Television producer and talk show host Andy Cohen says he’s “an open book,” which should make for good content when he’s interviewed on stage Thursday at the Sound Board at MotorCity Casino Hotel.
“I’m pretty transparent,” he said in an interview with The Detroit News last week. “I’m an open book and nothing’s off limits.”
He’ll be interviewed by Mojo from Channel 955’s “Mojo in the Morning” show, followed by questions from the audience.
Cohen, 49, can’t really afford to be coy anyway, considering he trades in celebrity gossip and drama as executive producer of “The Real Housewives” franchise and as host of “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen,” a nightly talk show on Bravo. Cohen also has his own channel on SiriusXM and has published three best-selling nonfiction books about pop culture and his celebrity-filled life.
As an executive producer, Cohen won an Emmy Award in 2010 for “Top Chef” and Peabody Awards in 2004 and 2007 for “The N-Word” and “Project Runway,” respectively.
The St. Louis native was in the news last month after it was announced he would replace Kathy Griffin as co-host of Anderson Cooper’s New Year’s Eve special on CNN. Griffin was fired from that post in May after she released photos of her holding a fake bloody head resembling President Donald Trump. She and Cooper co-hosted the program together beginning in 2007.
Cohen says Cooper, who is a friend, is teasing him about the upcoming gig.
“It’s a lot of time to fill and he just keeps saying to me ‘it’s four hours, it’s four hours’ so, he’s freaking me out a little bit,” Cohen said. “But we’re just coming up with stuff we want to talk about. I, of course, love to take him out of his comfort zone and make him feel uncomfortable, which I think is fun to watch.”
When asked last week about Griffin and her troubles this year, Cohen told The Detroit News that he thinks she’s going to be fine.
“I think that it will blow over and she’s very resilient and very funny and she’ll come back in no time.”
That’s not the attitude he had with a TMZ videographer, however, when Cohen was trapped by the paparazzi at the Los Angeles International Airport over the weekend. When asked about Griffin, he said he didn’t know who she was. Those who follow pop culture may know that it’s a joke in reference to the time when Mariah Carey was asked about Jennifer Lopez and responded with a shade-filled “I don’t know her.”
Griffin didn’t take it lightly. She took to Twitter to say Cohen was her boss for 10 years.
“Treated me like a dog,” she wrote. “Deeply misogynistic.”
The next day Griffin posted a 17-minute video to YouTube blasting Cohen for twice offering her cocaine while she was a guest on “Watch What Happens Live.” Cohen responded to the allegations in a tweet saying they were “100 percent false and totally made up.”
Cocaine or not, Cohen has had many many celebrities from the A-List to the D-List on his show in the 1,000-plus episodes since WWHL debuted in 2009.
Two women he said he’s yet to have on that he would like to: Diana Ross and Michele Obama.
“I’d be pretty excited about that,” he said of Ross. “I’m a huge Motown fan.”
“Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell, Smokey Robinson,” he said, listing some of his other favorite Motown acts. “I’m a huge Aretha Franklin fan, who I know is not Motown.”
Cohen — who also hosts a reboot of the dating game show “Love Connection,” which was renewed by Fox for a second season — regularly has the women from his “Real Housewives” series on his show, as well.
He said the upcoming season of guilty pleasure favorite “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” (RHOA) will touch on domestic abuse. Recently one of the show’s stars, NeNe Leakes, received backlash at one of her comedy shows when she made a rape comment to a heckler.
“I think she felt terribly about it,” Cohen said of Leakes, adding that she’s a victim of domestic abuse herself. “This is not something that she takes lightly.”
In the new season, which begins Sunday, the Atlanta women shoot a domestic violence PSA and “talk about their own experiences with domestic abuse,” he said.
“This is an issue that is very prominent on that show,” Cohen said.
RHOA also stars Detroit native Kenya Moore, who was rumored to have been given an ultimatum by the show’s producers over the summer regarding whether she would let the cameras document her life with her new husband, Marc Daly.
Cohen expertly deflected the gossip.
“She’s very much a part of the show,” he said. “I just watched an episode today, and she has a very prominent part. We haven’t really begun talking about next season, so it’s all just speculation.”
An Evening with Andy Cohen
8 p.m. Thursday
Sound Board at MotorCity Casino Hotel
2901 Grand River, Detroit
(313) 309-4700 or 313presents.com
$55 and up