Viewers have seen a joyous Anderson Cooper on their TVs on the last night of the year for years, but the CNN anchor didn't always enjoy New Year's Eve. For the Anderson Cooper 360° host, the holiday brings back memories of his father's final days.
Calling into SiriusXM's Quarantined with Bruce on Friday, Cooper, 53, recalled his dad Wyatt's death on Jan. 5, 1978.
"I remember that New Year's Eve distinctly, because he was in the hospital and it was so terrifying, and it would kind of ruin New Year's Eve for me from then on," Cooper told Bruce Bozzi. "It sort of became this night of like, terror, basically, and sadness."
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The New York City native admitted he "hated New Year's Eve" until CNN asked him to host its Dec. 31 broadcast 15 years ago.
"I volunteered because it's such a bad night to go out in New York, generally, you know — you couldn't find a cab, traditionally, or the lines at a coat check of a club would be really long," he said. "And so I just started working it, and I actually found out I love being in Times Square on New Year's Eve."
He'll host CNN's New Year's Eve show from the iconic location once again this year with pal Andy Cohen, even though Times Square and cities around the world will lack the usual large number of tourists the occasion typically draws due to COVID-19.
Cooper went on to name his son, whom he welcomed earlier this year via surrogate, after his father, and called being a dad to 7-month-old Wyatt "truly the greatest thing ever."
"I just feel like this is absolutely what I should be doing," Cooper said on Quarantined with Bruce. "And I mean, I wish I had done it sooner."
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