New Year's Eve party is pure America ... sort of

I've long suspected that the best place to celebrate New Year's Eve is in front of a TV set. Apparently, New Yorkers agree with me. At least, that's what Jenny McCarthy says; here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

Each Dec. 31, large
forces converge to bring a show-business epic to New York City.

There's music,
celebrities, pyrotechnics and a crowd estimated at a million. Surely,
New Yorkers must be excited by this.

Or nor. “There are
no New Yorkers there,” Jenny McCarthy insisted. “They're all in
their tiny apartments, watching us on TV.”

The “us” could
be the ABC folks – Ryan Seacrest hosting, McCarthy reporting,
others (Mariah Carey, Gloria Estefan, more) singing. Or it could
involve shows on NBC and Fox.

In those apartments,
viewers can sample life's pleasures; the Times Square multitudes
don't, McCarthy insisted. “They don't drink and don't eat. They get
there at 9 in the morning and wait.”

By her account, 80
percent of the crowd is from out-of-the-country and the others are
merely from out-of-state. It's a bucket-list thing, something
McCarthy (an out-of-stater) can understand.

She grew up in
suburban Chicago, a sort of standard, blue-collar, Catholic kid ...
until, at 20, she became a Playboy Playmate. That led to Playmate of
the Year, some work as an actress and a lot of work as a TV
personality ... which changed her New Year's Eve habits.

“As a kid,we
always watched Dick Clark on TV,” she said. “In my early 20s, I'd
go to LasVegas and have fun at the clubs. Then I started to be
famous, so I went back to watching it on TV.”

Then she joined the
TV show with Seacrest and (for two years, before his death in 2012)
Clark. She gathered crowd color ... which, she decided, should
include kissing someone at midnight.

“I had my gay
hairdresser find someone,” McCarthy said, “because I knew he'd
choose someone fabulous.” He chose a cop – “very nervous, the
first day on the job” -- one year and a soldier the next.

That changed when
McCarthy started dating Donnie Wahlberg, the “Blue Bloods” actor
and New Kids on the Block singer. They married in 2014 and he's been
there each Eve. “This year, I might have Evan there, too,” she
said. That would be a first for her son, Evan Asher, 14.

McCarthy has to be
ready for any weather. She's already seen it range from “almost 60
to maybe five degrees.” For the latter, she encases herself in many
layers, plus heat patches ... all of which is only a partial
solution. “Your brain works, but your mouth is frozen.”

But she pushes
ahead, avoiding any temptation to go to one of those tiny apartments
where people are free to eat and drink and stay warm.

“New Year's
Rockin' Eve”

-- When: 8-11 p.m.
and 11:30 p.m. to 2:13 a.m., ABC.

-- Live from New
York: Mariah Carey, Thomas Rhett, DNCE, Gloria Estefan with the cast
of her Broadway show; also, Ryan Seacrest hosting and Jenny McCarthy

-- Pre-recorded from
Hollywood: Fergie hosts and performs, with John Legend, Alessia Cara,
Hailee Steinfeld, Niall Horan, Flo Rida, Bebe Rexha, Lukas Graham,
Shawn Mendes, Emeli Sande, Mike Posner, Martin Garrix and Fifth
Harmony with Kid Ink and Tyt Dolla $ign.

-- Elswhere: In Las
Vegas, Lionel Richie; on a cruise ship, Demi Lovato; in New Orleans,
Jason Derulo and Panic at the Disco, plus the Central Time Zone

-- Competing music
sows: NBC (11:30 p.m.) is also in Times Square, with Blake Shelton,
Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys and Pentatonix; Carson Daly hosts. Fox
(11 p.m.) is in Miami, with Pitbull, Queen Latifah and Snoop Dogg

-- Also: CNN and Fox
News start their marathon coverage at 8 p.m.; NBC has year-end
specials at 8 p.m. (Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb) and 10 p.m.
(Seth Meyers).