Cohen, 55, and Anderson Cooper, 56, have been hosting the live special for six years now, introducing artists and rallying the Times Square crowd as we prepare for every new year to come. More than that, the on-screen duo has been known to get a little rowdy themselves. However, in 2022, CNN barred their hosts from drinking during the live show to prevent any sloppiness from taking place. But Cohen is hoping the network will change their mind this year.
Speaking to E! News on 6 November, the producer admitted he’d prefer to not have to bend the rules. “Hopefully, I will not be sneaking it,” he proclaimed. “I haven’t heard anything yet, but come on, they need to let us drink.”
“It’s New Year’s Eve. That didn’t go well last year in terms of viewer happiness about us drinking,” Cohen continued. “People really cared and I hope CNN gives the people what they want.”
Since that year, Cohen and Cooper have celebrated their partnership, drinking on air and amusing viewers at home. Of course, when their alcohol intake seemed to be a little too much for television, CNN made the decision to ask them to refrain from consuming liquor.
“If you look behind me, you’ll see Ryan Seacrest’s group of losers performing. … I’m sorry but if you’re watching ABC, you’re watching nothing,” the Real Housewives franchise producer said at the time. “We were doused with confetti from fake Journey on ABC. If it’s not Steve Perry, it doesn’t count! You get it? It’s not Journey! It’s propaganda! It’s propaganda! It’s not Journey! It’s not Journey! No, that was not Journey. Steve Perry is Journey.”
Though Cohen and Cooper’s appearance on Seacrest’s eponymous show later in January proved the three weren’t feuding, CNN still enacted a no-drinking policy.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter before the New Year’s Eve Live production in 2022, Cohen clarified CNN’s request. “What [CNN chairman Chris Licht] said was that he didn’t want the correspondents out there drinking, but that he wanted Anderson and I to do our thing,” he remarked.
“So, I’m happy to do our thing. My only directive for years on CNN has been to have fun on New Year’s Eve, and that is absolutely what I plan to do,” he pointed out.
Yet, when the time came, Cohen told their audience he and Cooper weren’t allowed to drink at all. “We can’t drink, alright! We can’t drink,” he said on that New Year’s Eve. “But it’s fine. It’s totally cool.”
As of now, Cohen’s pleas to let him and Cooper drink for this year’s show have not been answered.