Category: Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper kicks 'Human Barbie' off show: 'You're dreadful'

Anderson CooperAnderson Cooper's daytime talk show was supposed to bring out the softer, cuddlier side of the silver-haired newsman. But a guest on Tuesday's episode left Cooper so disgusted, he cut the interview short and tossed her off his program.

Cooper's guest was Sarah Burge, a British woman who holds the Guinness World Record for having the most plastic surgeries in order to become a "Human Barbie." She also gave her 8-year-old daughter plastic surgery vouchers for when she turns 18 and encouraged her 15-year-old to get Botox.

Midway through his questioning, during which Burge expressed her daughter's desire not to sweat on stage and use Botox to assist with it, Cooper was pushed over the edge.

"I would prefer to actually oversee my daughter's Botox than actually have her go underground, find a voodoo witch doctor or, in fact, getting it off the Internet and administering it herself," she told Cooper.

After a pause, Cooper replied, "I honestly have nothing more to talk to you about... I try to be really polite to all my guests. I think you’re dreadful and I honestly don’t want to talk to you anymore."

Burge took it stride, replied "That's fine" and walked off the stage.

Backstage later, Cooper told his crew, "I got the feeling this was about publicity for her. I regret having her on in the first place and I regret how things ended." He continued, "It didn't seem like it was an honest discussion."

Burge later tweeted at Cooper, "Thank you America for your emails yes Anderson did make himself look an ass he has a big mouth for a LITTLE man."

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Anderson Cooper ratings plunge as CNN scrapes decade lows

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— Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Anderson Cooper. Credit: Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images.

Anderson Cooper ratings plunge as CNN scrapes decade lows

Anderson Cooper's ratings are down at CNN

The news keeps getting worse for CNN, with April ratings that sunk to their worst levels in more than 10 years. 

The ill tidings for the No. 3 cable news network were led by the 10 p.m. airing of "Anderson Cooper 360," which slid 26% compared with the same period a year ago, to 522,000 total viewers, according to Nielsen.

But that wasn't all. CNN's total-day viewership averaged 357,000 viewers — a decline of 21% compared with April 2011 and the network's worst performance in the category since August 2001. By comparison, Fox News stood at 1.1 million (up 2%), while MSNBC was a distant second with 425,000 (flat).

Asked for comment, a CNN spokeswoman emailed: "News ratings are cyclical."

Other CNN shows with big dips included "Starting Point" (down 26%), "Erin Burnett Outfront" (down 22%) and "John King USA" (down 24%).

Do you watch CNN? What do you think is behind the network's ratings problems?

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— Scott Collins (twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT

Photo: Anderson Cooper has shed more than a quarter of his 10 p.m. CNN audience in the past year. Credit: Evan Agostini/Associated Press.

TV Skeptic: A 'balanced' discussion of UFOs on 'Anderson'

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Anderson Cooper asked the question "Are we being visited by aliens from space?" and devoted Tuesday's episode of his syndicated series "Anderson" to answer that question.

His guests included a woman who claimed she saw a UFO sprinkle glitter on a tree in her yard; two women who say they saw UFOs one night, and believe that hypnosis helped them recall interactions with aliens; a member of The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), an organization dedicated to studying and publicizing UFO sightings, who barked out UFO incidents and statistics with an angry zeal; and a self-proclaimed psychic medium who said she had the ability to telepathically communicate with aliens.

She further claimed that Cooper himself had a star-family (don't we all?) living in the fourth dimension. Apparently his star-family likes to talk a lot too.

To balance these extraordinary claims — made with no convincing evidence — Cooper invited Joe Nickell, a well-respected skeptic, to join the panel. Though outnumbered, and facing the perpetual scowl of one of the UFO witnesses, Nickell did a fine job offering a coherent, yet sympathetic, response to as many of the claims as time allowed. (Although his conclusion that one witness was mistaking Jupiter for a UFO seemed hasty.)

Perhaps the best measure of Nickell's effectiveness was shown when Cooper polled the studio audience. Only a few hands were raised when asked how many believed that UFOs were alien visitors, and all but a few hands went up when asked how many didn't believe. Mark that one for the skeptics. It seems that Cooper's audience is on the ball.

Then Cooper asked how many believed that his final guest could telepathically communicate with aliens. A single hand was raised.

So, given that an "overwhelming majority" in the audience didn't believe in alien visitations; and even more of the audience (well above 99%) disbelieved in psychic communication with aliens, to whom do you think Cooper handed the microphone and its national television platform? The one audience member who believes in psychic communication with aliens, of course. 

That's what they call "balanced" on television.

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— Ed Stockly

Photo: Anderson Cooper. Credit: andersoncooper.com

Anderson Cooper has a second giggle attack on 'AC360' [Video]

Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper has given the world yet another viral video of him losing it on his CNN show "AC360."

The giggly Cooper couldn't keep it together, and even attempted to step off camera, during the RidicuList bit on his show Tuesday. The story was about Dyngus Day, the Polish American celebration of the end of Lent that's a tradition in parts of Ohio, Indiana and New York. And Cooper managed to keep a straight face, until this bit of narration, not read by him:

"The quirky little ritual includes girls sprinkling boys they fancy with water and the girls striking back with a tap from a pussy willow branch."

That sent Cooper over the edge, laughing uncontrollably on camera and explaining to viewers, "It's really so stupid."

This isn't the first time Cooper has had a major laughing fit on his show, during the RidicuList segment, no less. The last time was last August, when Cooper couldn't make it through a story on French actor Gerard Depardieu relieving himself in the aisle of an airplane before takeoff.

It would appear that dirty puns are Cooper's Kryptonite. Last year, he couldn't get past "Depar-doo" and this year, "pussy willow" did him in.

Cooper's serious newsman persona on CNN aside, the anchor would probably prefer to have his laughing fit be a clip from his ratings challenged daytime show, "Anderson."

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Photo: Anderson Cooper. Credit: Gabriel Bouys / AFP/Getty Images

Late Night: Anderson Cooper would like to ban the Kardashians

On "Watch What Happens Live," Anderson Cooper tells Andy Cohen he'd like to ban the Kardashians from his show
On Sunday, Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live" switched to its new five-night-a-week format. Except for the increased frequency, little about the talk show, hosted by Andy Cohen and broadcast live from the tchotchke-filled "Bravo Clubhouse," appears to have changed. 

The guest lineup, mostly cobbled together from various Bravo personalities and Cohen's celebrity pals, could definitely use some diversity. But "Watch What Happens" has something that most other late-night shows are sorely lacking: spontaneity. Cohen steers well clear of the rehearsed conversations that make so much late-night TV feel like an endless press junket, opting instead for fast-paced quiz games that make the show feel like an adult sleepover party.

On Monday night's episode, for instance, "Real Housewife" Camille Grammer and CNN anchor/daytime talk-show host Anderson Cooper participated in a game called "Plead the Fifth" -- basically a series of prying personal questions. 

First he interrogated Grammer, asking her the weirdest place she'd ever "gotten busy" (in a laundry room) and how many men she'd made out with since her divorce (three). Wisely, Grammer pleaded the fifth when it came to the subject of her new boyfriend's habits in bed.

Then it was Cooper's turn in the hot seat. He demurred when it came to the subject of sexting, and when asked what his "freak number" would be on a scale from 1 to 10, he joked, "I'm a WASP. My freak number's like 1."

But one question -- "What celebrity would you refuse to have on your syndicated talk show?" -- elicited a candid response from Cooper. 

After some hemming and hawing, Cooper said, "I'd say generally any member of the Kardashian family."

Then, perhaps fearing the wrath of the almighty Kris Jenner, he instantly began to backpedal. "I don't have anything against them, I just think they're everywhere. I don't think I could really add much," he said.

Yeah, sure.

 

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— Meredith Blake 
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Photo: Andy Cohen welcomes guests Camille Grammer and Anderson Cooper to "Watch What Happens Live." Credit: Peter Kramer / Bravo

Late Night: Anderson Cooper 'slams' Courtney Stodden haters

Like many of us, Anderson Cooper has a love-hate relationship with famous-for-nothing types such as Kim Kardashian, Kate Gosselin and Snooki, and he's used his popular segment, "The RidicuList," to poke fun of their more ridiculous antics: butt x-rays, pizza tantrums, exorbitant speaking fees.

The latest "fameball" to get the RidicuList treatment is 17-year-old wannabe reality TV star Courtney Stodden, who was thrown out of a California pumpkin patch this past weekend after staging a raunchy photo shoot with her husband, 51-year-old "Lost" actor Doug Hutchinson. (We know: Ew.)

Cooper joked that Stodden's ensemble -- precipitous white go-go boots, microscopic cutoffs and a midriff-baring flannel -- revealed too much "crack o'lantern" for the clientele at the pumpkin patch. 

But rather than heaping scorn on the couple, Cooper added "Courtney's Halloween haters" to the RidicuList. "These are just two people in love, and they get thrown out of a pumpkin patch like so much trash, like rotten pumpkins," he said. Tongue planted firmly in cheek, he denounced the pumpkin patch imbroglio as the "latest injustice" suffered by the couple, who've been the subject of much ridicule since they wed earlier this year in Las Vegas.

Cooper noted that Stodden and Hutchinson are holding up well despite the intense media scrutiny (which they obviously hate). He played a clip from the couple's bizarre "Good Morning America" appearance in which Stodden "tries to eat her own face," and shared some highlights from her now-infamous music video, "Don't Put It On Me," which has racked up nearly 2.9 million hits on YouTube. "The Internet: It's a pumpkin patch that's impossible to get thrown out of," Cooper joked.

He concluded the segment with a message for all the "Halloween haters" out there. "It's really simple: If you don't want to see a scantily clad 17-year-old making out with her 51-year-old husband, maybe you shouldn't go to a pumpkin patch."

You tell 'em, Cooper.

 

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Anderson Cooper gets soft ratings in talk premiere

Anderson Cooper

Ratings for Anderson Cooper's talk show premiere were nothing to giggle about.

The CNN anchor drew soft ratings for the opening of "Anderson," his syndicated daytime chat fest. Monday's premiere drew a 1.1 household rating/3 share, according to Nielsen.

That put him well below established shows such as "Regis and Kelly" (2.9 rating), "Ellen" (2.6), "Dr. Oz" (2.0) and "The Talk" (1.9).

However, syndicated talk shows can take a while to build, and Warner Bros., which is syndicating "Anderson" through its Telepictures division, points out that the premiere was preempted in several markets and aired against U.S. Open tennis coverage. The first ratings are "atypical," the studio said.

Maybe he'd have done better with another giggle fest, like he had last month when recounting Gerard Depardieu's alleged bathroom incident on a plane.

What did you think of Cooper's new show?

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-- Scott Collins

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Photo: Anderson Cooper's new talk show drew soft ratings. Credit: Andrew Eccles / Warner Bros.

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