May 26th, 2012
11:00 AM ET
It was hard to hear what Andy Cohen was saying outside a Bethesda, Maryland restaurant.
All anyone could hear is shrieking and yelling by his fans who waited for hours for a chance to meet the Bravo TV executive and host of that network's "Watch What Happens Live" talk show. It was a big reception for a man who was a news producer behind the camera for so long.
In an interview with CNN’s “Reliable Sources" host Howard Kurtz, Cohen talks about his experience covering hard news, long before filming “Real Housewives” and “Top Chef.”
“I viewed it as an imposition to my life,” Cohen said. “Every time my beeper when off, I was just like ‘What? Where am I going? What’s going to happen to me?’”
Not something you’d expect to hear from the TV industry veteran. After producing for 10 years with CBS News, Cohen was the executive producer at TRIO, a pop culture channel, before becoming an executive vice president at Bravo.
Less than three years ago, after years of producing Emmy winning shows on the network, he took to the air in front of the camera with a weekly late night talk show based on his web show “Watch What Happens Live.” Now that show airs five nights a week. In a behind the scenes tour with Andy before his show, he shared some of the stories behind the knick knacks in the clubhouse—including a bookmark signed by his favorite CNN anchor, Candy Crowley.
According to Cohen, the transition from being a producer to talent is not so hard. “It was relatively easy,” he said standing behind the bar on his set. “I had been producing TV for 18 years before I went in front of the camera. So I had given enough direction to people that now I can take my own direction.”
Cohen is a busy man. This week alone he took shots with Dan Rather and John Mayer with a shotski (a gift from Jimmy Fallon and his wife), found out Jerry Seinfeld’s least favorite episode of “Seinfeld,” and gave Beth Ditto an edible arrangement of corn dogs.
Cohen shares more of the crazy adventures of his life in his recently released memoir "Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture." The book includes lots of slices from pictures of a younger Andy with long hair to his most embarrassing moments, to his admiration of Susan Lucci and Oprah.
“I’m the butt of all my jokes,” he earnestly explained to Kurtz. “I think that it’s more fun to talk about your failures than your successes because you can learn from your failures, and also you can laugh at them.”
Watch Andy’s full interview this Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” at 11 a.m.
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