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Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen chat each other up at Murat

Call them your interviewers-in-chief


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  • Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen

Ah, to look back at those halcyon days in early November when I interviewed Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen in advance of their show this week at Old National Centre. Yes, if we’re being truthful with one another, I created a logistical nightmare of phone lines — hanging up repeatedly on both of them after being somehow unable to figure out our office’s impenetrable call-in system. Yes, we were all vaguely on edge as the election crept nearer. Yes, they both were very, very busy. But at least we three were not yet declared Enemies of the American People, not yet bombarded with mindbogglingly bonkers Twitter updates from our unlikely Prez. Like I said: halcyon days.

So let us return together to those more simple of times with a portion of that interview. First, premise: Cohen and Anderson, beyond their individual pursuits as CNN primetime host and Bravo network host and honcho, are longtime friends. Their joint tour, remounted whenever both have brief moments of free time, features the two interviewing one another, answering audience questions, showing off videos and generally just goofing off together. This tour’s DNA has more in common with Cohen’s late night chats on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live than Cooper’s hard-hitting explorations of politics on Anderson Cooper 360.

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Cooper and Cohen answered questions separately about the Indianapolis date of AC2, which stops in Indy on Friday. Find more online at

A main feature of each show is Anderson and Andy interviewing one another. So what do they admire about each other’s interviewing skills?

Andy: I admire his work ethic and professionalism. I think he’s really fair. I think that everyone gets a fair shake with him, and I think he’s very smart and engaged and interested. I like his approach. … [As for tour changes] we’ve gotten more comfortable with each other on stage. We have a better sense of what stories work and what don’t, and what new stuff to add. We’re always changing the show and evolving it. I think it’s actually great that it’s taken this long to get to Indianapolis because the show has just gotten better and better. We just went to my hometown of St. Louis, because I was kind of waiting until the show was great [to go].

Anderson: I think it’s difficult in television to take your personality – if you have a strong personality, like Andy does – and to actually get that to be what your show is like. Andy has created this late night show unlike any other. It’s my favorite late night show, and it’s such a representation of his personality. The Clubhouse looks like his office and his home. When he has a party, he loves to stir things up, like he does on a Housewives reunion. Getting disparate groups of people together and serving them cocktails and getting them to say stuff and talk about stuff … he gets away with asking questions of people that I could never in a million years get away with. I don’t exactly know how he does it. I think it’s because people know he’s having fun with them; he’s not making fun of them. I think that really comes across. People feel like he’s on their side, even though he’s asking questions which they’re embarrassed by and wouldn’t ordinarily answer. He asked Susan Sarandon to name an award show she’s gone to stoned, and her answer was “only one.” Then he asked Shaq about how big you-know-what is. I couldn’t believe [it]! The answer is hilarious that Shaq gave. But who would ask that in a million years?!

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After the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Cooper and Cohen – who are both openly gay — hosted a tour stop as a fundraiser for the One Orlando fund. Here’s what both said of that night:

Andy: The most important thing about that was that we got to go there and make people laugh. You could tell from the people that we met before the show that it just seemed that people were ready to laugh.

Anderson: I spent about a week there, in the wake of the Pulse attack. It was actually a really special show. The audience was in the mood to laugh, have a good time. It was really just an incredible experience. The energy in the room was really moving. We consciously, early on, spoke a little bit about what had happened, and then said that it’s nice to just have a night to make you all laugh. I know there were several people there who had lost loved ones. I know a mom that I interviewed of one of the men who was killed was there. The owner of the club, I think, was there as well, as well as a couple of city officials. It was a really electric audience.

We wanted to wait until it was an appropriate distance from the shooting to actually do it; we made sure it was the appropriate time. But I think we were one of the first benefits back in town to raise money for the One Orlando fund, so it was really special.


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