Sober CNN Misses New Year's Eve Countdown, Gets Ridiculed by Guests

It wasn’t quite the boozy party CNN had become known for with Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper in recent years, but they still managed to miss the whole point of the night for one time zone!

In a shocking announcement earlier this year, the network announced that it was banning booze for their annual New Year’s Eve broadcast –which was more than half the fun.

Even guests could feel the difference, with John Stamos telling Cohen and Cooper that they’re funnier when they drink (which you can see here).

Kevin Hart was even more vehement (and NSFW) with his protest of the network’s decision (which you can see here), incurring a bleep for his point of view. “Watching you guys and you are completely sober!” he marveled at Cohen and Cooper. “What is happening right now?”

“You guys can’t say anything about it, but I can! I can say things about it!” Hart continued. “This is absolute bulls—! I don’t like it one bit!”

As he went on, the network censor began pouring on the bleeps (with limited effect) as Hart poured himself a drink, which he promised to drink on behalf of the sober boys helming the good, clean ship CNN.

This was the sixth consecutive New Year’s Eve bash for the Andys at Times Square, but the first one where they were told they weren’t allowed to drink. The mandate came down after Cohen made critical comments toward ABC’s broadcast and the band Journey, whom he called a “group of losers.”

This year, the network withheld the booze until the stroke of midnight, when they were rewarded for their sober behavior with some champagne. The guys did poke fun at the sober mandate by taking other shots at each hour, including apple cider vinegar, buttermilk and pickle juice.

One of those, though, just left Cohen screaming, “I need tequila! Honestly!”

Cohen also proved — though it’s no surprise to fans of his “Watch What Happens Live” — that he doesn’t need alcohol to ask all the pointed questions everyone else might be thinking.

When Nick Cannon dropped by, which you can see here, Cohen joked that he was “single-handedly populating the earth,” before suggesting maybe he consider he get a vasectomy.”

“Is that what you want me to get?” Cannon shot back. “This is my body, my choice!”

The good news for the East Coast broadcast was that they did at least managed to get to the whole point of the show, which was to count down to the new year. When CNN shifted over to Don Lemon in New Orleans for the Central Time Zone, they definitely lost focus, which you can watch here.

As midnight neared for the middle states, Juvenile was delivering a raucous performance of “Back That Azz Up” — and they backed it up right through the end of 2022 and start of 2023. No countdown, no Fleur De Lis drop on air.

As the new year rang in, Lemon and the partiers in New Orleans just kept dancing and throwing beads — though it may be that Lemon realized a moment too late that they’d just missed the countdown as he could be heard mentioning the word. Instead, CNN went with a split-screen shot of fireworks in Nashville, where they apparently did get around to ringing in the new year proper.

Over on NBC, the Peacock again threw the evening over to Miley Cyrus, who welcome godmother Dolly Parton to help her celebrate “Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party.”

During the broadcast, fans got to enjoy a gorgeous duet of Parton’s epic “I Will Always Love You” with Miley, while the host also offered up a surprise performance with Sia and Paris Hilton on the latter’s “Stars Are Blind.”

It was a night filled with great music, as Cyrus and Parton also performed “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” “Wrecking Ball,” and “Jolene.” Other performers included Latto, Swae Lee, David Byrne, Liily, Rae Sremmurd, and FLETCHER.

Also on hand with some comic relief were some familiar faces from “Saturday Night Live,” with Chloe Fineman and Sarah Sherman hilariously stepping in as Cyrus and Parton’s understudies.

You can check out some highlights from the show below, and all the performances at NBC’s YouTube page.

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