Bravo’s executive vice-president and Watch What Happens host Andy Cohen has always seemed like the type of celebrity who can hang out with celebrities and still understand non-famous people’s jokes about celebrities. He walks a fine line between celebrity string-puller and full-fledged famous person. Even Nikki Finke has noted, “Cohen’s the rare combination of a programming executive who is also a TV/Internet personality.” In this weekend’s New York Times, however, writer Susan Dominus describes the head honcho, who will preside over Real Housewives of New York’s fourth season next month, in ways that seem to separate him from mortals and plant him firmly on the side of celebrities. According to this profile, his life is so overwhelmingly fabulous, it’s almost scary. Here are the excerpts that make Andy Cohen’s life seem both exciting — filled with celebrity friends, fancy restaurants, and hip parties — and also terrifying, for the same reasons.
He understands that he’s responsible for Jill Zarin’s fame. “’You can imagine, some of his friends, what their opinions are of some of the characters on the Housewives,’ said John Benjamin Hickey, a longtime friend of Mr. Cohen’s. ‘It’s like, I can’t believe you created a star factory,’ Mr. Hickey said. ‘And he’s like, look — they signed on, people like it, get your sense of humor about it.’”
Sarah Jessica Parker is jealous of him. “’I love hearing the next day about his exploits,’ Ms. Parker said. ‘He’s fashioned a kind of life for himself from another time, a time when there was a kind of elegance to meeting and traveling and cocktails.’ As if anyone doubted otherwise, Ms. Parker added, ‘I’m not jealous — it’s very satisfying to hear about.’”
He drunk-dials Anderson Cooper. “‘There’s a lot of manufactured personality on television, and Andy’s not manufactured,’ Mr. Cooper said. ‘From [his childhood] letters, you see he’s the same person he was at 10, with the same enthusiasm.’ Mr. Cooper was once on air delivering the news when his cell phone buzzed. Checking it later, he learned that it was Mr. Cohen, drunk-dialing from the back of a car with NeNe Leakes of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, shouting, ‘Don’t be tardy for the party!’”
He can’t go out to dinner without running into a fashion designer he’s friends with. “‘No. Way,’ Mr. Cohen said to Prabal Gurung, standing up to greet the fashion designer, when he realized they were seated at nearby tables at a West Village restaurant. That two successful creative types would show up on the same night at Morandi hardly strains credulity. To the contrary, it is difficult to imagine the Thursday night when Mr. Cohen, who has been working, dating (men) and socializing with what he calls “show folk” for two straight decades, would not run into someone high profile who considered him a friend at any of the West Village restaurants or bars he frequents.”
There’s so much name-dropping and so many sceney locations in this profile, we could hardly keep up, and we’re only reading about it. He’s photographed at Le Bain, attends events at Kirna Zabête, et cetera, et cetera. Ultimately, of course, Cohen still falls on the side of awesomeness versus awfulness in our book. He’s living the dream! But the amount of energy expended to live that dream just sounds exhausting.
The Six Degrees of Andy Cohen [NYT]