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This diary, like the last, is inspired by The Andy Warhol Diaries, which were published after the artist and pop icon died. I continued keeping a diary starting a week after volume 1 (The Andy Cohen Diaries) ended; this one runs from September of 2014 through June of 2016. I wrote every day, but for the purposes of space and not boring you to tears, I’ve cut or combined some days in this book.
It’s absolutely not essential for you to have read my last book to understand this one. (The title is “Superficial”—you can do it!) Like the last one, I continued to write this book in diary form. I try to explain names when you won’t know them, but sometimes I don’t because, again, background on every single person I interact with every single day would turn this book into an encyclopedia of inessential information.
My title is both dead on and yet somewhat misleading, because I think I get more personal in this book than the last, deeper into my feelings about myself and others. I was in such a zone after writing the first one that it felt easier and more honest to share more about what’s really going on in my head and personal life. A lot happens in these pages: my dating life picks up, I take you behind the scenes of a book tour, my V card is in play, and Wacha has PTSD. I launch a radio channel, make major moves in real estate, cause a few celebrity scandals, go on tour with Anderson Cooper, and continue to completely humiliate myself—and pinch myself—along the way.
Sometimes I think this can’t be my life; and maybe that’s part of the reason I write everything down—it’s too good to forget. It goes deeper than that, too. I’m usually moving too fast to take a step back and take stock of where I am; I’m not the most introspective fella. But keeping this diary—for almost three years now—has forced me to “go there.” Now I understand why Oprah begged us all to keep a journal for all those years! I can happily report I’m not the same person today as I was when I started this journey.
* * *
I want to thank all my friends for allowing me to share their names and our moments together in these pages. Also, thanks to my family, who I am sure are reading things here that they themselves never wanted to know about me. Thanks to Joe Mantello for coming up with a genius title for me and to Robert Risko for bringing it to life in illustration. Last, thanks to my team at Holt, led by my brilliant editor, Gillian Blake, for being great partners.
IN WHICH …
• THE NEW YORK TIMESIS FATIGUED BY ME,
• I AM CONSIDERED SEXY BY PEOPLE,
• I GO ON A BOOK TOUR,
• AND MY VIRGINITY IS IN PLAY.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2014—NYC
Even Joan Rivers can’t make a funeral fun. Well, I bet she could if she was there and not the one being buried, but no such luck today. It was a big media event on Fifth Avenue with barricades, screaming fans, satellite trucks—everything Joan would’ve wanted. As always, Temple Emanu-El looked like a big Roman cathedral packed with fancy-pants New Yorkers. I walked in with Whoopi Goldberg, who told me she was feeling really shaky from this and Robin Williams’s death. Luckily I had reserved seating—in a row with SJP, Matthew Broderick, Kristin Chenoweth, Kathy Griffin, and Rosie O’Donnell.
Of all the eulogies, Howard Stern’s was my favorite. He and Joan were kindred spirits. He opened by talking about how dry her vagina was. That was his opener! The New York City Gay Men’s Chorus sang, as did Audra McDonald. Hugh Jackman sang “Quiet Please, There’s a Lady Onstage,” which I never liked in The Boy from Oz but was a killer today, and bagpipers played “New York, New York.” I hate bagpipers. Barry was there, which I thought was really stand-up of him given that Joan publicly blamed him for her husband’s downfall. He told me he had been invited and felt it would be rude not to go. The silent procession out of the church-y temple took forever and of course I was right next to Kathy, with whom I started to make small talk before wondering why I was trying to make this less awkward for her when I’d heard that she’d been shit talking me earlier in the week. So we walked out in silence, which I hate more than bagpipers.
There were crowds cheering in front as I left and that felt … weird at a funeral. People don’t know what the hell to do with themselves anymore. I couldn’t find a cab on the Upper East Side and wound up walking to a diner and eating at the counter, where I was soon joined by Liza and Brian. After we were done reviewing the funeral, as you do—high marks all around for Howard, big debate about Deborah Norville—we got back to business: the question of whether or not I should shave my summer beard.
At home I gave Wacha a doggie-frozen-yogurt treat, which he wolfed down, then puked up a little bit, and then while I was getting a rag to clean it up, he ate the puke. Efficient!
The sun streaming in the windows of Spring Studios turned DVF’s fashion show into a hotbox. Still in our funeral clothes, Whoopi and I chatted again on our way in—that’s twice in one day. She said Joan’s funeral affected her profoundly and will change her attitude about work. Maybe she’ll be less miserable than she’s been seeming on The View? Sat next to Bryan at the show and the first lady of NYC was two seats over. I was hoping she’d break out some slam poetry, but that didn’t happen. DVF’s curtain call is always my favorite part of her fashion show. Naomi Campbell closed the show again and we ran into each other on the street and she complained that I never take her out to dinner. She’s right! What am I thinking?
Went to Watch What Happens: Live for our first show of the fall. Tonee gave me a haircut and we took a vote about my beard—the consensus was to shave it, so off it went. We taped two shows, the first with Steve Harvey and Nick Jonas, who were totally incongruous but really worked. Harvey forgot his wedding ring in the car and we couldn’t start until someone went down and got it. It’s off brand for him to be seen without his ring, apparently. I liked him, though. And I was pervy with Nick Jonas. Speaking of pervy, it is male model week on wwhl in honor of fashion week. The models always look hotter in their pictures than in person. The guests for the live show were Rosie and Kathy from Real Housewives of New Jersey and we did a lovely tribute to Joan. Mom texted at the end of the night: “Not a great show but you look fab.” I will always get points from her for shaving.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2014
“You lost your toughness, man!” Surfin greeted me with that bon mot this morning. Negative points for shaving from the doorman! You don’t necessarily want to start your day feeling like your mojo was shaved off the night before, but then again it’s nice to have a trusted friend keeping you in check.
There’s nothing better than walking into a show with enthusiasm and excitement, but the longer I do this job (I’ve done more than seven hundred shows) the harder it is to get it up. I was fully erect today, though (I love a #bonermetaphor) for Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, who we were taping at noon for air Thursday. My team had had advance warning that Kristen was sick, wouldn’t be drinking, and was barely up for the show. Turns out she had a scratch in her throat and was everything I wanted her to be, and that’s saying something. I think she’ll be back. Then Ramona came in to discuss her future on Real Housewives of New York. She arrived wearing hot pants, a tank top, pumps, and her hair in a topknot (business casual!) and though I was dreading it, the conversation actually went well. She profusely apologized for how she treated me at the reunion, and I said I just wished she’d listened to my questions because they weren’t so bad—but that the viewers had turned on her and she needed to rehabilitate herself. I may have even used the “I want to be in the Ramona business for a long time” line. (I really do, though!)
I had to sign a zillion bookplates—and by “a zillion” I mean a thousand—which Target will insert in my book, which wasn’t fun, and then plan for our Friends In Deed gala next month, then go through tax payments with Daryn and write thank-yous for the very random gifts I got all summer from viewers (paintings of myself, paintings of Wacha, dog leashes, Cardinals stuff, Peanuts stuff). Then I grabbed my executive producer, Michael Davies, and we went to the men’s finals of the U.S. Open. We were in the Heineken suite (David Schwimmer was too and he looks very good, very “Ross”) and it was too bad my dad didn’t come this year (Mom and Dad are getting ready for their tour of Nazi hot spots in Europe) not only because they showed me on the big screen but also because I could’ve used him by my side: they showed me at the exact moment that Michael went to get a Heineken Light (Delicious! Full bodied, but half the cals!) so I was sitting there alone like a douchelord. Last year I’d made fun of Kevin Spacey for wearing makeup to the match, but I was glad I’d kept mine on from the earlier taping because, despite seeming like a lonely loser, I didn’t look half bad up there. The match was over in a flash—the Croat won—and in the car back to the Clubhouse, as we watched the incredible sunset over Manhattan, we marveled at how lucky we are to live in this city. I signed more pieces of paper, then a reporter from Details showed up to follow me around behind the scenes of the live show, which was a half disaster. Let me just say this: I think Zosia Mamet was not very amused by this little show of ours, or by me. Then the phones went out somehow and I wound up objectifying Patrick Wilson and talking about his tits, further alienating Zosia. And it turns out the sponsor got up during a commercial break and changed the placement of their product on the bar, which later sent me into a tailspin. The best thing about the show, as it sometimes is, was Wacha. He came out and picked his favorite Girl from Girls by picking his favorite treat. He chose Shoshanna, so that was fun for her. After the show Mom texted, “I don’t know who that girl is but she wasn’t having fun.”
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2014—NYC—GREENSBORO, NC—NYC
“What the fuck are we doing up at five forty-five, homeboy?” That was the look Wacha gave me when the alarm went off this morning. I tried to tell him that Daddy had a paid speaking gig in Greensboro, North Carolina, but he didn’t get it. In my ongoing bid to roll with a deeper posse (even freaking Zosia Mamet had ten people with her last night—WTF?), I made Daryn come with me. Also, she had booked the private plane, so I figured the best way to ensure that she was invested in the safety of the plane was to make her a passenger. I wrote my speech on the plane—it was great, if I can be objective (probably not?). The venue was a corporate retreat for a big outlet mall and the owner of the company ended his speech, right before I went on, with “God bless the United States of America,” which made me aware that perhaps I should rethink some of my saltier material. I did this thing that was very Tom Cruise in Magnolia where I talked about how similar we all are and how people think we have the most glamorous jobs and everybody wants to go to outlet malls and everybody wants to go to a talk show. I started to believe my own BS: for sure outlet malls and talk shows are the two most glamorous places to work, right?
I was back in New York City by one forty-five and tried to nap but my first dream out of the gate was that Wacha got hit by a car. We had two more shows tonight—I feel like a machine. The first one was Connie Britton and Justin Long. Connie brought her baby in to meet Wacha and I brought Wacha in to meet Connie (she has a private Instagram account and “likes” a lot of his pictures). She is lovely. I don’t know what came over me but when Justin came in to the studio I did something I’ve never done in all these years: jumped into his arms. He grimaced, caught me, and said, “I just had hernia surgery!” So that was an epic fail. Poor guy!
While I was signing a few hundred more bookplates the Clark Kent lawyer I met on Fire Island a few weeks ago started drunk texting me some provocative stuff, which I was fully on board with and which led to a marriage proposal, then more realistically to planning a date for Saturday night. He said he wants to take me out to prove to me that he isn’t a gold digger, which is exactly the first time that thought ever crossed my mind. Is he actually a gold digger? So confusing. I told him he was gonna wake up tomorrow and look at his text history and cancel the date. The live show was Jenna Dewan Tatum and Tyson Beckford. I got Tyson to strip down to his undies. During the show Mom texted me, out of nowhere (and after all these years), her Housewives tagline: “I may be shrinking, but I’m no shrinking violet!” Slow. Claps.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2014
Woken up from a deep sleep by Wacha flipping out because the window washer was cleaning our bedroom window. Then two more appeared outside the living room window and all hell broke loose. He was barking at the washers, running from window to window and then looking back at me with eyes that said, “Do you not SEE what is HAPPENING out the WINDOW??? We are being ATTACKED from the OUTSIDE!!!” He had certainly never before entertained the possibility that a human could appear outside our twelfth-story window. I took tons of pictures. I got a text from the Clark Kent lawyer this morning telling me how drunk he had been last night. Oy. But it seems the date is still on. I didn’t follow up on the marriage proposal.
Worked out with my Ninja for the first time since before vacation in mid-August. He made me get on the scale and I was sure it was going to read between 170 and 175 but it was 167. I hugged him. Then he kicked my ass and I almost barfed. Did work at home and Wacha slept next to me and, since I am an adrenaline junkie, I woke him up when the window washer appeared again. He lost his shit once again and I immediately regretted it. I went to my formal interview with Details at Morandi and the reporter asked if it was my brand to always wear a gray suit. I told him I wear all kinds of suits but I do have a lot of gray ones. At the end of the interview I started to think he wanted something deeper and I went into a whole riff that, if he uses it, is going to make me look like an idiot. First we talked about drugs, then I was saying how hard it is to not turn into a douchebag if you’re hosting your own talk show every day, which just opens up the debate about whether I, myself, am a douchebag. We’ll see.
There were about twenty people at Jessica Seinfeld’s birthday dinner at Charlie Bird—Consueloses and Ali Wentworth included—but I had to leave early for the show. Got a late-night massage and kept falling asleep during it, which always makes me wonder what he was doing while I was out of it. Did he keep massaging or was he happy to have a break and catch up on email? I guess I wouldn’t blame him.
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Copyright © 2016 by Andy Cohen