Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper come to PPAC on April 29 at 8pm for “An Intimate Evening with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen: Deep Talk and Shallow Tales.” Anderson, a CNN anchor and correspondent for 60 Minutes, happens to have some Rhody roots - he’s a member of the Vanderbilt family (son of Gloria), whose colossal “summer homes” have made Newport the foremost destination for mansion-hopping. Andy, best known as executive producer of Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise and host of the nightly show Watch What Happens Live, hasn’t been to the Ocean State since his days at BU, when he ventured into Del’s territory to attend concerts here. The two longtime friends have been touring the country for months with this two-way interview/gossip session/happy hour – Andy tells us the experience will be like “going out to a bar with us” (although, sans flask, you’ll just have to watch them drink).
The show, according to Andy, was conceived on a suggestion from Anderson’s agent, who also represents Bill O’Reilly. The comedian Dennis Miller and O’Reilly had been on tour for a few years, staging conversations in front of audiences. “So we decided to be, like, the anti-O’Reilly and Dennis Miller.”
Andy has been busily adding to his portfolio since 2013, when he resigned as head of development at Bravo and went full freelance. “I absolutely love it,” he says. “It’s just being your own boss. I only work on things that I’m interested in.” Along with Housewives, three books under his belt and a radio show (Radio Andy), he’ll be hosting Love Connection on Fox this summer. He’s also launching a book imprint with Holt Macmillan; the announcement of the imprint’s first title is due in a few weeks. “It’s gonna be all nonfiction and only books I would be interested in working on,” he says. “They won’t necessarily be books about show business or entertainment; I’m interested in baseball, art, architecture, television, music, animals…” (This last is fairly obvious: The adoption and gradual acclimatization to Manhattan living of Andy’s beagle-foxhound mix are chronicled in great detail in his second book.)
“An Intimate Evening” begins with 90 minutes of back-and-forth between the two ACs; then the floor will open to questions from the audience. Lest Rhode Islanders fear that conversational fodder has run dry after more than 20 “Intimate Evenings,” Andy assures us: “People who’ve come have been surprised by how funny it is.”