Andy Cohen on Gay Pride, Busta Rhymes, and Real Housewives of Miami: "Mama Elsa Is Everything"
Did you spend your Saturday night watching The Rachel Zoe Project marathon? Have you gotten into verbal altercations over Beverly Hills versus Orange Country? Is your boyfriend hiding his love for Nene Leakes like a meth habit?
These are all signs of a full-blown Bravo addiction. You aren't the only one with this disease. Sadly, there is no cure, and the only man to blame is Andy Cohen.
Cohen, king of reality TV, is the Executive Vice President, Development and Talent of the Bravo TV network, host of Watch What Happens Live, and as of last year, the author of Most Talkative. So while five nights a week you can catch him on late night, we had the pleasure of sitting down with him at Books & Books in Coral Gables. (He and hundreds of soccer moms and fabulous gays, of course.)
New Times: I feel like we see you in Miami pretty frequently.
Andy Cohen: That's because you do. I really do love it. I mean, come on: I'll leave snow behind in New York and then be welcomed by sun in Miami. It's a pretty unreal place.
I know you are single. What about the boys in the 305?
What's not to love? Got to love a man with a tan.
Well, you are here to promote your book, Most Talkative. Tell us about it.
It's one of my biggest accomplishments. It's something I am really proud of. Writing a book is something I never thought I would be able to do.
Is there a chapter that was a breeze to write?
Talking about the whole Housewives phenomenon. I never thought it would be here. I talk about in the book that OC was such a gamble and now we have shows all over the country.
What comes to your mind when you see one of your ladies coming out with a single or hawking a wine?
[Laughs] Good for them!
What chapter was the hardest?
Telling my story of coming out was tough to write. My parents loved and supported me, but that was a tough one for sure.
You're somewhat of a gay icon.
Well, thank you. I don't feel that way, but it's nice to hear.
What do your parents think about all of this?
I think they look at me and think, Is that my kid? They really love all the madness of it all.
Has there ever been a better time to be gay in America?
No, definitely not. It's still a fight for equality, but the gay community has never had such support and love. I am so proud of who I am and what I have become, and I can honestly say that I think many gay people feel the same way.
Did you hear about the controversy with Busta Rhymes here in Miami?
I did. I think it's needed that people be accountable for their actions -- that is, occasionally the media having to bring out their faults.
Ever had a moment with a fan that gave you what Oprah would call an "a-ha moment"?
At a book signing in New York, a young gay boy and his mother came up and thanked me. That happens a lot -- I get a lot of young gay youth telling me that telling my story helped them in some way. It's hard to put into words what that feels like.
Let's talk a little Housewives -- Miami is officially signed on for season three!
They sure are. You sound surprised. I always knew it was going to do well. It's one of my favorite franchises.
I mean, season one was a bust. Season two was great. I figured a season three was in the works with an upgraded reunion.
It wasn't hard to upgrade the reunion from season one. So sad, right? I'll never do a reunion in the clubhouse again; we were on top of each other.
Who is your favorite Miami housewife?
I don't have a favorite. I am like a proud mother; I love all the ladies equally. I take that back -- Mama Elsa is my favorite. She is everything.
Mama Elsa is everything and more.
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