Anderson Cooper's New Thing: Wacky Web Chats With Viewers

There's something new going down at CNN that lets viewers get all their questions answered during a live web chat hosted by none other than Anderson Cooper.

The CNN host runs the show, called "Before AC360 Later," at 9:15 p.m. each night just prior to the "Anderson Cooper 360" show at 10 p.m and following his show at 8 p.m. "Before" is hosted on the Spreecast site by both Cooper and producer Jack Gray and allows viewers to submit questions live or on Facebook prior to the show. Usually, what's coming up on the show will be discussed, but questions can range wildly. Viewers have asked about everything from political elections to Cooper's favorite TV shows to his infamous "giggle fits."

HuffPost Media got a chance to speak with Cooper in his office after the show on Wednesday night. Cooper said that he appreciates the Spreecast because it offers a "different kind of communication" in a "different space."

"It feels a lot more intimate," Cooper said. "The biggest thing is that it allows people to see another side to your personality. It breaks the formality."

Guests like CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Gloria Borger and Alex Castellanos have already made appearances.

"It started as kind of a warm-up for the 10 o'clock show," AC 360's digital producer Gabriel Kinder told HuffPost. "But a lot of times they [Cooper and Gray] can go off topic."

Indeed, despite the show's newsy intentions, more often then not Cooper and Gray find themselves straying completely, slipping into bursts of hysterical laughter or digging into Cooper's more private life, such as his apparent "rage problems," near-death experiences and the "shame fridge" that he allegedly hides under his desk filled with veggie drinks and Big Macs.

Wednesday night's episode included Cooper admitting that he has "the laugh of a 12-year-old girl" and saying that he grew up in New York in constant fear of being mugged. A sample exchange:

Gray: How many fans have you yelled at today for trying to take your picture?

Cooper: First of all, I've never had a burst of rage in the office."

Gray: Alright, that is between you and Piers Morgan.

Cooper: [Laughs]

Gray: How many people have you yelled at on Twitter today?

Cooper: I did that twice today on Twitter.



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