Andy Cohen | Gay Iconography

Gay Iconography: Andy Cohen's TV Legacy

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If you were to ask folks to name the most powerful people in television today, one name sure to pop up would be Andy Cohen. The openly gay television personality has left an indelible mark on the pop culture landscape behind the cameras, as well as in front.

A savvy producer, Cohen’s name is synonymous with Bravo’s transformation in the early ‘00s from a performing arts-focused network to the home of reality programs, like Project Runway, The Real Housewives and Millionaire Matchmaker. With the addition of his late night talk show, Watch What Happens Live, the dapper host elevated the stars of these programs into “Bravolebrities,” with their own legions of fans alongside his famous friends and guests.

Let’s raise a glass and extend a Mazel to Andy with some of our favorite clips, AFTER THE JUMP


After helping to mastermind the transformation of Bravo into a pop culture hub, audiences got to know Cohen in front of the camera as the ringmaster of Real Housewives reunion specials. It’s not a workplace without its hazards. In the clip above, Real Housewives of New Jersey castmember Teresa Giudice throws Andy aside after being set off by a comment from former cast-mate Danielle Staub.


It’s not always fun and games for Andy. Between the shouting, weave-pulling and tears trickling down Botox-hardened cheeks, occasionally Cohen slips in a few life lessons. Watch him school Joe Giudice on his usage of homophobic slurs above. He’s also spoken out against anti-gay policies in Russia when he refused to host the Miss Universe pageant hosted in Moscow last year.


In 2009, Cohen became the first openly gay host of a late night TV host. His show, Watch What Happens Live, is a breezy, boozy 30-minute gabfest that brings together some of Hollywood’s biggest stars alongside “Bravolebrities.” For better or worse, there’s nothing else like it on television. One of our favorite episodes, above, featured a very tipsy talk with Jackée Harry and Regina King.


Cohen truly has the gift of gab. His enthusiasm and charm enable him to get celebrities to share things they wouldn’t normally share on camera. Check out some highlights from “Plead the Fifth,” a game that asks three questions of a guest and they can only pass on one. It’s just one of the many games Andy likes to play with guests. (Another favorite indulgence was when he made Liam Neeson and Ethan Hawke re-enact a moment from The Real Housewives of New Jersey.)


Cohen’s smirking visage graces more than Bravo programming (and promotional items). He’s co-hosted The View and Live! with Kelly, as well as appearing on Today and Morning Joe. He’s even been the face of God (or a god, at least) in Lady Gaga’s “G.U.Y.” video, above.

Are you an Andy Cohen fan?

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    Posted by: crispy | Aug 9, 2014 4:10:58 PM

  2. Unfortunately Bravo has all but cancelled their best show "Inside the Actors Studio." New episodes air at any time slot that hasn't been filled with that Housewives crap. If I didn't have a record order set up on my DVR I would probably never see an episode.

    Cohen himself is sometimes enjoyable, sometimes not.

    Posted by: bkmn | Aug 9, 2014 4:20:47 PM

  3. So he's the one responsible for all that crap?

    Posted by: Rawn | Aug 9, 2014 4:23:02 PM

  4. I'm probably the only gay guy who has never seen his show or anything else, other than pictures like this on blogs now and then. I have zero interest.

    Posted by: Andy | Aug 9, 2014 4:33:59 PM

  5. Anyone responsible for The Real Housewives should not be celebrated or heralded as an icon.

    Posted by: John | Aug 9, 2014 4:37:30 PM

  6. Legacy? really?

    Posted by: Josh | Aug 9, 2014 4:42:41 PM

  7. Please stop publishing these stupid articles! Gay iconography, the feature, is a huge cesspool of nothing.

    Posted by: AlexN | Aug 9, 2014 4:43:55 PM

  8. The Real Housewives shows. Flipping Out. Million Dollar Listing. Vanderpump Rules. Shahs of Sunset.

    These are NOT shows to be proud of.

    Posted by: John | Aug 9, 2014 4:44:00 PM

  9. These shows are trash. Pure trash.

    Posted by: dw | Aug 9, 2014 4:46:08 PM

  10. These comments help to restore my hope in humanity. :-)

    Posted by: Todd | Aug 9, 2014 4:50:07 PM

  11. Somehow, I just don't think I'd want my legacy to be The Real Housewives.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Aug 9, 2014 5:00:48 PM

  12. Pure trash.

    Posted by: Wilberforce | Aug 9, 2014 5:20:40 PM

  13. NO, NO, NO, Cher, Patty LaBell maybe this trash! NO!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: 2AMOR | Aug 9, 2014 5:22:34 PM

  14. Andy Cohen is AWESOME!!!!!

    An amazing role model for gay people of all ages.

    What is wrong with all the haters on here?

    Andy didn't just produce all the shows for Bravo (turning it into the "gay" network supreme) he has also done an amazing job of presenting gay people in a positive light in tons of different contexts. And his show is totally entertaining. LOVE HIM!!!

    Posted by: NOTICE | Aug 9, 2014 5:25:29 PM

  15. I think there is a tendency of people to dismiss him because he primarily deals with pop culture subjects.

    Andy is extremely smart and a very talented journalist. He does a fantastic job of eliciting the best interviews in the industry today. (alcohol doesn't hurt lol) Something about him is so unassuming and disarming people relax and reveal themselves.

    Posted by: NOTICE | Aug 9, 2014 5:29:19 PM

  16. Andy Cohen is a dirty famewhore who has never been above using his professional position to put himself in front of a camera to further that famewhoring agenda. Really, the only difference between him and Omarosa Stallworth is that he doesn't have to work as hard to get himself on television, where Omarosa is now obliged to milk the Michael Clark Duncan death to the very dregs for people to remember who she is.

    Posted by: Jerry | Aug 9, 2014 5:36:38 PM

  17. You have got to be kidding me. These shows are an embarrassment at best, just more springerizatn of american media. Truly shameful. You have lost even more credibility...

    Posted by: r | Aug 9, 2014 5:48:46 PM

  18. Icon? Tell your readers about Tom stoddard, randy shilts, and Harvey milk

    Posted by: r | Aug 9, 2014 5:53:38 PM

  19. I think Andy is pure charm and energy. We need more of that on television. He does deserve praise for giving the public what they want, however, he also deserve the tag associated with producing low-rent product. I'd like to see himself transition into something a bit less camp as his brand evolves. He has solidified his place in the public domain, now it's time to elevate the product so he doesn't stick the the schtick of one ring circus master. He's smarter than that.

    Posted by: JAMES B. | Aug 9, 2014 5:57:13 PM

  20. If this is what the gay community wants to consider an icon, then I'm turning straight.

    Posted by: Yawn | Aug 9, 2014 6:02:28 PM

  21. First off HOUSEWIVES and all these trashy shows (that I love btw) won't be his legacy ladies, this is how he gets his start. He will go on to do more important stuff later that will be his most important legacy, we'll have to stay tuned to find out what it is. Secondly, I'm in love with him so back off, Andy stop dating models and call me. The end.

    Posted by: John | Aug 9, 2014 6:12:38 PM

  22. He reminds me of those silly high-energy sidekick girls in tween movies, both enjoyable and annoying at the same time.

    Would love to see more masculine gay men in the public's eye. Not "straight-acting," just masculine. They are out there, just can't identify them as the mere mention of Madonna or Britney doesn't send them into fits of orgasm.

    Posted by: Brad | Aug 9, 2014 6:16:08 PM

  23. Andy Cohen's legacy is one of harmful stereotypes. The man also appears to be a homosexual gynephile -ie a gay man with an absurd attraction to female bodies and body parts.

    Posted by: petey | Aug 9, 2014 6:30:40 PM

  24. You and I may loathe his existance for all this sh*t guys BUT you can NOT dismiss the fact he is LOVED by many gay men who LOVE his shows.

    It is what it is!

    Posted by: Rowan | Aug 9, 2014 6:32:04 PM

  25. The reason why only 1.6% of American men choose to identify as gay is because they don't want anything to do with Andy Cohen.

    Posted by: petey | Aug 9, 2014 6:38:05 PM

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