I’m a pop culture fan, who regularly DVRs Andy Cohen’s Bravo show Watch What Happens Live. I read and enjoyed his memoir, Most Talkative and hoped this follow up would not disappoint. The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year is a behind-the-scenes look at his life and show for the year 2014. Watchers of WWHL and followers of Cohen’s social media know that Cohen is close friends with many celebrities and will reveal as much, but hardly delves into details about his or their personal lives. Appearances by his parents and his dog Wacha and his lamentations about being single barely skim the surface of his experiences. Thank goodness for this book!
I’m sure Diaries is a good read, but I listened to the audio version read by Cohen himself which made the experience all the better. It’s doubly amusing to listen to his stories told in the same childlike excited attitude he has on his show. It’s funny to hear Cohen’s year-long lamentations and obsessions over his weight, workouts, weigh-ins, off-diet eating binges, late night massages and crushes. He’s indecisive about getting a dog, naming the dog, and final floor plans for joining his current apartment and the one he purchases directly above him after the tenant dies. He is able to make quick decisions about getting a trainer to lose weight because he looks, feels and has been told he looks fat on TV. As a watcher of the show, I liked hearing his true feelings about certain guests of the show, like the “wives” from the Housewives franchises and his anxieties about A-list celebrities Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez.
Even after years of being on television, Cohen is still coming to terms with his own fame, like being caught by paparazzi picking his nose while walking Wacha or the surprise of getting out of jury duty because the clerk recognizes him. There are stories that regular New Yorkers (like me!) can relate to, such as the hassles of catching a cab, getting into it with the driver about which route to take, and neighborhoods losing their charm with the closing of independent shops as leases are taken over by chain stores.
There are some celebrity friends who make regular appearances in his logs, which proves that they’re real and not just Hollywood friends: Jimmy Fallon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos, Anderson Cooper and others. Even though he attends parties with or has phone calls with Cher and Madonna, he continues to fan out with each encounter. He also fans out when playing a part in Lady Gaga’s video G.U.Y., even though he’s interviewed her for a magazine and his show.
Andy Cohen, though a TV celebrity in his own right, seems like a regular guy. He loves his family, dog and friends. It’s clear that he loves what he does for a living and I hope he continues doing it for years, writing books along the way.