Monday, May 18, 2015

A Good Time Was Had by All - Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen at The Chicago Theater

“A Good Time Was Had by All” is the title of a 1937 book of poems by a Miss Stevie Smith. Seems Miss Smith had taken the title from parish magazines, where reports of church picnics would end with that phrase. While AC2 was far from a 1900’s church picnic I think it sums up the feelings of attendees of the show along with Anderson and Andy quite well.

On Saturday, May 16th, Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen brought their AC2 Live show to the Chicago Theatre and I had the good fortune to attend. I might add that the theatre has a seating capacity of 3,800 people and the show was sold out! The crowd was abuzz with excitement as we entered the theater waiting to see what Anderson and Andy had in store for the evening. We were not disappointed! AC2 opened the show by introducing each other in an entertaining video before walking on stage. After the crowd settled down they began by asking each other questions. I don’t want to use the word interview because it was more of a free flowing conversation between friends.  (I have a large extended family and it reminded me of close cousins sitting around a holiday table catching up, sharing stories of times past with a lot of good-natured ribbing.)  Anderson warned us that Andy would name drop and get distracted and was right on both accounts.  While life has taken them on different routes to their respective achieved level of success, it was obvious the two are long time good friends who appreciate and respect each other’s differences while celebrating their similarities and enjoying each other’s company. The conversation flowed easily and was genuine. When Andy was covering some of the more serious aspects of Anderson’s life and career, Anderson answered the questions but also responded with appropriate humor to direct the tone of the conversation back to a lighter note.

Anderson and Andy have often traveled together and while long time readers and fans are aware of that and have heard of some of those adventures, they did share a back story of the night before Anderson unexpectedly had to leave their vacation group to cover Hurricane Katrina.  Let’s just say Anderson left the impression he is lucky to be alive and with the vision of a newt tired from a long swim getting rescued by a fishing boat.  Each shared a couple video clips to emphasize points they were making about the other and Andy included Anderson’s 60 Minutes swim with the Nile Crocodiles, along with his original “RidicuList” laughing fit.

Anderson talked about having the sense of humor of a 12 year old boy and the laugh of a 12 year old girl and brought up the “Pussy Willow Prince” Ridiculist. He shared that prior to the show when Andy suggested taking this selfie ...

...they ran into a crowd of fans and one woman gave him some pussy willow branches. Later, during the Q & A portion of the show, that same woman owned up to it before asking her questions.

Please forgive me for not being a big fan of the “Bravo Housewives” franchise, so if any news was shared by Andy on that front, it didn’t resonate with me, but I found him to be funny, authentic and entertaining. Anderson shared of a portion of a hilarious video made for Andy’s 40th birthday where friends of Andy’s read some of his letters from sleep-away-camp and his mom read her replies.

The question and answer segment of the evening was interesting but when the questions started to get silly, they wisely shut it down. One common question was requests for advice for new graduates, etc. Both men shared that being authentic to who you are and be sure to out hustle other people at work was important. Andy shared that while he wanted to be on TV since he was young he took a winding route to get there, but that he truly enjoyed each job while he was in it and was never actively looking for a different job when the next opportunity presented itself. Anderson shared that he thought it was important in television to do your own writing and tell stories in your own voice vs reading someone else’s words; that’s what will set you apart. Both men were asked if they were writing another book. Andy said he is currently keeping another “diary” and Anderson said he was “working on something.” While Andy’s books are funny and full of his obsessions with pop culture Anderson is a more serious writer. Each is true to his respective interests/personalities. As witnessed by Anderson’s recent article on Trancoso for Travel and Leisure, Anderson is a very gifted writer and I’m hoping his “something” is another book, released sooner than later.

Unfortunately, no video or flash photography was allowed once the show started, but I found a couple photos on Instagram from people who “bent” the rules!

I would highly recommend seeing the show if it comes to a city near you. It was very entertaining and the two hours without intermission flew by. I’m not going to share more so as to not spoil for other attendees, but will say it was nice to see Anderson outside the “newsman” role and sharing his funny side.

I would like to thank Phebe for helping facilitate an opportunity to meet Anderson before the show. He was very kind and compassionate, willing to pose for a few photos and sign his and his father’s book. He is a person with whom it is very easy to converse, has a great sense of humor and yes, his eyes really are that blue! I could easily have spoken with him for the two hours but the 3,798 people waiting to hear what he and Andy had to share would have been mighty upset!

AC2 is next in Atlanta on June 20th.  Both have said more dates/locations will be announced in the fall.  You can check their website for updates to their schedule.

AC360 Transcript
AC360 Podcast

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aries moon said...

Great account and nice pics Wonz. Sounds like the show is a lot of fun for the audience and the two AC's. Congrats on meeting Anderson too--the ladies of ATA are having quite a year as far as getting up close with the subject of this site!

Aubrey Novak said...

I was able to meet him afterwards without the VIP ticket! He ran up to me and said that he knew me from twitter. I was so happy I couldn't even speak and I forgot to give him a gift😡. Still happy though :D