Posted by: Alex
I’m not sure how many of you are viewers of Watch What Happens Live, the charming nightly talk show hosted by Andy Cohen. It’s on Sunday through Thursday nights on Bravo at 10 p.m. As someone who, almost nightly, is watching Bravo from 9-10 p.m., it was natural for me to keep it on the same channel for another 30 minutes. I have watched Andy Cohen for years hosting the uncomfortable, car-crash-like Real Housewives reunion shows and I didn’t think much of him, except I wondered if he was as tense as I was during them (turns out, yes!) I started out as a very casual fan of WWHL, and then I started purposefully watching it after a while, and then one night Dan said what I had been thinking for weeks: “I think I really like Andy Cohen.” That’s when we admitted to ourselves that this was more than casual TV dating – this was a serious relationship.
What I really want to talk about is Andy Cohen’s autobiography, Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture, which I just finished reading. It is pretty much exactly the type of book I like to read – one focused around celebrity stories, pop culture, and gossip. I’m not terribly proud that this is my preferred genre of literature, but after reviewing my Goodreads book list, I just had to admit it to myself. (Remind me to tell you about the book I recently read written in the 70’s by the personal assistants of Blake Edwards and Marlon Brando. It was pure trash and it pretty much blew my mind. I couldn’t put it down).
As Andy points out at the beginning of his book, it bores the shit out of him when people talk about their childhood, so he essentially skips ahead to high school and college (I greatly appreciated this). He gives a little background about his early journalism career and his emotional experience of coming out to his family and friends, but other than that, it’s mostly stories like the one about meeting his idol Susan Lucci, or the one about how he pissed off his other idol, Oprah Winfrey. It’s this, along with many, many tales of the Real Housewives, which I cannot get enough of. Ever.
When I was a younger person with wide eyes and dreams of making it in the big city, I wanted to be a TV producer. I got over that dream pretty quickly when I realized that I would have to work hard and that I’d actually have to move to New York (I LOVE SAINT PAUL. I CAN’T EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH), but I still live vicariously through everyone involved in the behind-the-scenes of the entertainment business. Because of this minor obsession, I love reading the stories of Andy having to put together last minute segments for a fledgling CBS news morning show. I also live for stories of how programs I love came to be. For instance, did you know that Real Housewives of New York almost never aired because they only had three women and they couldn’t find two more? LuAnn was suggested by someone at the last minute, and they met Bethanny at a party in the Hamptons. Between the recommendation by her then boyfriend, and Jill Zarin (her future best friend, then nemesis), they were convinced to use her, despite her non-housewife status. That story had me on the edge of my bus seat!
The other piece of this book that I love is that Andy is just truly a fan of Hollywood, celebrities, reality television, pop culture, and everything that comes with it. He is like a kid in a candy store, doing what he loves, and it is totally refreshing. Reading his stories is like listening to a 14 year old super fan (in the best way, possible). He watched All My Children every single day, so meeting Susan Lucci was one of the highlights of his life. He was a crazy B52’s fan, and he managed to become their go-go dancer for a night with his best friend. He is obsessed with Diana Ross and he talks about the let-down of meeting her in person because they had such a normal interaction.
Basically, I feel like Andy Cohen is the gay man inside me who thinks what I think and says all the things I’d like to say, and has the job I wanted. I don’t mean to scare you, Andy Cohen, but you’re my kindred spirit and I think we would be great friends. It’s probably best that I don’t come see your show being taped, because I might scare you the way that I scared Regis Philbin back in 1998 when I was seat #1 for Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee. I think keeping our relationship long distance might be for the best. But definitely call me if you want to hang out! I’m free anytime!
Please note from this video how much Andy Cohen loves red heads (or the more disrespectful term for them, “gingies.”) Since I’m married to a gingie, I feel like this supports everything I said in my last paragraph.
Side note: I wrote this post while eating the most amazing cookie that I think you should go out and buy – the Sea Salt Chocolate Chunk cookie from Cheeky Monkey Deli in Saint Paul. It was a truly inspirational cookie eating experience.