Last night, the LGBT+ Journalists of Columbia hosted a talk and Q&A session with the King of Bravo, Andy Cohen, in the Journalism Lecture Hall. We sent Bravo Stan Courtney Couillard to check out the event and see what Andy had to say.
I don’t know how any true Real Housewife franchise fan could have missed seeing Andy Cohen speak at Columbia last night. While I mostly gawk at him through my tv while watching episodes of Watch What Happens Live on my DVR, I would never pass up an opportunity to watch the man that makes the magic that is Bravo happen on a daily basis. Some may know him as the Executive Producer of the Real Housewife franchise; others may better recall when he was pushed by Teresa Giudice in her shining television moment. Regardless, Cohen has become a household name in regards to pop culture and reality television with his work on the Bravo network.
Students (and outsiders) packed the lecture hall to get a chance to feel like they were actually in the Bravo Clubhouse. A student introduced Cohen as the crowd clapped for his accomplishments and one person squealed over the mentioning of Kim Richards. Cohen began the lecture reminding us why we watch his show religiously: he makes conversation easy and he’s quick to entertain.
He began his quick talk about his rise to broadcast fame by confessing he was “very hungover” from attending the SNL after party the night before. After apologizing in advance, Cohen began to recall his ascent in the journalism world. Cohen explained how he has been in the business for 25 years, and he made his start working with CBS NY after graduating from Boston University. He confessed how he always wanted to pursue broadcast even though a superior at CBS broke to him he was cross eyed. Cohen would go on to spend ten years with the network before moving on to ultimately run production for Bravo.
At Bravo, Cohen found his opportunity to pursue his passions for broadcast with the start of the Watch What Happens series, which began as a weekly online show following episodes of Top Chef. The show grew to feature famous friends of Cohen and some of the many cast members of Bravo’s programs. With the success of the show, Cohen was ultimately offered a spot for live broadcasting every weeknight at 11 pm. In addition to hosting his show every night, Cohen is also the Executive Producer for all of the Real Housewife franchises.
Cohen made note to touch on the importance of his role as the only gay host on late night talk show television and his own journey as a gay man through the world of broadcast. As Cohen began his experience at CBS, television began to change for gay people as he mentioned the importance of shows like the Real World featuring openly gay cast members. While he was out working at CBS, Cohen said he did not let his sexuality define him. He is, however, proud to be the only gay man on late night, and thinks he fits the bill as he defines himself as “pretty damn gay.”
The talk transitioned into a Q&A session. With a range of questions about serious journalism stuff to talk about the Real Housewives, Cohen balanced his responses with humor and sincerity. Cohen gave his opinion on how to deal with annoying cast members as well as how to become involved in journalism. He even made time to talk about his good friends, Anderson Cooper and his dog named Wacha.
It’s undeniable that Cohen is one of the most likable guys in the broadcast business with an eye for television that people actually want to watch, and this talk made it clear that his personality perfectly translates from the television into real life. The event wrapped up with a book signing in which you could purchase a copy of his new book for $24. I don’t know who is bougie enough to afford that, but I clearly am not so I left the event without getting the chance to tell him who may favorite housewife is. Regardless, it was a memorable talk.