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Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin Are Naughty and Nice

Anderson Cooper is so good at playing the comic foil he can do it without a comic in the room. Before Kathy Griffin even arrived for lunch, Mr. Cooper, 47, the television journalist and Emmy-winning host of “Anderson Cooper 360” on CNN, said, “Kathy was very concerned about what I was going to wear today.” Then he handed over his cellphone, cued to a text from Ms. Griffin. “Don’t embarrass me,” it read, along with a full-frontal nude selfie, in which Ms. Griffin covered her most private part with a bright red apple.

Moments later, Ms. Griffin, 54, a prolific stand-up comic, who starred on the Emmy-winning reality show “My Life on the D-List” and was recently named as the replacement for Joan Rivers on “Fashion Police,” walked in. “Stop talking without me!” she said.

Over sushi at Koi Restaurant in the Trump Hotel in SoHo, the pair discussed their oddball chemistry, which will be on full display when they host CNN’s “New Year’s Eve Live” celebration for the eighth year in a row; Ms. Griffin’s unlikely friendship with the author and socialite Gloria Vanderbilt, Mr. Cooper’s mother; and how childhood traumas shaped who they are today.

Philip Galanes: We were just admiring your apple.

Kathy Griffin: You know, I’ve never sexted anyone in my life except Anderson. I can’t resist. I just know he’s going to be so ——

Anderson Cooper: The one before this was in the middle of election night coverage. We were on air for 10 hours, and in the middle of it, I get a text from Kathy with the lower half of her body exposed.

KG: I had very serious rug burns.

AC: She wrote: “I was with David Gergen [the political commentator] last night. This is what I look like today.”

PG: For the sake of everyone’s reputation, tell us how you really got the rug burns.

KG: A couple of days before, I made a cameo appearance in Britney Spears’s Las Vegas show. She brings someone up from the audience to be her slave during one of the songs. She put a dog collar on me and had me crawl around. That’s how I got the rug burns. But when I saw David Gergen on Anderson’s show, I got inspired.

PG: Let’s talk about odd couples: Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor

KG: Is that who we are?

AC: I went to Studio 54 with Michael Jackson when I was a child.

KG: Don’t act like you walked in by yourself. Your mother took you.

AC: My mom took me to Studio 54 twice. Once, we saw Grace Jones perform. And the second time was for the premiere of “The Wiz,” when she was dating [film director] Sidney Lumet, after she had divorced him. That’s the time I saw Michael Jackson.

KG: Anderson is an onion. Just when you think you’ve got him figured out, there’s another layer to peel away. But when you get to the center, he’s a crying little boy who knows he will never live up to everything his mother is. He’s never redone his apartment in quilt, for instance, the way Gloria did. Or had a matching quilt dress.

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© 2015 New York Times: to original article (by Philip Galanes)