Anderson Cooper's Mentos + Diet Coke Experiment
Anderson Cooper did a "Stupid Human Tricks" segment during yesterday’s 360, his last day broadcasting from Los Angeles. He did his own version of the 200 liters of Diet Coke and 500 Mentos mints video by lowering a string of Mentos into a bottle of diet coke. It’s hilarious! And does he really say, "Mentos: The Freshmucker?" The video is below, screencaps are in the gallery, and a Time magazine article is after the jump!
10 Questions for Anderson Cooper
The host of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 is famous for withstanding hurricanes and war zones. Now Cooper, 39, has successfully taken on the challenge of memoir writing. Dispatches from the Edge will hit No. 1 on next week’s New York Times best-seller list. And this fall he will add stints on CBS’s 60 Minutes to his busy schedule. Cooper talked with Time‘s Andrea Sachs about growing up with a famous mom, dealing with family tragedy and learning lessons from Katrina.
You write about growing up as Gloria Vanderbilt’s son. When did you realize you had an unusual situation? I didn’t really know my mom was famous until I was probably about 12. That’s when she was doing fashion stuff and her name became much more talked about. I’d met famous people as a kid, like Charlie Chaplin when he returned from exile, Truman Capote, Andy Warhol. What was cool about my parents was, my brother and I were expected to sit at the adult table. There was never a kids’ table. To me, the greatest privilege of the way I grew up was realizing at a very young age that these people are just as unhappy as everyone else. Once you realize that, it frees you up from believing that fame or riches are going to bring you happiness. I think it takes a lot of people a long time to figure that one out.
You were 10 when your father died. What impact did that have? When my dad died, I felt like my life restarted. The person I was disappeared, and this sort of new person was formed. Sometimes I get glimpses of the person that I was, but it’s just shards of memory.
Your brother committed suicide when you were 21. How do you handle something like that? I don’t know that you do handle it. Suicide is such a strange thing. It’s still shrouded in mystery and, for some people, shame because of their religious beliefs or whatever reason. It’s like someone steps out of the shadows and stabs you with a stiletto. Then you have to figure out how to move on from there.
Was it tough to pick between TV and print journalism? I’ve been addicted to TV since I emerged from the womb. I recently found a schedule I made for myself in fourth grade, which was all blocked out based on the TV schedule. When I got home, it was Magilla Gorilla, then The Andy Griffith Show. I think I allotted 15 minutes for dinner, and homework was done in front of the television. News was always on the schedule as well. I had a reading problem when I was a kid, so writing came a little slow.
Your specialty seems to be war and disaster. Why? I sort of numbed myself after my dad’s death and certainly after my brother’s death. I wanted to go places where the pain outside would match the pain that I was feeling inside. War seemed like really my only option.
In what way was Katrina life changing for you? There’s always this expectation that it wouldn’t really happen here and that, if it did, there would be a safety net. To see it actually happen here was an eye-opening experience.
After Katrina, you challenged Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu about what officials were doing. Did you step over the line? I don’t think I did. I’d been on Larry King several nights that week, hearing politicians thank one another and talk about how this was an unpredictable and unprecedented disaster. And you know what? It might have been unprecedented, but it was certainly predicted. There was a lot of anger out there. People were desperate for answers. The least our elected representatives can do is try to provide those answers.
You’re like a movie star now. I don’t know about that. I’m on basic cable. I come with a package, so it’s not that big a deal.
Does fame hurt your reporting? If someone knows me and likes me or my work, they’re more likely to allow me to tell their story. But it also cuts the other way. The thing I love about reporting is being able to blend in with any group, whether that’s neo-Nazis or pedophiles. Frankly, I’m the same person I’ve always been, and I’m pretty good at blending in.
Will you stay where you are? I love what I’m doing. CNN is a cool place to work because I’m able to anchor and still do a lot of field reporting. But I’ve never hung anything on the walls in the offices I’ve had because nothing seems to last very long in TV. Who knows what will happen down the road?