“What’s going on? I can’t believe this right now,” Hart said while video-chatting with the duo from Las Vegas. “I’m watching you guys and you’re completely sober. This is disappointing. You’re sober. What’s happening? What is happening right now?”
Hart continued, “You guys can’t say anything about it but I can. I can say things about it. This is absolute bullshit. I don’t like it one bit. I’m going to say what you want to say. This is absolute horseshit. I can’t believe this.”
Co-host Cooper was uncontrollably laughing while Hart started doing tequila shots from his own liquor brand, Gran Coramino.
“I’m going to do what you can’t: I’m going to do a shot because you guys have been hoodwinked,” Hart said. “I can’t believe CNN telling you guys not to go and cut loose in such a good true fashion. That’s perfect TV. You don’t tell you guys not to drink and I’m pissed off about it.”
The “Hart to Heart” host added, “Listen, I’m going to drink for you, and I’m going to drink a big enough shot for you guys to smell my breath afterwards and you can see it was absolutely good. This is me celebrating for you, through you.”
Hart summed up, “I’ve always been a fan and New Year’s is special because of the energy you brought to it. I can’t believe they pulled this shit on you guys. That’s right, CNN. I said ‘shit.’ I said ‘bullshit.’ I said it all. I’m pissed you’ve got these two guys sober up here all day. This is what you’re supposed to do. From me to you guys.”
Co-host Cohen replied, “Kevin, bless you. Thank you for that, first of all. We appreciate your anger. You are a vessel for us.”
Earlier guest John Stamos even said the duo of Cohen and Cooper are “funnier” when they’re drinking.
CNN banned Cohen and Cooper from consuming alcohol during the live broadcast after Cohen called out former New York City mayor Bill De Blasio and criticized Ryan Seacrest while ringing in 2022. New CNN CEO Chris Licht told staffers that on-air drinking lowered the “respectability” of the brand, as reported by Variety.
Seacrest, whom Cohen called a “loser” last year and later apologized, agreed with the new policy, saying that since Cooper and Cohen took over the broadcast in 2018, the boozy aspect as gotten too big.
“I don’t advocate drinking when one is on the air. I don’t know how that started as a tradition, but it’s probably a good idea [to scale back], CNN,” the “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” host told Entertainment Weekly. “There’s some pretty respectable people or at least one, right? I think there’s a serious journalist and then a friend of mine who has a lot of fun, but it’s probably a good idea. Although the viewers probably wish they would drink more. But I think they had something to say about my show at one point, which was I’m sure from the alcohol because I don’t think they would say what they said about our performers if they weren’t drinking. But, you know, I think our show’s a bigger, broader show and we will not drink until 1:05 in the morning.”