Anderson Cooper: From Mole to Goldmine, The CNN Anchor’s Underground Past

Do you remember the Mole? ABC’s reality TV show ran for four season (the final two installments were Celebrity Mole editions). I would explain the show myself, but Anderson Cooper does it so much better. Here is a direct quote from the prematurely grey anchorman:

“A group of strangers, working together to earn up to $1 million, that in the end only one of them will win. One of these players is the mole, a double agent we hired, working for us against the other 13. At the end of each episode, the players take the quiz, ten questions about the mole. The quiz determines who stays and who goes because the player who scores the lowest on the quiz is executed and sent home immediately. Up to $1 million hinges on discovering who is the mole.”

Most people (okay, all people) know Anderson Cooper from his current day job, the enigmatic host of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 (one of the worst and most self-serving cable news show titles in history). In a way, Anderson has completely changed the idea of CNN’s programming, not too mention its ratings. He’s probably the most popular cable news dude who goes by two last names (Tucker Carlson totally sucks on MSNBC, and it’s not just because he ditched the bowtie). On a side note, I can’t trust people who don’t have a proper first name; they sound like English Royalty.

But anyway, if you ever spent some time hanging with Mr. Cooper you might find out some interesting things about his background. Anderson Cooper was the host for the first two seasons of The Mole. The inaugural season was quite popular, garnering nice reviews and good ratings (MENSA hailed the program as “the smartest show on television”). But Season Two did not fair as well; it lasted only a few episodes and was then put on hiatus (it wallowed in network TV purgatory for several months before ABC aired the rest of the season over the summer).

ABC was at a crossroads. They had this awesome show but something was missing. After much deliberation they decided that The Mole needed a makeover. They decided that the only thing three things could save The Mole: Ahmad Rashad, several C list celebrities and Hawaii. And thus, Celebrity Mole: Hawaii was born and Anderson Cooper was out of a job.

Celebrity Mole: Hawaii did spectacular in the ratings, far better than the first two installments. On another side note, the premise of the show (in a way) spawned the creation of hit shows like The Surreal Life and Dancing with the Stars; that is to say, it was the first program to combine America’s love of celebrities (of any level) and our fascination with public embarrassment.

But anyways, Anderson Cooper was out of a job. Apparently, Cooper wondered the streets for a few years like a stray dog; completely anonymous, tail wagging between his legs. He wasn’t heard from at all, until he miraculously became America’s voice of wisdom, over night.

Of course, it didn’t go down like that. I wanted to out Anderson Cooper as a reality TV hack with this article, but there’s one problem. He’s not. After doing some research, I found out that The Mole was actually the anomaly on a career path in journalistic media. Cooper is a Yale graduate and he’s going to be working for 60 Minutes.

The best laid plans of mice and moles often go astray. I hope they do another Celebrity Mole with Ahmad Rashad, I liked that show.

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