April 10th, 2012
11:20 PM ET

RidicuList: People who missed Dyngus Day

The quirky rituals involved with an obscure holiday called Dyngus Day are too much for Anderson to handle... he loses it laughing during the RidicuList.

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Filed under: The RidicuList
soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. Matt

    Dear Anderson,

    Buffalo, New York has been trying to create and identity (other than SNOW) for decades. Your ill-timed childish reaction to an event which has recently been gaining momentum to establish a destination on par with Mardi Gras, and as a right of Spring was careless and offensive. A lot of people have overwhleming pride in their Polish heritage and the emergence of Dingus Day as a legitmate reason to share the great city of Buffalo New York with the country and the world. My suggestion to you is to take the 45 minute flight next year and check us out, before dismissing us in a wave of childish giggles.

    Yours Truly,


    Buffalo, NY – Dingus Day Capital of the World.

    April 11, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  2. Debbie

    Wow Cooper...so sorry the Polish tradition doesnt live up to your Vanderbilt Shindig standards with tea and crumpets. You just lost a viewer.

    April 11, 2012 at 11:47 am |
  3. Lori Ann

    don't knock it till you try it......

    April 11, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  4. Joseph

    The CNN/Anderson Cooper coverage of Dyngus Day was an insult not only to European Americans but to anyone that shows pride in their ethnic heritage. Would you have dared do the same thing if this was celebrated by people of different color or religious belief. I personally don't think you would have. If you had though, I'm sure there would have been outrage in those communities. Everyone should enjoy a good laugh, sometimes even at their own expense. I think this went beyond funny. CNN should, at the very least, reprimand Cooper and issue a formal apology.

    April 11, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  5. anagreeableperspective

    Reblogged this on anagreeableperspective and commented:
    LOVE Anderson Cooper. His giggling always makes my day.

    April 11, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  6. Kasia

    Mr. Anderson, I am a proud Polish-American who has been celebrating Smyngus Dyngus ever since I can remember. While it may seem silly to others, this holiday is a big part of the Polish culture and heritage that we love; it's a tradition that we cannot bear to give up. For those not a part of the culture, it may be hard to understand, but that doesn't mean you need to poke fun at it. Poles everywhere are disappointed and insulted by this episode, our cherished holiday was skewed and turned into a complete joke. What's done is done, I just hope that before you insult any part of another culture in the future, you think about how people of that culture will feel, or how you would feel if you were a part of that culture.

    April 11, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  7. sondra19

    I get that it seems a bit silly. Dyngus Day is tied to The Polish people's strict Lenten Practice of abstaining from drinking, dancing,rich foods, especially sweets...It is no more silly a celebration than Fat Tueday or Mardi Gras is. I think in order to really understand it you need to spend Easter Week in Buffalo. I propose exactly that! Next Year spend the week before Easter in Buffalo, immersed in the polish traditons of Easter.

    April 11, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  8. Lynn, Buffalo NY

    Being of Polish decent, having family still in Poland. I find you laughing at a Polish tradition that has been celebrated in Poland since the 15th century...a total disgrace to the Polish people all over the world. I still have family in Poland who celebrate this tradition and look forward to it each year. I suggest you look into the history of Dyngus Day a little further before you mock something. I used to watch your show...not anymore.

    April 11, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  9. sondra19

    I get that it's a bit silly. This is a celebtation built on the Polish people's stict lenten practices. No drinking, no celebrations...It is no more silly than Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras celebrations! Anderson you really shouldn't knock it until you try it! I suggest you spend Easter week in Buffalo next year, maybe then you will understand.

    April 11, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  10. Dean

    Oh, Anderson. What a mistake you just made. You're about to hear from a barrage of Polish Buffalonians who won't find this so funny. The people of Buffalo are a proud people and don't take kindly to outsiders making fun of them. I see an apology in your future.

    April 11, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  11. Lena

    Ok, sorry, but it's an old Polish tradition, that has been celebrated in Poland for hundreds of years, and even if it sounds stupid, it's really fun. Laughing like that is very, very offensive. Just becouse you don't understand other culture, doesn't mean it's stupid, it just means that you might simply not know enough about it.

    April 11, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  12. lure

    Anderson, please come and check out the Dyngus Day celebration in Buffalo and the surrounding suburbs next year, you will find that this "obscure" holiday is a time honored tradition here and that the Polish immigrants and their families as well as non-polish enjoy. This celebration brings together people and customs that may be fading and reestablishes the diversity of this area just as the St Patrick's Day celebrations does. You do not need to be Polish to enjoy the music, unique foods and entertainment. I hope that you will come join us and next time your "giggles" will be because you are having a blast, not because you are mocking. Btw I am not Polish. Thank you.

    April 11, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  13. Sue

    Perhaps Mr. Cooper should LEARN the facts of different nationalities' traditions before making a FOOL of himself on air by mocking them! Just goes to show how completely unprofessional he can be. I believe Cooper owes an apology to Poles not just in Buffalo, but around the world. I don't see him mocking all the St. Patrick's Day celebrations or Mardi Gras celebrations. Why is that Anderson? Only ignorant fools mock that which they are unfamiliar with.

    April 11, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  14. Pam Stiegman

    I think Cooper should attend Dyngus Day 2013 in Buffalo and get a taste of "So Stupid" Golobki, Pierogi and Kielbasa.

    April 11, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  15. Catherine Light

    I attended by first Dyngus Day event in Rotterdam, NY just Monday. And let me tell you something. I am not fond of the amount of drinking that accompanies alot of events. But drinking is a part of the American culture (sadly), and occurs everywhere from college campuses of the most elite (mmmm, where did Mr. Cooper go to school – a "dry" campus?, tailgate parties, bat mitvahs, weddings, funerals. So, what was Mr. Anderson really laughing at, I wonder? He should have accompanied me to my car aftewards. Walking beside me was the 11 yr old son of the caterer. He was helping me carry kielbasa to my car, plus a few other items. I asked him what dragged him out to the event. "Why," he said, "I am Polish. It is Dygnus Day. Of course I am here..." he proclaimed, his pre-pubescent chest puffed out in pride, and then he told me about his cousin at the cash register, his father in the kitchen, his mother... well, you get the picture. So, I share in the offense that Polish Americans feel this day. I recently toured the Forgotten Buffalo, where 20,000 Polish American once showed up, every Sunday, at just ONE of the incredibly cathedrals near Central Railroad Station, an incredibly monument to their industriousness. And so, Mr Cooper. You have no "Y" in YOUR name. You don't deserve one. Visit Buffalo's Polonia. And march in their parade next year. I am sure they could fit you for a giant Kielbasa costume. Maybe.

    April 11, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  16. Aundrea Cika Heschmeyer

    Bet your older Polish brothers, Leopold Stanislaus "Stan" Stokowski, and Christopher Stokowski, know it's okay to party

    April 11, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  17. Rich Z from PA

    Your coverage of Dyngus Day was an insult not only to European Americans but to anyone that shows pride in their ethnic heritage. Would you have dared do the same thing if this was celebrated by people of different color or religious belief. I personally don't think you would have. If you had though, I'm sure there would have been outrage in those communities. Everyone should enjoy a good laugh, sometimes even at their own expense. I think this went beyond funny.

    April 11, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  18. Jo

    How insulting that you would belittle a tradition that is celebrated not only by Poles but by other ethnic groups as well. Shame on you for "losing" it on camera and noting that it was "stupid". My view of you as journalist has been deeply diminished.

    April 11, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  19. Mikey Dee

    Hey Anderson, Thanks for laughing at us !!!!!! If it was a Italian, Irish,Mexican or Black celebration would you humiliate them on air also ? CNN should apologize for the rude remarks that you made !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 11, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  20. Holly Militello

    Mr. Cooper: How utterly rude and unprofessional this broadcast was! Okay, so Dyngus Day isn't something you celebrate. We get it. But for you to break out in silly giggles while reporting this long-standing cultural tradition of the Polish community was really insulting to a great many people. I am not Polish, but I live among this Buffalo, NY community of decent, hard-working people who are. They celebrate Dyngus Day with pride in their culture, and have fun doing it much as the Irish do by celebrating St. Patricks Day, Mexicans by celebrating Cinco de Mayo, and so on. I am certain that if one of your RidicuList broadcasts should showcase you mocking when reporting about Kwanzaa or another race or culture specific holiday, the ACLU and NAACP would be knocking upon your door, and rightly so. Yes, there are some things that seem to be silly and meaningless to us all. Obviously, Dyngus Day is that for you. Congratulations. But for a (formerly) respected newsman to mock Polish people, a happy holiday and a city who enjoys celebrating with good, clean fun where nobody is turned away and noone gets hurt, in a forum that reaches many others was done in poor judgement and was grossly irresponsible. You should be ashamed of yourself, and you owe the Polish community and the City of Buffalo, NY an apology.

    April 11, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  21. Tim O'Connor

    From the Dyngus day website 🙂

    Dyngus Day shared a link.
    24 minutes ago.Last night on national television, CNN host Anderson Cooper devoted more than three minutes of time to Dyngus Day in Buffalo. Cooper featured the post-Lenten festival on the “RidicuList” segment on Andersen 360.

    “It’s so stupid, really so ...stupid,” said Cooper before he erupted into 70 seconds of uninterrupted on-air laugher. Cooper seemed baffled about the Dyngus Day tradition of squirting water and using pussy willows in a flirtatious manner as a sign of affection.

    “It sounds like a bunch of waterlogged drunk people hitting each other with sticks,” continued Anderson. “There ain’t no party like a Dyngus Day party cuz’ a Dyngus Day party is the most random excuse to drink there is. And to the good citizens of Buffalo ringing out their clothes, tending to their beer and kielbasa hangovers and pussy willow welts today, happy belated Dyngus Day.”

    “We take Dyngusing very serious in the Dyngus Day Capital of the World,” said Eddy Dobosiewicz, Co-Founder of Dyngus Day Buffalo. “Sure it’s a great party filled with spirited adult revelry, but Polish Pride and the celebration of Easter are at the center of the day which is a highlight on the Buffalo social calendar.”

    In response, Dyngus Day Buffalo has invited Cooper to attend Dyngus Day 2013 and experience one of America’s greatest ethnic festivals for himself.

    “It’s only appropriate that Cooper is named the 2013 Pussy Willow Prince as next year’s Dyngus Day falls on April 1st...April Fools Day,” explained Dobosiewicz. “A ride on the historic Fireboat Cotter, the world’s largest Dyngus Day squirt gun, will also be on the Dyngus tour of Buffalo if Cooper accepts our invite.”

    The invitation to attend Dyngus Day and the title of the “Pussy Willow Prince” will come in the form of a box from BuffaloFoods.com featuring Redlinski’s Polish Sausage and pussy willows.

    April 11, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  22. Nick Larkin

    I had been a fan before seeing this piece. As someone with polish roots and married to a Polish American, I was actually more shocked than I was offended when watching Anderson Cooper provide a grossly inaccurate description of the Polish Tradition smingus dyngus, and then proceed to ridicule and belittle not only the people involved in the tradition but also the tradition itself. It was actually uncomfortable and embarrassing to watch the respectable news anchor especially during the moment when he paused for several seconds, giggled and whimsically whispered under his breath "this is just so stupid." He looked like a highschool bully making fun of the foreign exchange student.

    The sacred religious holiday Smingus Dyngus, has been celebrated since as early as the 15th century in Poland. Cooper called it "an excuse to get drunk."

    I've seen the Ridiculous List before. Usually Cooper uses it to point out arrogance, ignorance, and absurdity. Its clear that last night Cooper, on a national stage presented himself as arrogant, ignorant, and absurd.

    I'll never watch this show again.

    April 11, 2012 at 10:08 am |
  23. Jen

    Way to insult, not only an entire city, but an entire nationality, Anderson. I guess you left professional journalism behind once you started interviewing "real" housewives on daytime tv.

    April 11, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  24. Persia Fasahl

    The Spring festival, Dyngus Day is a Post-Lenten Mardi Gras, which makes more sense.
    Buffalo, NY’s Dyngus Day Celebration is the largest Ethnic Festival in North America!!
    Are you criticizing us because we are Polish??
    You would not be critical if we were Black or Gay or Hispanic !!
    Besides, “Everyone is Polish on Dyngus Day !!”

    April 11, 2012 at 9:48 am |
  25. kdf

    Anderson... you totally just made my day!!

    April 11, 2012 at 9:33 am |
  26. Cheryl

    What a slap in the face to the Polish community regarding Dyngus Day. Can you really call making a mockery of someones tradition news? Apparently Anderson Coopers story on stopping the bullying does not include him.
    Should he then mock Christmas, Easter, Quanza, Cinco de Mayo, Presidents Day, St. Patricks Day, the running of the bulls, etc. All of the previously mentioned are celebrations that people believe in, but Anderson has to mock the Buffalo/Polish tradition of Dyngus Day? Anderson, you may want to think twice before you call someones tradition stupid.

    April 11, 2012 at 9:27 am |
  27. Joe Palese

    He didn't lose it because of Dyngus Day it was the word "pussy willow" that did it. Reminded me of his sarcastic piece on the sorority girls. It was the most idiotic thing I've seen from a journalist at his level.The Ridiculist isn't funny because Anderson isn't funny. He comes across as arrogant and stupid.

    April 11, 2012 at 9:14 am |
  28. Beth O'Malia

    DYNGUS DAY ...It IS absolutely ridiculous, but after 40 days of Lent and Holy Days it is a Good Party. Sort of a reverse Mardi Gras. So next year, come to Buffalo and see for your self!

    April 11, 2012 at 8:14 am |
  29. Lynda Flackman

    My name has a Y in it.

    April 11, 2012 at 8:12 am |
  30. Linda Lee Toepfer

    Oh Anderson! shame on you! Until you experience the pure joy that is felt throughout everyone! I look forward to the swatting the pussywillow branch on the back of the legs of the cute guys! It is a great way to meet people! I danced all night. My favorite dancing partner was an elderly man who had prosthetic arms. He was the best dancer and a great teacher. We waltzed and polkaed. Some folk thought I made his day! In reality he made mine!
    I invite you to join in the celebration! I am thinking we should practice the polka a little before you go. I PROMISE you will have a lot of fun.
    Then next year, your report will be that YOU enjoyed the Ridiculist of Dyngus Day!
    (it is suggested you have some time to recuperate the next day, not from drinking too much, but your face will hut from smiling too much and your feet may hurt from dancing! oh...the back of your legs may just remind you of all the beautiful women who may have thought you were cute and were flirting with you!

    April 11, 2012 at 7:57 am |
  31. Denise

    There are a lot of cultural differences among us which are what makes our world so interesting. Dyngus Day is what is unique to the Polish heritage. I wonder if Anderson would still have a job if he mocked Kwanzaa??

    April 11, 2012 at 7:55 am |
  32. Dyngus Day

    Happy Dyngus Day Anderson...from the Dyngus Day Capital of the World! Next year...come to Buffalo to get whipped by a young lady! Thanks for the story and coverage!

    April 11, 2012 at 6:06 am |
  33. Nancy

    So, this is more "disturbing" than having people bare their breasts for beads in New Orleans at Mardi Gras? It is unfortunate that this can be treated in such a disrespectful manner simply because the "authority" in this case doesn't really understand it. It shows a lack of respect for cultures other than his and places other than where he lives. Typical of CNN I guess.

    April 11, 2012 at 6:04 am |
  34. Sam

    Thank you Anderson form keeping the light on SYria, over thier they say WE HAVE NO ONE TO PROTECT US, I wish one day they will know how much you faught for them , please keep it on .

    April 11, 2012 at 4:02 am |
  35. Alicia

    Oh Anderson when I see you laugh it makes me laugh. Thanks for brightening my day with your giggle.

    April 11, 2012 at 3:13 am |
  36. Mark Rowan

    Anderson, what's up with the dissing of an entire group of people who are simply celebrating a traditional holiday custom? With all due respect, your RidicuList tonight was offensive to a large group of totally innocent people who were doing no more than letting loose after Lent. So is Dyngus Day any more "ridiculous" than St. Patrick's Day or Oktoberfest or Fat Tuesday or New Year's Eve or any other occasion commonly used as an excuse to have a party? Your own broadcast violates CNN's Rules of Conduct for commentary, in which prohibited content includes any "that violates or infringes in any way upon the rights of others, including any statements which may defame ... others" or any with "blatant expressions of bigotry ..." Frankly, the most ridiculous part of this is this most recent RidicuList.

    April 11, 2012 at 2:42 am |
  37. B. LuBrant

    What an insult to all Polish people !!! I sure that Mr. Cooper felt that this "silly" Poliish custom was worthy of his ridicule. It only adds to the old stereotype of Polish people being nothing more that a bunch of dumbbells. Maybe if this astute reporter had done even minimal research, he would have found that there is a serious origin to Dyngus Day. But, no, it was much easier to poke fun at the Poles. Well part of the tradition is mentioned in the website that Mr. Cooper referenced in his piece. This comes from the Buffalo website: "There are many stories that attempt to explain the origins of the day. Many Polish customs date back to pre-Christian practices of our Slavic ancestors. The custom of pouring water is an ancient spring rite of cleansing, purification, and fertility. The same is true of the complimentary practice of switching with pussy willow branches. Since 966 A.D., Dyngus Day has been associated with the baptism of Prince Mieszko I. Tradition states that Prince Mieszko I along with his court were baptized on Easter Monday. Thus, Dyngus Day and its rites of sprinkling with water have become a folk celebration in thanksgiving for the fact that the first king of Poland was baptized into Christianity, bringing Catholicism to Poland."

    That does not seem to be funny to me. I do think that Mr. Cooper owes all Polish people an apology.To make fun of any race or nationality and their customs is surely in bad taste. It Mr. Cooper ridiculed an African American tradition like he did here, he would be fired. But this is ONLY the dumb, drunken Poles and their "ridiculous" excuse of a celebration. They certainly do not warrant any respect. Maybe the next time, Mr. Cooper will do more than just a minute;s worth of research before he disrepects an entire nationality. Maybe he can find more ridicule in our Pulaski Day celebrations. I do think he should be aware of who Pulaski was and what he did for this country. But to give credit to someone of Polish descent might be too much for Mr. Cooper. I doubt he will ever offer an apology to all of the Poles who he insulted but I do think, if an apology is not made, then Mr. Cooper should be fired.

    April 11, 2012 at 2:24 am |
  38. Stephanie

    Anderson Cooper's giggle fits are WHY I watch the Rediculist! They're the best!

    April 11, 2012 at 2:10 am |
  39. Sally

    Thank you Anderson for enlightening me on this obscure and entirely silly celebration. I will file this away with other lessor known facts for future Trivial Pursuit games. Indeed, I was laughing (dare I say giggling) right along with you as were countless others I am sure1

    April 11, 2012 at 1:43 am |
  40. pape

    AC never allow your mind to go wild when addressing an audience on funny matter. crack on man :)..

    April 11, 2012 at 1:12 am |
  41. Jennifer

    Oh Anderson, when you laugh, we will always laugh with you!! Love love love it!!

    April 11, 2012 at 1:05 am |
  42. Dianne

    Thanks for making me laugh Anderson. 🙂

    April 11, 2012 at 12:19 am |
  43. ClMorgan

    I love it when Anderson loses control! Good on you Anderson!

    April 11, 2012 at 12:07 am |
  44. Gloria Shmyr

    Thanks Anderson for all you do, I love the new show.

    April 10, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
  45. Dora

    Dear Mr. Cooper,

    You out to be ashamed of yourself; calling another culture’s tradition stupid. Not only was it rude, defamatory and raciest, it was low class. First off, you need to get your facts straight because clearly whoever is doing your research homework was wrong. The recorded explanation of Śmigus-Dyngus that you played during your segment was wrong. So to broadcast on national television that a 500 year old tradition is stupid makes you sound stupid when play a wrong recorded explanation of Śmigus-Dyngus. Hearing about what Poles in Buffalo do on this day, did sound odd, especially the way you phrased it, “a day to drink, dance and play music”. Poles in Poland and other parts of the world do not celebrate Śmigus-Dyngus as a day to drink nor dance, but simple to sprinkle each other with water in the morning on Easter Monday. Maybe the American way of life as tainted this historic tradition celebrated by Poles in Buffalo. Clearly, Polish-Americans decided to add their own twist to the tradition, but by no means does it give you the right to act foolishly on television by laughing, walking off the set and by repeatedly calling the tradition stupid. This tradition is celebrated differently by Poles outside of the U.S, so to phrase that the tradition is stupid is wrong. You should correct your statement and state that the Poles in Buffalo decided to put a twist on an old tradition by taking away the meaning of the day by dancing and drinking, far from how the day has and is celebrated for many century’s in Poland and around the world by Poles. Once again, I found your actions this evening extremely rude and you should think about issuing an apology. Going forward, you and your team should get their facts straight, but most importantly, never ever should you call another culture’s tradition stupid. I’m sure if this was a Middle Eastern or Asian or African tradition, you would not even consider questioning the acts involved in the tradition.


    An extremely offended Polish Canadian

    April 10, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
  46. Steve Kovacs

    Loved it!!!! You were great Anderson.

    April 10, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
  47. Steve Kovacs

    Loved it!!!! You were great Anderson.

    April 10, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
  48. Jade Cooper

    Somehow, the Gigglemeister managed to do it again.... One of the many reasons why Anderson Cooper is far more entertaining than any other broadcast journalist I know of. Gotta love him, his laugh, and that insane personality. Big fan....

    April 10, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
  49. Min

    Man... I find Anderson's laugh more interesting than "Dyngus Day", plus it's contagious. Thank you, Anderson, for making my night amusing and full of laughing tears.

    April 10, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
  50. Mackie

    Another one!! 😀 Wooo

    April 10, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
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