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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
"All the Best, All the Worst 2015". Aired 7-8p ET
Aired December 31, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:17] TOM FOREMAN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Faster than a gyrocopter, more powerful than pizza rat, and hitting harder than Holly Holm, this year came on with countless villains and heroes in politics, sports, pop culture, music, movies.
And we will take them all on with our league of superheroes, actress Melissa Joan Hart, from CNN's "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" Richard Quest, model and reality TV star Carmen Carrera, actor and singer Tituss Burgess, from the "Elvis Duran and the Morning" radio show Bethany Watson, CNN anchor John Berman, from Fusion's "No, You Shut Up!" Paul F. Tompkins, and from HLN's "MORNING EXPRESS" Robin Meade.
It's "All the Best, All the Worst 2015."
FOREMAN: Welcome. I'm Tom Foreman.
And we could have used some superheroes to help us through the challenges of this year, some exasperating, some exhilarating, some comical.
And over the next hour, we're going to go through all of them, starting with the best and worst in the world of big news.
ROBIN MEADE, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: It was a year of firsts.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think a lot of people who predicted a lot of things were wrong.
MELISSA JOAN HART, ACTRESS: I cannot believe it's the end of the year already.
PAUL F. TOMPKINS, FUSION: It's been weird. Some weird stuff happened.
TITUSS BURGESS, ACTOR AND SINGER: Kind of horrifying in terms of some headlines.
FOREMAN: The worst way to start came in the first few days of January with the terror attacks on the French paper "Charlie Hebdo."
Add in the attacks on Paris later, and indeed around the world, and you get the worst story of the year, the persistent plague of terrorism.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is no doubt that we are dealing here with a very different beast, something we have not seen before, something which does not follow any form of normal social norms, or even, even by the perversions of terrorism, this is absolutely out of the pale.
BETHANY WATSON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: You just feel hopeless. You feel scared. And all you can do is post a picture of the Eiffel Tower inside a peace sign and put its on Instagram. What else do you do?
FOREMAN: The official response to ISIS? More than 8,000 coalition airstrikes since they began last year, including one that officials say killed the infamous Jihadi John.
And the best personal reaction to it all?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They have guns. They can shoot us because they're really, really mean, daddy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's OK. They might have guns, but we have flowers.
FOREMAN: That boy, that dad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But flowers don't do anything. They're for...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course they do. Look, everyone is putting flowers. It's to fight against guns.
FOREMAN: Vicious assaults came closer to home too. Mass shootings rocked a school in Oregon, a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado and many other places, including San Bernardino, California, where a shooting at an office gathering as the year wound down reignited fears of domestic terrorism.
CARMEN CARRERA, MODEL AND REALITY TV PERSONALITY: Any time that you hear about, like, a mass shooting, whether it's a school or a church, it's, like, really -- it's really, really, really sad, because it goes to show you that sometimes you're not in control.
FOREMAN: In Charleston, South Carolina, a massacre at a church prayer meeting struck many people very hard.
MEADE: But what was so uplifting, and amazing actually, was, I'm going to say their faith and action, that congregation afterward.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (singing): Amazing grace. How sweet the sound.
FOREMAN: Most graceful move in the aftermath, the relatively swift steps by South Carolina to bow to pressure and take the rebel flag off of permanent official display.
WATSON: That felt like one of those, like, the problem came up, we banned it, it's over with. And as a society, it felt like we were, like, next. Next problem.
FOREMAN: Not exactly. This year, the worst domestic problem that seemed almost unsolvable, racial tension.
Hands up! Don't shoot!
Hands up! Don't shoot!
BERMAN: What we're hearing again and again from the African-American community is they do not feel as if they are being treated equally or with the respect by law enforcement as everyone else.
[19:05:06] FOREMAN: In Baltimore, the death of a black man in police custody set off days of unrest. Other cases in other places followed, many of them shocking. And polls now show almost half of all Americans think race is a big problem. That's a 20-year high.
Hands up! Don't shoot!
Hands up! Don't shoot!
FOREMAN: And as police inquiries mount --
BURGESS: There needs to be more than just laying people off, suspended without pay, more than that. That's not enough, because they need to be made an example out of. And they need to fear the repercussions of treating people as though they were not human beings.
FOREMAN: The worst backlash, police officers seemingly being targeted, shot at and in some cases killed.
CARRERA: When that happened, I was so afraid, because if everyone's rebelling against the police, then who's going to protect us?
FOREMAN: Worst case of trying too hard to empathize, the white woman in Spokane who passed herself off as black with a local chapter of the NAACP. "I identify as black," she said.
WATSON: I was like, there's no way this is real. This story is not real. They got a woman to pose for these pictures. This is crazy.
FOREMAN: Best way to cool everyone off, or worst, depending on how you saw it, the crushing snowfalls that hammered the Northeast.
MEADE: It was the winter that never ended. Every time we turned around, poor Boston.
BERMAN: It just kept on snowing and snowing and snowing. My sister's roof leaked. My mother's door was frozen shut. I think they still haven't cleared off last year's snow this year.
FOREMAN: Bad weather in the form of hurricanes, typhoons and droughts battered the world. Southern California saw water shortages from the orchards to the freeways.
TOMPKINS: I have not washed my car in months and months. So, I just want you to know I'm taking one for the team. I have started referring to almonds as conflict nuts.
FOREMAN: By November, 2015 was shaping up to be the warmest year on record, and the best argument yet for addressing global climate change.
MEADE: And did the pope talk about it even? The Pope.
FOREMAN: The Pope.
POPE FRANCIS, LEADER OF CATHOLIC CHURCH: God bless America.
FOREMAN: Huge crowds turned out to greet the best tourist, as Francis made a holy roll up the East Coast.
CARRERA: Oh, I love the pope.
Best Pope out of all the other popes, the most friendliest, like, you want to get to know him. He looks like a cool guy.
HART: It was also kind of interesting to see a pope sell out Madison Square Garden faster than Taylor Swift.
FOREMAN: Best moment? When that little girl ran up to the Popemobile. Best surprise, the pope rides in a Fiat.
Worst advocate for world peace, Russian President Vladimir Putin, who continues to hold Ukraine and Crimea and started a bombing campaign in Syria.
BERMAN: Right now, Vladimir Putin is doing what he will, and everyone else is just having to sit around and watch.
FOREMAN: Best breakthrough for advocates of gay rights, the Supreme Court ruling that same-sex marriages are constitutionally protected.
BURGESS: Well, we do need to fix the fact that the judgment from the Supreme Court is not enforceable on the local level, so we can get rid of these, what is that woman's name? David. Kim Davis. It's so ridiculous.
FOREMAN: Worst setback for advocates of human rights, the strong push from many states against taking in Syrian refugees.
TOMPKINS: I get people being afraid. And I get fear. And, you know, I understand the panic of, we can't let people in because we don't have time to determine who's a real refugee and who is pretending to be a refugee, so they can infiltrate our country and blow stuff up.
CARRERA: But, you know, I think that that's what our country is kind of like -- is kind of all about. It's giving opportunities to other people and having a safe place to go to live freely.
FOREMAN: Worst health plan, the effort by some parents to stop measles vaccinations for their kids despite overwhelming medical evidence that the shots are safe.
HART: As a mother, I say -- you know, I always listen to my doctor.
FOREMAN: Worst hamburger helper, the woman who aided the escape of those two inmates in Upstate New York, setting off a deadly manhunt.
MEADE: Now here we come to find out that, in frozen hamburger, she had smuggled in these different pieces of machinery that they ended up using to get out.
FOREMAN: Worst way to escape environmental responsibility, Volkswagen admits some cars had software installed to cheat emissions tests.
[19:10:05] BERMAN: You designed a car to cheat. It's really -- it's unbelievable.
FOREMAN: Best way to embrace responsibility, the first women to complete the Army Ranger training course.
WATSON: That was one of those moments where, as a woman, you're like, yes, we can do this.
FOREMAN: Worst air catastrophe, the Germanwings plane that was purposely crashed into the Alps by a disturbed pilot, killing all aboard.
And in the Indian Ocean, as sad as it was, the discovery of a part from that missing Malaysia Air flight.
QUEST: The flaperon found on Reunion was important because it confirmed what we had always been told, which is that the plane had crashed in the Southern Indian Ocean.
FOREMAN: Best thing way down in the ground, the discovery of that extraordinary ancient burial site in a South African cave that is even now rewriting the story of humankind's development.
WATSON: But they had to advertise for tiny scientists who weren't claustrophobic because they had to fit through seven-and-a-half inches of space. And I'm like -- that's like this. And I -- hell no.
FOREMAN: Best thing way out at sea, the man who was found after 66 days of drift off the Carolinas in a broken boat.
BURGESS: How the hell did he do that? Like, thank God he's OK, but wow.
FOREMAN: And best thing in the heavens above.
HART: I was kind of obsessed with the blood super-eclipse moon.
FOREMAN: In a year full of dark moments, the rare celestial show brought spectacular moments of light and wonder.
FOREMAN: We have many more bright spots ahead.
Coming up, Hollywood stars go looking for gold in a galaxy far, far away.
And while dinosaurs ran through the theaters, on the political stage, the roaring came from Trump-osaurus rex.
It's "All the Best, All the Worst 2015."
[19:15:25] FOREMAN (voice-over): In the whole universe, no movie did a better job keeping the fans waiting than "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." The first trailer had more than 120 million views in 24 hours. And Star Warians lined up for tickets at light speed.
WATSON: "Star Wars" is the best thing ever. I may or may not have a Chewbacca onesie. Spoiler alert, I do. Bring it, bring it, bring it, bring it.
FOREMAN: Of course, it is not for everyone.
QUEST: Good movies, perhaps but genres worthy of a lifetime, not for me.
MEADE: To me, it is the equivalent of a Kardashian. Enough already.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: This is our last chance.
FOREMAN: Moviegoers could not get enough of action film sequels. Fans ate up the "Hunger Games," "Mocking Jay," Part 2.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Make no mistake. The game is coming to its end.
CARRERA: I love the hunger games. Every single one. I love all of them, all of them. It is like girl power.
FOREMAN: Avengers, Age of Ultron lit up the screen as did "Mission Impossible" and "Rogue Nation."
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Open the door!
FOREMAN: And of course, "Jurassic World" with earthshaking.
WATSON: That movie kicked ass. I got real emotional about that movie, loving it so much. That was a great release.
FOREMAN: "The Martian," "Bridge of Spies," and "Black Mass" all boasted big stars and plenty of other films did well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Mad Max Fury Road," I liked it.
MEADE: I think I saw exactly one movie and it was "Pitch Perfect 2."
BERMAN: I have 8-year-old twin boys. And I do not think that I saw a single movie this year that was not a kids movie. "Fast and Furious 7," didn't see it. "Shades of Grey," didn't see it. "San Andreas," didn't see it.
FOREMAN: Well, Minions were popping up everywhere. SpongeBob was out of water and "Inside Out" did the best job of any kids film turning the Box Office upside down.
BERMAN: I slept for a few minutes. But the parts that I saw were very, very nice.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good morning.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amy, what happened, did church let out early?
HART: Oh my gosh! I just saw "Trainwreck" and "Vacation." And I have to say I loved both of them but I really wish the language would calm down.
CARRERA: I really liked Jake Gyllenhaal in "Southpaw." I think his performance was absolutely amazing, and the story was great. I cried.
FOREMAN (on camera): Away from the big screen on TV, there was also plenty to keep us entertained, including some old favorites and some dynamite debuts.
(voice-over): Our pick for the best new arrival, unbreakable Kimmy Schmitt.
HART: Oh, my gosh, all the time. Unbreakable! Love it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, that's you.
BURGESS: I've never been happier. And I hope it never leaves. But when I get to work, there are days when I think, oh my God! I cannot believe, I'm here. It's great.
FOREMAN: On the comedy front, Grace and Frankie gave us the best return of longtime TV friends.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a weak, weak man.
FOREMAN: The Jim Gaffigan show, best art imitating life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is Showtime!
FOREMAN: Better Call Saul. Best show about the worst lawyer.
BERMAN: I love "Veep." "Veep" is very, very funny.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Am I talking? It's hard for me to hear me.
FOREMAN: And hey, Melissa, your show wrapped up a pretty great run too.
HART: Melissa and Joey won a people's choice award. That was awesome.
FOREMAN: Among dramas, the best finale the "Mad Men" finally calming down with Don doing yoga and making a legendary Coke commercial.
CHOIR SINGING: I'd like to buy the world a Coke
PAUL F. TOMPKINS, HOST, FUSION'S "NO, YOU SHUT UP": That's not what I thought was going to happen. I really thought he was going to turn into a cartoon and fall out of a window.
FOREMAN: The good wife kept its title as best-dressed drama. And --
MEADE: I loved "Empire."
CARRERA: I watch "Orange is The New Black" for sure.
BURGESS: Dare Devil. Dare Devil. That's it. It is great.
WATSON: "Game of Thrones." That's my jam. That's my show.
[19:20:12] QUEST: You know, I thought I had a sad life until I started this interview. And then, I realized I have a very sad life. I watched myself.
FOREMAN: The news and talk circuit had its own dramatic moments.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to apologize. I said I was traveling in an aircraft that was hit by RPG fire.
FOREMAN: Brian Williams flamed out at NBC over a made-up personal war story.
MEADE: It seems like even Brian Williams himself isn't able to say, how did that story start morphing and start changing?
FOREMAN: Jon Stewart called it a day at the daily show.
BERMAN: Jon Stewart no longer gets to make fun of us on TV every night. He probably has to sit at home and make fun of us to his friends and family.
FOREMAN: And a legion of hosts started duking it out for the crown as our pick for the true king of late night entertainment, David Letterman, put it all to bed.
Then, apparently, went to sleep for a very long time.
WATSON: My dad really liked David Letterman. So that was something we bonded over.
CARRERA: I was so sad to hear that he is done.
FOREMAN (on camera): Well, time moves on and we're moving on too. In a moment, we'll have politicians who aren't pulling any punches and football players accused of pulling a fast one.
(voice-over): And the biggest cheers in sports went to women this year. Hang on to your hover boards. "All the Best, All the Worst 2015" rolls on.
[19:25:15] FOREMAN (voice-over): The political scene was comically chaotic this year with the presidential race roaring and fighting at every turn and a democratic process that looked more like a demolition derby.
No one slammed into the headlines harder than Donald Trump. As he accelerated into the race with explosive pronouncements about Mexican immigrants.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They are bringing drugs. They are rapists.
FOREMAN: And women.
TRUMP: She want to breast pump in front of me. And I may have said that's disgusting. I may have said something else. I thought it was terrible.
FOREMAN: He met every challenger head on, even as pundits predicted time and again he could not last.
TRUMP: Get out of here!
BERMAN: So Donald Trump has proved those of us who think we know something about politics wrong every step of the way. I think that we are now only beginning to appreciate the anger, and the passion among the electorate. Which is something that Trump has been able to tap into.
FOREMAN: Meanwhile, facts checkers and comedians went wild.
MEADE: This is the year where the "Saturday Night Live" skits are writing themselves when it comes to the politics. They write themselves.
TRUMP: They don't have my talent, my money or especially my good looks.
BURGESS: Unfortunately, the way we elect our president is not unlike the way we create hit TV shows.
FOREMAN: With a crowded Republican field, some voters were unimpressed.
HART: I don't care who is polling better right now. We have many months to go. It is going to be a very long process. And I'll tell you, I am going to do a lot of research before that happens. But I haven't even begun. There are just too many people in the playing field.
FOREMAN: On the democratic side, Hillary Clinton came in as the front-runner and stayed there.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you so much.
FOREMAN: Even though some in her party rallied around her few challengers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's make it seem like we have a lot of viable people.
FOREMAN: As the former Secretary of State still had problems --
HART: And the only other thing I can really think of is Cinton's Benghazi.
FOREMAN: Amid persistent questions about the Benghazi attacks came the revelation that as secretary of state, she used a private e-mail server in her home to conduct government business. She tried to laugh it off. Hey, did you wipe the server?
CLINTON: What, like with a cloth or something?
FOREMAN: But even as she insisted she did nothing wrong, polls revealed as many as 60 percent of voters don't trust her.
BERMAN: Part of being a Clinton it seems is accepting that there are people out there who will never trust you and might never like you but still being able to or trying to get 51 percent of the vote.
FOREMAN: Strangely enough, her best defense came from a challenger, Vermont's Bernie Sanders.
BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails.
FOREMAN: Sanders also proved resilient enough to make some Democrats believe he has a chance despite Clinton's big league.
BURGESS: Barack Obama, didn't nobody know who he was. So, and if he can do it, anybody can do it. I'm not surprised at all.
WATSON: With so many voters skeptical of the political process and just plain angry, the biggest trend, claiming outsider status. Hillary is like, well, I'm an outsider, because I'm a lady. And Chris Christie is like, well I'm an outsider because I'm a Republican in a Democratic state.
QUEST: One always hesitates to criticize or to comment in a sense on a political process when the people are being given the right to speak. But this is extraordinary.
CARRERA: I don't even know. How many people are running for president? Was it like eight? I have no idea.
MEADE: The good part is, you have people who have never cared about politics in their life that actually are watching this and they care and they are talking about it. It is trending, as the kids say, trending.
Least effective way to get yourself heard in Washington because you might just be shot down. Flying a gyrocopter to the capitol in a call for campaign finance reform. Most effective way to get heard? Black Lives Matter.
Hands up! Don't shoot!
Hands up! Don't shoot!
FOREMAN: The group confronted politicians on both sides of the aisle, scoring headlines every time. Some didn't like their methods. But --
BURGESS: Black Lives Matter by and large has been the most peaceful protest when compared to some of these other movements if you catch my drift.
[19:30:21] FOREMAN: Worst job of convincing voters they are listening to anyone, the U.S. Congress.
BERMAN: I think Congress is Darth Vader. I don't think there is anything Congress can do to make itself more likeable, whether it is a Democratic Congress or a Republican Congress. It's just one of those words that Americans seem to think, you know, his fingernails on a chalkboard right now.
FOREMAN: Even the speaker of the U.S. house stepped down.
PAUL F. TOMPKINS, HOST, FUSION'S "NO, YOU SHUT UP!": John Boehner was so happy about leaving that job. It was like he was literally singing as he walked up to the podium.
FOREMAN: The economy, always a corner stone of voter interest kept slowly improving. However --
BERMAN: Wages aren't going up the way many people want. People don't feel like things are going great right now. That's a problem.
FOREMAN: But compared to the rest of the world --
RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: The American economy is best described as the cleanest dirty shirt in the laundry.
FOREMAN: At the White House, President Obama worked hard on a nuclear arms agreement with Iran and a new trade deal in the Pacific. The Supreme Court rejected yet another challenge to his health care reform plan and diplomatic relations with Cuba were renewed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has been a brilliant year for Barack Obama.
FOREMAN: On the other hand, roughly half of all Americans disapprove of the job he is doing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think Obama is probably looking at the calendar like, oh, I want to get out of here, bad, bad year for Obama.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Politics has become the tackle force.
FOREMAN (on camera): When we come back, we will tackle the whole world of sports, including deflategate, a great horse, of course, the round house that Ronda didn't see coming and cue the music.
FOREMAN (voice-over): We'll also have the coolest comeback tunes that kept us dancing and where did you get that creepy video?
FOREMAN: Stick around. We've got a lot more of "All the Best, All the Worst 2015."
[19:36:42] FOREMAN (voice-over): When it comes to music, take it to the bank, Lunch Money Lewis is our favorite one-hit wonder of 2015.
But wonder women ruled the calendar. From Florence and the Machine -- to Nicki Minaj -- to --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Janelle Monet, obsessed with her.
FOREMAN: To Ellie Goulding and Elle King.
Taylor Swift was still a force of nature. Her hit video with Kendrick Lamar had more names than most movies.
TOMPKINS: To get all those people to agree to be a part of that tour, too good to be true. I think Taylor Swift has got a bottle of ether, and a rag.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of great music from women this year. Adele came back out. She is unbelievable.
FOREMAN: And she's our pick for top artist. Fans waited a long time but Adele's "25" shattered sales records and charmed the critics.
Worst ear worm: the guys get that specifically Silento.
MELISSA JOAN HART, ACTRESS: Let me just say, my 2-year-old was whipping the "Nae Nae" before anybody else I knew. I'm very proud of that.
FOREMAN: Other tunes did a lot better.
Coldplay came on late with a new album.
Drake lit up the charts.
So did Fetty Wap.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think I know.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, the group that I keep gorging on is really this group called Zac Brown Band because it's not just country. These guys are so stinking talented.
FOREMAN: The Grateful Dead officially ended their long, strange trip of 50 years with some farewell concerts not that they will ever really go away.
BERMAN: I listened to the Grateful Dead channel on satellite radio about 20 hours a day every day.
QUEST: The same 20 items on my iPhone. I listen to them again and again. The reality is, I'm really bad at popular culture.
[19:40:04] FOREMAN: Best case of the Peter Pan syndrome: Justin Bieber officially became an adult this year. The 21-year-old still thrilled the teen set with his song "Sorry." Well, at least the kids in the video seemed into it.
Bruno Mars gave us the hottest song. Yes, it was released in 2014 but the album came out this year and "Uptown Funk" went wild.
Best tribute, one by the folks at the U.S. Naval Academy.
And creepiest video of the year -- you have to give it to the new one by the father of Gangnam Style -- Psy.
(on camera): Just as women were making some of the most noise in the music business, they were also lighting up sports, maybe more than ever before in a single season.
(voice-over): This was the year of the XX in athletics as the women of Team USA captured the world cup in soccer and are ranked number one on the planet.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What a great year for women.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know you really have nailed it when you get the president to say a good word.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This team taught all America's children that playing like a girl means you are a badass.
FOREMAN: The number one tennis player, Serena Williams, destroyed almost everyone on the court, just barely missing out on her calendar year grand slam.
TITUSS BURGESS, ACTOR & SINGER: What a fierce and brilliant athlete she is. We have not seen the last of that woman, I'm convinced.
BETHANY WATSON, CO-HOST, "ELVIS DURAN & THE MORNING SHOW": She is one of the best athletes, not even feel male athletes, just one of the best athletes in at least a generation, but maybe history.
FOREMAN: And even the biggest mano-a-mano contest was between the unstoppable force called Ronda Rousey and the unbeatable foe called Holly Holm. With Holm the decisive winner.
TOMPKINS: Don't worry about Ronda Rousey. She is still an inspiration. I am happy knowing many young girls out there will get to see Ronda Rousey beat the living (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of another person again.
FOREMAN: In men's sports, the best thing in football was the New England Patriots snatching the Super Bowl trophy from the Seahawks. They also gave us the worst thing, deflategate.
BERMAN: I mean, the suggestion that the Patriots somehow cheated on their way to the super bowl is something that no New England sports fan wanted to hear or wants to hear.
WATSON: We couldn't get enough of it. The ball jokes were all over the place.
ROBIN MEADE, HOST, HLN'S "MORNING EXPRESS": Someone deflated the ball. They touched the balls. Tom Brady said, which balls he likes?
FOREMAN: While the NFL sorts out that situation, the league is on track for a record number of penalties this year but the worst hit came in a high school game when the referee was tackled.
And worst rising trend, the rapidly escalating concern about fantasy football and gambling.
CARMEN CARRERA, MODEL AND REALITY TV PERSONALITY: Was that the girls running around? You know the girls that run around in little tights and they play football. That's not fantasy football?
FOREMAN: In baseball, the Royals were the best, mauling the Mets in the World Series. In hockey, the Blackhawks doused the Lightning to take the Stanley cup. In basketball, the Golden State Warriors crushed the Cavaliers to take the NBA trophy.
BERMAN: I will say that I think Steph Curry for the Golden State Warriors is one of the most underappreciated athletes of our time.
FOREMAN: The worst international sports story, the bribery investigation surrounding FIFA, the world soccer organization.
QUEST: It seemed like every bad accusation or bad thought you have ever had about FIFA came home to roost.
FOREMAN: And longest victory in the making: a new Triple Crown winner after 37 years.
BERMAN: Turns out American Pharoah is a pretty fast horse.
TOMPKINS: That's when you know which of your friends really, really needs an excuse to drink. When they start talking about horse races, that's when you know, oh, you have a secret problem.
[19:45:05] FOREMAN (on camera): When we come back, we'll be looking at all the gadgets, all the apps, everything that was cool online and offline. So stay put.
FOREMAN: Plenty of things caught our attention online and off line this year, some for good and some for goofy reasons, but one really stood out as different.
(voice-over): Best conversation starter, the very public transformation of Olympian Bruce Jenner from a man into a woman.
WATSON: Caitlyn Jenner brought up a whole conversation that I think a good portion of America was not really having or didn't know how to have.
CARRERA: For the first time of my life I felt proud to be transgender and not have to like, hide, to say like -- or be shy. Like yes, I'm transgender. I'm like yes, I'm transgender.
[19:50:00] FOREMAN: The late-year revelation that actor Charlie Sheen is living with HIV created a buzz online.
As did the very happy news earlier from overseas of a new royal baby.
MEADE: Fascinating. Richard quest, where are you?
FOREMAN: Worst story to set off tirades on social media about an animal: the killing of Cecil the Lion by an American hunter.
HART: That's a tricky thing because people, it's a big tourist attraction to go there and kill big games, but you know, when you have these beautiful animals, creatures murdered for fun, it's not cool.
FOREMAN: Best leap up the best seller list, I wish my book held that honor but we give it to "Go Set a Watchman", published decades after the legendary "To Kill a Mockingbird".
BERMAN: Just the ability to read words Harper Lee writes I think is wonderful. FOREMAN: Best discovery very far away.
MEADE: Water on Mars. Oh my gosh. There was water on Mars.
FOREMAN: Best discoveries much closer to home, all those private net casting programs.
CARRERA: I love Periscope. You can get in trouble if you don't know how to turn it off because they can still hear you.
BERMAN: I cannot devote any more time to being social on social media, so I did not dabble in Periscope or Meerkat. I'm glad I didn't involve with meerkat because where the hell is meerkat?
FOREMAN: One of the wackiest videos on the Internet, Shia LaBeouf's unhinged motivational speech.
SHIA LABEOUF, ACTOR: Just do it. Do it. Do it.
FOREMAN: Turns out it's an act project but still.
LABEOUF: Just do it. Do it.
FOREMAN: Best can do spirit, pizza rat. We don't know if he held onto the slice he was hauling into the subway but still held on to New Yorkers' hearts.
New discoveries at the App Store.
QUEST: I discovered Trip It this year, which is a travel app.
MEADE: So, the app that I love is a shopping app.
MEADE: It's called the realreal.com.
CARRERA: Waze is probably the most genius thing anyone has ever come up with because there are times Siri will take you across the world and, you know, you will never get to your destination.
FOREMAN: Best tech of the year, if you understand it, worst if you don't, which is pretty much everyone: cloud computing.
BERMAN: The iCloud never gives you anything. It never gives back. That's the problem. Take, take, take, never give.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here is what I think the rules of the cloud are. When you put something in the cloud, you resend all rights to it and you'll never see it again.
FOREMAN: Best gadget to scorch the sidewalks if money is burning a hole in your pocket. The hoverboard.
BURGESS: Just give me a handle. I need a handlebar.
MEADE: They are like the toy of the holiday season, too. Problem is they cost more than a toy.
FOREMAN: Best use, the "Bot Bros" synchronized video to a Justin Bieber hit.
WATSON: Half of me thinks they look super douche and half of me is really jealous, because they're so cool. But you know in like six months we'll look at videos of the hoverboard where you're like really?
CARRERA: I want to talk about fashion. Can we talk about fashion?
FOREMAN: Sure. The worst thing in all of fashion this year: the man bun.
BURGESS: It looks absolutely ridiculous. It's about as fashionable as a comb-over.
FOREMAN: But the best thing on the whole Internet was about fashion, too -- the chameleon dress that sparked debates over what color it was.
MEADE: Why do we care what color the dress is? What do I care?
TOMPKINS: Is that even a good dress?
BERMAN: I still don't know what color the damn thing was.
HART: That was a real mind (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Can I say that?
FOREMAN (on camera): There is no debating this, the time is running out, so in just a moment, our super heroes will weigh in with their hopes and wishes with next year. Don't miss it. That would be the worst.
[19:58:03] FOREMAN: 2015 was full of twists, turns and turmoil to be sure, but now, it is time to look ahead and we have just enough time to ask our guests as we always do, what do you wish for America in the coming year?
MEADE: I think it would be nice for 2016, people were offended less.
TOMPKINS: I hope that there's another "Mad Max" movie.
CARRERA: I would also wish for more love, more awareness, and more fun.
WATSON: I would like the global community to come together a little bit more, also I would like a micro pony.
HART: Oh, I hope 2016 will be a year of really moving forward and being able to find some common ground.
BURGESS: I wish that we actually start to see lives, to see each other.
BERMAN: You know, you don't even have to understand everyone all the time, just be kind to them.
QUEST: I think if we start with being a bit kinder to each other, then everything else follows from that.
FOREMAN: And that's it, thank you for watching.
For all of us at "AC360" and in the CNN family around the world, I'm Tom Foreman hoping you have all of the best and none of the worst in 2016.