Andy Cohen: It was John Mayer’s idea to phone in for New Year’s from the cat cafe

One of the funnier bits during CNN’s 2023 New Year’s Eve special was John Mayer appearing in a cat café in Tokyo. It could have been lame. I mean, the premise was funny and the scene was set, but that kind of bit takes some charisma and humor to pull off. For example, Martin Short and Steve Martin riffing about New Years in a cat café would automatically be funny. Kevin Costner, not so much. Luckily for Mayer, hosts Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen, and all of us watching at home, all it took was Anderson’s uncontrollable giggling at the entire scenario to make it entertaining and go viral. According to Cohen, Mayer was originally supposed to do his guest spot in his hotel room, but came up with the idea to do it in a cat café instead.

Andy Cohen is giving credit where it’s due when it comes to that viral cat café moment with pal John Mayer on New Year’s Eve.

“He was going to be joining us from Tokyo and I said, ‘Look, we will set you up in your hotel.’ And he said, ‘I’d love to go somewhere more fun, like a cat café.’ And I was like, ‘Okay, well lemme see if we can find one,’” Cohen, 55, exclusively tells Us Weekly on Tuesday, January 9, while promoting Walmart’s “Save Your Resolutions” campaign.

Once CNN found a café for Mayer to phone in from, Cohen says he gave Anderson Cooper a heads up about the hilarious location ahead of their CNN New Year’s Eve Live special.

“I told Anderson a few times, ‘Hey, John’s going to be at a cat cafe,’ but I think he tunes me out sometimes, so I think that’s why it was immediately so funny to him,” Cohen recalls. “And also the cats’ butts were in John’s face the whole time. I think just that visual was so funny.”

The internet went into a frenzy when Cooper, 56, erupted into a fit of giggles as Mayer, 46, joined the special from inside a cat café and was surrounded by felines — some of which had their butts in Mayer’s face.

“This doesn’t look sanitary, John,” Cohen said during the broadcast, while Cooper exclaimed, “John, there’s cats everywhere.”

Mayer appeared not to be fazed by their alarming reactions, replying, “I believe it passes all health codes. I think it’s just fine.”

He continued, “There are cats. Yeah. This is a place you can come, enjoy a drink or two and talk to cats. It’s a cat bar. I don’t know how much more clear I can be about this objective of this place.”

[From Us Weekly]

I had to rewatch the segment to even remember what they were talking about because all I could think about was Anderson losing his everloving mind over the cats. His reaction was the thing that made the segment work, and Mayer did well playing it off as the comedic straight man unbothered by a cat’s butt in his face. It *was* a funny visual. Do you think that Anderson even knew that cat cafés are a thing? They don’t seem like his jam but you never know. I can totally believe that Andy tried telling him a few times, but was ignored or tuned out. I’m pretty sure that’s a natural reaction to hearing Cohen talk in general. Anyway, +1 to John Mayer for the idea. If he’s back on the show next year, he should keep the theme going and give an interview from a dog park or zoo or something.

Photos via Instagram and YouTube screenshots

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17 Responses to “Andy Cohen: It was John Mayer’s idea to phone in for New Year’s from the cat cafe”

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  1. manda says:

    The sanitary comment annoyed me. C’mon, they’re in Japan! You don’t think they’ve figured out the sanitation? I dream of visiting a cat cafe

    • AlpineWitch says:


      I have to go this year, they’ve opened one not far from me.

      My life dream is actually having one on my own!! 😻😻

    • Noo says:

      @manda I think we are all safe to assume that a Japan cat cafe would be spotless. And I think that one since it was actually a cat bar was extra spotless.

      However, I have been to several cat cafes over the years and the most foul smelling one I ever went to was in Hiroshima. I couldn’t last more than 5 mins the odor was so rank. The cats must have sprayed the walls at some point. Years later, I can still recall my visceral reaction to the smell.

      • manda says:

        Oh, I never considered there was a dark side to cat cafes, but it makes sense. How could they have left it that way?? That’s upsetting for sure

      • Noo says:

        @manda it was just that one outlier but it definitely reduced my enthusiasm for cat cafes. One thing you can do to avoid this – before you pay, ask if they will let you open the door to the room with the cats quickly and have a sniff.

        Also I’m a little sus on having cats walk on eating surfaces like a bar since we all know where their feet have been, but there must be an additional cleaning protocol for this. Maybe all the cats at that particular bar are trained on electronic litter boxes?? Normal adoption cats and kittens wouldn’t be though, those electronic boxes take a lot of training apparently.

    • tealily says:

      I think he was purely responding to all the buttholes.

  2. meli says:

    I SUPPORT THIS 100%!!! And if John Mayer is serious about getting married…this is the way.

    (also OF COURSE this is sanitary! cats are the cleanest animal!)

  3. Tessa says:

    I hope this encourages viewers to adopt pets.

  4. Digital Unicorn says:

    This is why I love cats – they don’t care and will stick their butt a in your food, face etc.. They are humanities true glorious overlords.

  5. MaryContrary says:

    I just got back from Japan and I saw so many-cat cafes, a Bengal cat cafe in Kyoto, owl cafes, even a micro pig cafe! I did read that a lot of these animals are not well cared for-so that kind of turned me off of the whole thing.

  6. MyCatLovesTV says:

    No matter what I have thought about John Mayer over the years, he has risen quite a bit for me because he obviously loves cats! (Has anybody made Anderson Cooper’s giggles into a ringtone yet? His laughter is pure joy!)

  7. Noo says:

    I love cats and I love Anderson Cooper’s giggling. So I want to love this.

    But Andy Cohen and John Mayer are such a douchey douche bro combination. John Mayer is so thirsty of course he picked a cat cafe to try to get extra attention. John, you got attention because of the cats, not you!

    Did anyone see the John Mayer interview clips, I’m not sure of the outlet, but he said he wanted to get married now and his dream is for his wife to need him and need to ask him to do things and help him with things. Like, how old fashioned John, it’s not the 50s. I used to love his live cover of Free Fallin but I can’t listen to it anymore all I hear is misogyny when he sings.

    • Macky says:

      Kathy griffin was so right. Andy stole her whole thing. At first it was fun but it’s time to give another CNN anchor a chance to host. I’m tired if Anderson as a whole. I say this as someone who liked him way before CNN. I also watched THE MOLE TV show.

  8. Kitten says:

    I’ve always wanted to go to a cat cafe! Jealous.

  9. Leena says:

    I have a long and deep hatred of Mayer, so my immediate response to this story is not “awww, he’s a cat lover”, it’s ” damn f*cking fraud trying to use kitties to make himself not seem like a huge douchebag!”

    I admit, my hate-filled overreaction is likely my own, lol!

  10. Stef says:

    John is delightful here and the bit is quite funny.

    Anderson and Andy really need to be replaced – they’re just boring and their dynamic is just lame. The giggling and immaturity was not cute. I’d love to see some funny women replace them.