Known for his awkward guest pairings, boozy on-air games, and a whole lot of wine throwing, Bravo’s Andy Cohen has managed to carve out a unique niche in cable’s late night landscape with Watch What Happens Live. Unlike most of his competitors, the cable executive has no performance background yet managed to regularly toppled comedy giants like Conan O’Brien and Chelsea Handler in the ratings. Recently, Cohen has teamed up with longtime friend and fellow broadcaster, Anderson Cooper, to take his penchant for unique duos on the road. The AC Squared tour premiered in Boston a couple of weeks ago, and this Saturday the pair are coming to the Fillmore Auditorium to entertain locals with their brand of schtick.
“There’s nothing that’s off limits,” said Cohen during a phone interview with New Times. “We’re talking about everything from culture, politics, The Housewives, and my sex life.”
Cohen has fashioned a career around over-sharing. This year his latest book, The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year, chronicled a year in his life as he mixed and mingled with media heavyweights. Inspired by Andy Warhol’s posthumous diary, Cohen gives readers a peek into awkward celebrity encounters from getting banned from Late Show with David Letterman, to making perfume from Lady Gaga’s pee.
AC Squared takes the same unfiltered approach Cohen is known for, adds CNN’s top newsmen, and spins in a liquored-up audience to boot. “The Boston show was so great,” says the talk show host. “It was mostly couples — women that dragged their boyfriends or husbands — but they got pretty rowdy during the question and answer period. Someone asked me how big my dick was.”
The live tour is the latest project from a duo that’s known each other for over 20 years. “Anderson interviewed me at the 92nd Street Y earlier this year for my book launch, and after that we noticed we had good chemistry on stage,” said Cohen.
Their relaxed repartee is born from a pairing of opposites. “Anderson and I are like two sides of the same brain,” explained Cohen. While both host daily broadcast on cable channels, Cooper’s wooden AC360 cuts a stark contrast from Cohen’s celebrity driven WWHL.
Their backgrounds couldn’t be more different. Cooper was a member of one of the country’s wealthiest families and the son of Gloria Vanderbilt, raised around New York’s cultural intelligentsia. Cohen grew up in suburban St. Louis, Missouri, where as a young kid he fell in love with everything pop culture, and was voted most talkative in high school.
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Apart from being the opposite sides of the same brain, Cohen and Cooper are also two of the most recognizable gay men in the current media landscape, making them de facto voices for the LGBT community.
Tickets for AC Squared are available through Ticketmaster or fillmoremb.com. If you can’t make it to AC Squared this weekend, you can probably check out the pair hanging out around town.
“I love the scene at Casa Tua, and Palace on Ocean Drive,” said Cohen of his favorite spots on South Beach. “You really get a full show out of those queens.”