Don Lemon may have been wishing CNN viewers a happy New Year on Saturday night, but his feelings about the year just gone were far from pleasant.
Lemon, 50, had spent the night doing tequila shots as he let down his (proverbial) hair for the channel’s year-ending celebrations, which he hosted from New Orleans.
But when the clock struck midnight, Lemon – who had spent the year reporting on political nemesis Donald Trump’s ascension to the White House – had his mic cut as he started to spill the beans on the ‘awful’ 2016.
The CNN host had taken hits from Trump during the Republican’s rise – most notably when he was called a ‘lightweight’ and ‘dumb as a rock’ by Trump on Twitter – so it’s understandable that he might not have fond memories of the year.
But whatever his reasons were for hating on 2016, the producers weren’t taking any chances.
As the brass bands started to play Auld Lang Syne in New Orleans – and #drunkdonlemon trended on Twitter – the cameras cut away to crowds of joyful revelers.
But the mics of hosts Lemon and Brooke Baldwin stayed on, so that the shots of fireworks and hugging were accompanied by the sounds of clinking glasses.
‘Happy New Year,’ Lemon can be heard saying. ‘Oh my god! I need a little more – pour me a little more – a little more – perfect. That had a big head on it.’
‘I can’t hear a damn thing,’ Lemon says to Baldwin, who agrees.
Then he continues: ‘So 2016 was awful…’
And suddenly the sound dips away completely. Footage of New Orleans crowds plays silently for five seconds.
Then the sound comes back – minus Lemon and Baldwin.
What could have spooked the producers? Could Baldwin have been about to shed the ‘lightweight’ label and launch a counter-attack on the President-elect?
Sadly, we may never know.
If 2016 was painful for Lemon, then he saw the year out in appropriate fashion, getting an ear piercing live on air.
As midnight approached in Louisiana, the host tweeted: #CNN producers & @brookebcnn trying to convince me to get a tattoo or a piercing of some sort. Should I? #cnnnye’
And it wasn’t an empty threat either, as he recruited a piercer shortly afterward to stick a needle through his earlobe live on television.
‘If this hurts I’m going to be so mad,’ he winced as co-host Brooke Baldwin gripped his hand tightly in support.
‘Is your mother watching?,’ she asked. ‘I bet your mom is… Momma lemon, I don’t know what he’s thinking. At least it’s just his ear, you know what I’m saying?’
‘Don’t get blood on the jacket… it has to go back to Burke’s Brothers,’ he pleaded before squealing in pain as he was brutally stabbed in the ear.
Twitter lit up with approval, with most agreeing #drunkdonlemon was the best of the New Year’s Eve hosts.
SOURCE: Daily Mail – Ross McDonagh