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New Year's Eve Special

Aired December 31, 2008 - 23:59   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And Happy New Year, everyone.

GRIFFIN: Happy New Year, everybody.


GRIFFIN: Senors.

Are you seeing anybody?


GRIFFIN: Oh, come on.


Hi, everybody.


GRIFFIN: (INAUDIBLE). Take your hands off me!


COOPER: Kathy was saying it's like the prom she never had.

GRIFFIN: That's true.

COOPER: You really didn't have -- you didn't go to your prom?

GRIFFIN: Of course I didn't.


GRIFFIN: I was probably like getting my house anchored or something.

COOPER: Let's just -- let's just listen in to the sights and sounds of Times Square.

GRIFFIN: In other words, I'm supposed to take my hands off you?

COOPER: What? GRIFFIN: I'm supposed to take my hands off you?


GRIFFIN: I can't help myself. There's our picture.

COOPER: Take a look at Times Square.




GRIFFIN: Can you talk to break generically?

COOPER: And look, there's Bill Clinton walking away through the crowd.

GRIFFIN: That's exciting for people to see him...

COOPER: He has been...

GRIFFIN: They're hands-on -- a lot of hand shaking.

COOPER: He's been shaking...

GRIFFIN: A lot of nodding.

COOPER: He has been shaking hands. This crowd clearly loves him -- everybody reaching out to try to shake his hand. He's making his way out of Times Square.

GRIFFIN: Is that him blowing by Ryan Seacrest and shaking his head in disgust?


GRIFFIN: I think it is.

COOPER: No, no, no.

GRIFFIN: I really do.

COOPER: Clearly, he enjoys interacting with people. He's been taking a lot of time just to shake hands. So has Senator Clinton, who is walking just a little bit ahead of him. Just -- it's amazing, after the ball drops, how quickly Times Square kind of clears out.

GRIFFIN: It's unbelievable. You almost have to be here to believe it. I mean it's like 20 minutes and this place is empty. It's...


GRIFFIN: And then the cleaning crew -- it's very impressive.

COOPER: I love this version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," though.


COOPER: Do you know this version?

GRIFFIN: Yes, I do.


GRIFFIN: Can't we talk about the news or something?


GRIFFIN: Can you name the Palin children?

COOPER: Can I name the Palin children?

GRIFFIN: Go ahead. Let's get off this (INAUDIBLE).


COOPER: Willow.



GRIFFIN: Trig. Piper.

COOPER: Piper. Trip.

GRIFFIN: Bristol.

COOPER: Bristol.

GRIFFIN: My favorite of all the Palins.

COOPER: All right. We -- we're going to take a short break. Our coverage continues past 1:00 a.m. so we'll ring in the new year in the Central time zones, as well.

We've got people in Las Vegas, in New Orleans. We're going to show you the Fun Run that's going on right now in Central Park, as well as what's happening down with Sushi (ph) down in Key West Florida and on New Year's from around the world.

We'll be back live from Times Square in a moment.


COOPER: And this was the scene in Times Square just a few minutes ago.

GRIFFIN: Just moments ago. Look at the Clintons hugging. Yes, there's a little history.

So what?

You get over it, you hug, you run the country.

COOPER: It's like you and I.

GRIFFIN: We -- we have our bumps. Let's be honest. And then we rock the world like here tonight.

COOPER: Exactly.

GRIFFIN: Now, what are your resolutions?

I have to ask you the stock question.

COOPER: You know, I don't know. I want to get in better shape, I think. Yes. I know, it's lame.

But what's yours?

GRIFFIN: It's lame.


What's your resolution?

GRIFFIN: All right. Mine -- I have three.


GRIFFIN: I'm going to lose 100 pounds by June.


COOPER: A hundred pounds?

GRIFFIN: Yes, a hundred pounds.

COOPER: What's that going to leave you, like 10 pounds?

GRIFFIN: Fifteen, yes.


GRIFFIN: I'm going to get in Miley Cyrus' pants...

COOPER: Oh, God.

GRIFFIN: I just mean to do some alterations.

COOPER: All right.

GRIFFIN: I don't mean -- that's sick. I can't believe you would even...


COOPER: All right.

GRIFFIN: And then...

COOPER: All right. Yes.

GRIFFIN: What else is my other -- my resolution?


GRIFFIN: Oh, I'm going to pray more.

COOPER: You're going to pray more?

GRIFFIN: Yes, to God, because maybe she'll answer.


GRIFFIN: Take that, world. That's right, open your mind.

COOPER: Wow! We're going to think about that.

GRIFFIN: Yes. Are you ready for that?

COOPER: We're going to ponder that.

GRIFFIN: Thank you.

COOPER: While we go to Erica Hill, who's in the heart of the crowd -- Erica, there's still a lot of folks around right now.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There are, actually. Kathy was asking me (INAUDIBLE). A few more people stayed this year. It could be because the Clintons just came by here. They stopped to take pictures, shake hands, as you said.

I really quickly have to -- until I get crushed by the crowd, I want to introduce you to Linda (ph) from North Carolina, because I love your story, Linda.

You're here with your husband because it was on your...

LINDA: I'd like to say Happy New Year to Zachary, Sam, Jada (ph) and Nate.

HILL: And you're here because this was on your bucket list?

LINDA: Absolutely.

HILL: And you have two more things on your bucket list. I hope that doesn't mean you're going to kick the bucket.

LINDA: No, I'm not ready yet.

HILL: You've got a lot more things to put on the list.

Linda, great to have you here celebrating with us in Times Square. Again, it was on their bucket list -- not a bad way to bring in the new year here in Times Square.

Some friends behind us from Canada, as well -- Anderson and Kathy, I'll hand it back to you.

COOPER: All right.

Don Lemon is also down in the crowd talking with the people -- Don, who are you talking to?

DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm talking to some people from -- let's see -- I had someone from Australia, Austria. These people are from Mexico.


LEMON: Puerto Rico.

Hey, these guys are from North Carolina.

Why did you guys stop dancing?

Because there's no music.


LEMON: Why did you come here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because you -- well, to see the ball drop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To celebrate the new year. The ball drop.

LEMON: Yes? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I mean, that and you. And we heard about you.


LEMON: That and me.

What about Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin?

Do you love them?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're good. They're good.

LEMON: Hey, listen, you know, it's sort of thinning out a little bit, Anderson and Kathy, because the ball dropped, folks are getting ready to leave, Bill and Hillary Clinton walked by. So they feel like, you know, the excitement is kind of over. Plus, it's freezing. But they're still out dancing every time the music comes up a little bit you can get into happy new year to all of you.

I'm going to throw it back to you because my crowd wants to keep dancing and they said they don't want to be on TV when it's happening.

GRIFFIN: Do you know if they're telling the truth?

Like maybe they just want to be on TV by saying, you know, I'm from the island of Yap (ph).

COOPER: You think they're making it up?


COOPER: No, it is mostly people from other places. A lot of like hard core New Yorkers don't really come to this...


COOPER: ...because they think it's too crowded.

GRIFFIN: Where do they go?

COOPER: They stay at home or they go to parties.

GRIFFIN: Like at their apartments?

COOPER: But it...

They what?

GRIFFIN: In their apartments?

COOPER: In their apartments. Sure. You have a...

GRIFFIN: Can I ask you some...

COOPER: You have a New Year's tradition, though. You go to Big Nick's Pizzeria.

GRIFFIN: I love Big Nick's.

COOPER: They're open 24 hours. It's on the Upper West Side. It's a great place.

GRIFFIN: I know. It's just good greasy pizza. I love it.

COOPER: I once did a show from Big Nick's like 10 years ago.

GRIFFIN: What was the topic?

COOPER: I was on an overnight newscast and they -- they're open all night. So we did a whole show from there.

GRIFFIN: It's so good.

COOPER: Yes. GRIFFIN: All right. I can't believe you said that. I'm too famous.

Now, how can I go? (LAUGHTER)

GRIFFIN: All right, can I ask you some questions I've prepared?


Oh, no.

GRIFFIN: All right.

How many frequent flier miles do you have?

COOPER: Several million. I don't even know. I don't even know.

GRIFFIN: What are you wearing?

COOPER: What am I wearing?


COOPER: What do you mean?

GRIFFIN: What designer?

COOPER: I'm not -- this is not any designer.



I'm sorry. I didn't -- I didn't mean to do that.


COOPER: You hit me?

GRIFFIN: I did. I hit you.

COOPER: Why, because I wasn't wearing a designer?

GRIFFIN: Because I don't believe you.

COOPER: No, look. It's -- well, here I actually covered over the (INAUDIBLE)...


GRIFFIN: Yes, that's right. Take it, Cooper.

All right. Who am I wearing?

COOPER: I don't know.

Who are you wearing?

GRIFFIN: Dennis Basil (ph). COOPER: I don't know who that is.

GRIFFIN: All right...

COOPER: Let's go back to John Zarrella, who's been standing by in Key West.

You can hit me again although -- all you want -- John Zarrella, Sushi the Drag Queen has dropped, I'm told, successfully.

John, how did it go there?

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, I've got to tell you, in the six years we've been doing the event, never have we seen a crowd this large. There have got to be 50,000 people here this year -- 50,000 people. And I've got the mayor, Morgan McPherson with me.

Mayor, what a terrific night, huh?


Key West will shine in '09. It's a bitter 72 degrees, perfectly sunny. And thank God I'm not alone to enjoy it.

ZARRELLA: And, Anderson, you're not going to believe this. Eat your heart out, Wolf Blitzer. Look who's here -- we found in the crowd. Oh my gosh, it's Sarah Palin.

Sarah, what are you doing here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Say it isn't so Joe. You are such a maverick, John. You betcha. I'll get back to you on that. But you know what I want to say? I can totally relate to Mayor McPherson because I can see Cuba from here.

ZARRELLA: Have you gotten over that election loss?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, absolutely, you know what I'm saying.

That great American hero, that great American maverick, you know, what can I say?

ZARRELLA: Well, thank you for coming to sunny Key -- oh, look, it's Sushi.


ZARRELLA: It gets bigger and better every year, doesn't it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bigger and bigger every year, darling. Bigger and bigger.

ZARRELLA: You are a truly international celebrity.

And you know who you owe it all to, don't you?


ZARRELLA: Anderson is...



COOPER: I'm not hearing you.

ZARRELLA: Anderson, Kathy, just a spectacular evening here in Key West really. A good 50,000 people lining up all up and down Duval Street -- Kathy, Anderson.

COOPER: Hey, John, thanks so much.

And thanks for covering it...

GRIFFIN: Thank you, John.

COOPER: you do every year.

All right, we're going to try to get the video of Sushi actually being lowered in the shoe, because we should -- we should see that.

GRIFFIN: We've got to see that.

COOPER: Yes. We want...

GRIFFIN: I want to see if it's real.

COOPER: We actually do have it. Let's show the video right now.



COOPER: All right. So there you go -- a dramatic moment.

GRIFFIN: Their version of a ball, but a heel. But not so much with the Clintons.

COOPER: Yes. The Clintons weren't there.

GRIFFIN: But with that other guy, what's his name, from CNN, who's down there, Ed Henry?

COOPER: John Zarrella.

GRIFFIN: Whatever, they're all the same.


GRIFFIN: They all look alike to me, honestly.

COOPER: They all look alike to you.

Gary Tuchman, though, and his daughter Samantha on the Fun Run in Central Park right now -- Gary, are you still running?

Where are you?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson and Kathy, I wish you were running with us. We're with over 4,000 runners right now in Central Park. And round the (INAUDIBLE) -- it'/s a costume party, also. The run started precisely at midnight when you were celebrating the ball dropping. This run started with fireworks. This is (INAUDIBLE) daughter. She's actually keeping me honest. But this has gone down in the last two years. She's here. We're picking it up.

How is the run going so far?


TUCHMAN: OK. She's representing her brother Daniel and her sister Lindsey (ph), who are in the warmth right now.

This rabbit fascinates me.

What's your name?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kevin Leall (ph) and my wife, Jessica Parick (ph). Happy new year, everyone!

TUCHMAN: Kevin, I think you're Bugs Bunny.

And you are?


TUCHMAN: All right. We'll...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because Bugs Bunny...

Guantanamo Bay his loyal wife. Bugs Bunny did not have a loyal wife.

Where are you folks from?

Where are you from?


TUCHMAN: Where are you from?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm from San Francisco.

TUCHMAN: San Francisco.

People are here from all over the world -- a very healthy way to start the new year.

I lost my daughter. Oh, here she is. If I lose my daughter, I'm a dead man at home -- Anderson and Kathy, back to you. COOPER: Hey, Gary, where -- what mile are you at?

This is a four mile run.

Where are you at?

TUCHMAN: Actually, I thought it was a 26-mile run. And I thought we were at like mile 22 right now. But, no, it is a four mile run. And we're about a mile-and-a-half into it. And seriously, I mean, this is the third year I've done it -- the 30th year of this race. But my pace went down last year. And, seriously, (INAUDIBLE) she's with me to make me go fast.

COOPER: Well, Samantha is doing incredibly well.

GRIFFIN: Very well. There's no child labor laws in New York?


GRIFFIN: I mean she's a little young.


GRIFFIN: It's a little late, that's why I'm saying it.

TUCHMAN: No child...


COOPER: Hey, Tory (ph), we're not paying her.

TUCHMAN: Kathy, I have my kids do all my work, Anderson and Kathy. It makes it much easier.

GRIFFIN: Just like Kathie Lee. I like it.

Happy New Year!

COOPER: Hey, Gary, we'll check in with you and Samantha a little bit later.


COOPER: Good luck on the run.

GRIFFIN: You know what, buddy, you suck, too.

COOPER: Oh, no.

GRIFFIN: I love the New York fans.

COOPER: It's getting ugly here.

We are going to be on past 1:00 a.m. so we can ring in the -- the new year in the Central time zones, as well. So stay with us. We've got a lot more ahead. Let us in on your celebration. Show us your party. You can upload video by going -- that's what the kids call it, uploading video.

GRIFFIN: Sure. Upload your video. I love it.

COOPER: Yes. It...

GRIFFIN: By the way, if we were on "Gossip Girl," would you be Dan Humphrey or Chuck Bass?

COOPER: I'm embarrassed to say I've never seen "Gossip Girl."

GRIFFIN: Anderson...

COOPER: That's my New Year's resolution...

GRIFFIN: That's what kids do...

COOPER: watch more "Gossip Girl."

GRIFFIN: They upload the videos and they love the gossip girls.

COOPER: They watch it and the Hulu and on the Google?

GRIFFIN: And they Skype.

COOPER: On the Skype. We're going to Skype. We're going to -- yes, have a Skype relationship.

But again, "A.C. 360," go to the links to send us your party pictures. We're also going to take you to Bourbon Street and show you how they're ringing in the new year's there. You can predict it involves alcohol, I'm sure. And a lot more ahead, so stay tuned.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anderson and Kathy, back to you in Times Square.

COOPER: Those are third graders in the Al-Qarqs School (ph) in Central Baghdad...


COOPER: ...wishing us a Happy New Year.

GRIFFIN: That's impressive.

COOPER: That was very cool.

Our best New Year's wishes tonight going out to the tens of thousands of men and women stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan and all around the world -- the soldiers and sailors and airmen and Marine and National Guard troops. We hope you come home as quick as possible. We hope to get your mission done and get home in 2009.

GRIFFIN: I agree. Just come home.


And you did a lot of work -- we talked about it in the last hour...


COOPER: ...but you did a lot of work this year at Fisher House.


COOPER: You went to Walter Reed, but also Fisher House...

GRIFFIN: That's right.

COOPER: ...which is this organization which really cares for the families of our wounded warriors...

GRIFFIN: Yes, because when they come back...

COOPER: they are getting rehabilitated.

GRIFFIN: ...sometimes they're not in the best shape. And so the families -- it's as tough for them, and they'll admit it. And so it's great to give them a living environment that's, I don't know, kind of less sterile and friendlier and they live together in big houses. And, I don't know, it just feels more like a home.

COOPER: Yes. It's a great organization.


COOPER: We're going to -- a lot of musical acts coming up throughout this hour. We're on until a little past 1:00 a.m. because we want to ring in the new year with you in the Central time zones. We haven't gotten enough of the new year spirit, have we?

GRIFFIN: I have not gotten enough out of you, because I now have his mittens as well as my...

COOPER: I gave you my mittens...


COOPER: naughty kitten.

GRIFFIN: Don't even start. (INAUDIBLE) this kid has gloves. Look out.

All right, first of all, it's mittens it's not middens.

COOPER: I can't say word...

GRIFFIN: What is that?

COOPER: I'm telling -- I told you the other day, I cannot say words with two Ts.

GRIFFIN: It's like a bizarre speech impediment.

COOPER: It's a -- I've had it since I was a kid. And I live in Manhattan, which I can't say.

GRIFFIN: I feel it makes you more vulnerable. I really do.



COOPER: You like me better?

GRIFFIN: Although now I have bizarrely large hands because of you.

Thank you.

COOPER: Yes, I know.

What would Robert Verdi (ph) say?

GRIFFIN: Oh, I'd be on the fashion don't list, but from up here, I'd be doing well.

COOPER: Oh, is that right?

GRIFFIN: Yes. He would like my middens.



COOPER: At least you're not wearing buddens.

GRIFFIN: Oh, where does it end with you?



GRIFFIN: Oh, God, I miss Cafferty.

COOPER: What do you normally do on New Year's Eve when you're not here?

GRIFFIN: Well, normally, I would watch you, of course. No, normally I'm doing stand up. This is a big night for stand up comedians.

COOPER: It is?

GRIFFIN: So, yes, usually I'd be playing a club or a theater or...

COOPER: So right now like...

GRIFFIN: ...kind of like the...

COOPER: ...Gallagher, your Imo Philips, your...

GRIFFIN: I'd be getting their rubber chicken.

COOPER: ...all your top tier Carrot Tops...



COOPER: Do you hang out with Carrot Top?

GRIFFIN: I know Carrot Top. He's very friendly.

COOPER: I've interviewed Carrot Top.

GRIFFIN: Isn't he nice?

COOPER: He's very nice, yes.

GRIFFIN: He's very, very nice. Yes.

COOPER: Someone once called me the Carrot Top of news, so I interviewed Carrot Top, asking him for advice on how to be a better reporter.

GRIFFIN: Back at props.

COOPER: Yes, well, you know...

GRIFFIN: All right. Let's see, if I could be anywhere seeing stand up, I'd probably see the Cat Williams show in Detroit. He's in Detroit tonight. And he's there with Steve Harvey. But, no, I -- all -- most (INAUDIBLE) work...

COOPER: Steve Harvey. I know -- you're friends, right?

GRIFFIN: Very funny.

COOPER: I like Steve Harvey.

GRIFFIN: Very funny.

COOPER: Very funny.


COOPER: I listen to his radio show a lot.

GRIFFIN: Both those guys are hilarious.

COOPER: Yes. So we have a lot more. We've got My Morning Jacket is coming up. GRIFFIN: Yes.

COOPER: We've got...

GRIFFIN: My afternoon skirt, also.


COOPER: We've got Lil' Wayne.

GRIFFIN: Oh, we're on now?


COOPER: Actually, can we go...

GRIFFIN: Let's see...

COOPER: They're on right now. Let's watch them right now...


COOPER: ...from Madison Square Garden.

GRIFFIN: (INAUDIBLE) Jacket, morning, afternoon...


COOPER: And there's still a couple of thousand people milling around in Times Square.


COOPER: Erica Hill is down in the crowd -- Erica, are people still sticking it out right now?

HILL: They are. You know, there are a couple of people left -- a couple of stragglers. Some folks here behind me. You're trying to make your way out.

Are you cold or something?


HILL: Not now.

Did you enjoy it?

Was this your first Times Square event?


HILL: Would you come back?


HILL: Yes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A wonderful time. A wonderful time. A great city.

HILL: Well, good. Well, we're here every year, so we hope you're back with us, too.


HILL: Come back and see us. A lot...


HILL: Happy New Year to you!

People are still clearing out, but slowly making their way. When you come to an event like this, you know, a lot of people have waited their lifetime to do this. It's something they've always dreamed of. You don't just want to just run away when the ball drops. You want to stay. You want to enjoy the whole process -- everything that you can. It's a pretty incredible place to be and I have to say I really enjoy being in the middle of it every year.

GRIFFIN: Erica, can you hear me? It's Kathy Griffin.

HILL: I can hear you. How are you?

GRIFFIN: Erica, who is the most unreliable source, unreliable sources?

HILL: If I answer that question, I lose my job and I need the money.

GRIFFIN: Oh, darn it. All right.

COOPER: You have some kind of a card? You're just milling through them. Are you trying out new material? Is this like to test things ? Rather than going to the giggle shack or the laugh factory, or the laugh line. You're just like, it's basic cable, I don't care.

HILL: My resolution is to be Kathy Griffin's guinea pig.

COOPER: I'm going to read from cue cards. I'm Kathy Griffin. It's after midnight.

GRIFFIN: Who would you rather arm wrestle, Chris Matthews or Keith Olberman.

COOPER: Chris Matthews or Keith Olbermann.

GRIFFIN: Yes, who would you take?

COOPER: I could take them both.

GRIFFIN: All right, Matthews and Olbermann, it's on. It's war and we're going to Sean Callebs in New Orleans. COOPER: That's right. Sean Callebs in New Orleans who is just about 30 minutes or so. They are going to drop a giant Fleur de Lis in the French quarter this year, not a gumbo pot as they have been doing in the past. Fleur de Lis organizer says it's a badge of courage and the true symbol of New Orleans. On Bourbon Street for us, Sean Callebs. Sean, no doubt, I sense there's a lot of drinking going on, on Bourbon Street, am I wrong?

SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know what, even in the negative one degree, where ever you are, you can figure out there is a lot of drinking and belligerence. That is what we get every time we come out here.

But as soon as we get off Bourbon, walk down these side streets, here we go down Tatai (ph). And if you remember, Anderson, me and you and the crew actually came down this street right here to Oceania, right after Gustav. And we're going to walk in here and you may remember and what a difference it is, getting off Bourbon Street. I got to tell you. It just feels good. It is fantastic. Come in here - it does.

Oceana, do you remember this guy, don't you, Anderson? Mo. OK, Mo, now when we came in here with Anderson after Gustav, you whipped up what?

MO: His favorite, crab cakes with crawfish cream sauce.

CALLEBS: We got it right here, Anderson.

COOPER: Oh, man. Sean, you're killing me!

CALLEBS: All the fragrance that we got here on Bourbon Street. Come on, just think of what I've had to endure tonight. You've seen us out there.

There's a huge football game.

COOPER: It's crab cakes, Sean. Sean, those are the best crab cakes in New Orleans. Oceana was opened all during Hurricane Gustav and they kept serving fireman, New Orleans police officers, a lot of the media that was in there. Go ahead, Sean, make my mouth water. There you go.

GRIFFIN: Tomorrow, it's the Super Bowl. Alabama versus Utah - in the sugar bowl.

CALLEBS: Man, you can walk down the street and look at the fans. Alabama fans, Utah fans. You may be surprised but there's a huge --

Come on, Alabama fans tend to be a little more maybe intoxicated, is that the word I can use?


COOPER: Sean, say hi to everyone in Oceania for us. And tell them I wish we had some crab cakes. But I appreciate them, letting you in out of the storm -

MO: Anderson, Happy New Year, buddy. We miss you in New Orleans. We got a party and pop the bottle in Bourbon Street. We can't wait to see you and to pop the bottle of champagne just a little bit.

CALLEBS: All right. Anderson, Cathy.


COOPER: I'll be down there in a couple of weeks. And I also want to give a shout out to my friends at the New Orleans Police Department who are watching right now, all my friends in New Orleans, a great city which is on its way back.

Up next, Lil Wayne is live from Atlanta. First, let's take a look at New Year's celebrations.

GRIFFIN: Now you're too little.

COOPER: Oh, there you go.




EVA MENDEZ, ACTRESS: Hi, Anderson. Hi, Kathy. I love you guys both for different reasons. I'm sure you'll be fantastic. Kathy, please don't make too much fun on me. And then Anderson, I've kind of had a little crush on you for a while now and so I can't wait to watch and send you guys love.


COOPER: That was Eva Mendez.

GRIFFIN: What was my reason?

COOPER: I don't know.

GRIFFIN: She has a crush on you. I actually met her. She's very nice.


GRIFFIN: A rare celebrity that would be nice to meet. You know what I mean.

COOPER: I'm sure lots of people -

GRIFFIN: Well, you know -

COOPER: You're huge now.

GRIFFIN: Oh, get the Emmys. COOPER: Oh, not the Emmys.

GRIFFIN: I'm sure the Emmys.

COOPER: No. I know you won two Emmys.

GRIFFIN: I barely even -

COOPER: Ay-ya-yay. And a Grammy nomination.

GRIFFIN: I'm not nominated for the Grammys. What is the only country 100 percent located inside of another country?

COOPER: Oh, come on, you're seriously going to quiz me about this?

GRIFFIN: Yes. Hold on.

COOPER: The only country located - I don't know, San Marino.

GRIFFIN: No. It's called -

COOPER: Quasiland.

GRIFFIN: Lesotho.

COOPER: Oh, Lesotho. Well, it's not - it's a homeland. Well, never mind. I don't want to get into details.

GRIFFIN: I'm not even talking to you. He's a walking -

COOPER: Let's check in - are we going to Lil Wayne or Erica? Let's check in with Erica Hill who is down below us in Times Square who of course knew of Lesotho as well which is in South Africa.

Erica, save me.

HILL: Yes. Well, I won't be a geography bee tonight. Let's check in with some of the I-report. Some of the folks who are watching this show, a couple of cute kids. Because you get with cute kids on New Year's eve, right. We want to show you a picture of Kristen and Nash. They're from Kent, Washington. Check out the sign.

COOPER: Look at that.

HILL: I think we have another picture of the little munchkin. My resolution drop the bottle. Kathy, I will be legal 2025. Call me. That one's for you.

-- big boy cup but once he's off the bottle, who knows? Maybe the proposal will be gone, Kathy. I'm sorry. We also have the shih tzu Toby, joining us from paradise wishing us a happy 2009. Coming up, I think it's one of the next pictures. There we go. There's our little guy. And i think we have a video i-report that was sent in.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Happy new year from the great city of (inaudible)!


HILL: All right. There you go.

GRIFFIN: Where was that?

COOPER: I don't know.

HILL: Celebration around the country. The celebration continues here in Times Square. I'm pretty sure that's in the sky walk in the Grand Canyon. Thank you. You can leave.

COOPER: Oh, no. Nice.

HILL: Sorry, I'm not trying to push you. I don't mean that -

Kathy Griffin, I need you down here. I need your help.

GRIFFIN: That was awesome.

You can punch that guy, Anderson and I didn't even get arrested.

COOPER: She pushed me twice so far.

GRIFFIN: I didn't mean to.

COOPER: All right. Let's check in Lil Wayne in Atlanta tonight.



LIL WAYNE, RAPPER: Right now a special shout out to Mr. Anderson Cooper and Miss Kathy Griffin-Lee.

COOPER: No, that wasn't Kathy Griffin on the pole.

That was one of the back up dancer for Lil Wayne.

GRIFFIN: My niece Claire wants me to hook her up with him and I'm all for it. I think it's a great idea. I'd like to see her on a pole in a nice neon -

COOPER: You know it's a problem when you want to show a musical act on television and yet you can't actually show it.

GRIFFIN: I've been telling so many of my friends about him being on the show and it was just like girls bent over in neon. You know, can see that anywhere here in Times Square.

COOPER: Yes, exactly. Oddly you can't anymore in Times Square.

GRIFFIN: Those were the good old days. COOPER: Exactly. Well, no. I don't actually recall it at Times Square.

GRIFFIN: What is your favorite episode of "The Hills."

COOPER: I've never seen "the Hills" either.

GRIFFIN: But what about the problems and the drama and the - ?

COOPER: I don't know who they are. You can tell me about it during the commercial break. We got a lot more ringing in the new year in the Central Time zones at 1:00 a.m. East Coast time. Join us for that. We're live all the way for the next hour. Stay tuned. We'll be right back.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're the cast of "Shrek, the Musical." We're on Broadway and we're just a couple of blocks from where you are, Anderson and Kathy. We want to wish you and everyone around the world a happy new year.


COOPER: Happy new year, the cast of "Shrek."

GRIFFIN: It's amazing that they just have t-shirts on. That alone deserves a Tony.

COOPER: You got a Tony yet? That's probably one of your many awards. That's in 2009.

GRIFFIN: Maybe I'll talk about that for my quest here with my three shows at Madison Square Garden February 19th, 20th and 21st.

COOPER: You're plugging again.

GRIFFIN: I'll get the Emmys again.

COOPER: It is bitterly cold here. It's about 18 degrees right now, high winds.

GRIFFIN: How's Gary Tuchman?

COOPER: Gary Tuchman is still running. Actually, let's check in with Gary Tuchman and his daughter Samantha, who is running in Central Park. Gary, how's it going?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Anderson, Kathy, we're down to the last half mile and I'm leaning on my 11-year-old inspiration, my daughter Samantha to drag me in the rest of the way so we finish before the rest of the show is over. You cold?

SAMANTHA TUCHMAN: Yes. TUCHMAN: We live in Atlanta. She's not used to this kind of weather. She's doing a great job finishing this four mile race. Look at these people in costumes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Happy new year.

TUCHMAN: Who are you guys?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're lobsters.

TUCHMAN: Who are you?


TUCHMAN: Maine lobsters. Don't snap me, whatever you do. Where are you from?


TUCHMAN: Where are you from?


TUCHMAN: Jersey City, everybody. Where are you guys from/


TUCHMAN: All right. This is a great way to start the new year. Started at midnight with fireworks. When we're done with the race, we know that all of 2009, all we've done so far is exercise. Kathy and Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Gary -

GRIFFIN: Good for him.

COOPER: I'm amazed Gary and Samantha, how well you guys are doing. Samantha, I don't think I could run four miles.

GRIFFIN: No, it's too late and you're drunk. What do you think Nancy Grace is doing?

TUCHMAN: I'm very proud of her.


COOPER: She's watching our show. She should be.

GRIFFIN: All right.

COOPER: We'll check back in with you toward the end, Gary. Don't say that, Samantha.

GRIFFIN: Sorry, I apologize.

COOPER: Nancy Grace is probably watching us right now.

GRIFFIN: Have you been to her house?

COOPER: I have not been to her house -

GRIFFIN: You've never been to Nancy Grace's house.

COOPER: But she is very lovely to me. I've had her on my show many times.

GRIFFIN: But the twins.

COOPER: No but I had her on my show many times.

GRIFFIN: What about the twins? She solves crimes and saves lives.

COOPER: I know.

GRIFFIN: She is doing the heavy lifting of the channel, face it.

COOPER: Really. You think so?

GRIFFIN: Frankly and you and Blitzer. I don't know.


COOPER: And you had it with us.

GRIFFIN: Is Nancy Grace real or an angel from heaven?

COOPER: Is Nancy Grace real or is she an angel? I ask myself that question many times.

GRIFFIN: I know. She actually has a halo.

COOPER: The band Hinder is from Oklahoma City. That's where they emerged a few years ago, if you will. These guys are all about good time rock 'n' roll, just like Kathy Griffin.

GRIFFIN: Just like us.

COOPER: We caught up with them in Dayton, Ohio. Here's Hinder playing "Use me" from their latest album "Take it to the limit."

GRIFFIN: "Take it to the Limit."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to the stage, Hinder!


GRIFFIN: Can you at least admit that we have to be like the liveliest of anybody, right? I mean nobody else is even here.

COOPER: I don't know. Seacrest has gone home by now.

GRIFFIN: He's so gone home. This is just like a really messed up bar and you and I we're the last ones.

COOPER: Yes. We're the last holdouts.

GRIFFIN: How did this happen?

COOPER: But there's a lot of people around the country who are yet to celebrate and that's why we're here, because we want to celebrate in the Central time zones at the stroke of -

GRIFFIN: They're yelling, you suck, from the street. I mean, what kind of party is this?

COOPER: They're yelling. We love you, Kathy. That's what they're yelling.



GRIFFIN: Can Anderson make it better?


GRIFFIN: Can Brooke Anderson make it all better?

COOPER: She can make it all better. She is in Las Vegas where quite a bunch of people are literally just kind of hanging around. Brooke, what's the scene there?

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, we're about two hours away from midnight. You guys, I'm going to try to make it better with one of tonight's marquee performers at the Venetian, Coolio here with me now. Now Coolio, you know things are winding down around the country but you got to get it cranked up tonight. Are you excited?

COOLIO, RAPPER: Hey, I'm gung-ho to go home on the West Coast. I thought I was opening for Fergie but she's actually opening for me. I know she's doing four gigs, I'm only doing one. And you know, I'm going to give them my all. I mean, I'm one of the better performers in here. I think at the end of the day, I'm going to go down as one of the top ten performers ever that lived in hip-hop.

ANDERSON: So you're modest? All right.

COOLIO: No, I am, and I can rap like a mother --

ANDERSON: Well, all right. You have a great time tonight. The crowd is excited to see Coolio.

COOLIO: Hey, a shout out to my kids.

ANDERSON: All right. Yes.

COOLIO: Jackie, Brandi, Tisha, Milan -

ANDERSON: Six kids, single father. COOLIO: Gary and buddy.

ANDERSON: That's right, and from here you guys very quickly, i want to take you to a new concept. It's called Dinner in the Sky. Let's take a look really quickly if we can see that. Basically, it's a sky box, 22 people can get in at one time, take you up 180 feet in the air. It's debuting here in Las Vegas tonight, about 18 stories high. People can dine. People can just relax, have beautiful, incredible views of the strip. There is, I believe, one of the proprietors, one of the publicist for Dinner in the Sky. We just wanted to give you an idea of what that is, debuting here tonight, premiering here. So pretty exciting. The cost, of course, varies. But you know, everyone is doing it with class. Anderson, Kathy, back over to you guys in Times Square.

COOPER: All right. Thanks very much.

GRIFFIN: First of all, I need a minute to process that Coolio interview. Did he say one of his kids is named Marion Barry?

COOPER: No, he did not say that.


COOPER: But he did say that he was one of the top ten performers.

GRIFFIN: But did he say he can rap like a munshitomom (ph), like there was a Shaq moment. Sorry, go to prompter.

COOPER: No, you can continue.

GRIFFIN: I really -

COOPER: I was confused by the Dinner in the Sky and then it was like -- I shout out some women like -

GRIFFIN: It's like Gina from the row houses in --

COOPER: It absolutely look like one of the row house.

GRIFFIN: And the Coolio interview -

COOPER: It's a little sad. I just (inaudible) Orange County. And I said you know their names. I knew the names of the Atlanta ones. I have yet to -

GRIFFIN: I've been asked to host a reunion for bad girls club. Are you down on the gutter there/

COOPER: Didn't Star Jones do that already?

GRIFFIN: Yes. I might have scooped her.

COOPER: Honey -

GRIFFIN: What are you laughing at, you're outside in the freezing cold for your 12th hour. Stop it.

COOPER: Yes. Well, Star Jones was not available, so they asked you?

GRIFFIN: Yes. She's booked. She's very busy.

COOPER: We're going to take a short break and we'll go to Bourbon Street.

GRIFFIN: Shut up! You know what? Screw you, I'm working. Why don't you get a job, buddy! You know what, I don't go to your job and knock the dicks out of your mouth --


COOPER: We've been talking about the men and women unable to spend the holidays with their family and friends, American service members serving overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere. Our next musical act pays tribute to members of the National Guard. Here's 3 Doors Down in Diluth, Georgia, performing "Citizen Soldier."

GRIFFIN: And I read they performed overseas many, many times.

COOPER: Let's take a look.

BRAD ARNOLD, 3 DOORS DOWN: Anderson, Kathy, everyone around the world, happy new year. We're going to sing a song out to our friends in the national guard as well as everyone serving this country around the world. God bless you, my friends. Because we will always be there


COOPER: That's 3 Doors Down performing "Citizens Soldier." We're just a few seconds away from new year's in the central time zone. Let's go back to New Orleans, Bourbon Street with Sean Callebs.

Sean, help us count it down.

CALLEBS: OK, Anderson. I know it's coming down. You can sadly a lot of these people in the street aren't going to remember it tomorrow, but it is going to be a year to forget and look forward to a new, happy 2009. Here we go, three, two, there it is, everybody.

Bourbon Street celebration. There it is. Whoo! A time-honored tradition here, Anderson. Excess. Nothing does better on Bourbon Street, huh? A beer-soaked street. A lot of people out there having a good time and we're up here. And that's the best part of it from me at this hour.