On Monday, VH1 staff writer Bobby Finger was invited to attend a taping of CNN’s Anderson Live. This is his story.
After walking through backstage hallways filled with scurrying PA’s, 1/3rd of TLC, and large framed photos of Anderson Cooper interacting with celebrities like Dame Judi Dench and
Dame Debra Messing, I had the pleasure of attending the January 14th episode of Anderson Live. The audience seemed to consist primarily of tourists and Chris Colfer – though, in many cases, those two categories overlapped. I, on the other hand, was most excited about seeing how guest host T–Boz and Anderson would interact. They didn’t disappoint me.
The episode began with a little chat about the flu. (Naturally.) Anderson implored us all to get vaccinated as T-Boz expressed her vulnerability to sickness. “Cooties look at me and they’re like, ‘Yeah’,” she told Anderson. They laughed. I laughed. We all laughed. T & A’s banter was the best part of the show, and I would have gladly paid to see them have a conversation about anything.
“Tell me how you like your eggs, Anderson and T-Boz!”
“What’s your favorite color?”
“What’s your least favorite number?”
I could have asked them anything because all I wanted was to hear them speak.
But enough of my fan fiction. The remainder of the show (you know, the part that didn’t exist in my imagination) was certainly entertaining in its own right. There were two authors telling women to follow their Rules for dating, which led to plenty of audience participation. It was surprisingly exhilarating to witness such a “real” and organic Q&A, as well as a pair of author’s defending their work. Following that were a pair of sisters feuding over an inherited 17th century table, with the stars of OWN’s Staten Island Law nearby to give them advice. Whether or not the advice will be taken is unclear, but I think I’m correct in assuming that the sisters’ beef is much bigger than that silly table. I’m predicting a life-long grudge. An irreparable one. Years of grief. Sorry for the pessimism.
A quick Chris Colfer interview closed the show, and after brief promotion of his current movie, Struck by Lightning, the young Glee star zipped offstage, everyone applauded, and I was given the opportunity to meet Anderson backstage. Having to prepare for a taped segment, he quickly and politely introduced himself, snapped a couple pictures, and rushed off. If spending the morning at Anderson Live taught me one thing, it’s that everyone who works on a morning show is busy all the time. If it taught me a second thing, it’s that wearing a headset and holding a clipboard immediately makes you look like the most important person in the world.
But I had no headset; I just came to watch it all happen – fortunately, it was a treat. And, come on, who doesn’t want a photo with Anderson Cooper?