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Kathy Griffin strips to underwear, but Anderson Cooper still more embarrassed by Green Goblin abduction on New Year's Eve

Griffin-Cooper

Kathy Griffin broke CNN’s “no nudity” order on New Year’s Eve when she stripped down to her bra and underwear shortly before midnight. Watch the video below. Sadly, we’ve yet to see anyone upload her and Anderson Cooper’s second most talked about moment: That bizarrely unfunny interruption of the telecast when we — and all of the confused Times Square revelers looking up at the JumboTron beneath the ball — watched the Green Goblin from Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark try to convince a kidnapped Cooper to become an anchorman on his World Wide Freak Network (WWFN). Maybe that bit would have played better if the Green Goblin had identified himself sooner, or had the picture and sound not gone in and out for home viewers, or had it felt at all timely. Still, watch Spider-Man save Cooper below in a short clip. Griffin properly ridiculed Cooper afterward, at least, with lines like: “This is what happens when I take a day off,” “If you think you’re ever gonna live this down,” “Was that your integrity coming up and now it’s gone?” (after Cooper coughed), and “After that last bit, I feel above you. Trust me.”

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Lady Gaga's 'New Year's Rockin' Eve' performance: Watch it here!

New Yorker Lady Gaga had a dream come true performing in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. She began her medley of “Heavy Metal Lover,” “Marry the Night,” and “Born This Way” in a costume that I would describe as “black sequin Jabba the Hut.” What’s your best guess? (I’ve seen Pac-Man ghost on Twitter, which was my second thought.)

She soon enough stripped down to a relatively normal ensemble: a black sequin bodysuit and Catwoman mask with some kind of large wire globe structure around her head. We said “relatively normal.” Watch the performance below. Gaga later helped Mayor Bloomberg push the button to drop the ball after changing into an equally accessible Versace number. READ FULL STORY

Justin Bieber sings 'Let It Be' on 'New Year's Rockin' Eve': Watch it here!

Pitbull, Nicki Minaj, and LMFAO brought the dance beats to their performances on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, but Justin Bieber opted to help ring in 2012 by sitting at a piano — for a cover of the Beatles’ “Let It Be” featuring Carlos Santana. Watch it below. What did you think? READ FULL STORY

Jennifer Lopez tops the list of 'New Year's Rockin' Eve' best performances

More than 200 artists have performed on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve since it debuted 40 years ago, and in tonight’s countdown of the Top 40 performances, Jennifer Lopez (and her bedazzled bodysuit) took the crown. See the full list below. Things we learned watching Fergie and Jenny McCarthy host tonight’s live two-hour countdown special: The crowd dancing in the ’80s was so much better than today, Rick Springfield actually pulled off that pink suit (which is, we assume, why his name and “Jessie’s Girl” trended on Twitter), and meeting McCarthy was one loud man’s life dream.  READ FULL STORY

New Year's Eve TV: Chat about it here!

What’s the sound of New Year’s Eve to you? It may be “Auld Lang Syne” for some. For others, it’s Anderson Cooper’s giggle. Get ready to hear it again as he and Kathy Griffin reteam for CNN’s coverage, which goes live at 11 p.m. ET. UPDATE: Check out the best of Kathy and Anderson here.

If you’re staying in for the night, you’ll want to tune into ABC at 8 p.m. ET, for the live New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 40th anniversary countdown of the 40 most memorable performances. That leads into Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest at 10 p.m. ET. The New York City lineup includes Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber (who’ll collaborate with Carlos Santana), Pitbull, and Hot Chelle Rae. The Los Angeles party will feature The Band Perry, blink-182, Florence + The Machine, Gym Class Heroes, LMFAO, OneRepublic, Nicki Minaj, Taio Cruz, will.i.am, and Robin Thicke. We’ll also see a special performance by Beyoncé from the London leg of her worldwide tour. UPDATE: Watch Justin Bieber sings ‘Let It Be’ here. Watch Lady Gaga’s medley performance here. See the list of ‘New Year’s Rockin’ Eve’ best performances here. READ FULL STORY

POLL: Which New Year's Eve bash will you be tuning in for?

Much like the other anxiety-causing questions that hang heavy over your head on New Year’s Eve (“When should I leave this party?” “What will my resolution be?” “Who should I kiss at midnight?” “Why did I kiss that person at midnight?!”) “Which televised New Year’s Eve bash should I watch?” looms just as tauntingly over the holiday. Unfortunately the networks aren’t going to make your decision much easier this year, as there’s a plethora of specials to tune into to watch that blasted ball drop.

You’ll have to choose your allegiances to Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, as he’ll be ringing in 2012 on ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest, along with the likes of Lady Gaga, Pitbull, Hot Chelle Rae, The Band Perry, blink-182, Christina Perri, Florence + The Machine, Gym Class Heroes, LMFAO, OneRepublic, Nicki Minaj, Taio Cruz, and will.i.am; while she’ll be on MTV for their New Year’s Eve Bash with Demi Lovato, Jason Derulo, Mac Miller, and J. Cole. (Then again, you might have to take into consideration that Bieber’s New Years won’t really count, on account of his being Canadian and all.) READ FULL STORY

What was your best pop cultured-filled New Year's Eve?

I’ve never been the kind of person to go out on New Year’s Eve. I prefer to invite friends over or stay in at their place. I think my favorite New Year’s Eve was 2002, when two friends and I agreed to each bring one movie we loved but the other two hadn’t seen and force them to watch it. My friend Eva brought Robert Altman’s Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, my friend Judy, if I’m remembering correctly brought Barry Levinson’s Diner, and I had Trey Parker’s Orgazmo. (Being the host, I took the liberty of also making them watch the bloopers from BASEketball.) I wish that was a tradition we continued. We also broke out the karaoke machine my parents had gotten me for Christmas.

What’s been your favorite pop culture-filled New Year’s Eve? Do you have a tradition worth stealing? Go!

Last-minute donations: where the stars are giving this season

We know everyone gets tired of hearing celebs promote one cause or another, but come on, this time of year it’s for the kids! Education and charities that promote children’s causes are at the top of many stars’ wish lists this year. If you’re anything like me, you’ve waited until the last minute to write those tax-deductible checks, so here are some worthy foundations that just happen to have some do-gooder friends in high places, plus a few celebs who are donating their wares to some great organizations. Like I said, it’s for the kids!!

Pencils of Promise: Pencils of Promise’s mission is to build schools around the world. So far, the organization has completed over 30 new buildings in the developing world. To raise funds this season, they are holding an auction of artwork from celebrities including Hugh Jackman, Jaden Smith, and Mariah Carey.

Actress Sophia Bush has volunteered in Laos with the organization, and told EW, “I’m thrilled by the commitments each village makes before construction begins, as it creates pride in the school with community investment.” READ FULL STORY

PopWatch PSA: What to watch with relatives over the holidays

As the holiday season comes to a close, you may still be visiting relatives and wondering how you can fill the time between meals. If you’re not sneaking off for a self-marathon of TV on DVD (or Netflix or iTunes), you may be looking for suggestions for movies that will please multiple generations (or just not embarrass you like, say, taking your parents to see Shame). We, and your fellow PopWatchers, are here to help. I’ll list some of my suggestions, you list some of yours. Here are movies or recent DVDs to watch if you’re with:

• A mother who’s told you she would like to see Robert Downey Jr. and Johnny Depp star in a film together: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Yes, this is Downey and Jude Law, but if your mother wants to see Downey team up with Depp, what she really appreciates is a fun, eccentric take on a character, and Holmes’ many costumes in this sequel will delight her. This film has also proven a hit with dads (or, at least with my colleague Adam Vary’s).  READ FULL STORY

'New Year's Eve': Dick Clark looks back after 40 years of 'Rockin' an ABC tradition

This year’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest (10 p.m. ET, ABC) will mark the 40th anniversary of the iconic holiday show from host and executive producer Dick Clark. Cohosts Clark and Seacrest will be joined by Lady Gaga, Pitbull, Hot Chelle Rae, the Band Perry, blink-182, Christina Perri, Florence + the Machine, Gym Class Heroes, LMFAO, OneRepublic, Nicki Minaj, Taio Cruz, and will.i.am. Whew!

In Friday’s issue of EW, Clark runs down some of his favorite New Year’s Rockin’ Eve memories — like the time his camera crew was, unbeknownst to him, “being entertained by an office full of naked celebrants” in a building high atop Times Square. “When we started in 1972, I was perched on top of a Times Square building accompanied by my wife and a lone cameraman,” Clark writes. It’s certainly grown since then. Look for more from Clark in the new issue of EW, on stands Friday Dec. 30.

Now tune your clock to “ABC Time” and let’s relive a few choice NYRE moments….

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