Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Anderson Cooper and The Oprah Effect

Just a little ransom note of gratitude I threw together for Her Heinous.

I used to be a borderline talk show junkie, and in my youth liked nothing better than to kick back on a sick day while school was still in session, hunker down, and watch 8 straight hours of Jerry, Sally Jessie, Mo-Po, Jenny Jones, Mon-"Tell Me Your Secret" Williams, and a slew of other mindless, zombie-like trash (with a little "Price Is Right" thrown in for good measure... what can I say? I'm a Jew and love shows about retail.) But there was one talk show in particular that I just never clicked with. One that never hooked me. And that was "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

Maybe I just didn't speak Oprah's language, or maybe I was too young to understand what post-menopausal hormones meant, but it just wasn't for me.

Then I grew up. Went to college. Got a job. Became menopausal. It was a rare occassion that I was home during the day, home in time to see Oprah in the afternoon. But now ABC is doing something very clever... they're showing Oprah at 1:05 in the morning. 1:05 a.m.! Genius idea! 1 a.m., when Conan brings out the bad guests, Animal Planet stops being polite and starts getting real, and cable access pornography becomes Rated R. In my book, it's a prime slot. And, well, as a result, a few weeks ago I started watching Oprah.

And let's also say, you know hypothetically of course, that I'm almost secretly (but now publicly) kiiind of enjoooying it. I'm not sure what it is! Maybe it's that Oprah and I have so much in common, what with us both being middle-aged black women with great hair who control not only the media but also book sales apparently, two women constantly battling our weight on national television, who sleep at night on a mattress papier-mache'd out of money, spooning our handsome salt-and-pepper beefcakes (in my case, literally spooning a six-foot long meat patty encrusted in white pepper.)

My holiday card to friends and family last year. I told you: The resemblance is anything but canny!

So last night, there I am, watching Oprah. Her guest? Anderson Cooper. (deep breath) I have so much to say I don't even know where to begin.

Look, it is no secret that Anderson Cooper is an absolute heartthrob. I mean, it doesn't matter how he "identifies", how old he is (which, in a world without Google, would be mystifying), how intelligent (very, obvs.) This is a guy so gorgeous that America chose to forget about his seedy reality-host past (The Mole) and hail him as our universal news warrior. It is nearly impossible to find a single person in America who doesn't like the guy. Fuck, nominate him for an Oscar! He's the best!

But last night... something really weird happened.

I think... no, I'm sure that... I HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE WITH ANDERSON COOPER. Yes! Love! ..... Me!! Oh if there were only an emoticon of a large beating heart thump-thumping off of your screen so that you could see the passion that I feel for Mssr. Cooper! And, of course, who do I have to thank for this... my pal and Twin-4-Lyf: Oprah.

But what IS it about Anderson that got me hooked? How about how this man really cares? How he spent his vacation in Rwanda to tend to those less fortunate? And convinced CNN to send cameras over to Niger (which Anderson elegantly pronounced "Nee-zhare") to film the plight of starving children? (Which, in all seriousness, was one of the most gutwrenching things I've ever seen on television.)

Pictured, a young Anderson, back in his days as lead singer of Color Me Badd (The Extra D is for Badd.)

But just caring about those less fortunate usually isn't enough to throw my heart off the Cliffs of Head-Over-Heels. In fact, I'll boil it down to two words for you: That Giggle. The Anderson Giggle. Anderon's Giggle FX. His eyes squint, his cheeks rise, and an adorable little tittering spills forth from his lips. It's very hard to describe, but just watching him transition from The Most Depressing Subject On Earth© into a little schoolboy was miraculous and, apparently, love inducing. Now that I'm thinking of it, it's very possible that I've fallen in love with the man's segues alone.

I mean, that face of his! It doesn't even belong on a man's body!!

Places where Anderson Cooper's Face Belongs:

On a baby.

On a puppy.

On D'Angelo.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go blast Adina Howard's "Freak Like Me" on my patented "Internal Ipod" (brain), pretend I'm at Epcot Center, and watch my man in 360 degrees girrrrrl.

Off to read Anderson's blog.

p.s. Yes, I've seen his weird CNN expose on S&M bars. (SFW if you can believe it.) And, like any good wife, I don't wanna talk about it.

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