Andy Cohen Lets the Good Times Roll
By Mark Consuelos
PHOTOGRAPHS BY STEPHAN WÜRTH
Shirt, Theory ($195). 46 Newtown Lane, East Hampton; theory.com. Bathing suit, Vilebrequin ($170). 42 Jobs Lane, Southampton; vilebrequin.com. Flip-flops, Havaianas ($18). Scoop Beach, 51 Newtown Lane, East Hampton; scoopnyc.com. Watch, Cohen’s own
Every weekend in the Hamptons I drive by a little house on Noyac Bay and honk my horn. Why? Because inside that house lives a Good Time Charlie. An affable, sociable, pleasure-loving man who goes by the name Andy Cohen. After I honk, I wait for an acknowledgment that usually comes in a phone call or text that says “good morning” or “I just got up.” We both agree that honking while you drive by someone’s house is a very Midwestern thing to do (where we’re both from).
Anyone who knows Andy—and all of his fans who watch him on his show—will agree that if you are at a party, the person you want to be seated next to is him. He is hysterical and can talk to anyone about anything. He always has a story of what happened the night before or, even better, what should have happened the night before. And he always leaves you wanting more.
But getting more Andy time is harder and harder these days. He has a juggernaut of a talk show and is in charge of some the biggest hit shows on Bravo. He is also a philanthropist: He is on the board of Friends In Deed, which provides emotional and spiritual support for all those affected by lifethreatening illness. He is also an active member and supporter of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the synagogue for people of all sexual orientations and gender expressions. And whatever little time he has left, he spends it playing Angry Birds.
My wife and I met him five years ago, and we feel like we have been lifelong friends. (I have met some of his actual lifelong friends and am extremely jealous.) When I was asked to interview him for this cover, I was very intimidated by the task, because I wanted it to live up to how he would do it. He is whip-smart; he is funny as hell; he has a superior BS detector. All of this makes the interview extremely daunting. And to top it off, I am running late...
MARK CONSUELOS: Your show Watch What Happens: Live is ridiculously successful—you recently celebrated its 100th episode. What do you think it is about the show that everyone connects to?
ANDY COHEN: I think it is just the weird combinations of people. You have Sandra Bernhard and Sonja Morgan on, and Nacho Figueras—actually, it was a little bit of a Hamptons fest. You don’t know what is going to happen. I think it is a Fellini movie mixed with Wayne’s World.
MC: I have been on your show a few times, and it is so much fun. I think alcohol plays a small part in that, actually. I think Kelly said that alcohol could be your cohost.
AC: Alcohol could be my cohost, but I am not looking for a cohost.
MC: No, I don’t think you need one. The alcohol does help to make people a little loose. Which guest has gotten the loosest?
AC: There was one time when Bethenny Frankel turned to me during a commercial break and said, “I am trashed.” And Ricki Lake was very drunk. Then we had Regina King and Jackée Harry—that was the most famous, that became something. I got off the air and said, “That show was terrible”; I really felt like it was bad, but they were really into it, the ratings were high, and the fans loved it.
MC: What you are doing right now is rare. I don’t think it has really ever happened before, where you are straddling this network executive role while hosting a late-night talk show. Which do you find a bigger challenge? Is this part of your evil plan to take over television?
AC: I find my day job more challenging than my hosting job; I find that just a pleasure. I feel like I am hanging out with people that I know or have wanted to know, and everybody is invited to my party. And I love throwing parties. My day job is complex and complicated, and although I feel like I am good at producing television, it is challenging.
MC: Would you want to host five nights a week?
AC: You know, somewhere in my mind, I would love to, but it would mean that I would have to make some kind of a Sophie’s Choice because this job that I have is a 12-hour-a-day job. By the way, Bravo has not asked me to do this five nights a week; I just want to be a good solider.
Styling by Rebecca Malinsky
Grooming by Caroline Blanchard using CSL and American Crew