The gay best friend trope is one of the most overdone in Hollywood, thanks to television shows like Will and Grace and Sex and the City, but the show that Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen have taken on the road takes GBF to the next level—they are two gay men who are also best friends. Who’d have thunk it.
The two have been best friends for decades, without, they made sure to note, ever sleeping together. “That would be gross,” Cooper said.
After a successful interview of Cohen (Bravo TV executive—including the Real Housewives franchise, host of Watch What Happens Live) by Cooper (CNN host, 60 Minutes Correspondent, Gloria Vanderbilt son) a couple of years ago, the two decided to travel around the country and banter for two hours and charge admission for people to watch them do what they’d likely be doing on any given Saturday night anyway. Genius!
Part of the appeal of the show is that they, like their jobs, are very much opposite—Cohen is the extroverted, loud, always bringing up sex and pushing boundaries friend while Cooper is a self-proclaimed introvert with a dry wit and buttoned-down personality. “Anderson is reality,” Cohen told the crowd, “I’m the escape from reality.” And then, to prove his point, he started mixing drinks from the makeshift bar on the stage.
What followed was, even to this hesitant attendee (honestly, I only went because I was so baffled by the premise), an engaging evening between two friends who seemed to let the audience in on their bromance, at least for a couple hours. And I, as a person who has never watched a single episode of The Real Housewives of any geographical area, found myself surprised at how much fun I was having, even when they talked about the Housewives. (Side note: There’s a person on that show that is universally called Jesus Jugs. I’mma Google to find out more about that.)
Out of respect for the show’s hosts and the point of the show, I don’t want to give too much away about what actually occurred onstage, but I’ll tell you this: It was a little over two hours long, included stories from both plus a little good-natured ribbing, some real talk from Cooper about the loss of his father and his brother and plenty of stories about Cooper and Cohen’s vacations together.
At the end of the show, there was a Q&A session, and while it leaned heavily Real Housewives-centered (I honestly underestimated how much of a thing that show is, apparently), one woman did ask Cooper the question that had been on my mind—did he have anything to say about the controversy his friend and (former) New Year’s Eave co-host, Kathy Griffin, has found herself in after posing in some ill-advised photos? “When you have a friendship with someone,” Cooper said, “and it’s a real friendship, I don’t think it would be respectful to respond.”
And, ladies in gentleman, that right there, that’s why the gay best friend trope exists. We should all be so lucky.