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Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture Hardcover – May 8, 2012
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“[Cohen] is funny as Augusten Burroughs used to be...[Most Talkative] requires zero interest in 'Top Chef,' 'Real Housewives' or anything else on Bravo to find him highly entertaining company through this joke-filled joy ride.” ―The New York Times
“Andy Cohen's new book Most Talkative is laugh-out-loud funny. Anyone who likes pop culture will really like this book. It's a perfect read for this summer.” ―Anderson Cooper
“Ladies, put 50 Shades aside for Andy Cohen's Most Talkative, a book about friendship, family, and fun. His coming out story will break your heart.” ―Jessica Seinfeld
“Most Talkative is Andy Cohen's story from starting out as an intern for CBS news and working his way up the ranks through programming and then eventually becoming a personality himself. He's a really funny writer!” ―Kelly Ripa
“A wonderfully fun, funny and inspirational journey, peppered with colorful, crisis prone women. I loved it! Most Talkative is most read-ative!” ―Amy Sedaris, author of I Like You and Simple Times
About the Author
Andy Cohen is Bravo's executive vice president of Development and Talent, responsible for overseeing the production of such hits as Top Chef and The Real Housewives franchises. In addition, Cohen is the host and executive producer of Watch What Happens Live, Bravo's late-night, interactive talk show. He also hosts the network's reunion specials. He's won an Emmy and two Peabody Awards for his work, and he lives in New York City.
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That's why it surprised me when, as an adult, I became hooked on the Real Housewife franchise. I especially enjoyed the reunions with the likable, diplomatic host, Andy Cohen. I had no idea he was the idea guy behind the whole franchise. I thought he was just a "Bergeron," someone with a upbeat personality hired to narrate a television show. (No offense to Tom Bergeron!)
I enjoyed Andy's coming-of-age story, which makes up the first part of the book. But as a fan, I enjoyed learning exactly what steps he took to begin his rise to the top. I have a theory that it is impossible to be truly successful in your field without savvy social skills. You can go to college, study hard, learn the ins and outs of business, get early breaks and make it to the top of the middle in no time. But unless you possess social skills or an uncanny ability to "fake sincerity," you'll never make it to the top. Donald Trump is a rare exception, along with perhaps a few others.
Fortunately, Andy possesses a nice palette of social skills and begins his rise immediately. Nice guy makes good. The stories of traveling with Dan Rather and working with the CBS Morning Show were great to read. I always thought Dan was such a stick in the mud! Andy is, of course, being charitable in many cases, self-effacing in others, but he's a powerful person in sheep's clothing. And he deserves his success. As he tells these backstage tales, you can see that the people he interacts with like him too. It takes a lot of luck to make it in television. But it doesn't hurt if you have some heavy hitters in your back pocket. And you don't get them by being an SOB.
It must seem ironic to Andy that, as he points out, the Real Housewives franchise is at least partially responsible for putting the daytime soaps out of business. He drives this point home as he bookends his story with tales of his amusing encounters with his idol Susan Lucci.
Ultimately, we get to learn a few interesting backstage things about the Housewives. I would have liked a little more, but I understand the franchise is still steaming along with a lot of the same characters, so there is some necessary "couching" going on here, no pun intended. He does "go there" several times in this book. And I lived for these moments. Andy has a very breezy writing style so the book just flows along. I finished it in record time.
All the Housewives try to brand themselves. This is Andy Cohen's Skinnygirl Moment! I loved it! I wish Andy all the success in the world because, in my opinion, he clearly deserves it.
Five stars. Great read!
The thing I loved about his book was the candid way he talked about his own life and his own experience growing up and coming out as a gay man. I did find it interesting that Andy seems to write of his coming out as part of his life, but not the defining feature of his life. In coming out, his family seemed to embrace him and move on with life, so the person he speaks of with greatest fear was his good friend and college roommate. I was so moved by his expression of fear and concern over telling his friend and really could start to appreciate how that must have felt for him. In the end, his roommate embraced his coming out and the two are still good friends today.
There seems to be an integral connection between Andy's pop-culture obsession and his current job, all fueled by healthy doses of all that is uniquely Andy. His memoir talks about his early days on national, morning television--including stories about Oprah Winfrey, various CBS news anchors, and other celebrities that made this a real page turner. Just the stories behind the Housewives franchise (which really is a pretty small portion of the book), make it a must read for fans.
I really enjoyed Andy's story. There is such a nice mix of happy and serious, to really echo what we see with the real Andy Cohen on his show. His anecdotes and memories are funny, fast-paced, and engaging. Now I will just hope that he writes another book, with more great "behind the scenes" stories for us in a few years down the road!
I didn't give it 5 stars only because I suspect, if you are not familiar with Andy Cohen, if you don't appreciate the Bravo network and its shows, you will not enjoy the book at all. If you are a fan, you will truly enjoy this read!