Cheri Oteri Revives Barbara Walters Impression for CNN’s New Year’s Eve Special

Two decades after leaving Saturday Night Live, Cheri Oteri suited back up as Barbara Walters for a special appearance on CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live 2020 special. This year, the special was again co-hosted by Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper live from Times Square. Shortly before 9 p.m., Cohen announced that a special guest was “beaming in” to join them from Los Angeles, and as Walters, Oteri magically appeared in the frame Star Trek-style to do just that.

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“Oh, Andrew, Anderson, once again, it has been a pleasure for you to have me on your alcohol-laced pedestrian New Year’s Eve special during the apocalypse we call 20/20,” Oteri’s Barbara Walters says. It’s clear from their reactions that Cohen and Cooper are big fans of the impression, as both have trouble keeping their laughter contained throughout the segment.

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During the faux interview, Walters accepts a glass of champagne, admitting that she has become a regular drinker since quarantining with her moody daughter, Jacquie. Apparently under the influence, Walters also reveals the other things she does for solo fun to keep herself entertained during the pandemic.

“I’ll go onto the Cameo and wish perfect strangers a happy birthday at the rock bottom stimulus price of $600 a pop,” Walters says. “When bedtime is a struggle, my white noise is hacking into both of your sons’ nanny cams to spy on baby Benjamin’s dancing in the Studio 54 dancing crib, and wily Wyatt’s insistence on taking off his pants.”

Before departing, Walters adds, “Now I’m afraid I’ve got to cut my exposure time with you both short, because I’m considered high risk – or, at this point, just high. Since we’re still in the home stretch of the holy hell we call 20/20.”

During her tenure on SNL, Cheri Oteri served as one of the funniest and most memorable performers of the show. One of her most popular recurring sketches involved playing Arianna, a member of the Spartan Cheerleaders, alongside Will Ferrell as Craig. The concept is that the pair formed their own cheerleading duo after failing to make the official squad. Along with Barbara Walters, Oteri also performed many impressions on SNL, which also included Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Reynolds, Alanis Morissette, Katie Couric, Jennifer Lopez, and Ross Perot.

In the years since leaving SNL, Oteri has had roles in movies like Scary Movie, Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd}, Shrek the Third, and Grown Ups 2. She has also picked up recurring roles on TV shows like Sit Down, Shut Up, The Fairly OddParents, Puppy Dog Pals, and Those Who Can’t. More recently, she has been lending her voice to the animated Disney Channel series Big City Greens and appeared in Bob Saget’s Redbox-exclusive movie Benjamin.

A look at the comments section of the video shows many SNL fans ecstatic to see Oteri back in the role, pulling in unanimous praise from nearly every commenter. As one fan puts it, “she’s STILL got it!” The video of Oteri returning to her Barbara Walters role was posted by CNN on YouTube.

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