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Party Mouth

As co-host of CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live in Times Square, comedian Kathy Griffin has—despite sidekick Anderson Cooper’s pleading—kept the network’s censors on edge and even stripped down to her bra in the freezing cold. What’s in store this year? Maybe archenemy Ryan Seacrest knows...

Kathy Griffin’s razor-sharp wit and outrageous antics have won her two Emmys, and made her one of the most sought-after comedians in the country.

By now you know that Ryan Seacrest is out to get me. He is jealous of my global fame, he resents my talent and he may or may not be plotting with Oprah to tamper with my brakes. But what you may not know is that I, Kathy Griffin, America’s Sweetheart, am willing to overlook all of that—as long as Seacrest buys me dinner.

Which is why I found myself at the oh-so-fancy Upper East Side restaurant Crown two days before last New Year’s Eve at a table with Seacrest, my pal Anderson Cooper and Carson Daly. Seacrest had set up the dinner—which felt like a cross between an Emmy after-party and the meeting of the five families in The Godfather—as a gesture of goodwill ahead of our competing New Year’s Eve broadcasts. Goodwill my a**, all I know is I had three helpings of foie gras.

Dinner on Seacrest or not, there’s nowhere I’d rather be for New Year’s Eve than New York. Anderson and I have been doing the CNN show in Times Square for so long we don’t even rehearse in the days leading up to it. I’m too busy hanging out at the Donut Pub on West 14th Street at 3am (seriously, I’m not joking, Nightline once profiled me there) and taking my middle-of-the-night walks up and down Manhattan, enjoying the garbage trucks and the occasional crazy-eyed club kid who chases me for three blocks, trying to get me to endorse his new “boutique vodka.” Ah, the holidays in New York. I know what you’re thinking and, yes, I agree—I’d be perfect for a remake of Miracle on 34th Street.

Anderson, meanwhile, is too busy trying to think of ways to stop me from swearing and taking my clothes off on the air. Good luck, buddy. He doesn’t even bother wearing a nice shirt anymore because he knows he’s just going to sweat through it. The funniest thing he’s ever said to me was, “Please, Kathy, behave yourself this year.” Less than an hour later I was half-naked on global television. My most outrageous New Year’s Eve? Perhaps. At least, until this year...

But my New Year’s isn’t about Anderson, it isn’t about me, it isn’t even about my bangin’ bikini bod. It’s about New York. It’s about the way people from around the world descend on Midtown to celebrate the passage of another year—specifically, another year in which Ryan Seacrest failed to kill me. But I digress. Most of you New Yorkers wouldn’t be caught dead in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, I know. Too many tourists, too many closed-off streets, too many billboards for Mamma Mia!—I get it. But someday, give it a try. It’s not as bad as you think. In fact, it’s rather magical. And in the wee hours of the first morning of the new year, as he dozes off on the floor of my hotel room after we’ve eaten too much Crack Pie from Momofuku Milk Bar in the East Village, I will once again see a look of magic seep across Anderson Cooper’s face. Magic... and relief.

CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live With Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin will air on Dec. 31 at 11pm.