This week found Andy Cohen, BravoTV’s Executive Vice President of Original Programming and Development – commonly referred to the “King Of Bravo”- on a whirlwind media tour to promote the paperback release of his best-seller, “Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture”.
Cohen, who also hosts the popular late night chat fest “Watch What Happens LIVE” is known for his fun-loving demeanor, wacky on-air games with guests, his love of all things St. Louis, his cool friends (Sarah Jessica Parker “SJP”, Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, and Anderson Cooper “Coops”, to name a few) and his ability to get almost any celebrity to pound cocktails or do shots off the “shot-ski” in the Bravo Clubhouse that is the WWHL set. Let’s face it, Andy Cohen has played a part in the development of almost every reality show airing on Bravo today. Especially “The Real Housewives” franchise. Because he moderates and hosts the reunions for the “Housewives” shows, he’s also referred to as the “Housewife Whisperer”. He manages to ask all of the questions that we, the viewers, want to know without (seemingly) being the object of their wrath afterwards. Given the strong personalities of the women that are cast on ‘The Real Housewives”, that makes him a superhero in my book.
I spent Wednesday in a state of dismay that Andy (yes, I’m just going to call him “Andy” now) was in Chicago for a book signing and I couldn’t figure out how to get there. Can you say #SingleMomProblems? I even contemplated dragging my 4 and 7-year-old along with me, and had convinced myself that it was a great idea. #Desperation
On a lark, I sent the girl’s dad an email to see if there was any way he could pick them up from school. He responded and said YES, he could take the girls but only if they could spend the night.
*queue angels singing*
PERFECTION!!!! As I made arrangements with school for the last-minute schedule change, I thanked the manifestation-slash-good-karma gods and made a bee-line for home to change my clothes and make the hour-plus drive to the signing.
Once I arrived at the bookstore, the place was already hopping. I grabbed my books, paid for them and got my signature number (217). After getting a snack from the cafe, I found a spot in the balcony with a great view of where the Question and Answer session was going to take place, and sat down to wait the 90 minutes before it started. At 7pm exactly, Andy was introduced by Barnes & Noble event staff and proceeded to spend the next 30+ minutes answering questions from the audience. Everyone was polite and respectful, and (of course) tried to get him to pick him favorite housewife or show. His response of “Daddy doesn’t pick favorites”, cracked us up every time! He was smart, witty, thoughtful, deflected potentially mean questions with humor, never said anything nasty about anyone and kept the crowd engaged and laughing.
Here’s a clip of Andy talking about what his “Housewives Tagline” would be. (If you aren’t sure what I mean, take a look at this post I wrote explaining them and sharing mine.)
I was fortunate enough to be called on, and I asked him my standard “get to know you question”:
Jen: “If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 things would you take with you?”
Andy: ”A fully charged iPod . . . . water and . . . . . hmmmm . . . . . . a hairbrush!”
Not exactly enlightening or
brilliant, but I put the guy on the spot. I was just happy that he picked me!
After the Q&A, I waited another forty-five minutes for my number to be called and then I got in line. Now, if you’ll remember from my Tim Gunn experience, it was much quicker than expected and I was not going to get taken by surprise this time. I needed to come up with a plan to get the best photo-op possible, given the large table that Andy was sitting behind and the fact that I was flying solo on this signing. I had 4 books with me – one for myself, one for Kari at A Grace Full Life (not “Flat Kari” – which was a hilarious conversation from earlier in the day that I hope she blogs about) and TWO FOR MY AWESOME BLOG PEEPS (I’ll get to that in a minute). There were two staff members from Barnes & Noble taking pictures for people, while a third was directing the flow of traffic. Once it was my turn with Andy, I handed off both my iPhone and iPad for pictures, introduced myself to Andy and stuck out my hand (thus making him pause to put the pen down and shake my hand because he’s polite like that), shared with him that I was a blogger, handed him my business card, and then did this:
Yep, I sat on the table. He was a little surprised, but the guy is used to dealing with screaming women hurling accusations and insults at each other. My hopping up on the table wasn’t going to rattle him one bit. As he continued to sign my books, I told him a little about my blog, and we smiled for pictures. He finished up, I got down, thanked him for his time and we were done.
That, my friends, is what I call #MissionAccomplished
Now, about that Giveaway! I’ve got TWO signed paperback copies of “Most Talkative” that I’m giving away to TWO lucky winners. How’s that for an AWESOME giveaway?! ENTER NOW and SHARE IT WITH YOUR FRIENDS!
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