Andy Cohen, executive producer and creative force behind the Real Housewives show, periodically tours the country with Anderson Cooper, where the two tell stories about their lives and take questions from the audience. He also curates the Radio Andy channel on Sirius radio. And he is an author most recently of “The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year.” Now, he’s taken on yet another job, as host of Fox’s revival of “The Love Connection,” which debuted on May 25. Cohen spoke to the Forward about his new show, his other shows and his Jewish volunteer executive mom, Evelyn.
Curt Schleier: What happened? You had five minutes free in your schedule so you decided to add another show to your resume.
Andy Cohen: (Laughs) I just love ‘Love Connection.’ I used to watch it when I was growing up. When the offer came in, I just jumped on it. It has everything I love, including asking people awkward questions about their personal lives.
Will there be any surprises? Is your version different from original host Chuck Woolery’s?
There is a little bit of a twist, since the contestant can take $10,000 or go out again with the person [she or he] chose. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.
You often manage to get provocative responses to your questions from your guests on your show “Watch What Happens Live.” Is all of it unrehearsed?
It’s live, unscripted and very authentic. There are no pre-interviews. I think if there were pre-interviews, a lot of guests who knew what I planned to ask would never agree to come on.
Will you tell me who was your worst guest ever?
The worst guest was maybe Amber Rose, who really didn’t want to answer any of the questions. I was asking a lot about Kanye West and the Kardashians, but she wasn’t feeling it.
If you were a guest on WWHL, what would you ask yourself?
That’s a good question. What would I ask myself? You stumped me. I would probably try to get something out of myself about the decisions behind firing certain housewives.
What questions would you not want to be asked?
I don’t love talking about sex stuff.
Can you talk a little about your Jewish background?
I was a bar mitzvah and confirmed. I came from a Reform Jewish family even though we went to a Conservative temple. The culture of being Jewish is very important to me.