On Friday's Late Show on CBS, David Letterman had questions for Anderson Cooper about being a gay man -- and the good-humored host of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 responded with honesty and wit.
The interview begins with Letterman plopping a bottle of Scotch on the desk and pouring two glasses -- one of which Cooper chugs in a single gulp. A friendly gesture for the upcoming holidays? Perhaps, but Letterman had some personal questions in store for the newsman, and a little truth serum never hurts.
After chattting about the election and Hurricane Sandy, Dave asks Cooper about "gaydar" -- the ability to intuit who's gay and who isn't just by looking at them -- and Anderson responds that he's "pinging off the hook" for the talk show host, then reassures Dave that there is no secret handshake for gay people. And speaking of secret handshakes, after Cooper admits to being drunk from the aforementioned Scotch, Letterman tries to congratulate his guest with a fistbump.
"Dave, I'm gay. We don't do this kind of thing," a stymied Cooper jokes.
"This is interesting to me," Dave asks, turning the subject to Cooper's coming out via a letter sent last July to Daily Beast columnist Andrew Sullivan. "You made it be known beyond your immediate family and friends that you're a homosexual," to which Cooper jokes, "we prefer the term light in the loafers."
But then Anderson offers a more heartfelt response:
"As a member of a community in this country who is concerned about the well-being of this country and the well-being of people in the community, I didn't want to be sending in any way -- I didn't want anybody interpreting my silence on the issue as being somehow that I was ashamed of something or was trying to hide something," Cooper says.
"I could not be any more happy," he continues. "I could not be any more comfortable and any more proud of being gay than I am."
Cooper's syndicated daytime talk show, Anderson Live, was canceled recently due to soft ratings, but the anchor, the son of Gloria Vanderbilt, remains bright light for CNN, whose election night coverage was the top-rated cable news network in the adults 25-54 demo.