I am slowly recovering from my meltdown last week, which I discussed yesterday on the blog. Hopefully that post made history as the most insane piece you’ll ever see here, but I’m not making any promises. And thank you to those who reached out to me yesterday via this blog, Facebook, and text, to make sure I was okay. I really, really appreciate your kindness.
Anyway, just after my meltdown, I was really looking forward to a relaxing weekend (I was lucky enough to get a little bit of freelance work to help with my bills), and I was thankful I had a ticket to see AC2 Live: An Intimiate Evening With Anderson Cooper & Andy Cohen.
I’d purchased myself a ticket prior to my financial woes; and considering I’m on a self-induced spending freeze, I didn’t take myself to dinner before or treat myself to any beverages at the event as I’d originally planned. But, none of that mattered, because I still had a great time.
I’ve been a fan of Anderson Cooper for as long as I can remember. I have always looked up to him as a journalist – rightfully so – as he’s created some of the best news coverage, ever.
Although born into the Vanderbilt family on his mom’s side, Cooper has said – in news articles and in the recent documentary with his mother – when his father died (when he was 10), he immediately felt like he needed to take care of himself, and started working as a child model. He later attended Yale, and after failing to get an entry-level job at ABC, he got a few students to help him create a fake press pass, so he could start covering news stories.
He was able to sell these homemade stories to a local news channel, and he started his work as a correspondant for ABC five years later. Six years later, in 2001, Cooper joined CNN, and became host of Anderson Cooper 360 in 2003. Several pieces of his news coverage has won awards, including Princess Diana’s funeral, 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, Chicago Police brutality, Haiti earthquake, Bosnian war, and of course, Hurricane Katrina:
His recent coverage of Orlando was also nothing short of fantastic. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that he’s one of, if not the top, journalist of our time.
And then there’s Andy Cohen; the genius who brought us all of the shows we loved and still watch: “Queer Eye for The Straight Guy”, the entire “Real Housewives” franchise, “Below Deck”, “Shahs of Sunset”, “Vanderpump Rules”, and serves as the creator and host of “Watch What Happens Live”. He is also the host of each and every reunion for “The Real Housewives”.
Cohen has a degree in broadcast journalism, and worked as CBS for 10 years, serving as the producer for “48 Hours”, “The Early Show”, and “CBS This Morning”, before moving to the Bravo network. He is the only openly gay host of a nightly talk show, and he also has his own channel on Sirius XM, Radio Andy.
Uh, how can we not love the person who brought us, “Close ya legs to married men, trash box!”
So, on Saturday night, Cooper and Cohen joined forces for their live, touring show, right here in Austin. The show began by showing a bit of history about each one of the men before they came on stage. They then explained that they actually met by being set up on a date many years ago – but never actually went on the date, and confirmed that they’ve never slept together.
They joked a lot about how they are so opposite: Cooper is self-admittedly grumpy, introverted and shy, whereas Cohen is forever the life of the party and absolutely loves being famous. Both of them admit to being workaholics, and are humble about the role they play in pop culture and breaking news. They are also both best-selling authors (“Dispatches From the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disaster, and Survival” by Anderson Cooper, and “Most Talkative: Stories From the Front Lines of Pop Culture” by Andy Cohen).
For me, the night was the perfect mix of yin and yang – I absolutely loved it! They shared hilarious stories about their careers over the years, talked about their families, and vacations they’ve gone on with mutual friends. They even showed a few videos – a clip from “60 Minutes” when Cooper swam with crocodiles despite not knowing how to scuba dive, Cohen’s friends making a tribute to him for his 40th birthday, and a compilation of the best moments of the “Housewives'” reunions.
They also took several questions from the audience (which was interesting, and a bit brutal at times), in which Cooper revealed that after talking to the family of one of the Aurora shooting victims, he made a policy that, on “Anderson Cooper 360”, any mass murderer would not be named, and it has become his mission to speak of and remember the lives of those we lost. We saw this policy in action during the Orlando coverage, and I think it’s a fantastic shift in media coverage.
Aside from it just being an entertaining couple of hours, it was also really inspirational for me on many levels. Not only am I a TV junkie, in both news (especially CNN) and reality (Bravo is the KING of reality networks), but I also love talking about pop culture and news events. Without even realizing it when I bought the ticket, I’d set myself up to see two people that have probably brought me more joy over the years than I even knew – and I got to wear my fringed high heels for the first time, in honor of the occassion!
Are you following me on social media? If not, you probably should – unless you’re a troll, then, just… no. I’m @OrangeJulius7 for Twitter, SnapChat, and Instagram! See you there!