Andy Cohen is looking forward to coming to the Dallas area.
"Oh, yeah," he says. "We've wanted to come to Texas for a long time. I kept saying to our promoter, 'When are we going to Texas'?"
Texas can seem far away when you work as much as he does. His day jobs consist of being an author and executive producer of the Housewives franchise on Bravo. ("I invited all of them," he says of the cast of Real Housewives of Dallas.)
He also hosts the net's late-night talker, Watch What Happens Live.
But right now he's on the road with longtime friend Anderson Cooper for AC2: An Intimate Evening With Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen, Deep Talk and Shallow Tales. It may seem like an unlikely pairing, the entertainer and the newsman. But they are longtime friends and will have a conversation about pop culture and take questions from the audience. They will also use video clips to introduce topics and "tell stories."
The tour stops at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory on Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. Cohen took some time from his busy schedule for our busybody questions.
How did this idea come about?
About two books ago, [Anderson] interviewed me. ... We just had great rapport and great chemistry. We know a lot about each other. We've been around the world together. We've traveled a lot. We were set up on a blind date 25 years ago. We've been through a lot. So it just was a great night. And his agent, who also represented Bill O'Reilly at the time and Dennis Miller for years, said, 'You know, you guys could really develop a stage show and tour with that if that would be interesting for you.' We both said, 'Yeah, that'd be great.' So, here we are almost three years later.
Were there any growing pains growing the show?
It's just developed and gotten better. We figured out what works for the audience and what doesn't. We just figured out how to make it as good as it can be, basically.
Who is the deep talk and who is the shallow?
Well, I mean, you know ... I'm the deep talk and he's the shallow. [He laughs.] It's a mix of both. We try to surprise people. What it really is, is funny. And a lot of fun. It's not a political night, it's just a fun night and it's a way for people to go out ... and have a lot of fun.
Walk me through the setup.
We're talking with each other and we're interacting the whole time and we bring video clips to try to embarrass each other and make people laugh. So, it's a lot of fun.
Have you learned anything about Anderson doing this on stage that you didn't already know?
He's way funnier than people give him credit for and he's just great on stage. I think people come to the show thinking I'm gonna be the funny one but they're really surprised by how open he is and how wonderful.
What's your favorite part of doing this?
My favorite part of doing this is just being with him and traveling to new cities and meeting people. We open it up for questions at the end and it's really kinda always surprising to hear what people want to ask us. The vibe is different in every town and that's always fun, too.
How long do you think you'll keep doing this? Will you two be Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte, where you're still at the microphone together when you're 90?
That's a really good question. That's a really good question. I think it's for as long as there are places for us to go.
You are a creator. It feels as if you're always creating. Do you ever turn that off?
Yeah, I'm a very good lounger. I take a really good vacation at the end of every summer and that's where I really check out. But I'm doing what I love to do so I can't really ... it's just who I am. Right?
Do you ever get any blow-back from what can be perceived as fanning the flames of any drama that comes from these shows?
We cast very dramatic people. That's part of the reason the show is so successful. So, you know, it's meant to be entertaining. The weird thing is as dramatic as it can be, so many people say to me that the reason they love the show is that it takes their minds off their problems.
You got a new multiyear deal with the network. What's next?
[Bravo] picked up Watch What Happens Live for three more years, which I'm really excited about. And I'll continue to develop new shows for them. And the deal is for [executive producing] the Housewives for more years and reunions. Love Connection got picked up. I've got this tour. I'm doing New Year's Eve with Anderson, which I'm really excited about ... and that's what's coming up.
Whenever you watch WWHL, it seems like everyone would want to be your friend. Is that what you're going for?
I feel like I am people's friend in their head or otherwise if they watch the show. That's kinda the point of it. So ... yeah.
Is there something you want people to know about this show before they get there?
It's really suitable for everybody.
Even my 9-year-old?