Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo’s new podcast “The Handoff” explores their unlikely friendship off-camera, along with their unfiltered takes on the week’s news. Below, the hosts talk about the origin of the nightly “handoff” between their shows and how it put their friendship in front of the camera.
Edited for clarity
Don Lemon: Our new podcast is called “The Handoff” because on TV each night you get to hand-off to me when you end Cuomo Prime Time and I start Don Lemon Tonight. How lucky are you?
Chris Cuomo: I consider myself blessed to have you in my life on and off the TV. I do think it is fundamentally dishonest of us to not tell people how completely random this moment is on TV each night. It has never been given a name until now. It has never been produced, and it has only been discouraged. But, everybody talks to us about it and now here we are with our own podcast!
Don Lemon: Honestly, Chris, we’re fearless in those moments because we are really vulnerable. And I think you always have my back and I know I always have yours. But that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be an agree-fest. Am I wrong?
Chris Cuomo: I think that’s 100 percent accurate. What’s the blessing? The blessing is that we’re actually friends. A lot of stuff in the media is phony. A lot of couples that you see on news shows, they are friendly for the purpose of the show, and that’s neither good nor bad. It is not the case with us.
Don Lemon: What’s been most interesting to me is that I’ve always been friends with people who are different than me. And you have the same sort of thing. All of your friends that I know, they don’t really look like you. They don’t really act like you. They come from different backgrounds and the same thing for me.
Chris Cuomo: We both have been doing this a long time and I’ve worked with plenty of people that I’ve liked but I’ve never spent as much time off television with somebody as you and I do together and there’s a real treat in that.
Unless something really crazy happens in the next 10, 15 years, I think this is the most interesting and recordable part of our professional lives. We’ve never seen this kind of political maelstrom and upheaval, not in our lifetimes.
Don Lemon: And we’ll see what happens next. They wanted a handoff. They got a handoff.
And let me just say this: my favorite time of the day, besides the time that I spend with my fiancé and with my family, and my dog, is that moment that where you and I are about to talk to each other, and we don’t know what we’re going to say.
Chris Cuomo: Never.
Don Lemon: And if we agree or disagree, we always go away at the end of our talk by saying what?
Chris Cuomo: I love you, D. Lemon.
Don Lemon: I love you, C. Cuomo.
Subscribe to The Handoff podcast, exclusively on Apple Podcasts. New episodes drop each week.