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A tearful good-bye as Chris Cuomo leaves 'New Day' for 'Prime Time'

See Cuomo's emotional send off from 'New Day'
See Cuomo's emotional send off from 'New Day'

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See Cuomo's emotional send off from 'New Day' 01:26

(CNN)CNN anchor Chris Cuomo signed off Thursday morning for the last time from "New Day," but not before getting some surprises from co-anchor Alisyn Camerota, the show's crew and a few very special guests.

But before that, the anchor and his team had a lot to reminisce about. And to borrow Cuomo's own catchphrase, the show "got after it" with a video montage of moments from the five years of Cuomo's tenure.
From the 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri, to the 2015 Paris attacks and Hurricane Irma in 2017, Cuomo reported from around the world, living his motto, "You have to be there."
    "It's not the job of the press to be nice or not nice," he says as the montage shifts to moments when he held various politicians accountable. "It's the job to be fair and to be right."

    'Dad would be proud'

    It wasn't just Cuomo who held politicians' feet to the fire, though.
    The roles were reversed when the anchor's brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, video-called in to joke that he, too, was getting a new show and a new network called Cuomo News Network (or CNN, for short).
    The governor announced he would wear black T-shirts emblazoned with "The Real Cuomo" and "Cuomo All the Time," in a nod to the shirts -- just tight enough to make headlines and spawn memes -- that his anchor brother wore during Irma.
    Then, the brothers got serious.
    "You've done a phenomenal job," the governor told his younger sibling. "The whole family is proud of you. ... You're going to make this dialogue a better dialogue, and Dad would be proud of you," referring to their late father, New York Gov. Mario Cuomo.

    It's T-shirt time

    And Andrew Cuomo wasn't the only one with T-shirts on hand.
    Camerota made sure that along with a more sentimental parting gift of framed photographs, she included some very small T-shirts to replace the ones that got wet during last year's hurricane.
    In spite of their size, Chris Cuomo found a practical use of them -- blotting his face as he got emotional.

    'This is "New Day" ... '

    Meantime, Cuomo's departure means the show's intro track, featuring audio by James Earl Jones, will have to change.
    The actor, whose iconic booming voice opens the program each morning, had fun re-recording the sound bite.

    The most special of guests

    But while the big-name guests were impressive, "New Day" viewers know Cuomo is all about his family -- and no send-off would have been complete without them.
    "You guys let me do my job, and you're the reason I do it," Cuomo told his wife, Cristina, and two of his three children as they joined him on set. "And you made me who I am, so it's good to have you."
    To his co-anchor, Cuomo told Camerota, who permanently joined the show in 2015, "You were a gift here. ... Everything changed when you came. You're going to be great."
    "The show is a gift," Cuomo concluded. "The crew is amazing. The show will continue to get better. I know this for a fact."