Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Watch What's Happening Live, Andy Cohen, Shotski Wednesday and Other Thoughts

It's the best live television you may not be watching. Okay, it's not always the best. Sometimes it panders. But often enough it's surprising and fresh and rude and provocative and very New York, and it makes me laugh. It's Bravo producer Andy Cohen in his Clubhouse interviewing a wild mix of celebrities and 'Bravo-lebrities' and other famous folk, some of whom are famous for real and serious reasons. As Andy himself called it on NPR the other day, he likes to have a mix of guest that you might find on either the cover of The New Yorker or US Weekly. Think about that, okay. (Also, yes, NPR! He was hawking his new book and playing a game show where he answered questions about houseflies. Yes, really. Here's the link:   It made me smile so much that I tweeted and lo and behold my very awesome editor was also listening. It was a bonding moment. But I digress)

If you don't know, Andy Cohen is the one who's responsible for the Housewives franchise on Bravo. Yes, yes, I know you're too cool and serious to be watching. But I watch. And while sometimes it's too much even for me, I find it fascinating on more levels than I can discuss here and if nothing else, it's like a little morality play some days. And trust me when I say I'm not the only one who has this at the top of her guilty pleasure list.

 NPR has actually talked to Andy a lot about the whole issue of pop culture. Here's another one:

But back to WWHL and the Clubhouse. They sit in this tiny space and drink cocktails and talk. They play a few games. On Wednesday nights it's Shotski night, which means that midway through, Cohen and his guests simultaneously drink shots from glasses attached to a ski. So yeah. Dan Rather taking a shot. Julie Andrews, for god's sake! Dick -freaking- Cavett. (if you are too young to know his importance to television interviewing, just google it.)

Even The Daily Beast has talked about this show that you're probably not watching but should be!

Guests offer up surprisingly candor in silly games like Plead the Fifth. (Maybe it's cause they're drinking cocktails. Maybe because it's the kind of down and dirty talk show that no one else is doing, not even cute little Jimmy Fallon (who does, I have to admit, do other things make me laugh, like photo bombing family pics on top of 30 Rock with Cameron Diaz) It's why he gets one on ones with Cher. And Oprah. (Who gave in and said his name in that Oprah voice. "Andyyyyyyyy Cohennnnn" which made him delighted in a real way) And Lady Gaga, who, according to WWHL lore, also peed in the dressing room trash can. (one can only wonder.)

Mashable has talked about this, too!

So yeah, he's also interviewing Teresa and Joe Guidice of New Jersey Housewife and indicted for tax fraud fame. And the episodes that air from SXSW in Austin sometimes feel a bit self-conscious. But he paired Tori Spelling with George Takei once! And Soleil Moon Fry (little Punky Brewster!) with Dr. Sonjay Gupta. Seriously. It happened. And a recent favorite: Amy Sedaris and Deeprak Chopra. Sitting together for 30 minutes. Talking.

I could go on. But I have a book due by the end of the year and I finally know where the plot is going and so I better jump in there and finish the darn thing.

If you're not watching -- it's on 3 or 4 nights a week on Bravo. You won't be sorry. I promise.

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