A Night With the Andys

Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen uncensored in Austin

When tragedy strikes, we look to our community leaders and role models for comfort and guidance. Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen – both famous men at the top of America’s news, pop, and gay culture who command their own live television shows – are two such leaders.

However, either one of them, or any one of us (gay, straight, or sideways) could have been in Orlando’s Pulse nightclub in the early hours of June 12.

Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper (courtesy of AC2 Live)

The tragic event in Florida has left the entire LGBTQ community feeling the side effects, and it’s obvious that Saturday’s AC2 Live show will take a more somber tone than originally expected. Last week, many viewers witnessed Cooper’s tearful tribute to the victims who died inside Pulse nightclub. Cohen also offered a statement on his June 12 episode of Watch What Happens: Live.

In a touching intro, Cohen commented on “yet another incredibly painful night for many Americans." He continued, "The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, like other gay clubs, was a place where people went to not just feel like they could freely be themselves, but to find community and safety. … Tonight, our hearts are with the families and friends of those who were killed or injured.”

Going forward is difficult. But knowing when to and being able to laugh again is an important step to the healing process. Cohen says, "This month is Pride Month for the LGBT community … it’s about more than parties and parades. It is also a celebration of our civil rights. There are people who wish we did not exist, but we do, and it is with a great deal of pride that this gay American is going to try and put a smile on your face.”

And that’s what Cohen and Cooper intend to do this weekend: bring back some fun to Austin’s queer community. AC2 Live is a lighthearted evening spent watching the two men interviewing each other, sharing stories, and taking questions from the audience. “It’s really like going out to a bar with the two of us, hanging out, and hearing our stories,” Cohen told the Chronicle prior to the Orlando shootings. “It’s kind of a mix of high and low, deep and shallow, and it’s a lot of great insider stories about news, pop culture, and events. It’s really fun.”

Cooper and Cohen banter like the old friends they are, teasing each other liberally. Nothing is off-limits and “the Andys” do not hold back while questioning each other. Cooper teases Andy about his weird celebrity run-ins, and Cohen likes to tease Cooper about his now-famous on-air giggle fits.

“We want it to be an entertaining night,” says Cooper. “It’s very uncensored and unedited. We have audiences going to dinner with their group of friends, then coming to our show to continue an entertaining evening. Andy’s drinking onstage – [he] likes to scope out the town – this tour is really designed for Andy to go out after.”

“We have a blast,” adds Cohen. The pair having been touring together with AC2 Live since last year. “We’ve just really been anxious to get to Austin, it’s one of my favorite places, but Cooper hasn’t spent much time there. Our schedule has been nuts, but we both wanted to come to Austin before the end of the year.”

After the tragedy in Orlando, which has left many in the LGBTQ community still shaken, it’s important that we talk about it. It’s also important to not stop having fun, going out, and ending up at a club at 2am.

No matter your sexual orientation, race, or creed, whiskey does not discriminate. So join us, and Cooper, in watching Cohen drink some onstage this Saturday at the Bass Concert Hall. Tickets are still available online.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen, AC2 Live, Anderson and Andy, Orlando, Pulse Nightclub, Gay

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