Remember that little to-do last year over Buffalo’s Dyngus Day celebration and Anderson Cooper’s reaction?
You know, some people got a little bothered when the CNN host giggled uncontrollably during a segment that aired video of people dancing and partying at the post-Lenten festival in Buffalo.
Well, Cooper’s viewers voted his giggling fit – and the fallout from Buffalo that followed – the No. 1 “RidicuList” story from 2012. The RidicuList is a regular feature on the “Anderson Cooper 360” show.
The Dyngus Day flap generated more online votes than such Top 10 RidicuList contenders as Pizza Hut’s pizza-scented perfume, the Panda poop tea and the lap dances for charity.
But before Western New Yorkers go getting all upset again, the area’s chief Dyngus defender wants to remind people that this nod from the CNN viewers is good news for Buffalo.
“This just creates the conversation about the Dyngus Day festival in Buffalo all over again,” said Eddy Dobosiewicz, cofounder of Dyngus Day Buffalo.
Dobosiewicz wants to use the viewers’ acknowledgment to help market Dyngus Day and lure Cooper here for festivities in April, so he can be crowned the “Pussy Willow Prince” – an offer Dobosiewicz made on air last year.
“I would love to be the Pussy Willow Prince,” Cooper told him at the time. “Let’s talk again next year.”
Hopefully, Dobosiewicz said, this year-end vote from viewers will serve as a friendly reminder to the popular CNN star.
Dyngus Day, of course, marks the end of Lent with a celebration the day after Easter. The popularity of the Polish-American event has grown in Buffalo in recent years to include feasts, parades, music and revelry, as well as the old tradition of men and women using pussy willows and water fights to send romantic signals.
A clip of the festivities in Buffalo appeared as a “RidicuList” item on Cooper’s April 10 show, which led to his laughter and comments that came off to some as insensitive to the Polish custom.
Cooper apologized on air the next day, explaining he did not mean to criticize Dyngus Day or Buffalo. He said his comment that “this is so stupid” was in reference to his inability to stop laughing.
Dobosiewicz, a former stand-up comic, laughed it off, too, but immediately saw it as chance for Buffalo and Dyngus Day to get some good publicity. He sent Cooper a Buffalo-style care package and taped a brief exchange with the host to accept his apology and extend the invitation to this year’s Dyngus Day.
Dobosiewicz, in fact, has kept in touch with the show’s staff, who told him Cooper is still interested in the invitation, as long as all the stars can align.
“He seems to be a really, really cool cat about this whole thing, and I think he’s diggin’ what has transpired,” said Dobosiewicz, who plays the role of the beatnik Maxwell Truth on late-night’s Off-Beat Cinema.
“We’re definitely pursuing this,” Dobosiewicz said. “I can be very persistent, even if I have to go to New York City to do a little schmoozing and deliver kielbasa to the guy.”