I wanted to share a fun personal experience I had attending a book signing for our Master of the Madness, King of all things Bravo…Mr. Andy Cohen. After driving through Armageddon-like weather conditions, complete with a hail storm, I arrived at the Barnes & Noble store in order to get in line for signing line tickets. My good friend, Brenda, met me there and we were in line at 8:45 a.m. The doors opened at 9:00 a.m. and we each purchased a book and we were #13 and #14 in line. Sidebar: Having never been to a celebrity book signing before, I did not know what to expect. Your best bet is to check the venue’s website or call for specific instructions. Some of the people waiting in line did not realize they had to buy a book or show a copy of their already purchased book from Barnes & Noble.
The person at the “Information Desk” was a living, breathing oxymoron. We asked what time people usually start showing up for the event seating, but she wouldn’t answer our question. She told us everything else, except what we wanted to know. We decided to return to B&N around 4:00 p.m. and it was still a bit early to grab a seat so we went next door and enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Maggiano’s. Sidebar: Miss Brenda spares no expense when I announced “I have gift cards we can use for dinner…” ahem…$18.95 for a glass of wine???? Sistah puhhh-leaze! Seriously, I hope you enjoyed it!
After dessert, I resuscitated Brenda from diabetic shock and we headed back to B&N around 6:00 p.m. and all the seats were taken, it was standing room only. Luckily, we got a place to stand not too far from the front of the room. The fans continued to pour in and I would estimate about 350-400 people in total were there.
Sidebar: My dear Brenda has never met a stranger she didn’t like, until now. From this point forward, we will never speak again of the unwieldy walking calamity who became Brenda’s new BFF. She knew nothing about Andy Cohen and then argued with Brenda about whether or not “Watch What Happens, LIVE!” was a LIVE or recorded show. Really? This is what we’re doing now? READ: If you’re not really a fan of the person making the public appearance, stay home in your slanket, pet your cats, and smoke your Benson & Hedges. She eventually latched on to some other people in the crowd and a young girl ended up offering the woman her seat. Which, I have to say it was nice to see a young person commit a selfless act of kindness. Kinda rare these days.
Anyhoo…Andy came out promptly at 7:00 p.m. and the crowd roared and cheered. He decided to forgo the reading of a passage from the book and dove right into the Q & A. There were many goofy questions, but in a nutshell here are the highlights:
- First and foremost, and most importantly, Andy is much better looking in person. He is told this all the time, which is a double edged sword because people generally see him on T.V. All joking aside, while he is very cute on T.V., in person he is gorgeous (and he has fabulous hair). His personality is also much more animated and lively than on T.V. He actually seems to tone it down a bit for the cameras.
- Andy is glad that Lisa Vanderpump was kicked off of Dancing With the D-List. He wants her “ass back at work, at her real job”. Hehe!
- Andy would Marry Lisa Vanderpump, shag Bethenney Frankel, and Kill Nene Leakes. Those were the choices, he had to kill someone even though we all KNOW Nene is his cash cow favorite.
- He decided to PT5 (plead the fifth) when asked who his favorite housewife was, “They’re All My Children”.
- Worst guest: this was answered by the audience, many shouted out “Chelsea Handler” and “Scott Baio”. Andy commented, “yeah, Scott Baio wasn’t too keen on the game ‘Andy Loves Crotchy’”.
- Yes, he let Anderson Cooper’s backpack get stolen out from under him on the beach in Brazil while he was checking out hot guys on the beach. “Sorry Coops!”
- Vanderpump Rules will be back for season two.
- Andy is very proud of L.A. Shrinks, the show was in development for three years. He loves Dr. V. Who doesn’t?
- PT5 again when asked “Team Kenya” or “Team Phaedra”? “Oh Sweetie, Daddy doesn’t take sides!”
- During the RHNJ reunion where Teresa pushed him, he said he didn’t even remember being pushed. He recalled it later and wasn’t sure if it actually even happened until the producers sent him a “rough cut” of the footage.
- His “Real Housewife” taglines would be (the King of Bravo gets two):
“I may be a man, but I fight like a girl!”
“I didn’t major in English, but I know how to Read!” (snap up in a circle)
- Andy’s biggest inspiration in his life is his Mom. (A collective “awwwwww”)
The Q & A wrapped up about 7:30 p.m. and the B&N store staff started organizing the lines based on the ticket numbers. When we approached the table where Andy was sitting, a staff member takes the book and tells Andy your name. (Earlier, store staff tooled around the crowd and provided a post it with your name on it to stick inside the book). You may also have your phone ready to take a photo and a staff member is there to take the picture.
Brenda made the mistake of wearing a cashmere turtleneck sweater and by the time she got to meet Andy, she was so hot and sweaty she “looked like she had been dragged through a hedge backwards.” (Her words…not mine!) As I was approaching my turn, the staff member told Andy my name. He said “Hi Lisa!” Just then Brenda mentioned to Andy that I have a blog about his shows before she walked away. He looked over at me and said “really, you’re gonna put this on your blog?” and I said “yes” and he said “yeah, do it!”
We smiled for our photo and then he said “Lisa, I like your side pony!” I looked into his wonky eye and said “thank you…it’s all for you!” and he said “Well I LIKE it!” In all seriousness, his nice smile and charismatic presence overshadow the eye defect. He quickly signed the book and we were on our way. Everything happened so fast, but he had about 300 + books to sign by 9:00 p.m.
Brenda and I left the store at 7:45 p.m. Talk about in and out, no mussin’ about. Overall, it was a great experience and it’s always fun to meet a TV personality and find that they are fun, outgoing, hilarious, personable, and down to earth. Many people who watch his late night talk show feel as if they know him personally. This, to me, is always the mark of a good host. They don’t pretend to be anything they are not, they entertain and delight the masses simply by being themselves. If that isn’t success, I don’t know what is. But one thing I do know, is that I heart YOU Andy Cohen! Thanks for the memories!