CNN newscaster Anderson Cooper and Bravo TV executive and “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen” host Andy Cohen came to Stifel Theatre on Friday night to share humorous stories with fans about their lives, family and more.
And no “Real Housewives” were harmed in the process. Cohen, executive producer of the many “Housewives” franchises, wasn’t willing to throw any of his cast members under the bus, even when prodded to do so.
Asked during Q&A was he Team Jim or Team Meghan in the fresh split between former Cardinals player and broadcaster Jim Edmonds and his wife, Meghan King Edmonds of “Real Housewives of Orange County,” Cohen replied “I’m team both of them. I want them to work it out,” drawing boos. The boos continued after he pleaded the fifth when asked which “Housewife” he’d like to never speak to again. He also wouldn’t say which “Housewife” was the biggest diva.
But friends Cohen and Cooper had plenty to share otherwise during the two-hour event including Cohen’s new role as a father and Cooper’s relationship with his famous mother, the late heiress Gloria Vanderbilt.
Cohen, a St. Louis native, obviously had family in the crowd, along with 100 teachers from his alma mater, the Clayton School District. “Thank ya’ll for educating me,” he said.
It was the 51st stop of “AC2: An Intimate Evening with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen,” which also came to the Fox Theatre in 2016. They touted the new event as uncensored and unedited shortly after taking the stage, both in casual black attire. Cohen wore a Cardinals T-shirt under a blazer.
Here are some memorable bits from Friday. Politics were off-limits, though they couldn’t help joking about a reality show idea: “The Real Mistresses of Donald Trump.”
• Cooper said his rider, the list of things he needed for the appearance, listed nothing; that he was just happy to be there. But he said Cohen’s was a long list that included Doritos. He said Cohen eats them by first licking the cheese off both sides.
• Cohen went to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals in Boston wearing a St. Louis Blues jersey. Half the crowd asked for an autograph. The other half gave him the finger.
• There were many St. Louis references including the St. Louis Blues, Schnucks, Just Johns, Imo’s Pizza, former U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and even a joke at the expense of red sweater-wearing Ken Bone, described as a one-hit wonder.
• Cohen said he always wanted to be a father but never knew how he’d make it happen. “It seemed impossible,” he said. He used a surrogate. He showed a video of his tour of the “Watch What Happens Live” set with his infant son, as well as a clip of his announcement to the top “Housewives” that he was a father.
• Both men showed video of their embarrassing experiences with pop superstars. Cooper’s was with Madonna, who called him onstage during a show; it revealed he’s a very awkward dancer. Cohen’s was with Britney Spears. He was outfitted in a bit of a harness during “I’m a Slave 4 U.” But the embarrassing part was Spears not appearing to know him, saying to the crowd, “I think we all know who this is. Give it up for him.”• Cohen said about 85% of the “Housewives” who said they left their respective franchises by choice were actually fired. He said he would never be the subject of a reality show. “I know how it works. I know how the sausage is made.”
• Cooper joked about giving the finger to a person who mistook him for Dr. Drew Pinsky in Times Square. Cooper is also a big fan of Nicole Kidman and “Big Little Lies.”
• Cohen spoke of being summoned by Aretha Franklin, who greeted him in a yellow tracksuit and asked “Why do you think Phaedra did Porsha so wrong,” referring to “Real Housewives of Atlanta.” After their conversation, he said Franklin called and asked him not to repeat what she said about Anita Baker and Diana Ross.
• Cooper said when his mother died earlier this year, there was nothing left unsaid between the two of them. She knew who he was and he knew who she was. Cooper was once asked to proofread an erotic novel written by his mother. Though he gave it a try, he couldn’t finish the page-turner.
• Cohen indulged in an email thread with Gayle King, a confusing racial and sexual mess. “It was a nightmare vortex of misunderstanding.”
• The evening wrapped with the two giving their “Housewives” tagline (every “Housewife” has a tagline heard in the opening credits). Cooper fared better. Cohen was first with “climate change may be real, but there’s no way to turn down the AC,” while Cooper came with “I don’t keep up with the Vanderbilts. I am the Vanderbilts.”