If there’s one good thing about the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent collective social distancing in the US, it’s that families are getting to spend more time together. That is, unless you’re one of the brothers Cuomo.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York and his CNN anchor brother Chris reignited their intense sibling rivalry on live television Monday night, arguing over which of them is their mom’s favorite. Andrew kicked off the nostalgic debate by comparing the coronavirus lockdown to a curfew implemented by his father, Mario, when he was a kid: ‘I don’t like the word “curfew.” Dad tried to have a curfew for me, I never got past the resentment. But I do believe you’ll see more heightening if the numbers don’t slow.’
Chris couldn’t resist prodding his older brother, shooting back, ‘Least of your problems by the way, your problems with the curfew, just so you know.’ And thus started the classic sibling throw-down — which, as Cockburn understands, appears on the surface to be all in good fun but is really the result of a deep layer of jealousy and bitterness.
The pair jabbered and teased over their history with their father’s curfew until Chris — playing the role of ‘annoying younger brother desperate for attention’ perfectly — brought up Mrs Cuomo.
‘I love you, I’m proud of what you’re doing. I know you’re working hard for your state, but no matter how hard you’re working, there’s always time to call mom. She wants to hear from you, just so you know.’
Talk about a guilt trip, Chris.
‘I called mom just before I came on this show,’ Andrew claimed. ‘By the way, she said I was her favorite. Good news is, she said you’re her second favorite son, Christopher.’
Andrew pulled a professional move by invoking his brother’s full name, and young Christopher had no choice but to concede the debate: ‘We both know neither of us are mom’s first or second favorite in the family. I can’t believe you’re lying to my audience, you’ve blown the credibility of the entire interview. I should have ended it before.’
CHRIS CUOMO: There's always time to call mom. She wants to hear from you. Just so you know.
ANDREW CUOMO: I called mom just before I came on this show. By the way, she said I was her favorite. Good news is she said you are her second favorite. Second favorite son, Christopher. pic.twitter.com/wogd0oP2tb
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) March 17, 2020
Chris, of course, is quite used to being outdone by his older brother, who managed to follow in Mario’s footsteps and become the governor of New York while Chris played TV-man. During an interview in 2010, radio host Curtis Silwa joked that Chris and Andrew are part of ‘la Cuomo Nostra’, a reference to the Italian mob. Chris wondered if that made him ‘Fredo’, referring to the Godfather character who failed to protect his father, Don Corleone, when he was gunned down in the street.
Chris nevertheless had a meltdown in 2019 when a stranger called him ‘Fredo’, threatening to throw the man down the stairs. Andrew, understanding that he’s the only one who gets to punk his little brother, defended Chris by arguing that The Godfather is a no-good movie because it peddles ‘negative stereotypes’ about Italians.
Word to your mother.