Many of you had the same question about AC360's exclusive jailhouse interview with Michael Jackson's doctor: What was going through Anderson's mind when Dr. Conrad Murray started singing "The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot"?
Producer Jack Gray sat down with Anderson to relive the unforgettable live TV moment and ask him on your behalf.
Understand that it's not easy to surprise a globetrotting veteran journalist, but Anderson sure was, confirming it was the first time someone broke into song during an interview. Reflecting on the two-part segment, he says, "it took a very bizarre twist" when Murray switched from explaining to singing about his connection with Jackson.
You may know AC360° producer Jack Gray from his legendary blog, Twitter musings, or as the guy who crafted the "No Nudity" sign to urgently remind Kathy Griffin about her boundaries on New Year's Eve, but there's so much more to his witty and sardonic views on life.
Anderson Cooper took your questions, added a few, and invited Jack into his office to talk about his new book, "Pigeon In A Crosswalk: Tales of Anxiety and Accidental Glamour."
Jack reveals where he wrote his best material (sorry, Anderson), why he mocks his boss in the book, and the rejected book title that has a female basketball coach (somewhere out there) indebted to him forever. And Anderson recounts that time he was mistaken for another white-haired television host.
Guests with a wide range of opinions were invited to share their perspectives when Anderson Cooper convened a town hall in Washington to discuss the current and future state of gun laws in America.
Judging by the audience reaction at George Washington University, the conversation was impassioned but respectful. Although there were disagreements, everyone benefitted from hearing both sides and getting to the crux of the issues.
The topics included personal safety, mental health, the culture of violence, politics, background checks, banning certain types of guns, second amendment rights, and much more. The program was enriched by the activists and experts, and also by people who told their personal stories.
The next day Anderson, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Jeffrey Toobin and producer Jack Gray met again via Google+ Hangout to answer your questions and address the points you made on social media.
If you missed the program or the Hangout, find video highlights below. Let us know your thoughts on the gun debate in a comment or by tweeting @AC360.
Thanks to everyone who posted a question(s) on our Facebook and Google+ pages! Because of your brilliant curiosity, we learned more about Anderson's interests and got to the bottom of that "feud" with Wolf Blitzer. And yes, there was a fair amount of giggling involved in this interview. Watch the video we recorded a few weeks ago, hosted by 360 producer Jack Gray, and inspired by your submissions. Then, check out the recap:
Anderson's reaction to Jack's follow up question:
How do you prepare for a job that could take you anywhere? Over his 22-year career with CNN, National Correspondent Gary Tuchman has traveled to all 50 states and 27 countries – often at a moment's notice. He has the logistics down to a science, starting with his list of must-have items for the road. One essential may surprise you.
“Wherever I go, I have my rollerblades,” he says. “I've been skating for 20 years and these have been with me all over the United States, Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, Japan.” Not only are his rollerblades great for exercise, they’re also a way to meet people.
Here at AC360, we are fortunate to share the newsroom with Christiane Amanpour and her team. They “moved in” last April, when Christiane launched a new program on CNN International. Tapping into her vast experience reporting on events around the world, "Amanpour" provides in-depth analysis of the most pressing global news and features high-profile interviews.
Christiane’s career started in Providence, Rhode Island, where she was in charge of the graphics that went on on-air at a local TV news station. Christiane aspired to become a foreign correspondent, and she began on that path when she left Providence and accepted a position at CNN.
In 1983, just three years after the network's founding, she got her start with the company as an entry-level assistant on the international assignment desk in Atlanta. Christiane credits her background in helping her ace the job interview. "They asked me a few questions, all of which I knew because they were mostly about Iran and the revolution," she says, "and I'd lived it so I knew those questions."
Tom Foreman has written nearly 1,300 letters to President Obama on AC360.com. He has done them every day since the January 2009 presidential inauguration— weekends and holidays, too.
“I thought, well, when he gets inaugurated, I’ll write 10 days of letters to him saying what I think,” Tom said. But he didn’t stop at 10, 100 or even 1,000 letters. A short-term project has seemingly turned into a hobby for the veteran journalist. Tom said he’s never received a response from the White House but that’s never discouraged him from writing about a myriad of topics.
Some letters explore hot-button political issues and others discuss subjects as light-hearted as Tom's annual family Mardi Gras celebration. Tom frequently invites the President to contact him in return but that hasn’t happened.
When your boss is Anderson Cooper, what do you give him for his 45th birthday? Can you surprise a man who’s innately observant and passionate about finding the truth around him? Yes. If you’re sneaky and determined, then yes you can.
There were a few close calls when the surprise was almost spoiled, but thanks to some quick thinking, fast door slams, and the speed (and grace) at which Ben can wheel an event cake, the plans were kept hush hush.
I’m taking you behind the scenes so you can get a taste of what happened before and after the birthday ambush. This is a web exclusive, everyone.
You may not get a sense for the distinctive smell of our reptilian guests, but you’ll see how they try to bite the hand that holds them (initials A.C.). Special thanks to Turtleman for bringing the two snapping turtles, one weighing in at 50 lbs., and for teaching us that his “yiyiyi” call is more than just a gimmick – it makes his “soul feel better.”
It’s tough for our staff to surprise Anderson for his birthday. First, he knows it’s coming. And, he’s traveled the world, met the most fascinating people and lives a pretty exciting life.
Anderson Cooper 360° interns Taylor Cannon and Terek Pierce take you behind the scenes for a CNN vocab lesson.