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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

New Year's Eve Live With Anderson Cooper in Times Square

Aired December 31, 2007 - 22:59   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome. You're looking at Times Square in New York City. About a million people here with us, they say. The weather is mild, the sky is still pretty clear, a perfect night to count down the old year and ring in the new. Let me tell you, Times Square is packed right now.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW YEAR'S EVE LIVE WITH ANDERSON COOPER IN TIMES SQUARE, featuring celebrations around the world, London, Berlin, Dubai, Tokyo, Beijing and more. Music by Earth, Wind and Fire, Miranda Lambert and Widespread Panic. With very special guest Kathy Griffin.

Now, straight from his own world tour, CNN's Anderson Cooper.

COOPER: Just back from Pakistan. I can honestly say there is no place like New York City and Times Square on New Year's Eve. This is my fifth year in this spot. None of us here tonight would miss it for the world. And about a million people, they say, many from all over the planet agree that's how many people may be here tonight. You see the clock counting down in the corner of your screen. At one minute before midnight, the new high-tech ball makes its way down the flagpole. Until then, we will party around Times Square, around America, and across the oceans. To do that, we have got a team of people, including Erica Hill down in the crowd.

Erica, how is it down there?

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: I can't hear that.

COOPER: All right. We'll work on the audio issue. Also with us tonight, "AMERICAN MORNING's" Kiran Chetry. She is at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Kiran, how are you doing tonight?

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Anderson. Yes. It is a little bit hard to hear, but of course, that's because, as you said, a million people out here tonight. We're right here on -- you can see the Hard Rock marquis in front of me. And down below, just hundreds of thousands of people waiting here all day, getting ready to celebrate. They closed off the streets, of course. So the people that are here have been here all afternoon and they are going to stay until the very bitter end.

As you said, it's not too bad out. But we are doing something this year that's very exciting and different. And that is that we want you to bring your party to us as well. And that's why we want people to log on to cnn.com/iparty. Send us their video, text messages, and pictures of how they're celebrating New Year's. And throughout the show we're going to show you some of the best of.

Also you may notice our ticker down here that usually displays the news headlines is actually text messages that people send in. So if you want to be part of that party as well, go to cnn.com/iparty, send in your text as well.

Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: All right. To Central Park next, Gary Tuchman is in running shoes.

Gary, why are you wearing running shoes?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, for the second year in a row, I'm going to try to run four miles and talk on live television at the same time. I'm with thousands of people here. You can see they're in their costumes. They're all part of the big (INAUDIBLE) New York Road Runners, four-mile New Year's Road Race here at Central Park. It starts at the stroke of midnight.

For people who have New Year's resolutions about staying healthy. These are people who talk the talk and walk the walk, because at the stroke of midnight, they will run four miles and we will be part of it, Anderson. Probably the most festive place to be for New Year's where there's no alcohol involved. Back to you.

COOPER: All right. Gary, we will check in with you throughout the night. Gary is not the only one working tonight. We like to look at unique New York celebrations around America. Erica Hill is down in the crowd, let's check in with her.

Erica, how is it going down there?

HILL: It's going a little better. I think now you can hear me, Anderson. It is electric down here in the crowd in Times Square. As you mentioned earlier, about a million people expected, a million of our closest friends. They're from all over tonight and they are all so excited to ring in the New Year here in Times Square and with everybody watching at home on CNN.

We're going to introduce you to a few of the folks in the crowd coming up and also see just how much CNN they've actually been watching this year -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, cool. We've got John Zarrella is in Key West where at the stroke of midnight they'll be lowering a drag queen named Sushi in a giant red stiletto to usher in the new year. John has been doing this so long, his wife has started ask him questions. He usually brings her along. We'll see if he has this year as well.

We'll also check in with other people, Sean Callebs, (INAUDIBLE), he's going to be at Jackson Square in the heart of New Orleans for us. And bringing us the celebration from Las Vegas, Kareen Wynter, in front of the other New York, the casino. But it is my great pleasure right now to introduce the Emmy- winning star of the show of "My Life on the D List," and all-around comedy sensation, the Emmy-winning Kathy Griffin.

Welcome.

KATHY GRIFFIN, ACTOR, COMEDIAN: It is such a treat for you to be here with me tonight, I must -- the excitement is electric.

COOPER: You feel the electricity coming off me?

GRIFFIN: It is tangible. Let me tell you something, this has been a big year in the news. I don't know if you're on the big news stories because I know you do more of the fluff, but the biggest story for me in '07 is Kathy Griffin wins the Emmy.

COOPER: That's the number one story to you, really?

GRIFFIN: Yes, yes. Have you ever won an Emmy?

COOPER: You know, I've stopped counting the Emmys I've won. But for you, it must have been special to win one.

GRIFFIN: I can actually see your finger marks on my face, and it hurts.

COOPER: You probably never expected that you would actually win an Emmy.

GRIFFIN: I certainly didn't expect you would have one as well.

COOPER: Was it one of those very special Emmys that they give for a special achievement?

GRIFFIN: Yes, it was like the not really counts Emmys. But for me, it means so...

COOPER: No. I watch your show and it deserves an Emmy.

GRIFFIN: Get out.

COOPER: I do, of course.

GRIFFIN: Oh, Anderson, you had better stop it.

COOPER: I thought you might bring your Emmy with you tonight.

GRIFFIN: I wanted to but I couldn't get it through security. And I was afraid Ty Pennington would take it. When you won your Emmy for covering, what, tsunami or some sort of entertainment story or whatever...

COOPER: Troubles in Africa, yes.

GRIFFIN: Whatever. Anyway, did you also beat "Extreme Home Makeover"? COOPER: Did I also what?

GRIFFIN: Did you also beat "Extreme Home Makeover"?

COOPER: No, I didn't.

GRIFFIN: It's a tough race.

COOPER: Really?

GRIFFIN: Yes.

COOPER: You actually beat "Extreme Home Makeover"?

GRIFFIN: I know.

COOPER: Ty Pennington -- or whatever his name is, must have been in tears.

GRIFFIN: He wields the power of 10 men. And yet -- all right. Now, look, there have been a lot of big stories this year. One of my favorites is Osmond mania is back.

COOPER: They are all back all of a sudden.

GRIFFIN: They are all back. And there is hidden Osmond footage somehow which I didn't think existed. But I will say one of my favorites was the Marie Osmond doll dance, I don't know if you saw that on "Dancing with the Stars."

COOPER: Of course, she -- yes, she didn't win, but she should have for that.

GRIFFIN: But also, to the Stones, singing, "Start Me Up," because she's a rocker at heart.

COOPER: Yes. There it is. There she was doing her doll dance.

GRIFFIN: I love the doll dance. And I'm telling you, she stayed in that long because she fell. So at one point, I would like to take a fall and I think I could become a permanent anchor.

COOPER: There were a lot of falls this year.

GRIFFIN: Celebrity falls were huge this year, very trendy. And a lot of people went down, from beauty pageants to even the Beyonce.

COOPER: Beyonce fell, that was shocking. But I've got to tell, I know, because I watch your show...

GRIFFIN: Sure.

COOPER: You had a horrific fall as well.

GRIFFIN: Yes, it was in Great Britain. And Sharon Osbourne told me that if you stumble out of a taxi when you're drunk, and if you're photographed, it makes you more famous. So I actually called the paparazzi, but on some Chanel...

COOPER: You staged this.

GRIFFIN: I staged it.

COOPER: We have the photo. There it is.

GRIFFIN: There I am. And it went around the world. And that is why I'm on your broadcast tonight globally saying happy New Year.

COOPER: So there was nothing -- this was completely fake. You weren't drunk. There was no scandal.

GRIFFIN: I don't drink. No, but I like the pictures.

COOPER: It's a fantastic picture.

GRIFFIN: My hair is done, my makeup is done. It's not bad.

COOPER: What were some of the other big stories for you?

GRIFFIN: Well, first of all, can we just talk about you and Pakistan? I mean, like, what do you eat there? What's a breakfast for you?

COOPER: I wasn't there very long. So you know, but they have, you know, cereal, granola, (INAUDIBLE).

GRIFFIN: Do you bring your own? Are you one of those where you have to have a special diet?

COOPER: I sometimes bring my own tuna in little cans.

GRIFFIN: Oh, you are a pain. I can tell you're a high- maintenance friend.

COOPER: You're going to stay with us though throughout this next hour-and-a-half.

GRIFFIN: Can you say that to me in, say, Urdu, the language of Pakistan?

COOPER: Brush up on your Pakistan...

GRIFFIN: Are you dazzled?

COOPER: I am dazzled, yes.

GRIFFIN: Look out, Amanpour, here I come.

COOPER: We're going to have a lot more from Kathy over the next hour-and-a-half. And as we said a few weeks, we started asking you to send in pictures of your New Year's Eve celebrations. We're calling I-Party. They've been coming in all night. Kiran Chetry over at the Hard Rock Cafe has a few of the best.

Kiran, what do you got?

CHETRY: Yes. We have some cute ones. Let's take you to the pictures. This one was sent in by the Lovell family of Mirrieta, California. We have Cassidy who is 6, Kobey 4, and Riley 1. We're going to show it in just a second. But the reason it's cute and the reason that we picked it is because they actually spell out "AC 360" with some signs. But we're just having a little bit of trouble loading them up. So, Anderson, I'm going to send it back to you. I promise it will be worth it. We'll get them up in just a minute.

COOPER: Well, when we come back, we're going to hear from some of the million or so people who have jammed into just a few city blocks down there. We're also going to head back to Key West, Florida, where John Zarrella and a drag queen named Sushi are getting ready for their closeups. And taking us to break as we give you a look at the scene all around us, here's Earth, Wind and Fire performing in Las Vegas.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Welcome to the party here in London. I'm Arwa Damon. We're on the Jubilee Bridge across the River Thames. And I think we have got some of the best seats in the entire city. Just take a look at the crowds down below. They're packed along the embankment and the Millennium Eye (ph). The fireworks expected to erupt dead from its center. Organizers are saying...

(BIG BEN CHIMES)

DAMON: And there are the chimes. Here it comes. Everyone down here hoping for a better new year. Some people saying their New Year's resolution is to party more. There is the countdown. Happy New Year from London and enjoy the show!

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, it is already 2008 in London. Happy New Year to everyone watching there. We're live at Times Square on New Year's Eve. We have got a few minutes to go before we ring in 2008. Well, we've got about 50 minutes to go. An estimated 1 million people are here waiting for that crystal ball to descend. Emmy-winning comedienne Kathy Griffin is helping us.

Is it comedian or comedienne?

GRIFFIN: It's really comic.

COOPER: It is comic.

GRIFFIN: But comedian is fine...

COOPER: OK.

GRIFFIN: ... you sexist pig. Now do you know Paris Hilton personally?

COOPER: No, never met her.

GRIFFIN: Admit it.

COOPER: I have no desire to.

GRIFFIN: Look at you.

COOPER: No, I'm just...

GRIFFIN: You and Angelina don't play it that way? Now you are friends with Angelina Jolie, am I right?

COOPER: Friends? I have never talked to her...

GRIFFIN: Have you had a meal with her?

COOPER: ... other than being on television. Have I had a meal? No. Never had a meal with her.

GRIFFIN: Are you lying? Because you look like you're lying.

COOPER: No. I've never had a meal with her.

GRIFFIN: You need credibility in this business, Anderson. You can't just lie.

COOPER: I've never gotten an e-mail from her or anything.

GRIFFIN: Not a text?

COOPER: No, never a text, no.

GRIFFIN: Did you watch Paris on "LARRY KING"?

COOPER: Who didn't?

GRIFFIN: Thank you.

COOPER: I mean, you had to.

GRIFFIN: Exactly. Well, my favorite moment, if we can show it now, is when -- you know, she did find Jesus in jail...

COOPER: I heard that.

GRIFFIN: ... which is where he is, usually. And when Larry asked her favorite Bible verse, can we take a look?

COOPER: I think we have that cued up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": What's your favorite Bible passage? PARIS HILTON, CELEBRITY: Hmm. I don't have a favorite.

KING: You read it every day?

HILTON: In jail I read it a lot.

KING: Going to go to Mass?

HILTON: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: You don't buy it.

GRIFFIN: That's it. That's the money shot.

COOPER: That's it?

GRIFFIN: OK. Everybody can talk about her catwalking out of jail, fine...

COOPER: Well, I liked it when she said that her life had changed and that she was going to be doing good things for good people. But I haven't really...

GRIFFIN: She's like Mother Teresa now...

COOPER: She is like Mother Teresa...

GRIFFIN: ... who doesn't where underpants. I mean, if Mother Teresa didn't wear underpants, which I'm sure she does. Now you don't ever go clubbing with Paris Hilton?

COOPER: I have never been clubbing with Paris Hilton.

GRIFFIN: What about Nicky?

COOPER: Who?

GRIFFIN: Nicky.

COOPER: Nicky...

GRIFFIN: Hilton.

COOPER: Hilton? Oh, her sister, no, never. I don't know these people. Why would I hang out with these people?

GRIFFIN: So that's the circle you run in, Andy. Don't act like you don't, Andy.

COOPER: I have a job. I have a job. I work.

GRIFFIN: All right. Can we tell them about the drinking game?

COOPER: What's the drinking game? GRIFFIN: I think the world should play along.

COOPER: OK.

GRIFFIN: Every time I call you Andy instead of Anderson, you take a shot.

COOPER: But now you don't drink.

GRIFFIN: I don't.

COOPER: And I don't really drink either.

GRIFFIN: And I don't approve of people who do.

COOPER: So they can take a shot of lemonade. They can take a shot of whatever they'd like.

GRIFFIN: Yes, but then we can watch them when they're drunk and judge them.

COOPER: So it's every time you say Andy?

GRIFFIN: Yes. Every time I call you Andy, or if you say it, that may be good too.

COOPER: My mom calls me Andy.

GRIFFIN: Happy New Year, Andy.

COOPER: Someone takes a shot.

GRIFFIN: So my mom is now hammered.

COOPER: Now have you ever been down here?

GRIFFIN: Yes, I have been here before, and it's crazy. And I like -- like my favorite phase is like when everybody is puking and...

COOPER: There's none of that. This is clean and wholesome now.

GRIFFIN: Yes, exactly. I like when the meth dealers are out and when people...

COOPER: No, there is none of that.

GRIFFIN: ... and when people fall. And then I love couple fights.

COOPER: There are couple fights.

GRIFFIN: Oh, yes, well, if you were better, I wouldn't have to sleep with your brother. Like that's my favorite moment at New Year's.

COOPER: I don't know what kind of... (CROSSTALK)

GRIFFIN: That's going to be us later, by the way.

COOPER: ... you've been hanging out in, Kathy Griffin, but...

GRIFFIN: What are we doing after this?

COOPER: I'm going home.

GRIFFIN: Don't -- OK. That is such a lie. I can't even...

COOPER: It's not.

GRIFFIN: Why can't we go to Jalalabad?

COOPER: All right.

GRIFFIN: I hear that the...

COOPER: We'll talk about that at the commercial break. We have pulled together a huge amount of star power, not just Kathy Griffin -- Emmy Award-winning Kathy Griffin, but a lot of stars here, the Times -- here in Times Square. This ball is really the star of the year, don't you think?

GRIFFIN: Absolutely. It's very green. What are you doing that's green? How do you help the environment, Andy?

COOPER: Well, I do a lot of reporting about it. That's about as much as I do.

GRIFFIN: Do you get the special outdoor (ph) lightbulbs?

COOPER: You've gone green, haven't you?

GRIFFIN: Yes, I'm very green.

COOPER: They're using special light bulbs in the ball tonight.

GRIFFIN: I know -- the crystal green ball, what the heck.

COOPER: Let's check in with Erica Hill, who is down in the crowd.

Erica, people there are very, very excited.

HILL: People are absolutely excited, Anderson. We're excited. We're running all over, trying to meet people. There are people here from all over the globe. You can see it right here. See it in their faces. I want you to meet a woman. I love this. This is my new friend Teresa (ph) from Indianapolis.

And I love your story. Why are you here in Times Square, Teresa?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Last year I was watching this on TV, and I decided that was my New Year's resolution to be here this year.

HILL: And you made good on it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I did, all by myself. Nobody else wanted to come.

HILL: No, you're not by yourself, because you're here with a million of your closest friends. You have got Anderson Cooper, you've got Kathy Griffin. It's not so bad. Lots of new friends. Happy New Year, Teresa.

She's just one of the many people who are in Times Square. And the great thing about everybody here, Anderson, is that everybody has a great story. Right here we have some ladies from the Philippines, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi!

HILL: What brought you to Times Square?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want the (INAUDIBLE) real deal. We've been seeing it from TV.

HILL: And so you're here, you're in the real deal. What do you think so far?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's great. We have fun.

HILL: Do you think you'll come back again?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course.

HILL: See you next year.

I have met today, Anderson, people from every, it feels like, every state of the union. A woman from Alaska, folks from the Philippines, as you just met, Sweden, Japan, Belgium, Italy, Uruguay, Ecuador, Brazil, Mexico. I could go on and on, but it's still fewer countries than you've been to -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Erica, thanks. We'll check in with again soon. Our correspondents are spread across the country tonight. And we're going to be checking in with them all night. CNN's John Zarrella is in Key West where they have their own very special take on the crystal ball drop.

John, explain what happens in Key West tonight.

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Anderson, I'm over here. I told you a year ago I was going to get my own shoe. Well, I borrowed Sushi's stiletto, and I'm surrounded by the girls from 801 Bourbon Street -- the drag queens from 801 Bourbon Street. And I'm going to make my way. A little bit of a tight squeeze. I prefer a loafer, Anderson, than that.

But at 12:00, Sushi is going to get in that shoe. The shoe will be up on the second floor up there, and they will drop Sushi. That's Sushi right over here, the drag queen, that we have made famous on CNN.

Now let me ask you a couple of (INAUDIBLE), Sushi. You having fun? You having a good time?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Having a wonderful time, John.

ZARRELLA: This is a terrific crowd. Look at this, we have got tens of thousands of people here having a wonderful time here in Key West.

Are you having fun?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I am. It is so much fun!

ZARRELLA: Have ever seen anything like this before?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Never, (INAUDIBLE).

(CROSSTALK)

ZARRELLA: You'll probably never see anything like this again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know, this is amazing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello, Pittsburgh!

(CROSSTALK)

ZARRELLA: Have you ever seen anything like this before?

COOPER: Hey, John, can you hear us?

ZARRELLA: Never seen anything like this. Hey, Anderson, yes, I hear you.

COOPER: So, John, Kathy Griffin and I are here. Is your wife with you this time? Because I know she got a little nervous. John kept going to Key West...

(CROSSTALK)

GRIFFIN: He loves Sushi. He always has. He loves a nice California roll, if you know what I'm saying.

COOPER: Did you wife come with you, John?

ZARRELLA: She's with me. My wife came with me and she brought my two teenaged sons also. So I can't get in any trouble. No trouble.

COOPER: Excellent. Well, you stay safe there. We'll check in with you a little later. Let's come back here to Times Square, our live New Year's Eve celebration continues here, counting down to 2008. What are you going to do at the moment of 2008? What is going to be going through your mind?

GRIFFIN: You had better watch your back, because I'm coming at you full tongue, grabbing your butt, you're going to have to call security. Take it or leave it, Andy.

COOPER: All right. All right. We're going to leave it there for now. We asked you to send us your I-Party pictures and videos. You did. Now you might just see yourself on the air tonight...

(CROSSTALK)

GRIFFIN: But wait, do you have any like of those I-videos from Paula Abdul?

COOPER: No, we should though.

GRIFFIN: Wouldn't that be great?

COOPER: I'm hoping -- she's watching tonight I think.

GRIFFIN: I'm sure she is. She's just trying to sit upright for a whole 90 minutes. Come on, you can do it, girl.

COOPER: This I-video is from the Philippines. It was sent in by one of our viewers. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The sake is flowing in Tokyo as we count down the final seconds leading to 2008. I'm Kyung Lah at Zojoji Buddhist Temple (ph), where in just a few seconds balloons like this -- environmentally-friendly balloons carrying the wishes of the Japanese here on the ground of the temple will be released into the air. Here is 2008 Tokyo.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: That's a great tradition in Tokyo, the New Year arriving there. We're about 40 minutes away here in Times Square. As we said a few weeks ago, we started asking you to send in pictures of your New Year's Eve celebrations. We're calling it I-Party, and they've been coming in all night long. Kiran Chetry over at the Hard Rock Cafe has a few of the best.

Kiran, what have you got?

CHETRY: Well, we have got some cute ones. The first we want to show you is from Laura (ph) of Mirrieta, California -- Laura Lovell. And she has her three kids, Cassidy, Kobey and Riley, ages 6, 4 and 1. She calls them "my three noisemakers." And she says they are celebrating at home with some snacks of sparkling cider and some confetti. And of course, as they sit under the tree, you can see it spells out "AC 360." So from the Lovell family, thanks so much.

And how about this one? This one comes to us from Valerie New (ph) of Augusta, Georgia. These are her rescue pets. The black dog is Maggie. The cat's name is Shanook. And the cream-colored dog is Daphne. She says that they all have a loving home because she rescued them. She said one had on feathers and a hat but kept trying to eat the feathers and knock the hat off. So she had to settle for what she got. But hey, who says cats and dogs don't get along? Thanks for sending that, Valerie.

And this one is my personal favorite, Anderson. This is from Kathleen (ph) Richter of Lincoln Park, Michigan. Apparently her daughter Deb (ph) is such an "AC 360" fan that she drives around with that dummy of you, right there in the middle, in her car all day. She says "he's usually holding packages in his lap."

COOPER: That's a life-sized dummy of me. Wow. Nice.

CHETRY: It is. Apparently you, as in the dummy, sit in her car, hold packages in your lap and never say a word. She says she tapes your show every day.

COOPER: I've got to say, Kathy Griffin is a little envious right now. Do you -- people must have life-sized dummies of you.

GRIFFIN: What happened to you? Remember when you were a news man? Now there's blowup dolls of you.

COOPER: Oh, yes, I know. Well.

GRIFFIN: You know, it's just for the carpool lane, I'll be honest, sweetheart.

COOPER: Just for the what?

GRIFFIN: The carpool lane. It gets you to the job faster, that's all.

COOPER: Kiran, we're going to check in with you later for some more I-reports. As we get closer to 2008, we want to take a look back at the best, most notorious or most notable stories of 2007. Our friends at TIME magazine broke down some of the best pop culture moments of 2007, this according to TIME. Here are a few of our favorites. The number one T-shirt-worthy quote, "don't Tase me, bro." This of course was from Andrew Meyer...

GRIFFIN: Tasing is out of control, am I right?

COOPER: Tasing...

GRIFFIN: I'm afraid you're going to Tase me now just for fun.

COOPER: I might, yes, if you want.

GRIFFIN: You know what my favorite Taser, though, is the lady astronaut who was going to drive to the... COOPER: With the diapers?

GRIFFIN: You know what?

COOPER: Lisa Nowak.

GRIFFIN: I love that Lisa Nowak. I feel people judged her too harshly. I've had those nights where maybe it was 2:00 in the morning, I was a little angry. I wanted to put on my diaper, take a drive and Tase somebody. I'm not a bad person, neither is she. Amnesty -- that's what Amnesty International should be doing, helping her.

COOPER: Hey, let's check out Widespread Panic. They're playing down in Atlanta. Let's go to them now. "Up All Night" is the song.

(MUSIC PLAYING, "UP ALL NIGHT")

COOPER: And that is Widespread Panic there. We've got Earth, Wind and Fire coming up. Grammy-nominated Miranda Lambert who Kathy Griffin is just wild about, not to mention Erica Hill down in the crowd -- wait, I just did.

Erica, what have you got coming up?

HILL: Here I am. Anderson, we're going to do a little quiz, see how much CNN people have been watching, including whether or not they know this lady. That's just ahead.

COOPER: Who is that?

HILL: Oh, you love her.

GRIFFIN: Isn't that the Miss Teen USA?

(CROSSTALK)

GRIFFIN: ... the dumb girl that doesn't know stuff?

HILL: And Kathy Griffin knows what's going on.

COOPER: OK, good.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: I was thrown. I thought it was Nancy Grace for a minute. I thought it was it was like...

GRIFFIN: I love that Baby Blog. I'm on it all night.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: All right. Erica, we'll come back to you.

(CROSSTALK) COOPER: Also tonight, we're going to head back to New Orleans -- exactly. We're going to head back to New Orleans where Sean Callebs is jamming and more of your I-Party pictures and videos as we count down to 2008.

GRIFFIN: And such as.

COOPER: And such as?

GRIFFIN: Such as the Iraq (ph). Yes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Guten tag from Germany. My name is Fred Pleitgen in Berlin. And right here behind me, you can see 1 million people getting ready to usher in the year 2008. This is one of the largest New Year's celebrations in Europe and in the world, and we're only a few seconds away from 2008.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

USC SONG GIRLS: Happy New Year, Kathy and Anderson!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Those are the USC song girls. Do you hang out with them often?

GRIFFIN: No, what's next? The Hooters Girls, have "360" across their boobs?

COOPER: That was for you. They said Kathy and Anderson.

GRIFFIN: But they really emphasized Anderson.

COOPER: We're trying to kick it up a notch and see we're here (ph), you know.

GRIFFIN: Oh yes.

COOPER: Yes.

GRIFFIN: Well, my goal is to get you fired by the end of the broadcast.

COOPER: Oh, that's very possible.

GRIFFIN: Oh, you know what I want? I want a fatwa on my head. I want to say something.

COOPER: Really?

GRIFFIN: They're very trendy.

COOPER: But the fact that you want a fatwa just so it'll what, give you more publicity?

GRIFFIN: Oh, yes, are you kidding, I'll be all over the papers.

Now, when you covered the Israeli Hezbollah ...

COOPER: You'll be a cause celeb, not just a celeb.

GRIFFIN: It'll take me right up to the B list, baby.

All right, when you go to places like Lebanon ...

COOPER: Right.

GRIFFIN: ...and it's an important story and you hop on the plane and you just go ...

COOPER: Right.

GRIFFIN: ...where do you get your Gucci suit?

COOPER: My Gucci ...

GRIFFIN: I mean, you got -- where do you find the Prada store? I mean, what are you wearing tonight?

COOPER: I have no idea.

GRIFFIN: Bergamo?

COOPER: Who?

GRIFFIN: Versace?

COOPER: No, I don't know.

GRIFFIN: Can you just call and they make it for you? Like, is there some seamstress at Prada who's furiously sewing for your next conflict?

COOPER: No, no.

GRIFFIN: Are you sure?

COOPER: I, I -- yes, no.

GRIFFIN: Your fly's open.

COOPER: Is it? No, it's not.

GRIFFIN: Made you look. Sorry, Andy!

COOPER: That's your level of confidence, Kathy Griffin?

GRIFFIN: That's what it's come to.

COOPER: I knew we should have gotten Kathie Lee Gifford. I asked for Kathie Lee Gifford and somehow, we got Kathy Griffin.

GRIFFIN: I have been trying to ask him all night if he took a shower and pshower (ph). And he's like so heavy and cerebral, he's like oh, you're the seventh person to say that. You know, in my circles, we don't know where pshower is. I have to look ...

COOPER: You know, I asked Larry King, is it all right working with Kathy Griffin?

GRIFFIN: Oh, here we go.

COOPER: What's it like working with her -- what's it working ...

GRIFFIN: You know what, listen, I will call Wolf Blitzer so fast. I will text him and you will have Cafferty so far up your butt, you will not have your job tomorrow.

COOPER: All right, let's check in with Kareen Wynter at the Excalibur in Las Vegas with a man billed as America's loudest lounge singer, Richard Cheese.

How's it going?

KAREEN WYTNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Anderson. Hey, you and Kathy are having such a blast. It's so hard to beat New York on New Year's Eve.

But, hey, we have our own slice of the Big Apple here in Las Vegas on the strip. Take a look at that beautiful skyline, the New York New York. Got the Statue of Liberty, the Chrysler Building. It's all happening tonight. And hey, Anderson, you mentioned it -- we have a special treat for you. You can thank us later.

Richard Cheese is here with his amazing band. Take it away, guys.

RICHARD CHEESE, SINGER: Hello, Anderson, hi, Kathy, hi, everybody. I'm Richard Cheese, and let's Lounge Against the Machine.

(singing): You wake up late for school and you don't want to go. You ask your mom please, but she still said no. And living at home, it's such a drag. Hey Anderson and Kathy, I wish you were doing this here. You have to fight for your right to party, you have to fight for the right to party!

WYNTER: Yes!

CHEESE: Back to you, lady.

COOPER: All right, that was Richard Cheese.

WYNTER: Give it up for Richard Cheese!

COOPER: He was excellent.

WYNTER: I'm a big Vegas person. I'm giving it up.

COOPER: Yes, Kareen, excellent. Yes, we are giving it up.

WYNTER: So much talent here, Anderson.

GRIFFIN: And that is one of your biggest (INAUDIBLE).

WYNTER: So, tell us, what was the inspiration behind that?

CHEESE: Well you know, we've been lounging music for so many years ...

COOPER: They're going to keep going with this.

GRIFFIN: OK.

CHEESE: ...and we swankify them.

COOPER: I think we're good.

CHEESE: ...Vegas thing. We're playing at the Hard Rock Hotel tonight. I think there's two tickets left. Come on out, kids.

WYNTER: Thanks so much and a little bit of leather, little bit of leopard here. You're doing it.

We'll send it back to you, Anderson.

CHEESE: Thank you, good night.

COOPER: All right, Kareen, thanks very much. And Richard Cheese there. Have you ever -- you must play Vegas?

GRIFFIN: I don't know if that's his baptismal name. It may be his name currently, I don't think he started out that way.

COOPER: That's his nome de gar (ph)?

GRIFFIN: Wait -- oh, look at you with the languages. See, you don't know the posh two (ph), but then with the French.

COOPER: It's posh tune, it's posh tune. But keep going, work on it.

GRIFFIN: Look at the condescending -- I have an Emmy, for God's sake.

COOPER: Yes.

GRIFFIN: I could have covered the tsunami.

COOPER: Oh yes, who doesn't?

GRIFFIN: I just couldn't get a flight. COOPER: Everyone on this floor crew has an Emmy.

Now to Central Park where thousands of runners are getting ready for another New York tradition. It's the midnight run, a four-mile race that starts at the stroke of -- you guessed it -- midnight, hence the ...

GRIFFIN: This is crazy. So, one of your correspondents ...

COOPER: Right, is going to run.

GRIFFIN: Obviously ...

COOPER: Gary Tuchman is going to run. It's nearly three decades old. It's more of a party really, than a serious run. But Gary's going to run and we're going to actually be live as he's running it.

GRIFFIN: We're following him running, it's very cold.

COOPER: Gary, are you -- have you stretched out, Gary? Kathy is concerned that you're not limber.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Anderson, I am stretched out -- can you guys hear me OK? I am stretched out, ready to go ...

GRIFFIN: Yes.

TUCHMAN: ...with 5,000 of my closest friends here all ready to start running. It's a great tradition. Four miles, run around Central Park and I'll be trying to talk live on television doing it at the same time.

But it's also a costume party. And people run in their costumes. The New York Road Runners, which organize this, the same organization that puts on the New York City Marathon. But this is the most fun because it starts at the stroke of midnight, the way to bring in the new year.

And you can see, for example, you are a bee, correct?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right, right.

TUCHMAN: Where are you from?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We live here, we just moved here from New Orleans.

TUCHMAN: From New Orleans. And you are what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm from the Islands, man, I'm just hanging out.

TUCHMAN: OK, you're running though, too, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, absolutely, absolutely.

TUCHMAN: What about you guys, where are you from?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From Pittsburgh. Go Steelers!

TUCHMAN: OK, and what are you dressed as?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A Bavarian beer princess.

TUCHMAN: And you're going to run as a Bavarian bar maid, is that ...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

TUCHMAN: OK, and you're going to run. And who are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a Nacho Libre, Mexican wrestler.

TUCHMAN: Very good, he's going to run, too.

Now behind them, you can see. These are the reindeer. They won first place today, best costume. Who are you, are you Rudolph?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I'm the reindeer. This is Rudolph.

COOPER: Now, are you a big runner there, Kathy Griffin?

GRIFFIN: Yes, (INAUDIBLE) are running.

COOPER: Yes?

GRIFFIN: Yes, toward the paparazzi.

TUCHMAN: Congratulations, you guys.

Anderson, Kathy, back to you.

GRIFFIN: They'll never catch up with me.

COOPER: All right, Gary, thanks.

Would you ever do that?

GRIFFIN: I haven't seen him run once.

COOPER: Oh no, at the stroke of midnight, he's going to start running ...

GRIFFIN: I mean, he's saying he did the New York marathon. And this guy's like, oh, am I exhausted. Bottoms up.

COOPER: He's going to start running at the stroke of midnight.

GRIFFIN: All right.

COOPER: Just ahead, New Year's Eve with a twist. It's the Key West take on the Times Square tradition.

GRIFFIN: Oh, yes (ph).

COOPER: Instead of a crystal globe, they're putting their best foot forward, a big foot.

GRIFFIN: This is my assistant Jessica.

COOPER: Yes.

GRIFFIN: You know, the game is every time I call you Andy, she has to do a shot. How many shots?

COOPER: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five. I've already done five.

COOPER: Five shots so far, all right.

GRIFFIN: Get out of here, you're on the clock.

COOPER: We'll keep track of that. We'll check in with John Zarrella just ahead.

What are we looking at right there? I'm not really sure, but ...

GRIFFIN: That's the ball, Times Square.

COOPER: And here's a live shot of Times Square. It's up to five?

GRIFFIN: You're so socially conscious. No, they're -- look, everybody here's hammered.

COOPER: You called me Andy five times so far?

GRIFFIN: I think, like, 30.

COOPER: All right, we'll be right back.

GRIFFIN: Oh, Andy.

COOPER: Check in with John Zarrella, we'll go to New Orleans, all over the world we'll show you. And more with Kathy Griffin, we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRIFFIN: All right, we'll be right back. Check in with John Zarrella. We'll go to New Orleans, all over the world we'll show you, and more with Kathy Griffin.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANJALI RAO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Anjali Rao here in Hong Kong at Times Square where New Year celebrations are in full swing. CROWD: Two, one! Happy New Year!

COOPER: That is New Year's that arrived in Hong Kong. We're back here at New Year's central. The crowds in Times Square, an estimated one million people. I find that hard to believe, but literally as far as the eye can see, nothing but people. Just like you at home, people are here partying their hearts out, or maybe you're in the local pub, or wherever you're ringing in 2008. We're hope you're having a great night with us. We're going to be checking out some of the i-Party pictures that your sending in, your celebrations. In just a little bit we'll be doing that. And country star Miranda Lambert in Atlanta. We'll be going to go her performing live.

But first, let's head back out to the street where Erica Hill is set up down in the crowd. Erica?

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson Cooper, because CNN is the most trusted name in news, we wanted to give our crowd a little test. We're doing something called name that newsmaker. First up is Cindy right here from New Jersey.

Cindy, can you name this news maker? Look at that face. You're from New Jersey. Who is that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tony Soprano.

HILL: He is, from "The Sopranos," and a newsmaker this year because "The Sopranos" of course ended.

What about this guy? I'm going to show the camera, too. Does he look familiar at all? What if I turn him around and show him like this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Barry Bonds.

HILL: Barry Bonds, OK.

Finally, this one is a little tougher. This lady...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Caitlin.

HILL: Yes, you got her first name, Lauren -- Caitlin, Miss South Carolina. Cindy is going to get a little CNN hat to remind you to watch the news. Thanks. Cindy obviously watching CNN. A lot of other people as well.

Anderson, I'm going to send it back to you.

COOPER: All right, Miranda Lambert, she was your favorite beauty queen this year.

GRIFFIN: I do love her, absolutely. She's an idol and a role model.

(CROSSTALK) GRIFFIN: ... who's James Gandolfini in New York.

COOPER: Let's go to Atlanta where Grammy nominee Miranda Lambert is performing live. She's nominated for best female country vocal performance for her song "Kerosene." Let's go to her biggest song yet is "Famous in a Small Town." It reached 14 on the country charts.

(SINGING)

COOPER: That was Miranda Lambert. Coming up, Earth, Wind and Fire, your i-Party pictures and a whole lot more as the clock ticks and we countdown to 2008. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Here in Times Square it is less than ten minutes to midnight. We will not be taking another commercial break until well past 2008. We will be live continuous all the way through, so stay with us. Don't go out, don't get some food. Stay where you are. You don't want to miss the ball drop. Times Square may be the biggest New Year's Eve party, but there are plenty of other celebrations going on all around the globe tonight and all around the United States. We asked you to share you're good times with us by sending us your i- Party pictures. Kiran Chetry is on that for you tonight, standing by at the Hard Rock Cafe, a few blocks away.

Kiran, let's quickly check in with you. What do you got?

CHETRY: Hey, Anderson. For some reason, there's confetti coming down. I know it's not the sanctioned confetti so maybe it's just coming out of some windows up here, but we do want to show you some great submissions that were sent in.

This one comes to us from Rochester, New York, submitted by Sandra Frankel (ph). She says she and her friends always ring in the new year with lobsters. And so they're all holding lobsters in the picture. Thanks, Sandra for sending that in.

Here's a cute one. This one comes from the Wand family out of Ontario, Canada. It's 2 1/2-year-old Zachary and 4-month-old Carter. Their mom, Wendy Wand, submitted the photo. She says, by the way, Anderson, she's a huge AC 360 fan. And this is the third straight year they've rung in the New Year with you.

And the last picture, this one's got to be my favorite. This is Tully (ph), the golden retriever from Farmingdale, New York. Her owner, Natasha Owinack (ph) says, it looks like she's already had a little bit too much fun. I guess Tully started the party early. Maybe she was playing the drinking game with you and Kathy, and look what happened. So there's Tully, passed out ten minutes before midnight.

COOPER: Drinking too much water there. Kiran, we'll check in with you in just a few minutes. We've only got a couple minutes left in 2007. What better way to spend them than with the New Orleans jazz trumpeter and singer, Kermit Ruffins. He's standing by in New Orleans, ready to jam with CNN's Sean Callebs.

Sean, Kermit, take it away.

SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is great. Kermit is right over here at a staple, and one of your favorite places in this city, Anderson, at Vaughn's every Thursday night. He is as much a part of New Orleans as red beans and rice, beignets.

Kermit, Happy New Year.

KERMIT RUFFINS, MUSICIAN: Happy New Year, 2008, we're coming to you live from New Orleans. We love you, New Orleans, we love you, New York. We love you, America. Come on, New Orleans!

CALLEBS: OK, Kermit has been kind enough to let me sit in on a song. Lets do it.

RUFFINS: A little -- "When the Saints Go Marching In".

CALLEBS: Lets do it.

COOPER: Guys, we should come back. And that is the scene at Vaughn's, a great bar in New Orleans. If you're ever down in New Orleans you should definitely stop by Vaughn's. We want to take a minute now to tell you about a really cool idea. It's a text messaging campaign to let U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan know that they have not been forgotten on this New Year's. The group behind the idea set a goal of 50 million text messages in 24 hours. They told us if American Idol can do it, so can we. Here to explain how it works are Rob MacMillan and Patrick Campbell.

Guys, thanks for being with us. So, how does this work?

PATRICK CAMPBELL, FMR. COMBAT MEDIC IN IRAQ: How does it work? Well, you go to operationnewyearseve.org.

ROB MACMILLAN, CEO SIGN LAB MEDIA: And, it gives you the instructions. You text 94444, and you right in the word "CARE", a space and then your message to the troops.

CAMPBELL: Yes, something you want to say to the soldiers, service members abroad.

COOPER: And they see it streaming on the web?

CAMPBELL: On the web and then up on one of the billboards back there.

COOPER: All right, so what's the Web site again people go to?

MACMILLAN: Operationnewyearseve.org.

COOPER: All right, well we hope...

MACMILLAN: And then we put it on the tallest sign in the world, up on the top of -- COOPER: ... well we hope you guys get the 50 million that you're looking for. Thanks so much for coming. Appreciate it.

CAMPBELL: Happy New Year. Thank you to all the service members.

COOPER: All right, take care man.

2008 is almost here. It's about ten minutes before midnight. Kathy Griffin is going to be coming back in. Let's check in again right now with Erica Hill down in the crowd -- Erica?

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Anderson. As we mentioned, people from all over the world come here, to Times Square, to celebrate, including several of New York's finest, come here to celebrate New Years. I want to have a couple of them to say Happy New Year, see if you can tell where they're from.

Gary, say Happy New Year for us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: [ speaking foreign language ]

HILL: Anderson, any ideas?

COOPER: Sweden.

HILL: Yes, he got it, Sweden, very nice. And then also with us, some more friends here. Say Happy New Year for us in your native language.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE AND FEMALE: [ speaking foreign language ]

HILL: What do you think? Come on. You're the world traveller. Maybe you couldn't hear that one. I'll tell you...

COOPER: I couldn't hear you on that one.

HILL: That's all right. That was someone from Japan wishing you a Happy New Year. I could go down the list here. We have a number of folks from the Naval Academy who are here bringing in the new year with us. Every state, South America, Australia, you name it, they're here and they're getting ready to cheer very loud as that ball drops, Anderson.

COOPER: I'm going to jump in here. Erica, let's listen, a New Year's tradition, something that gives us all something to aim for in the coming year, John Lennon and "Imagine." Lets listen as the crowd sings.

A little bit more than a minute left to go. Kathy Griffin is here with me.

Are you excited?

KATHY GRIFFIN, COMEDIAN: This is exciting, yes. I wanted to do the actual countdown. I think people want that.

COOPER: All right, well we will do that. Lets -- the eye is up on the ball there. That giant ball has started its decent.

GRIFFIN: Now, when I was hear for Y2K, the ticking made people uneasy. Now, it's very different.

COOPER: Very different indeed.

GRIFFIN: What do you think Wolf Blitzer is doing right now?

COOPER: I think he's watching us. There you see Mayor Michael Bloomberg watching the big ball down -- 34 seconds left to go. Do you have a New Year's resolution, Kathy?

GRIFFIN: Eat more carbs. And you?

COOPER: I want to blog more often.

GRIFFIN: You should.

COOPER: Yes.

GRIFFIN: I love your blogs. I hang on them.

COOPER: Why, thank you. Here we go, 20 seconds.

GRIFFIN: OK.

COOPER: Are you going to count down the big last ten?

GRIFFIN: Yes, I want you to -- it's your show.

COOPER & GRIFFIN: All right, lets -- nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one!

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