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Nicki Gostin
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'Most Talkative': Andy Cohen Dishes On 'Housewives' Success, Failures

Posted: 05/10/2012 6:01 pm Updated: 05/10/2012 6:01 pm

Andy Cohem Most Talkative

Bravo staple Andy Cohen’s new memoir, "Most Talkative," hits bookstores and e-readers just in time for Mother’s Day.

As the book reveals, the man responsible for the infamous "Real Housewives" franchise grew up in St. Louis worshipping "All My Children" and "Charlie’s Angels" and spent a decade at CBS News.

"Most Talkative" is full of hilarious anecdotes about his run-ins with people like Oprah Winfrey and Tammy Faye Bakker, and it's just like a Bravo show -- funny and completely addictive.

After reading your book, the next person who should be getting their own reality show is your mom, Evelyn. She is quite the character.
Oh my God, isn’t she amazing? She’s so great; she’s the best character in the book. I love her.

Is having a gay son the best thing for a mom?
I agree with that. Every mother should have one.

I heard gossip that you are quite the dandy around town.
Dandy, meaning...?

Maybe a little slutty?
Really? I’m randy. I’m single, let me put it that way. I’m allowed.

Do you want to settle down?
I totally do, yes. The "Andy Cohen Wedding Special" in my parents' backyard. Absolutely, I would love it.

This year you cleaned house on "Real Housewives of New York." Was that uncomfortable?
It’s never comfortable to part ways with someone that you care about and that was the case with that, but we just wanted to do something different with the show.

Do you think the Housewives ever realize how vile they appear sometimes?
I think sometimes they like how they come across and sometimes they don’t and sometimes the viewers' opinions on them changes. So you may think at the beginning, "Oh that person is vile," and by the end you may think, "You know, I kind of weirdly love that person."

I think everyone reacts to fame differently. You’re also dealing with people who are thrust from normalcy and then they suddenly become famous, so there’s no manual for how to do what they’re doing and what’s happening to them. It’s challenging.

Did you feel responsible at all for Russell Armstrong’s suicide?
No, I think if you look back and read about them, I think cameras capture what’s already happening and I think in that case they did as well.

In the book, you write about how you lied to Oprah to get an interview with her. What on earth were you thinking?
I don’t know, it’s shocking, because Oprah was so forgiving in that moment that I didn’t wind up getting fired. I think I could have been fired. I put myself and my talent in a really bad position. There but for the grace of God...

Don’t you think it’s true that everyone screws up?
Absolutely and I think that’s one of the things in the book. I wanted to tell my evolution and journey but I wanted to tell it through funny stories. The butt of the jokes in the book is me. Any f---up that’s in there is my f---up.

What else do you consider a big mistake?
I was against making "Beverly Hills Housewives."

Really? To me that’s so obvious, a no-brainer.
I know, I thought it seemed too obvious, and then I fell in love with Lisa Vanderpump from the moment I saw her at casting. She was kind of the thing that kept me intrigued with it. But yeah, I have to say I just thought it seemed too obvious.

Some Housewives have had some personal problems. Have you guys ever stepped in?
We have stepped in. Out of respect for the people involved, I’ve got to leave it at that. Here’s the thing: Real life is not always pretty and even though something comes in a pretty package doesn’t mean when you open it up that it will be too, and that’s something we’ve found out time and time again.

You have your own talk show, "Watch What Happens Live." Were you amazed at how much attention you got for your eye?
Yes, I was but you know what? The Internet is for haters. Everyone wants to knock somebody down, but it’s cool.

What do you say to people who say, "He just gave himself his own show?"
That’s the biggest misconception about me. One of the great things about me writing the book is I explain in great detail how it happened. Anybody who really knows about the TV business knows that it would be impossible to just march in one day and say to your colleagues and bosses, "Oh yes, I’m hosting my own show."

What did you think of the recent "SNL" skit mocking you?
I was half cringing and half flattered, which I think is the point.

You know every woman in America loves you and wants to be friends with you.
It’s funny; some straight guy was interviewing me the other day and said, "Why should I care about you?" And I said, "Because I’m putting your wife to bed every night, I’m tucking her in." I’m happy to be everybody’s gay best friend. I get tweets sometimes from women saying, "I want to be your friend," and I tell them we are, because it’s true. We’re talking to each other every night on my show. I’m getting all these tweets. It’s an interactive experience.

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