After social media clamored for Barbara Walters, the longtime host of the ABC investigative news program 20/20, to recite her famous introduction, CNN got the next best thing. Cheri Oteri appeared on New Year's Eve Live as Walters to proclaim: “This is 2020.”
Much to the delight of fans and co-hosts Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen alike, the Saturday Night Live alum revived her famous impression of Walters during the cable news’ coverage of the ball drop from New York City.
“Anderson, Andrew, first let me say what an honor it is for you to have me on your New Year’s Eve special,” Oteri, who often impersonated Walters during parodies of The View, said to the pair of giggling co-hosts.
“Second, I’m afraid retirement didn’t suit me as much as people had hoped. And now that I’m trending on social media with the likes of Korean boyband BTS, climate change activist Greta Thunberg and body-positive songstress Lizzo, I’ve decided to dust off my power suit and get back in the game. It’s no longer going to be a Chicos kind of thing for this gal because I can finally say with confidence, this is 2020.”
Oteri then went on to answer questions as Walters, discussing whether or not she would return to The View to co-host alongside Joy Behar or Whoopi Goldberg and her “questionable footwear.” The conversation resulted with Cooper falling out of view of the camera in hysterics while Cohen couldn’t keep a straight face.
The impression comes after a petition appeared on Change.org requesting “to have Barbara Walters do the ball drop next New Years just to hear her say: ‘I'm Barbara Walters, and this is 2020.’ It will make the world a better place and give people something to look forward to at the end of 2019!”
At the time of publishing this article, the petition had collected 7,000 signatures, just shy of its 7,500 goal.