CNN anchor Chris Cuomo thoroughly embarrassed his New York governor brother Andrew on the air by pulling up an unflattering family photo from the politician’s teenage years.
The brothers engaged in another round of playful sibling banter on Wednesday night during Cuomo Prime Time, which Chris has been hosting from his basement for the past week while he battles COVID-19.
They covered a range of serious topics surrounding the coronavirus crisis before Chris ended things on a lighter note by bringing up Andrew’s new campaign ‘Who are you staying home for’, which encourages people to focus on how their social distancing affects the health of others.
Chris stated that he was staying home for his mother – knowing that Andrew had publicly declared the same thing when he announced the campaign.
‘Yeah, well I had my picture this morning while you were still sleeping and I showed it at my press conference,’ Andrew said.
‘And people have to understand, you wouldn’t want to be reckless with your own life, don’t endanger others. That’s what the “Stay at home for” campaign is all about. Don’t endanger health care workers, don’t endanger vulnerable people.
‘She was my mother first, by the way.’
The pair went back and forth for a bit before Chris changed his answer as he flashed a childhood photo on the screen.
Chris and Andrew Cuomo engaged in a round of playful sibling banter on Wednesday night during Cuomo Prime Time. Chris (left) hosted the show from his basement, where he’s been isolating for the past week while battling COVID-19, while Andrew (right) joined in from his governor’s office in Albany
Chris thoroughly embarrassed his older brother on the air by pulling up the family photo above
‘I’m staying home for these two guys at the front,’ Chris said in reference to the image, which showed a teenage Andrew wearing a loud pattern shirt, white bell-bottoms and dated afro-like hairstyle next to a much younger and cuter Chris.
The governor pretended to be unable to see the embarrassing snap as he defiantly removed his microphone and said: ‘Bye, Chris.’
‘No, no, no, don’t do it. Put the mic back on. Don’t be like that,’ Chris pleaded.
‘Take the picture down,’ Andrew replied.
Chris refused, but worked to get back on his brother’s good side by offering a heartfelt explanation for his choice.
‘Here’s why I’m doing it for these guys. Because this is the guy who helped me shape who I am today.
‘Look how I was looking at him so lovingly back then. I know it looks like I’m staring at his diamond encrusted belt buckle, but I’m not. I’m actually staring up at the young man who made me so proud as his brother back then in my “Billy the Kids” and now.’
The photo shows a teenage Andrew (front left) wearing a loud pattern shirt, white bell-bottoms and dated afro-like hairstyle – next to a much younger and cuter Chris (front right)
Chris clearly enjoyed embarrassing his brother with the unflattering photo while Andrew pretended to sign off from the interview
Shifting back to poking fun at the governor, he said: ‘Huck-a-poo was your signature look. You’ve abandoned it. Why?’
‘There are no words. There are no words,’ Andrew said, shaking his head. ‘That is not me.’
Chris replied: ‘Governor, it is good to remind people that they are just coming to love you now as I have my whole life. It’s your commitment to other people.
‘I love you very much. Thank you for coming on the show. Thank you for keeping my spirits up and thank you for what you’re doing for the state.
‘Oh, I’d like to say it was my pleasure, but it wasn’t,’ Andrew hit back before wishing his brother luck with the rest of the show and signing off.
Earlier in the interview Andrew got to have his own fun as he mocked one of Chris’ serious questions about the governor’s relationship with President Donald Trump.
‘I’ve seen you referred to a little bit recently as “the love gov,”‘ Chris said, ‘and I’m wondering if that’s making you a little soft on the president, that you don’t want to really criticize him, because you need him and now’s not a time for fighting. Love gov?’
Andrew replied: ‘I’ve always been a soft guy. I am the love gov. I’m a cool dude and loose mood, you know that.
‘I just say, let it go, just go with the flow, baby.’
‘You have never said any of those things,’ Chris said. ‘That’s the first time you’ve said any of those.’
‘Really?’ the governor asked.
‘Never said any of those. I’ve known you my whole life,’ Chris said.
‘Well, that’s your opinion. Yeah. You should listen better. Listening works,’ Andrew said before answering the Trump question more seriously.
At a more serious point in the interview Andrew shared his mix of emotions over the current state of the coronavirus crisis in New York
‘I am working with the president, cooperatively, it’s very important that the federal and state government work together during this time,’ he said.
‘I have to do my best job for the people of this state. You cannot say — look, I’ve been the governor in this country that has been the most critical of the president up until now. And, by the way, there’s no governor that he’s been more critical of than me.
‘So, nobody’s going to say I’ve gone too soft on the president. We’re working together to help the state. That’s what’s important now, no politics, no personality, no ego, no ego.
‘It’s not about you. It’s not about me. It’s about we, and getting through this, and that’s my singular focus.
‘There will be a day and a time for everything. But this is not the time and place.’
Andrew also shared his mix of emotions over the current state of the coronavirus crisis in New York as the curve of new infections has flattened while the death toll keeps climbing.
Earlier in the day he ordered all flags around the state to fly at half-mast in honor of those who have died from COVID-19 after New York recorded its deadliest 24 hours with 779 deaths.
The total death toll across the state now sits at 6,268 – more than double the number of people who died in 9/11 – with 148,316 infections.