You wouldn’t necessarily expect Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen to be the best of buds. One is highly esteemed for his coverage of presidential elections and disaster zones; the other, for his provocative reality shows and his party-boy, talk-show witticism. Yet the CNN anchor/CBS correspondent and Real Housewives producer have become one of TV’s most beloved power couples, and this Saturday, they take their friendship to the Arlington stage in AC²: Deep Talk and Shallow Tales.
“It’s a very informal, fun, spirited conversation between us and between the audience and us,” Cooper says of the evening. “There’s no difference between hanging out with us or coming to see the show — it has that kind of intimacy.”
The two ACs famously first became acquainted over a blind date (no romance ensued), and over the course of their 20-year connection, the two Emmy Award–winning media personalities have bonded over similar experiences and interests ― from their shared understanding of media demands and being openly gay celebrities to their mutual love of travel.
The two decided to take their friendship on the road simply for the fun of it, to meet new fans and explore new cities, but also as an extension of their personalities. “I don’t think anything we do is anything really deliberate,” says Cohen. “It just kind of goes along with what we do in our lives.”
“It’s nice to be working now in a time when the person you can be on TV is the person you are,” Cooper said. With Cohen, there’s “no difference between who he is live and who he is when the camera stops rolling,” Cooper says, while Cohen jokes, “The version of Anderson that appears onstage is the best version of Anderson, while the offstage version … is a bittersweet letdown.” The flavor of the show is totally spontaneous, Cohen said, with audience questions as “all over the map” as the cities they stop in.
When asked what kind of Real Housewives the two would make, Cohen says he “would try to be humorous and confrontational and dramatic,” though Cooper caveats that Cohen is in reality the most “even-keeled, fun-to-be-around, and happy” person he knows. As for Cooper? “I would never be a Real Housewife. It’s exhausting ― you have to be drinking a lot of pinot grigio, and I’m just not a drinker. It just seems like so much drama. I’m like Mary J. Blige. I don’t want drama.
Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen come to the Arlington Theatre on Saturday, March 12, at 8 p.m. See thearlingtontheatre.com or call (805) 963-4408.