Super Scoop! Andy Cohen and the Real Housewife Who Started It All: His Mom, Evelyn
Andy Cohen, 43, is missing one thing from his life: “I would like a boyfriend,” the Bravo TV exec and host of the network’s Watch What Happens Live tells PARADE in this Sunday’s issue. “I’m a very happy person and it is the final, final piece of the puzzle.” His mom, Evelyn, 75, worries that he’s too busy to meet Mr. Right. “Is life passing him by because he’s working so hard?” she asks. “Maybe I just haven’t met the right person,” Andy tells her.
Evelyn, silver-haired and diminutive, proves that big personalities can come in small packages. “She texts me a review of my show every night,” says Andy. “She’ll say, ‘Fantastic.’ ‘You seem drunk.’ ‘Funny one.’” Evelyn may be critical of individual episodes of her son’s show, but she’s his biggest supporter. “Andy was a magnetic personality from the time he was a little boy,” she says. “He brings this energy with him and makes people happy.”
After a career spent behind the scenes as a TV news producer and programming executive, Cohen has in recent years become a recognizable face himself, as the host — or, more accurately, referee — of the Real Housewives reunions as well as Watch What Happens Live.
Cohen grew up in Clayton, Mo., glued to All My Children (a passion his mother came to share), Battle of the Network Stars, and CHiPs (he had an early crush on Erik Estrada). During college, Cohen began telling good friends that he was gay. Not long after, he told his parents.
“I cried for six months,” Evelyn says, explaining that back then she knew almost no other gay people; she also worried about AIDS and thought that Andy would have career trouble. But she agreed when a neighbor told her, “Andy is Andy. He’s still the same today as he was yesterday.” So Evelyn, who had always been involved in community work, turned activist: She helped establish Doorways, an organization in St. Louis that provides housing for individuals affected by HIV/AIDS. “That really speaks volumes as to who she is,” says Andy. “I love her for it.”
This month, Cohen published a breezy memoir, Most Talkative: Stories From the Front Lines of Pop Culture. Mixed in with the boldface names are warm family tales and memories of growing up Jewish, gay, and TV-obsessed in the Midwest. Why a book now? “I’ve been working in TV for 22 years, so I don’t want anyone to think that I just showed up and all this happened,” he says of his newfound fame. “Besides, I had good stories and I love to write. I just needed a deadline.”
Read more from Andy and Evelyn's interview in this weekend’s issue of PARADE.