Longtime friends Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen are magic together, with a harmony and alchemy that radiates between these two handsome gay New Yorkers. While often cloaked in good-natured teasing with virtually nothing-off-limits, theirs is a relationship clearly grounded in mutual regard. It’s a thing of beauty to behold.
“I think the chemistry between Anderson and myself stems from a genuine love for one another,” Cohen told OutSmart recently. “We have known each other for years, before either of us had any national notoriety. It’s a relationship that is heartfelt, based on shared experiences and authentic affection. Observers see that and respond to it well, I think.”
Now Houstonians can witness this magic for themselves when Cooper and Cohen bring their highly successful two-man talk show back to the Smart Financial Centre in Sugar Land on October 25. In its third year of touring, the show is called AC2—Deeper Talks & More Shallow Tales. The format is mostly ad-lib as the two “ACs” take to the stage to swap gossip, talk pop culture, answer audience questions, and try to embarrass one another as only old friends can. AC2 is officially promoted as “unscripted, uncensored, and unforgettable.” It’s sure to be a rewarding evening of entertainment.
“Attending AC2 is kind of like going out for a beer with Anderson and me,” Cohen explains. “The show is intimate, insightful, unpredictable, and often very funny. Our audiences are a part of the experience, and it all makes for a great night out. It’s been three years since we launched AC2, and we are still on the road with it. Something is working,” he notes with a smile.
Anderson Cooper is a well-known figure in the American media landscape. The handsome, soft-spoken journalist is CNN’s leading news anchor, with Anderson Cooper 360 on five nights a week. He also co-hosts CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live in Times Square. Kathy Griffin was his co-host before she was drummed off the air after being photographed holding a cartoonish likeness of Donald Trump’s severed head. It was a joke, but Americans weren’t laughing. In a pinch, Cohen was asked to step into the co-hosting spot with Cooper on NYEL. Griffin’s high heels were not easy to fill, but by most measures, he has done it with aplomb.
Anyone who knows Cohen is not surprised by his success with New Year’s Eve Live. This cornucopia of talent is a television talk-show host and producer, a live-radio host, and the author of three books, all of which appeared on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Currently, he hosts and produces Bravo’s talk show Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, which enjoys a very dedicated audience.
Additionally, Cohen served as Bravo’s executive vice president of development and was charged with creating content, developing formats, and identifying fresh talent. He was the executive producer of the popular series Top Chef and continues to serve as executive producer of the entire Real Housewives franchise.
However, Cohen’s favorite professional position is hosting Radio Andy, his live two-hour pop-culture channel on SiriusXM Radio.
“The art of radio is so much fun,” Cohen states, laughing. “It’s challenging, and I have to think on my feet. The format is uncensored entertainment spanning everything in pop culture, including celebrity interviews. Each show is different and unpredictable, but it’s all fun and I love doing it.”
This busy New Yorker recently turned his world upside down after deciding that his “paternal clock was ticking” and realizing it was time to father a child with a surrogate. His son, Ben, was born in February, and Cohen is raising the little boy by himself in his townhome in New York City’s West Village.
“I always wanted to be a parent,” Cohen says, his voice softening. “I knew I was not getting younger, and it seemed like the time had come. It’s sort of a late-in-life adventure for me. Raising a child is really exciting, and there is a lot to it—more than I knew. But Ben is the highlight of my life.”
And as a New Yorker, was Cohen expecting Houston to be oil wells, tumbleweeds, and cowboys riding their horses to work, like so many others do?
“I have been there before and I love Houston,” Cohen says. “It’s so big and open and welcoming, and has a great vibe. The people are warm, friendly, and they are very funny. There are no others like them anywhere, and I can’t wait to experience it all again. I am looking forward to it. I can’t wait!”
Right about now, you may be wondering if Cooper and Cohen are, or ever were, “an item.” What kind of love is it that is so alive between them?
“When we were much younger, we were supposed to meet and go out on a blind date in New York,” Cohen explains. “Well, that never came about, but we did become friends and we have remained that way for 20-something years. It has worked well for both of us,” he concludes with a smile.
What: AC2—Deeper Talks & More Shallow Tales
When: Friday, October 25 at 8 p.m.
Where: Smart Financial Centre, Sugar Land