In these dark days of social distancing, I never expected the Cuomo brothers to be the ones to lift me out of my fog. So it is with some befuddlement that I report that there’s a clip circulating of CNN host Chris Cuomo and his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in the midst of an actual pandemic, bickering on-air about which one is their mother’s favorite—and it’s the first thing that’s really made me laugh in days. If you too could use some warped joy in your coronavirus bunker, I highly recommend that you give it a watch.
The segment, which aired on CNN on Monday night, started to go off the rails when, in response to a question about the possibility of imposing a curfew to keep people from spreading the virus, the governor said, “I don’t like the word curfew. Dad tried to have a curfew with me. I never got past the resentment.”
The anchor, younger brother Chris, was clearly surprised—watching the comment register on his face is amazing—and tried to come up with a funny response, but this only triggered the elder Andrew (“YOU violated the curfew all the time”), and the interaction devolved from there: Chris told Andrew to call Mom, Andrew said he did and that Mom said he was her favorite, and so on. Yes, all while the state that Andrew governs—and the country that Chris covers as a journalist—is experiencing a literal once-in-a-lifetime emergency. What might be most exquisite about the whole thing is that both brothers seem to think they’re being funny, that they played off the interaction as something cute, but any non-Cuomo (and perhaps non-Cuomo-brother—we should ask the sisters what they think) can easily see that their strained quips are masking some pretty deep-seated resentments. Extremely the reminder I needed that even dynastic political families have their issues!
All hail our new Gallagher brothers. If quarantine must continue, I hope we get lots more of the Cuomo-on-Cuomo sibling rivalry.