Serves as Grand Marshal of Miami Beach Pride
Andy Cohen never expected to become an on-air personality, but when the Senior Vice President for Programming at Bravo chose to referee the first of many reunion shows for his hit “Real Housewives” franchise, a star was born.
“When I went to college, I wanted to be a reporter or an anchorman, but I gave that up when I graduated and moved to New York and got a job at CBS news,” Cohen explains. “I was already in New York and wasn’t going to move to Dubuque and work my way up from a small market.”
But 21 years into his television career, the telegenic and sharp-witted Cohen has become the face of a network that has largely cemented its position as a favorite with the gay community by aggressively showcasing gay characters and pop culture in its programming.
“The shows are addictive. I think Bravo has a very specific vibe and humor, a sophisticated, smart audience that connect with our characters. The lifestyles that are portrayed are aspirational and interesting,” says Cohen, winner of Emmy and Peabody Awards.
In addition to the popular reunion knock-down-drag-outs, Cohen has been hosting the very popular “Watch What Happens,” a live, interactive interview show that highlights the antics of the network’s colorful reality stars each week.
While Cohen says his show is “wild and exciting,” don’t look for a reality program starring him anytime soon. He jokingly says such a show would be called, “Enough of Andy.”
“I already over share. I’m active on Twitter, blog, do a live show twice a week. I don’t think there’s a market or a need for it,” Cohen insists.
This weekend, Cohen returns to Miami where his “Real Housewives of Miami” recently wrapped its first season. He will serve as the Grand Marshal of the Miami Beach Pride Parade. After the long winter in New York City, he’s looking forward to a little escape for fun in the sun.
“I love Miami. I love South Beach. Miami [Beach Pride] has figured this out by having it in April. It’s always a fun time to be in Miami, but April especially,” and says he is looking forward to his role as grand marshal. “I plan to do a lot of waving while sitting in the back of a convertible in the parade, hopefully having a cocktail.”
For Cohen, Pride is about “being who you are, being proud of [being gay] and walking tall in your shoes, not compromising who you are....”
He also readily admits he doesn’t like many of the stereotypes of most Pride celebrations.
“The lisping flamboyant queen thing is overplayed. It’s just lame at this point. Now there are so many gay people who are parents and spouses, and have real long-term committed relationships and lives,” he says. “The idea that everyone’s in a boa dancing on a bar, that’s so 1988.”
As he packs for his trip, Cohen plans to be prepared with plenty of sunblock, tequila -- for any unexpected encounters with the Real Housewives of Miami -- and Advil for the morning after.