On the most recent episode of The Thrive Global Podcast with iHeart Radio and Sleep Number, Thrive Global founder and CEO Arianna Huffington sat down with Andy Cohen, executive producer of The Real Housewives, host of Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, and the first openly gay American late-night talk show host. In a wide-ranging conversation, Huffington and Cohen spoke about everything from his Insta-famous dog to how 20-minute naps have kept him from crashing. Cohen also told Huffington all about his friendship with journalist and television personality Anderson Cooper.
The famous friends actually met on a blind date. “I screwed that up,” Cohen said. “I was like, ‘Oh my god, your mom’s Gloria Vanderbilt.’ Which is like breaking his cardinal rule, and I didn’t even have a question or comment about it.”
Cohen says his relationship with Cooper is both a “great partnership” and friendship (he objects to the term “bromance”). “He’s such a loyal friend and he’s the best,” he said, adding that they bond well through their shared experiences in live television.
Cooper also played a major role in helping Cohen deal with all the social media backlash. “My relationship with Twitter has really changed this year,” he said. After he and Cooper hosted CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live, they received a flood of negative backlash on Twitter. Cohen thought, “how nice that Twitter has put together 30 of the meanest tweets about me on New Year’s Eve.” Just as he started to scroll through them, Cooper asked, “What the f*** are you doing?”–and urged him to sign off.
Cohen told Huffington that Cooper’s reaction made him pause. Cooper’s advice was reinforced by a reassuring call to his mother to discuss the show and the negative social media response. The entire experience, haters and all, “led to something really, really good,” he said. “I just had to recalibrate […]. It just made me think about social media.”
He still worries that one day he will make a mistake and be ruined by the “culture of outrage” created by social media. “Anderson Cooper is a catastrophist,” Cohen told Huffington, “and it’s wearing off on me.”
At the same time, he admires Cooper’s strength. Huffington brought up how her favorite leader, Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, dealt with immense hardship yet still “managed to maintain his center.” She said, “My favorite quality is imperturbability. Just being able to deal with everything.” Cohen immediately responded that Cooper is that way, adding that the journalist, who regularly enters dangerous war zones, is “unflappable.”
To hear the full conversation on iHeartRadio, click here.