is tremendous joy that comes from seeing Kathy Griffin mercilessly needle Anderson Cooper — the whole show is based around the idea of his discomfort, and one of the best things about the show is just how uncomfortable he is most of the time. Griffin also goes hard at Richard Quest and some of the other correspondents, and ultimately Andy Cohen just wasn’t the right fit for that.

On Watch What Happens Live!, Andy is tremendous. On CNN, Andy just didn’t feel like the right fit. He’s not funny enough to be a comedian, but he’s not earnest enough to really get into the whole pomp and tradition that is the New Year’s holiday. He and Cooper are very different as interviewers, but they’re still probably too similar personality-wise in order for the show to work.

There were also some of the interviews, which clearly did not work for one reason or another. Some guests, including Nicole Kidman, seemed annoyed with Cohen’s questions. Meanwhile, there was a little too much Real Housewives integration. This is CNN — why not stay more in that world?

We will say this: The best moment for Andy on the show came near the end, when his parents Skyped in and infored him that they hadn’t seen the majority of the show because they were out to dinner.

From a technical standpoint there was one other clear problem with the New Year’s Eve telecast as a whole — the sound kept messing up for a lot of the different correspondents and with Cohen. It wasn’t exclusive to the people in the freezing temperatures, either. Given that this is 2017, isn’t there a better way to prepare for all of the different locations and all of the noise?

Don Lemon and Brooke Baldwin remain the highlights

We’re going to go ahead and throw this out into the universe — Don and Brooke should just host the show next year from New Orleans and interview crazy drunk people. Even last year, one of the biggest highlights was seeing Don get hammered and eventually get a tattoo.

We know that Don and Brooke take over the show starting just after midnight, but would it really have been all that wrong to just give them more airtime before midnight? We don’t think so.


This was still a New Year’s Eve show on CNN, but it just didn’t have the same party atmosphere and sense of fun. We understand why the network moved on from Griffin, but why didn’t we get another proper comedian in her place?

What did you think about CNN New Year’s Eve 2018 overall? Be sure to share some of your thoughts on that subject in the comments!

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