Anderson Cooper is on TV nearly every evening, but his nearly 1-year-old son just got to watch his dad on-screen for the first time.
The CNN anchor, 53, began his “Jeopardy!” guest hosting gig Monday, following former NFL star Aaron Rodgers’ two-week run. His first episode was widely met with praise from fans on social media, as well as his own child, Wyatt, who turns 1 next Tuesday. In a photo posted by Cooper, the adorable infant is shown sitting upright on a bed, holding a toy while his eyes were glued to the screen as his father opened the show.
“Wyatt has never seen me on tv before, and he likely won’t for a long while, but apparently he caught a bit of me on @Jeopardy!” Cooper wrote in an Instagram post Monday, calling the hosting gig a “dream come true.”
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This isn’t the first time Cooper has set foot on the “Jeopardy!” stage: He previously competed four times on “Celebrity Jeopardy!” between 2004 and 2016 and has appeared remotely several more times through the years as a clue giver. The news anchor noted Monday on the show that he’s been a fan of Trebek and “Jeopardy!” since he was a teenager.
“To be on this stage where Alex Trebek hosted ‘Jeopardy!’ with such grace and intelligence for so long is really amazing and very humbling,” Cooper said. “Getting to guest host these next two weeks, raise money for good causes and pay tribute to Alex, it’s really an honor. I miss him and I know that we all do.”
Cooper made a surprise announcement live on-air last May that he welcomed son Wyatt Morgan Cooper via surrogate on April 27.
“On Monday, I became a father,” Cooper said. “I’ve never actually said that before, and it still kind of astonishes me. I am a dad. I have a son and I want you to meet him.”
Cooper shared pictures at the time of his newborn with viewers, revealing that his son’s moniker is a tribute to his late father, Wyatt Emory Cooper: “He’s named after my dad, who died when I was 10 years old. I hope I can be as good a dad as he was.”
‘It’s extraordinary’: Anderson Cooper reflects on welcoming baby after tragedy, talks co-parenting with ex
Since then, Cooper explained he planned to co-parent Wyatt with his former partner, nightclub owner Benjamin Maisani. The two split in 2018 after nine years of dating, though they remain good friends.
“I don’t really have a family and so my friends become my family. This is somebody I was involved with for 10 years,” Cooper explained in an interview last May with Howard Stern. “He’s a great guy. We didn’t work out as a couple, but I want somebody – when I was a little kid, it was just my mom and my brother. My mom was not the most parental person and I wished some adult, after my dad died, had stepped in and been like, ‘You know what? I’ll take you to a ballgame.’ Or ‘let’s go out to lunch every now and then and just talk.’ ”
Contributing: Cydney Henderson
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