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He tap danced around it on CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live; deftly demurred whenever it came up on Live with Regis and Kelly; he avoided the topic on Ellen, changed the subject on AC360, and never once brought it up Anderson. But all that is over: Anderson Cooper has finally acknowledged that he’s gay. The news has elicited more relief than surprise as it rippled through the Twittersphere — and that’s probably because Cooper never tried to be anything other than who he is whenever on the air. From epic giggle fits to spray-tanning with Snooki, The Hollywood Reporter now revisits the lighter side of Anderson Cooper.
1. Ryan Seacrest and Cooper Compare Tie-Knots
Back in 2006, two emerging media moguls overlapped briefly on CNN, when Ryan Seacrest filled in for Larry King and Cooper cut in with a preview of his own show, AC360. What followed was an awkward, innuendo-filled conversation that touched upon everything from tie-sizes (Ryan: “Your bow’s tiny and mine’s huge.” Anderson: “I’ve heard that often.”) to Seacrest’s deep admiration for Cooper’s work. The praise was one-sided.
2. Cooper Embraces His Inner Juiced-Up Gorilla
Never one to avoid dangerous situations, Cooper was willing to follow Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi into the spray-tanning booth for a aerosol body-contouring session. Polizzi was pleasantly surprised to learn that Cooper already had a solid foundation of “peanut muscles” to use as a white (very white, she noted) canvas.
3. The Infamous Giggle Fit
They were the giggles heard ’round the world: Cooper lost all control during a Ridiculist monologue about French actor Gerard Depardieu‘s urination habits. The segment instantly went viral, bringing joy to millions with what might best be described as the sound of the Snuggle Bear and Pillsbury Dough Boy getting into a tickling match.
4. The Past Comes Back to Haunt Him
An AC360 segment detailing Justin Bieber‘s “brat” antics was interrupted with a photo of Cooper, around 9 years of age, wearing an ornate purple-and-silver costume and matching fur hat. A startled Cooper said he wasn’t buying the control room’s explanation of a “technical glitch,” then explained that in the photo, he was “pretending to be Wally Norton, the world’s youngest bear trainer, on To Tell the Truth,” before proudly adding, “I got two votes: Nipsy Russell and Kitty Carlisle Hart.”
5. Cooper vs. Carey
Cooper is never above tackling the more frivolous stories on his CNN program, as he did here, revisiting some of the “24-carat crazy” moments that came courtesy of Mariah Carey‘s visit to the Home Shopping Network, a highlight reel of which he played in its entirety.
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