Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon’s banter is moving from screen to audio with new podcast ‘The Handoff’

Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon are unclipping their lapel mics and heading into the audio booth for their latest project. 

The CNN news anchors are launching their own podcast, “The Handoff” on Apple Podcasts in May. Unlike their TV appearances, the podcast will be teleprompter free and include candid conversations between Cuomo and Lemon. 

“I consider myself blessed to have you in my life on and off the TV,” Cuomo told Lemon in a trailer for the podcast, released Tuesday. “I do think it’s fundamentally dishonest of us to not tell people how completely random this (podcast) is.”

According to the show’s description, “The Handoff” will feature Cuomo and Lemon chatting every week, unscripted, to “talk politics and get personal.” The CNN Audio project got its name from the casual banter between the anchors when the network transitions from “Cuomo Prime Time” to Don Lemon’s “CNN Tonight.” 

CNN anchors Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon are launching new podcast "The Handoff." (Photo: CNN)

“They wanted a handoff, they got a handoff. Who knows what’s going to happen next,”  Lemon said. 

Conversations between the two have drawn scrutiny in the past. In March, Cuomo faced backlash after saying he was “Black on the inside” during an on-air exchange with Lemon. 

Viral clips on social media showed the 50-year-old brother of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo singing the theme song to the 1970s TV show “Good Times,” which follows a Black family living in a Chicago housing project.

When fellow host Lemon asked how he knew the lyrics to the sitcom’s opening tune, Cuomo responded: “You know I’m Black on the inside.”

Cuomo responded to the backlash on Twitter, noting that his comment was “said with all respect to reality and our need to fight this amplification of color animus.”

“There is no understanding what it is to live as a Black person in America if you are white but it is so important to listen,” he tweeted.

Lemon also addressed the criticism toward his colleague.

“What I will say is that I’m sure that there were some people out there who took offense to it, and fine, that’s their prerogative,” Lemon told USA TODAY. “But Chris is my friend, I know his heart, I know where he’s coming from, and I know that it was a joke amongst friends.” 

Contributing: Jenna Ryu, Erin Jensen

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