New Year’s Eve TV celebrations drop the ball on memorable moments

Mariah sang, the ball dropped on time, Kathy Griffin wasn’t there, and Steve Harvey made a faux pas that drew some online reaction.

That was the sum total of New Year’s Eve online and off, as 2018 arrived with less bombast than past year-end celebrations. There was little water-cooler fodder, as the overwhelming cold of Times Square may have frozen some of the usual energy.

On CNN, Andy Cohen complained bitterly about how cold he was, making his debut as Anderson Cooper’s co-host of CNN’s Times Square New Year’s Eve coverage. Cohen, dumbfounded that people stood in Times Square in the frigid weather for four hours without access to a toilet, reported his own genitals had vanished.

Amy Sedaris was recruited to deliver weather updates on what’s reported to be the second coldest Times Square New Year’s Eve on record:

“Anderson and Andy,  I’m here to give you an update on the weather. It’s still freezing outside. I think it’s 14. Back to you.”

Wolf Blitzer several times appeared to “sing” the hits, including Fetish:

You got a fetish for my love
I push you out and you come right back
Don’t see a point in blaming you
If I were you, I’d do me too
You got a fetish for my love

Cohen put his foot in his mouth, asking Nicole Kidman to explain her unusual hand clapping that went viral during the Oscars, which Cohen reported she did on advice from husband Keith Urban so as to not ding her jewelry during a full night of clapping.

 

“I wish there were more important things for people to focus on,” Kidman responded.

“I think she just shaded me a little bit; I guess she’s not coming on my show,” Cohen told Cooper. “Why was that such a bad question?”

Cooper explained why it was a bad question.

“You know what? I don’t judge your question, and you don’t need to judge my questions,” Cohen scolded back.

34 PHOTOS
New Year's Eve in Times Square through the years
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New Year's Eve in Times Square through the years
(Original Caption) 1/1/1942-New York, New York-ORIGINAL CAPTION READS: Picture shows the crowd cheering in Times Square on New Years Eve, 1941.
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: Crowd fills Times Square for New Year's Eve celebration. (Photo by Ebbs Breuer/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Crowds standing near an illuminated sign advertising the roman epic 'Quo Vadis' in New York's Times Square on New Years Eve. (Photo by Ernst Haas/Getty Images)
Celebrations on New Year's Eve, 1955, attract a huge crowd at Times Square.
(Original Caption) 1/1/1975-New York, New York-ORIGINAL CAPTION READS: Thousands of joyous New Year's Eve revelers crowd the Times Square area to watch the 86-foot descent of the 100-pound ball atop the 'building with no name.' In previous years, this building was called the Allied Chemical Building but, a man named ALex Barker, bought the structure earlier this year and announced that he would 'unname' it as of midnight.
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 31: DICK CLARK'S NEW YEAR'S ROCKIN' EVE 1980 - 12/31/79 - 1/1/80, Dick Clark will lead America into the New Year, Monday, Dec. 31(11:35 p.m.-1:05 a.m., ET) on 'Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 1980', airing on the ABC Television Network. Clark will count down to midnight from Times Square in New York City., (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 31: DICK CLARK'S NEW YEAR'S ROCKIN' EVE 1988 - 12/31/87 - 1/1/88, Dick Clark will lead America into the New Year, on Thursday, Dec. 31 (11:35 p.m.-1:05 a.m., ET) on 'Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 1988', airing on the ABC Television Network. Clark will count down to midnight from Times Square in New York City., (Photo by Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: New Year's Eve celebrants wave balloons on a rainy and cold night in New York's Times Square as they await the coming of 1995 31 December. Police estimated that as many as 300,000 people crowded into Times Square to celebrate.(COLOR KEY: Barrier is blue, white letters.) (Photo credit should read HENNY RAY ABRAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: As the new year arrives, New York's Times Square is filled with celebrants 01 January. Despite cold and rainy weather, a crowd estimated at over 300,000 filled the streets to welcome 1995.(COLOR KEY: JVC sign is red with white letters.) (Photo credit should read HENNY RAY ABRAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: A New York City police officer (R) distributes balloons to some of the 500,000 people who braved the cold weather to celebrate the New Year in Times Square in New York 31 December. New York City Mayor and Rudolph Giuliani and a young Chinese gymnast ushered in 1999 pressed the button together that dropped the New Year's Ball to signal the beginning of the New Year. AFP PHOTOS Henny Ray ABRAMS (Photo credit should read HENNY RAY ABRAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: Father Time, a 16-foot-tall puppet, drifts above the crowd in Times Square which gathered to celebrate the New Year in New York 31 December. An estimated 500,000 people braved temperatures in the 20 degree range to welcome in 1999. AFP PHOTOS/Henny Ray ABRAMS (Photo credit should read HENNY RAY ABRAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
N 344606 002 12/31/98 New York City New Year's Eve In Times Square (Photo By Jeff Christensen/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: Jamie Doran (L) and Lindsay Massey (C) from Virginia and Dana Martinez (R) from Texas begin celebrating the new year just before midnight 31 December in New York's Times Square. Thousands braved harsh tmperatures to welcome 1998. AFP PHOTO Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 29: Performers are dressed for the chill temperatures as they rehearse for year 2000 New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square. (Photo by Todd Maisel/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: Steven Goldmacher of Philips Lighting Company screws in one of the 168 light bulbs in the Times Square New Year's Eve ball 20 December 1999 in New York. The six-feet diameter, 1,070 pound crystal ball will make its debut as the centerpiece of the Times Square 2000 celebration. AFP PHOTO/Doug KANTER (Photo credit should read DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images)
360337 07: A crowd watches a street performer in Times Square November 15, 1999 in New York City. The Times Square area is undergoing a thorough revitalization prior to hosting its largest New Year''s Eve celebration, an event that will include elements of theater, street carnival, sound and light shows and dance to ring in the millennium for over 24 hours for every country in every time zone. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Liaison)
360337 07: A crowd watches a street performer in Times Square November 15, 1999 in New York City. The Times Square area is undergoing a thorough revitalization prior to hosting its largest New Year''s Eve celebration, an event that will include elements of theater, street carnival, sound and light shows and dance to ring in the millennium for over 24 hours for every country in every time zone. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Liaison)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1999: DICK CLARK'S NEW YEAR'S ROCKIN' EVE 1999 - 12/31/98- 1/1/99, Dick Clark will lead America into the New Year, on Thursday, Dec. 31 (11:35 p.m.-1:05 a.m., ET) on 'Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 1999', airing on the ABC Television Network. Clark will count down to midnight from Times Square in New York City., Pictured: Dick Clark, (Photo by Donna Svennevik/ABC via Getty Images)
Julia Stiles, Andres Gomez MTV New Year's Eve Party MTV Studios, Times Square, NYC December 31, 2000. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: Revelers in Times Square in New York prepare to ring in the year 2001, 31 December 2000. Times Square is a traditional gathering site to bring in the new year, and this year's crowd is expected to reach 500,000. . AFP PHOTO Henny Ray ABRAMS (Photo credit should read HENNY RAY ABRAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
N362241 02: Crowds of people wave balloons as they continue to party at Times Square, New York City long after Times Square 2000 bash kicked off at 6:30 a.m. this morning, December 31, 1999--when New Year arrived in the South Pacific. One thousand workers and volunteers join 500 musicians, dancers and actors, and 160 oversized puppets, to entertain the crowd. The party will go on past six a.m. tomorrow morning after the midnight debut of the stunning Waterford Crystal ball. (photo by Chris Hondros/Liaison Agency)
Atmosphere during New Year's 2006 in New York City - Times Square Atmosphere at Times Square in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/FilmMagic)
Atmosphere during New Year's 2006 in New York City - Times Square Atmosphere at Times Square in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/FilmMagic)
Atmosphere during New Year's 2006 in New York City - Times Square Atmosphere at Times Square in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
Atmosphere during New Year's 2006 in New York City - Times Square Atmosphere at Times Square in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2011 - Celebrating the New Year in Times Square, the ABC Television Network presents Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2011, Friday, December 31, 2010. The Backstreet Boys, Ke$ha, New Kids on the Block and Ryan Seacrest party in 2011. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images)
Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2011 - Celebrating the New Year in Times Square, the ABC Television Network presents Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2011, Friday, December 31, 2010. The Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block team up performing live in New York City. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) BACKSTREET BOYS, NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2011 - 12/31/10 Celebrating the New Year in Times Square, the ABC Television Network presents Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2011, Friday, December 31, 2010. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) DICK CLARK
Ryan Seacrest and Carrie Underwood speak during Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve at Times Square on December 31, 2015 in New York City.
Revelers in Times Square wait for the ball to drop during New Year's Eve celebrations in New York, December 31, 2015. (Photo by Gary Hershorn/Corbis via Getty Images)
DICK CLARKS NEW YEARS ROCKIN EVE WITH RYAN SEACREST 2018 Live performances from Times Square in the heart of New York City, are featured on Americas biggest celebration of the year, DICK CLARKS NEW YEARS ROCKIN EVE WITH RYAN SEACREST 2018, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) RYAN SEACREST
Fireworks go off in Times Square to celebrate the New Year in New York City, New York, U.S., January 1, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A couple kisses while they celebrate the New Year in Times Square in Manhattan, New York, U.S., January 1, 2018. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky
Confetti falls in Times Square just after midnight during New Year celebrations in Manhattan, New York, U.S., January 1, 2018. REUTERS/Darren Ornitz
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To that point, he chewed on his foot a little more when they interviewed Celine Dion during her performance in Vegas, informing his arena crowd Lady Gaga was coming to town and asking Dion what advice she had for Gaga.

“Come on, Lady Gaga, we’re waiting for you,” Dion answered.

“Don’t ask her Lady Gaga questions!”  a horrified Cooper told his new co-host.  “You insulted Nicole Kidman, then Celine Dion!”

“I kind of thought she was going to give me the business about asking,” Cohen confessed. “I thought it was an innocent question.”

The Watch What Happens Live host brought video of his various Real Housewives reading Donald Trump tweets, by way of demonstrating his oft-repeated claim the President is stealing the Real Housewives’ best material. Trump’s tweets about “Russia hoax,” “Crooked Hillary” and Mika’s “bloody” face do not sound better with cleavage.

35 PHOTOS
New Year's Eve celebrations around the world
See Gallery
New Year's Eve celebrations around the world
KURESSAARE, ESTONIA, KURESSAARE, ESTONIA - 2018/01/01: Fireworks seen near the Kuressaare Castle during the New Years Eve. Kuressare is a town and a municipality on Saaremaa island and it's the capital of Saare County and the westernmost town in Estonia. (Photo by Hendrik Osula/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
People celebrate New Year with a fireworks show at the Binnenhof in The Hague, the Netherlands on January 1, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Sem van der Wal / Belgium OUT (Photo credit should read SEM VAN DER WAL/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman take photos of fireworks during New Year's celebrations at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro on January 1, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MAURO PIMENTEL (Photo credit should read MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP/Getty Images)
People kiss as fireworks go off during New Year's celebrations at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro on January 1, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MAURO PIMENTEL (Photo credit should read MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP/Getty Images)
Fireworks explode around the London Eye during New Year's celebrations in central London just after midnight on January 1, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Fireworks light up the sky during the Hogmanay New Year celebrations in Edinburgh. (Photo by David Cheskin/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Fireworks explode near the giant Ferris wheel of the London Eye on the South Bank of the River Thames as thousands gather to ring in the near year on January 1, 2018 in London, England. Crowds lined the banks of the River Thames in central London to see in 2018 with a spectacular fireworks display. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
EdinburghÕs Hogmanay Street Party fireworks light up the sky in Edinburgh during the Hogmanay New Year celebrations. (Photo by David Cheskin/PA Images via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 31, 2017: People light sparklers in Dvortsovaya Ploshchad (Palace Square) during New Year celebrations in St Petersburg. Alexander Demianchuk/TASS (Photo by Alexander Demianchuk\TASS via Getty Images)
Fireworks light up the sky over the London Eye in central London during the New Year celebrations. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
Images are projected on the Arc de Triomphe monument as fireworks explode during a laser and 3D video mapping show as part of the New Year celebrations in Paris on January 1, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / GUILLAUME SOUVANT (Photo credit should read GUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 31, 2017: Fireworks over central Moscow during New Year celebrations. Marina Lystseva/TASS (Photo by Marina Lystseva\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 31, 2017: People light sparklers as they watch fireworks over central Moscow during New Year celebrations. Marina Lystseva/TASS (Photo by Marina Lystseva\TASS via Getty Images)
Fireworks explode over Thermaikos gulf in Thessaloniki during the New Year celebrations on January 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAKIS MITROLIDIS (Photo credit should read SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Firework explode at the Erasmusbrug as part of New Year's celebrations in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on January 1, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Robin UTRECHT / Belgium OUT (Photo credit should read ROBIN UTRECHT/AFP/Getty Images)
Fireworks explode by the Ancient Acropolis in Athens during the New Year celebrations on December 31, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Fireworks explode over Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, on January 1, 2018, to usher in the new year. / AFP PHOTO / dpa / Andreas Arnold / Germany OUT (Photo credit should read ANDREAS ARNOLD/AFP/Getty Images)
Fireworks explode behind the quadriga of Berlin's landmark the Brandenburg Gate to usher in the New Year on January 1, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / John MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)
New year fireworks at Chalkida seaside Evripos gulf, the famous crazy waters in Chalkida on January 1, 2018(Photo by Wassilios Aswestopoulos/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Bulgarians watch fireworks explode during New Year celebrations in central Sofia early on January 1, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Dimitar DILKOFF (Photo credit should read DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01: Fireworks explode from the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House during the midnight fireworks display on New Year's Eve on New Year's Eve on January 1, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour\City of Sydney/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01: Fireworks explode from the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House during the midnight fireworks display on New Year's Eve on New Year's Eve on January 1, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour\City of Sydney/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JANUARY 01: Fireworks light the sky over the Bolshoy Kamenny bridge where Red square and Kremlin Palace are seen on background during the New Year's celebrations in Moscow, Russia on January 01, 2018. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - DECEMBER 31: Fireworks light up the sky as part of new year celebrations in Baku, Azerbaijan on December 31, 2017. (Photo by Resul Rehimov/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A picture taken on December 31, 2017, shows fireworks lighting the sky during celebrations to mark the New Year's eve celebrations in Abu Dhabi. / AFP PHOTO / NEZAR BALOUT (Photo credit should read NEZAR BALOUT/AFP/Getty Images)
People watch fireworks display during New Year Celebration in Manila on January 1, 2018. The Philippines is mainly Roman Catholic but the celebrations draw on ancient superstitions and Chinese traditions in which the noise from firecrackers is meant to drive away evil spirits and bring good luck in the coming year. Adding to the danger of annual fireworks celebrations in the streets, there are over 1.2 million unlicensed firearms in the Philippines and some of those are used in the festivities. / AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)
JAKARTA, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 31: A man prepares to set off a firework during the new year celebrations at the Selamat Datang Monument in Jakarta, Indonesia on December 31, 2017. (Photo by Anton Raharjo/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Fireworks go off at the Lotte World Tower on January 1, 2018 in Seoul, South Korea. The Lotte World Tower, the 555 meter-tall skyscraper, is the fifth tallest in the world and celebrated the upcoming PyeongChang 2018 Olympics as well. (Photo by Seung-il Ryu/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Fireworks explode over the Selamat Datang Monument in downtown Jakarta on January 1, 2018 during New Year celebrations. / AFP PHOTO / BAY ISMOYO (Photo credit should read BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images)
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - DECEMBER 31 : Fireworks light up the sky over Petronas Towers during New Year's Eve celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on December 31, 2017. (Photo by Alexandra Radu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
TAIPEI, TAIWAN - JANUARY 1: Fireworks light up the Taiwan skyline and Taipei 101 during New Years Eve celebrations just after midnight on January 1, 2018 in Taipei, Taiwan. (Photo by Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Fireworks illuminate the sky near Malaysia's Petronas Twin Towers during New Year celebrations in Kuala Lumpur on January 1, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01 : The Sydney Harbour Bridge seen during the midnight fireworks display on New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour on 1st of January 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Philip Brown/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01: Fireworks above the Opera House and Harbour Bridge for New Year's Eve on January 1, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. Over a million people gathered around the harbour to watch the 12 minute celebration for the start of 2018. (Photo by James D. Morgan/Getty Images)
Fireworks light the sky over the Lotte World Tower, a 123-floor and 1821-foot (555 m) building, after midnight during a countdown event to celebrate the New Year in Seoul, South Korea on January 1, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
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At 15 minutes before midnight, Cohen suddenly reported “Mariah Carey just did a very good performance behind us” for ABC’s Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Years Eve, then asked Cooper if he was allowed to talk about a competitor’s Times Square broadcast.

“So, she did redeem herself?” Cohen continued, without listening to Cooper’s response. “The emancipation of Mimi is complete.”

When midnight struck, Cohen observed all the revelers were beating a hasty retreat from the freezing square.

“I would not want to be a bathroom on Eighth Avenue in the 40’s,” he commented.

The atmosphere on Fox was equally sedate. Jesse Watters and Kennedy hosted what was billed as an “All-American New Year’s Eve,” and had some fun during a skit in which Kennedy played a wacky version of Kathy Griffin, laying down some jokes on Anderson Cooper and lamenting that she has  no work.

The real Griffin was far more dignified, sending out a tweet to loyal fans who have stuck by her in the wake of her show-biz banishment for her stunt regarding President Trump’s severed head.

As for Steve Harvey, his own Fox special caused a slight online kerfuffle when he effusively praised three youngsters who, he claimed, “sang better than any white people I know.” Harvey also drew some comment online for his all-white outfit, a winter wonderland delight.

 

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