Q&A: Andy Cohen, Anderson Cooper bring live show to Warner Theatre

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews Cooper & Cohen at Warner Theatre (Jason Fraley)

WASHINGTON — Watch what happens live when these two are keeping each other honest.

Those are the catchphrases of two of television’s most charming personalities, which collide on Saturday, Sept. 29 for “AC2: An Intimate Evening with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen,” marking the dynamic duo’s return to Warner Theatre after debuting their live tour in 2015.

“This is an all new show that we’ve written this summer,” Cohen told WTOP. “It’s like the Greatest Hits of Us: Part 2. It’s like going out to a bar with us and hearing our best stories.”

Sharing insights from their days on BRAVO and CNN, it’s a unique look at the world around us.

“It’s a peek behind the curtain of pop culture and world events,” Cooper told WTOP. “It’s basically Andy and I on stage telling stories. We’ve been friends for 20 or 25 years.”

Their longtime friendship began as an unsuccessful blind date attempt.

“We were set up on a blind date and we had a phone call to arrange the date,” Cooper said. “I knew within like 45 seconds that I was never going on a date with Andy. He was, like, on a Bluetooth headset and just seemed very excitable and enthusiastic. He also violated my cardinal rule, which was he asked about my mom within the first 20 seconds of talking to me.”

Cooper’s mother is, of course, Gloria Vanderbilt. Asking about her is a deal-breaker.

“He wanted to date the Vanderbilt boy,” Cooper said. “It just seemed like, ‘Oh, that’s where he’s coming from,’ so I thought he might be better served elsewhere.”

Cohen said it was a misstep that turned into a lifelong friendship.

“Anderson clocked me correctly: I was excited to date the Vanderbilt boy!” Cohen said. “But now, I’m friends with the Vanderbilt boy. It’s been many years and I am thrilled about it.”

Speaking of dates, the live tour is perfect for an outing with your significant other.

“We find that a lot of people have kind of a liquid dinner beforehand,” Cooper said. “They’ve had a couple pinot grigios or tequilas, and we encourage that during the show.”

Do any of the “Real Housewives” come to heckle Cohen?

“All of the ‘Potomac Housewives’ came to our Baltimore show, so I don’t think they’ll be there this time,” Cohen said, to which Cooper quipped, “Will those dreadful Salahis come?”

“They’ll probably crash it just like they crashed the state dinner that year!” Cohen joked.

All kidding aside, Cohen loves his following from “Watch What Happens Live.”

“‘Watch What Happens Live’ viewers, they like to have fun,” Cohen said. “You really just never know what’s going to come out of their mouths — I’ll tell you that much.”

As for Cooper, he gets a lot of fans who recognize him from CNN’s “AC360.”

“In my lifetime, it’s an extraordinary time,” Cooper said. “People are realizing the importance of news and accurate information. I’ve never had more people come up to me on the street and say, ‘Keep doing what you’re doing. Thank you.’ … People are really enmeshed and really following what’s going on, whether they agree with it or not on whatever side of the aisle.”

That said, Cooper and Cohen try to steer clear of politics during the live Q&A session.

“A lot of people don’t ask political questions,” Cooper said. “They’ve been dealing with it all day long. … People just want to enjoy themselves, be able to laugh and take their mind off all the stuff that’s going on. … The whole purpose is to put aside politics and make people laugh.”

WTOP's Jason Fraley chats with Andy Cohen & Anderson Cooper (Jason Fraley)

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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