The man behind the Real Housewives writes about his lifelong love affair with pop culture that brought him from the suburbs of St. Louis to his own television show
From a young age, Andy Cohen knew one thing: He loved television. Not in the way that most kids do, but in an irrepressible, all-consuming, I-want-to-climb-inside-the-tube kind of way. And climb inside he did. Now presiding over Bravo's reality TV empire, he started out as an overly talkative pop culture obsessive, devoted to Charlie's Angels and All My Children and to his mother, who received daily letters from Andy at summer camp, usually reminding her to tape the soaps. In retrospect, it's hard to believe that everyone didn't know that Andy was gay; still, he remained in the closet until college. Finally out, he embarked on making a career out of his passion for television.
The journey begins with Andy interviewing his all-time idol Susan Lucci for his college newspaper and ends with him in a job where he has a hand in creating today's celebrity icons. In the witty, no-holds-barred style of his show Watch What Happens Live, Andy tells tales of absurd mishaps during his ten years at CBS News, hilarious encounters with the heroes and heroines of his youth, and the real stories behind The Real Housewives. Dishy, funny, and full of heart, Most Talkative provides a one-of-a-kind glimpse into the world of television, from a fan who grew up watching the screen and is now inside it, both making shows and hosting his own.
TV producer Cohen, an Emmy winner for Top Chef, is the host of Watch What Happens: Live. As Bravo's executive vice president of original programming and development, he oversees production of The Real Housewives franchise, The Millionaire Matchmaker, and other series. In this lively memoir, he begins by telling us more than we need to know about his pop culture obsessed childhood in St. Louis. In high school, where he was voted most talkative, he was popular, but "no one knew I was gay." A full chapter is devoted to the "terror" of coming out to his parents and Boston College roommate. A 1989 sophomore high school class project prompted him to interview his idol, Susan Lucci, a plus when he applied for a CBS internship. Beginning at CBS This Morning, he was on his way. When he arrived at Bravo, he found the ideal venue for mingling with top talents. Riding the wave of reality programming as it began to dominate TV, he now asks, "Had I helped kill soaps?" There's enough about his lifelong obsession with Susan Lucci that can distract. Others will be amused by Cohen's ramblings about how his wicked wit and "lighthearted cultural commentary" brought him media attacks and embarrassing headlines. Still, many will appreciate his straightforward honesty in delivering an insider's POV about reality TV with intimate and outrageous glimpses of housewives and celebrities, offscreen and on.
Enjoyed every minute
I read this book in a couple of days and delighted in picking it back up again every time. As someone who really has very little in common with Andy Cohen, I feel like we're friends. I find his journey fascinating. He makes it look easy and I wondered if it just came easy to him. In some aspects, he is a natural, but it doesn't take away from his hard work and tenacity. Love him even more!
Andy... You are everything! Great fun to read!
Like sitting on his sofa
Reading this book is like actually being with him instead if imagining being there. Real life only funny. Loved the exploits with Susan Lucci and Grac, Evelyn and Lou... Great read, over too soon like all good books, you just don't want the good ones to end...
Andy, be my friend?