So Anderson Cooper was kidnapped by the Broadway version of The Green Goblin last night in Times Square. Spider-Man rescued him. The whole thing was on CNN.
I'm usually watching ABC's Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, at least in the background, on New Year's Eve. Frankly it's more habit than tradition, since I grew up in the days where it was just about the only (and certainly the most popular) thing on the air broadcasting the ol' ball drop.
Last night, though, CNN was the channel of choice. I had heard good things about Cooper's bizarre annual pairing with Kathy Griffin, and they do indeed make a curious duo: he (mostly) pretending to be annoyed with yet obviously appreciating — perhaps even envying — her "inappropriate" chatter. I've seen bits of Griffin's stand-up on TV, but only bits; I know folks who adore her, and maybe I'd come to do the same if I sat through a whole show (especially live), but too much of what I have seen of her act consists of her being "inappropriate" just for the sake of being "inappropriate".
Anyway, I digress from my point, which is that many of us happened to be watching when Cooper made a rather weak attempt at feigning ignorance when he asked Griffin / the production team / us / no-one in particular what was happening over by Toshiba's version of Sony's JumboTron — followed by the camera pulling in tight on that screen, which proceeded to be filled by the bright emerald mug of Julie Taymor's Green Goblin from Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Taped footage then played out on the screen, frequently interrupted by technical glitches in CNN's feed (not part of the act), in which the Goblin said that he needed an anchorman for his World-Wide Freak Network and threatened to drop the ball early and, of course, played a tune on the piano; Anderson Cooper was soon in his clutches, but [spoiler alert] saved by our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, who then rather anticlimactically appeared in a puff of smoke atop the building housing the Toshiba screen to just kind-of stand there for a moment.
You can find pretty much all of it up on YouTube. I came across a few dozen screencaps that basically tell the whole story in a post at a fansite called Thoroughly Anderson Cooper.
My overwhelming sentiments were as follows:
— "Don't quit any of your day jobs, Anderson."
— "Are the Turn Off the Dark folks really doing themselves a favor by making the live crowd down there a captive audience to something this loud and not particularly exciting?"
— "Man, DC really can't catch a break. Time Warner owns both DC and CNN, but you don't see Superman or Batman or Wonder Woman taking up prime cross-promotional real estate like this, and one of them has a movie coming out in 2012." [The new Superman movie has been pushed back to June 2013.]
— "So why isn't this on ABC, since it and Marvel are now both owned by Disney?"
— "And why wasn't this actually on the Sony JumboTron, since its Columbia arm is behind the Spider-Man movies?"
— "Or maybe DC can catch a break. I admit that I'd probably have loved this as a kid, before I developed any critical ability whatsoever."
— "Am I too full for more cookies?"
Earlier in the hour, Cooper had said something to Griffin about the pair of them needing a smushed-up celebrity name. I think that the video would've had a least a shot at being more interesting if the anchor himself had turned into a superhero — "Spider-Manderson Cooper" practically writes itself.