“Best of 2023” w. Andy Cohen | Crooked Media
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December 20, 2023
Keep It
“Best of 2023” w. Andy Cohen

In This Episode

Ira and Louis discuss their favorite movies, TV, and celebs of 2023, Norman Lear’s legacy, Andre Braugher, Ryan O’Neal, and Bjork’s random hang with Jason Mraz. Andy Cohen joins to discuss hosting New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen, how he’s evolved as a TV host, and more.


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Ira Madison III And we are back with the final Keep It of the year. I’m Ira Madison, the third.


Louis Virtel I’m Louis Virtel and I’m sleeping in my parents basement fucking already. Just I cannot wait to draw the blinds, get into a gingerbread coma and fuck off.


Ira Madison III It truly feels like we were doing our whole year six schtick, like a week ago.


Louis Virtel Seconds ago. Like we did a whole photoshoot to, like, promote the show and, like, have new art and stuff. It turns out that’s already a year ago. I hate the passage of time. I find it is working against us.


Ira Madison III I’ll Keep It starting now. Okay.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Making us look a fool. Yes.


Ira Madison III I. Okay. I hate the passage of time. I’m kind of okay with it because, you know, I’m black. I look like this forever, right?


Louis Virtel But, yeah, I’m about to look like a fucking earthworm, bitch. So.


Ira Madison III I think you’re going to age well.


Louis Virtel You never know. I don’t know. I don’t know what actually determines that ultimately.


Ira Madison III I think you look better now than you did, like, ten years ago.


Louis Virtel I completely agree with that.


Ira Madison III Yeah, I guess we’re still growing up. That little mountain that’s on The Price is Right.


Louis Virtel Yes, Right. Oh, thank you for putting it in verbiage. I understand. Yes.


Ira Madison III Otherwise, you wouldn’t know what a mountain was. Right? What I hate about the passage of time is how it is monetized by the blogs. And I say this in the sense that yesterday I saw a post that said, Want to feel old? Lizzie McGuire is welcoming her fourth kid with her husband. And I’m like. No shit, right? The people who grew up on Lizzie McGuire? Have kids themselves, right?


Louis Virtel No. What else did you expect her to do?


Ira Madison III She’s my age. I don’t have kids because I’m a fagot. Right.


Louis Virtel Want to feel old? Lizzie McGuire is a fucking nun in a monastery, and you’ll never see her again. What?


Ira Madison III It’s different. Maybe if it’s someone who was famously a kid or baby ad, it’s just we haven’t heard from them forever. And it’s like, Oh, wow, they’re an adult now. That’s shocking. But Lizzie McGuire, Hilary Duff has stayed in the news and on TV pretty much since we’ve been kids. So, no, I’ve seen her grow up.


Louis Virtel Right? Right. No, she’s at exactly the age she should be. Yeah. People it’s I mean, it’s the same thing at Kimmel. We always do this bit where we use footage of newscasters being like, Can you believe it’s October already? And it’s like 100 of them in a row. Like they all do the same thing. It’s like, yes, that’s the one thing I can believe in this world.


Ira Madison III I have a calendar.


Louis Virtel Right? Yeah. Here it comes. I’m seeing it.


Ira Madison III Well, it’s. Keep It. So. Can you believe some celebrities died?


Louis Virtel And my favorite segment of the show, Guess who died? You know, I love it. I don’t mean to say it’s jolly at all. One of these is, like, entirely unexpected. The unbelievable Andre Brower, whom, I mean, like the performances he gave and various things are so not related at all. It is almost unfair to pick a favorite like Brooklyn Nine-Nine has nothing to do with Homicide Life on the street, which has nothing to do with glory, which has nothing to do with the Shakespeare in the Park. He did. He was great on that show. Men of a Certain Age with Ray Romano and Scott Bakula, he utterly commanding literally the minute he’s looking at another character and the camera is fixed on him, you are transfixed just like an instant star. Every time he was on screen.


Ira Madison III I actually grew up watching him on Homicide, and it’s been so interesting to see, I guess, his evolution, because obviously he’s done theater as well, too. And he worked in the Harlem Theater, which he asked people to donate to in lieu of sending flowers.


Louis Virtel Which is like the tears just fucking flying. What an amazing thing to happen.


Ira Madison III But. In his work in film. He was always a person who just sort of popped up in things. And I loved that we got Brooklyn Nine-Nine to get sort of a resurgence of his career in the public consciousness, and especially just because that character is so fucking funny and a cop shouldn’t be funny.


Louis Virtel Right. Right, Exactly. He’s working against a lot right here. I saw an amazing remembrance by Dan Feinberg, who I bring up all the time. I used to work with him at HitFix years ago, but he works for The Hollywood Reporter and he talked about interviewing him, I think, in the middle of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and how it was like there’s like a comedy roundtable situation and he’s like, I don’t even know if I belong here. Meanwhile, he is like at that point, one of the funniest characters on TV. You know, he’s one of those dramatic actors who who’s like, Is this funny? Will I will. I know years from now whether or not I was funny, you know? And he fucking was. He just could do anything.


Ira Madison III There was a very funny tweet from Prentice Penny, who worked with HEB, and it’s about he was talking with him and Terry Crews on set. Prentice tweeted. One of my other favorite memories was me, him and Terry Crews talking on set. He was so warm with us. And then when a white person would walk by, he looked serious again. He then leaned in and said, Got to keep them on their toes.


Louis Virtel Oh, my God, that is so funny. Also, I want to say Homicide Life on the Street, which was my dad’s favorite show and made me afraid of the television. That is an intense series. You would walk into the room on, like a Friday night, and that would be on. It’d be like, This is entertainment. We’re trying to get into the weekend right now.


Ira Madison III You think SVU is crazy? That that’s whack. SVU is melodrama and camp. Homicide. Life on the Street was, I guess, an equivalent of Fox News. You thought you thought that you were going to find crack rocks outside your door every time you went outside?


Louis Virtel No. Every episode should have been called Shit. Like what? Yeah. But everybody on that show is amazing. You know, you had your Richard Belzer, Melissa Leo, etc.. Yaphet Kotto, fabulous actor, and yet he was the undisputed best thing about the show. Couldn’t have worked without him. I think the most famous episode. So that show was called The Box, where he goes through a massive sort of an about not a robot breakdown, but he tears through a room. Start there if you want to see his greatness on that show. Also, just a very.


Ira Madison III Paltrow’s on that episode right there.


Louis Virtel Not the same box. Not the same box.


Ira Madison III The different boxes.


Louis Virtel Damn.


Ira Madison III Do you think she gets tired of people making that joke like around the holidays?


Louis Virtel I feel like that’s probably just entirely supplanted with all the fucking superhero movies yet. You know, maybe she’s begging for people to bring up that movie again.


Ira Madison III Please bring up seven.


Louis Virtel But also, she’s like, I don’t even remember really being an actor. So that sort of sounds familiar to me. Does it feel like she had that all the kind of lobotomized?


Ira Madison III Yeah. She just loves selling you pussy juice now.


Louis Virtel Right.


Ira Madison III Whatever it is. Yeah. Just squeeze a squeezing her vagina.


Louis Virtel It’s a candle, right? Aromatic to angina products. Yes.


Ira Madison III It’s a coffee hazelnut pussy flavor. I don’t know.


Louis Virtel Hazelnut vagina. Yeah.


Ira Madison III It was shocking the first time that she sold something on goop and it was vagina related. Now it feels quaint.


Louis Virtel Right? No, It’s like, Oh, what a cute small business owner.


Ira Madison III This is one of the other celebrities who died recently was Ryan O’Neal, who we were just talking about.


Louis Virtel Right.


Ira Madison III Because of Barbara’s memoir.


Louis Virtel What a interesting life, checkered life. Maybe he sucked actually. But I mean, there’s that famous story of he was at Farrah Fawcett’s funeral and he hadn’t seen his daughter, Tatum O’Neal, the Oscar winner for Paper Moon, whom he costarred with. And he didn’t recognize her. It had been so long and proceeded to hit on her. I can’t think of another story like that. I’m sorry to bring it up in the context of his death, but I’m sorry. It’s a notable thing to know about somebody. Well, let’s talk about the movies he was in. What’s up, doc? My favorite comedy ever with Barbra Streisand giving my favorite comic performance ever. I said this in a tweet when Ryan O’Neal died, maybe the greatest henpecked man in cinema history. If you watch him in love story, Ali MacGraw is sort of dressing down the entire time. That movie also sucks. So, I mean, keep your expectations low.


Ira Madison III It’s so bad. But like, what? What?


Louis Virtel Why was this a phenomenon? Well, Alex, she was gorgeous. I think maybe that’s why they were good looking.


Ira Madison III Before I saw it, that was one of the films that I feel like was a high focal point of I love the seventies.


Louis Virtel Right. Yeah.


Ira Madison III On VH-1.


Louis Virtel Everybody saw it. Like, the reason that they both got acting nominations is because everybody saw that movie. It was unavoidable. He’s also amazing in Paper Moon, I think film superfans, the thing they are most obsessed with with him is Barry. Definitely his like most interesting contribution to the screen up movie is definitely see it on a big screen. Don’t ever watch it at home. It deserves. It’s a Kubrick movie. It deserves like your full attention when you’re watching it. But yeah, lots of great performances and a hard life. Yet look up what happened with his kids and lots of strange things going on in his life.


Ira Madison III Have you ever seen Partners?


Louis Virtel The.


Ira Madison III With him and John Hurt?


Louis Virtel Oh, no, no, no. I thought you were talking about the multi-cam series on with, like, Brandon Routh. No, I have not seen that.


Ira Madison III There is a series of there’s like murders in the gay community in L.A. And Ryan O’Neal is a straight cop who’s paired with a gay cop, and they have to solve the murders. And it is very dumb. Okay.


Louis Virtel I am sort of psyched.


Ira Madison III Homophobic.


Louis Virtel You don’t say? How do they get on board here?


Ira Madison III It’s from 1982.


Louis Virtel Oh, right.


Ira Madison III So it’s also pre-AIDS.


Louis Virtel So interesting. You know what I will say? He was pretty good in not a great movie. The Main Event with Barbra Streisand, where she becomes a boxing promoter and he’s a boxer. Like they had a fun rapport, actually, of all the people she would costar in a movie twice with, you would not think Ryan O’Neal would be that guy. But that’s.


Ira Madison III I have not seen that.


Louis Virtel Also, by the way, do you know the theme to The Main Event, motherfucker?


Ira Madison III Oh, of course I know the theme.


Louis Virtel Okay. Well, I’m just saying, around that time people think, Oh, okay, well, she popped off with Enough is Enough with Donna Summer. Oh, no. Wait till you hear the theme to the main event where I guess, like, just the cocaine went up and flew through top onto the screen.


Ira Madison III I have not seen The Main Event. I should watch it. I should paired with that Meg Ryan boxing movie.


Louis Virtel Behind the Ropes? Oh, Against the Ropes. Yeah. Yeah


Ira Madison III I fully remember her. And I believe it’s Omar Epps on the poster. And it’s one of those 2000 runs where it’s just people, you know, like their full bodies up from their waist, just standing in their pose. I love that kind of poster.


Louis Virtel Oh, yeah.


Ira Madison III It just reminds you of the fact that people try to say that anyone but you poster of them sitting on the dock of the bay, whatever was throwing back to the twins. But the twins had better posters than that.


Louis Virtel Yeah. No, In fact, it may be like the halcyon days of movie posters. We really nailed it there before everything became like a thriller with, like, blue and yellow lighting, like Contagion.


Ira Madison III Anyway. Ryan O’Newal was good in some movies.


Louis Virtel Yes. And interestingly, a good run in the seventies.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Anyway, this episode we are going to dive deeper into another celebrity who died recently, Norman Lear.


Louis Virtel I mean, it’s very overwhelming to even approach the subject of Norman. I mean, it’s just definitely the most influential figure in TV history. Just number one. Like everything you like about good episodic television stems from what he brought to television.


Ira Madison III Yeah. And we’re also going to get into our superlatives of the year.


Louis Virtel Who’s the best we get to choose? And because it’s a podcast, we have authority. That’s how it.


Speaker 4 Works.


Ira Madison III And our guest this week is the one and only Andy Cohen.


Louis Virtel I kind of can’t believe he hasn’t been here before. I love people who are just, you know, like Born to Keep Speaking. That’s sort of my back. We love those people.


Ira Madison III I feel like he has a Las Costarissas residency, so.


Louis Virtel Was he always on that show?


Ira Madison III Contract negotiations.


Louis Virtel No, Las Costa.


Ira Madison III He’s probably been on it once, but.


Louis Virtel Is that some sort of Telemundo series on.


Ira Madison III In my mind. In my mind, it feels like he’s been on every week.


Louis Virtel Got it. Okay. Well, yeah, they’re very housewives oriented.


Ira Madison III They’re there on Watch What Happens Live.


Louis Virtel Right. I went to college. Unfortunately, it’s different.


Ira Madison III This show will not be coming back next year with Louis. All right. We will be back with more. Keep It.




Ira Madison III We are finally saying Keep It to 2023. But before we let you go, we figured we’d send you off with a few awards that you will not see. On the morally corrupt Golden Globes or any other TV ceremony.


Louis Virtel Right. The Golden Globes and the Emmys are like right next to each other. So we’re just going to watch like the cast of Succession, like stand in a Daze for like a week straight Jesus.


Ira Madison III All right, let’s kick this off with I think we got into this last week, actually, but best movie of the year. Tough. What is yours?


Louis Virtel I will say a friend of mine was just saying, oh, it’s a really great year for movies. I would say I have not seen anything that exceeds an A-minus. I’ve not seen everything yet. I’m like, I haven’t seen four Maestro or American Fiction. There’s a few movies out there. I think my favorite movie of the year is Passages with the delightful Ben Whishaw, finally out of his constricting Paddington Drag and now back on our screens. And I would say, like, obviously, I’m always thrilled to see what I find to be. I don’t know about a realistic gay relationship, but an interesting one, you know? And Franz Rogowski, who plays his paramour in the movie, plays by the end of the film, you realize what a dark and haunting figure he really is. But it really takes you on a full journey to realize you’ve just experienced an entire character being really well conveyed on screen. The sex scenes are, I would say, rad. I’ve not seen anything like that in a movie in a long no ever. What am I saying? Ben Whishaw’s hole gets touched. That’s how you that’s how you got to number one movie of the year. Vote for me.


Ira Madison III Oh, he took that raincoat off.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Okay.


Ira Madison III You know what, Paddington? We saw it. We saw that bear’s back.


Louis Virtel Paddington said, loosen up my buttons. Baby gets a marmalade on that purse. Say what?


Ira Madison III I fucking loved passages I feel like. I’m glad that I use Letterbox’d now.


Louis Virtel I think that’s my resolution for 2024. I’ll get into that. I’ll get it.


Ira Madison III Mostly. Well, I’m mostly glad because you can go since you log everything and you put, like, a star rating for it. I’ve gone back and I’ve looked at I’ve ranked every movie that I’ve seen this year, and I did the list of it, and it went in order of highest ranked to lowest. So I’ve been remembering, you know, things like, Oh my God, I did see passages earlier this year and I gave it four stars out of five. The only two films that I’ve given five this year are so far May-December and Poor Things and Poor Things for me is my favorite movie of the year.


Louis Virtel Okay, I respect that. I think about May-December. I don’t think the Natalie Portman character is interesting enough. It’s just she’s a crazy actress. That’s it.


Ira Madison III And isn’t that the point?


Louis Virtel Sorry, that’s melodrama or whatever people are screaming about. That boring ass conversation about whether a movie is camp.


Ira Madison III You will respect the work of Douglas Sirk.


Louis Virtel I know I’ve actually seen these movies. I feel like you maybe saw one Douglas Sirk movie based on how you constantly reference him which was.


Ira Madison III I’ve Seen Magnificent Obsession written on the Wind.


Louis Virtel I don’t like Written on the Wind. It’s boring.


Ira Madison III That’s my favorite.


Louis Virtel One. I like Dorothy Malone in it, kind of. But to me, that’s weird that she won the Oscar. Robert Stack is not a good actor anyway.


Ira Madison III I really love about that. One is, you know, the the commentary of like the black people who work there, especially towards the end when she’s mumbling her people to death. Right. And then, you know, we’re shooting people at the end and then the black staff there is just sort of like, what are these crazy white people?


Louis Virtel We’ll get into those movies some other time. Yes. What’s our next topic?


Ira Madison III Next one, best TV show of 2023.


Louis Virtel I’m going to let you start here. I’m actually I’m mixed on this one.


Ira Madison III This is actually a really good year for TV.


Louis Virtel I think I agree with that.


Ira Madison III I really liked it. And there were some really interesting fun ones that I loved, like Jury Duty.


Louis Virtel Yeah, sure.


Ira Madison III But, I think my favorite show of the year is Gen V, the spinoff of the Boys on Amazon. It is dark and gross like the boys, but it’s funny. It feels light. I just like the setting of setting this superhero story on a college campus. But doing that setting of the boys where it’s like the superheroes are being commercialized and how that interacts with the government and how people view them. And this is really sort of fun and it feels more metaphorical than the boys does.


Louis Virtel I was about to actually to say jury duty is my favorite because there’s something about picking that guy where it’s like, I do remember The Jinx a few years ago where just like something about the reality of the situation all lined up for the show. Like, it just ended up being an A-plus by virtue of the good casting, great story beats, whatever. And The Jinx is not similar. It’s about somebody who killed somebody. But anyway, the way it all lined up, it ended up being a great show. But you know what? I’m going to fucking say? Dead Ringers, bitch. I’m sorry. The what she brought to the screen. And I’m talking about Rachel Weisz, who came to Keep It and was frankly too polite for us. It was like she needed to not be making us. We’re mean people. She is unbelievable on that show. The character Jennifer Ealy on that show was excellent and then we like completely blanked it at the Emmys. It’s like a real black spot on that award show for me. She I think I believe she’s nominated for a Golden Globe, thank God. So maybe she’s back in the conversation now.


Ira Madison III My other show would be a show that I only recently discovered. So, you know, I wasn’t watching it week to week, but we found on NBC, I am obsessed with.


Louis Virtel What is this? I saw you tweeting about it. You were making a ruckus. And I you know, I was like, turn this down, Turn this down.


Ira Madison III So Shanola Hampton is the lead. You remember her from Shameless?


Louis Virtel Yes.


Ira Madison III She plays a sort of like an Olivia Pope ish character who works with a team of people who help find kidnaping victims, people who like the police. The system doesn’t only look for victims of color, queer people, trans people, sex workers, older people, undocumented people, etc.. She was kidnaped as a kid by this guy named Sir, who was sort of like imagining there was like a family between them. He did not assault her. The show lets us know that. But he kidnaped her and was like playing just Bleak House with her. Right. It was obsessed with her. This is Mark-paul Gosselaar.


Louis Virtel Oh.


Ira Madison III He plays the character.


Louis Virtel Wow. All right.


Ira Madison III The twist at the end of the pilot is that he is helping her solve these kidnaping crimes each week because she has kidnaped him. And is keeping him chained up in her basement.


Louis Virtel Oh, we love it. Oh, that’s so funny. Feels like an O’Henry story. You couldn’t have guessed? Look at this twist.


Ira Madison III So I’m obsessed with that show.


Louis Virtel Oh, okay.


Ira Madison III It’s like SVU levels of over the top.


Louis Virtel Well, argue well argued. Okay. What’s in that best album?


Ira Madison III Yeah. Best album, 2023. What’s yours?


Louis Virtel I’m only going to go based off my what my phone is telling me I listen to. I’m going with the Ava Max album Diamonds and Dance Floors because it’s just unpretentious. Here are 12 songs. Not one of them is a ballad about a lost love or anything like that. It is just this woman who I believe is generated through. I am like sidewalk chalk. I don’t know anything about who she is as a person. Her name is a capture. You know what I’m saying? It’s just you put it on. You want it wherever you go. Whether it’s like working out or you’re in the car, it’s like it sort of energizes you, electrifies you as you walk through time or hit the club or whatever. Big fan of this album.


Ira Madison III I love the Ava Max album. Honestly, she does feel so mysterious and just sort of she’s there like that. If you told me we interviewed Ava Max this year. Right. Leave you.


Louis Virtel Right? Maybe we didn’t learn anything. Yeah.


Ira Madison III But. You know, there are songs about loss loves. Maybe you’re the problem.


Louis Virtel Yes. Ghost on that album I love so much.


Ira Madison III Yeah, but they’re all bangers.


Louis Virtel One after the other. I mean, it’s just. It’s a tapestry, honestly. And I don’t just mean Carole King’s. I mean a tapestry of the human spirit.


Ira Madison III Well, welcome to the Massassance. I think my favorite album this year, there were a lot that I really enjoyed. You know, I came back with a really good album this year. Sufjan had a great album. But if I’m talking about the things that I just listened to the most, it was Kali Uchis’s album Red Moon in Venus.


Louis Virtel And why is that? How did. What was the chokehold here about?


Ira Madison III What’s interesting is a lot of people were confused that I didn’t have SZA’s album high on my Spotify wrapped. And I think that Calu, which is this album, was the one that was more of the I’m sad, you know, like moody album for me to listen to. And the Scissors is I prefer control. S.O.S. S.O.S. was a little long for me. And it’s and I wish the album was a bit more like. Seek a destroy and kill Bill. Like angrier. Um, and then, but then it gets a little too, you know, I don’t, I don’t want to be mired in this sad relationship shit at the middle and end of the album for me personally. And if you like Red Moon and Venus sort of goes into past relationships and sadness, but it’s really sort of about fucking the person that you were with. Fuck whatever they’re doing.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Okay, next stop.


Ira Madison III Let’s be a couple of fellows doing a podcast. Okay? Best nude scene.


Louis Virtel Wow. I mean, I’m going to go with Passages again because, again, I can’t compare it to any previous scene. It’s not like Brokeback Mountain. It’s not like Short Bus. It’s not like all these other you know, we only have a few, like gay sex scene landmarks and quote unquote, popular film. So and none of them registered to me watching this movie. It also felt so organic to the script, like you kind of needed to see that scene, too. Here’s me speaking to Gen Z. And so it’s a valuable sex scene. It belongs in the movie. I also think Jesse is very maligned in this way. Like there’s not there’s no way they all fucking think sex scenes in movies are totally unnecessary. It feels like old people guessing what they’re into.


Ira Madison III It’s just the annoying ones on Twitter, right?


Ira Madison III Right.


Ira Madison III Who also think we shouldn’t have Grindr.


Louis Virtel Oh, that’s new to me. Interesting.


Ira Madison III There is a viral tweet last this week where someone wrote clearly a teenager, Griner is a predatory app and it should be deleted.


Louis Virtel Can get you to say you don’t like it? Predatory? Come on. It’s like people are afraid their arguments don’t have enough weight in it, so they have to be accusing somebody of a crime. Anyway, What would you say?


Ira Madison III It’s been it’s been a year for gays on trips, you know, being near the gays. They’re taking passages and they’re there. They’re traveling with their fellows. Yes, there’s a lot of sex on that.


Louis Virtel But if you say fellows one more time, you are legally Ethel Merman. Okay.


Ira Madison III Hey, fellows, come over and say hi to Dolly. But there’s not really nudity on Fellow Travelers. You know, there’s hints of nudity, there’s asshats. So mine is going to be Jennifer Lawrence in No Hard Feelings.


Louis Virtel Ah! Oh, my God. You’re talking about when she’s at the beach and.


Ira Madison III She’s at the beach and she’s naked and she goes head, punches that guy the face.


Louis Virtel That is a very funny scene. And also, we’ve pimped this movie, and I just hope everybody gets a chance to see it because it is a throwback to a time when we made it. Yeah, charming movies. It feels like charm is almost a thing of the past now. It’s not really what people are seeking out in there because movie stars are a thing of the past. Like who under the age of 30 is a household name? Who is a movie star?


Ira Madison III Just Zendaya.


Louis Virtel I know, right? I guess it’s like and like, movies aren’t even her primary thing, really, you know?


Ira Madison III Yeah, it’s. It’s walking on red carpets, right?


Louis Virtel Yeah. Sultry ness. That’s her primary.


Ira Madison III Honestly, it was weird seeing the that, that Dune thing that they had had where they were all on stage was Timothee and Zendaya and Florence Pugh. It was just a shock seeing them all on stage together again. Like, Oh, you did make a movie together, right?


Louis Virtel By the way, remember that Florence Pugh is in fucking Oppenheimer? Who is she playing? Sexy person. What is that role? Why did she take it?


Ira Madison III Can I give you a. Can I tell you something? I still haven’t seen up at.


Louis Virtel I don’t know a thing about you. That feels very crazy to me. How could you?


Ira Madison III You know what?


Louis Virtel How about you walk that little ass to the theater and fucking go see it?


Ira Madison III Is it still in theaters? Probably.


Louis Virtel I know.


Ira Madison III Knowing Christopher Nolan.


Louis Virtel Right, right, right.


Ira Madison III I will. I will try to watch it at home. And Christopher Nolan will. Will show up with the feds to my apartment and say, we are taking you to the Angelica Theater.


Ira Madison III So you’re going to watch it?


Ira Madison III You know, what actually happened is I was in Cartagena when I really.


Louis Virtel Missed the.


Ira Madison III Barbenheimer dropped and I got back and I saw Barbie with my friends, obviously, because we were just getting drunk and seeing it at whatever theater. Right. I kept trying to see Oppenheimer, how it was supposed to be seen, What was that like 35 millimeter or whatever.


Louis Virtel I know nothing about those things, But yes.


Ira Madison III All those screenings were sold out truly through the end of its fucking run. And then I just forgot about going to see it.


Louis Virtel Okay, well.


Ira Madison III I will see it before the Oscars.


Louis Virtel Okay. Good. Good. Okay.


Ira Madison III The Barbra Streisand award for. One too many pages.


Louis Virtel Oh, I see. Can I give it to Barbra Streisand? I mean, I would I would say the memoir only needs to be 998 pages, not 1066 or whatever it is.


Ira Madison III But what would you cut?


Louis Virtel Well, it’s not honestly, nothing, because it’s such an extraordinary career. And every part of it is specific to her like no other celebrity has these individual eras. You know, like, she’s not like what entertainer is she ultimately like? She’s not she’s not Beyonce or Lady Gaga. And she’s not people who preceded her either. She’s not like Frank Sinatra or, you know, these sort of balladeer type people. She’s just an explosive personnel. And also, it’s like I think she does such a good job of making you feel like you’re reliving the moment with her, like she’s talking about like decisions she has to make and like problems she has to solve and what she thought and what everybody else thought. And usually she’s saying I was right and they were wrong. But still, it’s an interesting dilemma to be a part of. So, I mean, I just.


Ira Madison III I got some cuts.


Louis Virtel I just got to a part where she talks about Bill Clinton’s mom for too long, maybe that.


Ira Madison III Oh. Well, this I was I was literally about to say she goes out a little bit too much about the Clintons.


Louis Virtel Yeah, right, right, right.


Ira Madison III Read the room, Barbara. We’ve had enough. She obviously emerged from her bunker and handed the book to her publisher. And the publisher was like, I think people want to hear about the Clintons. She’s like, I’m not going back to that book. Okay. Lastly, the Jacob Elordi Award for best Jacob Elordi.


Louis Virtel I mean, I am upset that his performance in Priscilla does not seem to be lining up at the Oscars conversation. To me, that is a supporting performance worth getting behind, obviously. Charles Melton I’m really excited about. He’s fabulous and May. He was on Kimmel last night. Needs a little help with the media training Needs a little help. But I loved him in that movie and he was great. Also in Saltburn. I mean, the reason Saltburn works for like the first three quarters of it is because his turn takes you there. You know, it’s like Jude Law and The Talented Mr. Ripley. You’re like, there’s an X factor about this person, and I have to learn more about it.


Ira Madison III He’s also the reason Priscilla works.


Louis Virtel Yes, I know. I like Priscilla more than you do, obviously.


Ira Madison III Yeah. You had to make up for Barbie.


Louis Virtel I continue to be right about that. I’m sorry. Somebody printed out the feminism speech in that guise. It sounds like A.I.. I’m sorry. I’m sorry if you liked it. Also, like when people say things like, I’m so glad, like, little girls get to see a speech like this, they don’t know what’s clichéd. I like little girls to see good writing. What, Like, why are you so condescending? Anyway.


Ira Madison III My favorite Jacob Elordi was the Saltburn press tour. He was working it.


Louis Virtel Oh sure.


Ira Madison III Looking fab every time he every time he would touch Barry Cohen’s leg or like his shoulder or hug hair, kiss on the cheek, he is it. And it never felt like gay baiting to me. It feels like that’s who he is.


Louis Virtel Yeah. And make no mistake, that’s a straight guy. When he starts talking, I’m like, okay, we have nothing in common. Enjoy your sports. Enjoy your sports.


Ira Madison III You see him walking around with his death hat on that all the bros in L.A. love because James Franco popularized it. They get that He’s. He’s straight. Yeah. Okay.


Louis Virtel All of a sudden.


Ira Madison III The books he’s reading, too. Give it up. Delicious. Okay. He is not. He is not going to even let you suck his dick. Just to see what it’s like? Speaking of sucking dick, when we’re back, Andy Cohen joins us.


Louis Virtel Yes.


Ira Madison III And if you think that is a wild statement, wait till you hear how he starts off this interview.


Louis Virtel Yeah, Jesus Christ. What’s wrong with him?


Ira Madison III [AD]


Ira Madison III Our guest today has many titles producer, host, presenter, author, mastermind, referee, New Year’s Eve drink appreciator and so many more. He spawned a dynasty of Bravo shows. And the reason we have an army of housewives to love or kind of love. I can think of no one better to close out a year of incredible Keep It guests than with Andy Cohen. Welcome to Keep It.


Andy Cohen Good Morning, everybody. Congratulations. I hear congratulations are in order.


Ira Madison III For?


Louis Virtel We stuck around, I guess. Sure.


Ira Madison III We stuck around.


Andy Cohen Didn’t you ust celebrate an iconic number of episodes or something like that?


Louis Virtel Yes, that’s right.


Ira Madison III 300.


Andy Cohen There you go.


Ira Madison III And we just wrapped our this is the last episode of our sixth year.


Andy Cohen So that’s major. Well, there you go. That’s when I show up.


Louis Virtel Finally we have made it, goddammit.


Andy Cohen Yeah, right.


Ira Madison III Andy, you’re doing New Year’s Eve.


Andy Cohen Yes.


Ira Madison III Again.


Andy Cohen And.


Ira Madison III How is doing this show on New Year’s Eve in a place where, as a New Yorker, I personally would never set foot?


Andy Cohen Nor would I have. But, and nor would I if I wasn’t doing New Year’s Eve. I wouldn’t go either. That being said, it is so exciting. Co-hosting New Year’s Eve. I absolutely love it. It is the greatest gig and the fact that I get to do it with Anderson, who I love working with. It’s really cool and it’s very magical. It’s he’s referred to it as the telethon with no disease, which is what it feels like to be here, literally. And it’s killing time on worldwide television for like 5 hours. But man, when midnight hits and they play New York, New York, and you’re there with all the confetti, it’s it’s pretty magical. It’s like you’re edging for 4 hours. And then, like, the biggest orgasm you can imagine, if I can put it in terms you guys might understand.


Louis Virtel Thank you. Gooner terms. Thank you so much. These are.


Andy Cohen Gooner terms. Yes. You’re gooning out. Powering up. Emptying out. And then it just all wraps up.


Louis Virtel Which reminds me, I think of you as somebody who generally embraces the chaos of that. That, too, embraces the chaos of any live moment. But what is there any time you’ve been on camera where you were actually shocked by something that happened in a way that was unsettling, like you had to figure out how to regroup and work with the insanity of the moment?


Ira Madison III Wow.


Andy Cohen Plenty of times. I mean, there have been times when my guests have said something that I thought was vaguely. Racist or just not good. And I’ve just kind of had to move on or there have been times where I’ve gotten the giggles during a very inopportune moment. There was a time when we had a bartender who was there because they were raising money after some arable disaster, and I was interviewing the person and I couldn’t I was like laughing. I mean, I don’t know what was happening. The producer in my ear was like, Get it together. And of course that made me go even further. So yeah, that happens all the time.


Ira Madison III I Well, speaking of just like being on air and being, you know, a host and emcee, it’s funny, we brought this up when Billy Eichner was on the show. Louis And I love going back to that pilot that you shot with Joan Rivers.


Louis Virtel Oh, my God, yes.


Ira Madison III Straight Talk. Which is so funny. And it’s just sort of.


Andy Cohen You saw it?


Ira Madison III It’s on YouTube.


Louis Virtel Somebody threw it on. Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Andy Cohen The whole thing is on YouTube?


Ira Madison III The whole thing is on YouTube. Yeah, But just like from that first time where you were on a show like that, sort of what were you thinking that you wanted your, I guess, career to be a do did you want to be a talk show host? Did you want to do that?


Andy Cohen Well, I always wanted to be on the air, but I gave up that dream. I really had given that up. And I was at CBS News for all of the nineties working behind the scenes. And every so often I would audition for something for MTV or something, and my auditions were always horrible. And then I became head of Programing Bravo. And I certainly and I worked for two women, one of whom I still work for. And they very much they’re no nonsense. They’re mentors to me, Lawrence Vlasic and Francis Barrack. And they really were they lay light to me doing the job that I was doing. But Lauren saw something in me that and she knew I had wanted to be on the air and she kind of let me do it as a side project. So I really owe her. People think I gave myself my own show, but it’s impossible to give your self your own show. You know, everyone has a boss, you know what I mean? And so she really saw something in me and she put me on that Joan pilot. And I’m sure I’m terrible. And I think I just I think I was like the Meredith on that Joan pilot. I was kind of directing traffic. If I’m wrong, I haven’t seen it in many, many, many, many years. And. Ah, so there you go.


Louis Virtel Now when I think.


Andy Cohen I think I bailed out of that of my answer. But I wanted to. I wanted to be on the air, but I knew that I could never leave my day job. And when they you know, so when they when she said hosts this show on Bravo, TVGuide.com, I was so excited, but I knew I had to do my day job as good as I possibly could, because otherwise I would, you know, I would I’d get fired from everything. I didn’t want them to think that I thought I was worth something as an on air host because I wasn’t.


Louis Virtel Who are the hosts you cared about prior to becoming one? Like, did you grow up with certain hosts that you thought like, Oh, that actually makes me think I could do this or I want to be like that person.


Andy Cohen That is a good question. You know, there was no one. I wanted to be myself on TV, which is.


Louis Virtel pathetic.


Andy Cohen What I’m doing now, which is. But at that time, there weren’t a lot of people who were kind of being, you know, it was like VJs on MTV. Yeah. And people were on the Real World. There wasn’t a spot because also I’m not a comedian, you know, I ask questions for a living, not I’m really an interviewer. That’s kind of an I’m situationally humorous, I would say. So that’s I don’t you know, I don’t know that there was I mean, Howard Stern and Larry King, I think, were two people that I was like, okay, I would I like what they’re doing.


Louis Virtel And also like them, you’re really more like your vibe. Even on screen is like radio ish too. Like, let’s let this conversation take hold and turn into something which is so different. Then I feel like I got ready for a talk show myself. Like, that’s not the nature of talk shows most of the time, you know.


Andy Cohen Can we say what talk show you write?


Louis Virtel Oh, yeah. I write for Jimmy Kimmel. Yeah.


Andy Cohen Oh, wow.


Louis Virtel Big, fat adult. As far as straight man go. Fun. You know what I’m saying?


Andy Cohen Yes. A great guy.


Ira Madison III In your you sort of history being on air. Then what would you say is something that you’ve learned maybe early on or sort of midway, especially once you started doing the Housewives reunions and then when you were hosting? Watch what happens live. Like, what have you learned that you sort of maybe fixed how you were doing your job and now you find that you’re much better at it.


Andy Cohen I think listening is always key, listening and jumping on something that you hear. And if you hear a nugget of something I always try to take advantage of, if someone slips up or reveals something that they don’t realize that they’re saying it. I just think listening is very important and giving yourself the freedom to take the conversation in a different place where it’s not planned. Everything is so planned on television these days. And what I love about Watch what happens live is that we can go in any direction. It’s fine. We are killing stuff constantly while we’re while we’re doing the show.


Louis Virtel I think one of my favorite things about Watch What Happens Live is when you have legends on whether it’s like I’m a hardcore Jane Fonda stand, or one time you had Jack on rather famously and she, you know, let loose. You ask them questions that they haven’t been asked a thousand times. Like like, for instance, like when we do get the rare Barbra Streisand interview, it’s still the same three fucking questions. It’s like you didn’t have a father, you’re a perfectionist, whatever. And it’s like this show really gets into the nitty gritty of people we actually are obsessed with.


Andy Cohen And thank you. That’s one of my favorite things, too. And Julia Roberts was on.


Louis Virtel Yes, she was fabulous.


Ira Madison III That was that was great.


Andy Cohen It was great. And I just like for me, it is so exciting when someone’s finally on and, you know, it’s nine out of ten times really exciting for them, too, because they leave and they’re like, there’s no pre-interview, so they’re so psyched They didn’t have to do that. But also it’s a celebration of that person and they feel celebrated, but also they’re like, what? You know? Julia Roberts There were a few things I said, and she’s like, Wow, I’ve never been asked that. Or, Wow, that’s a good question. And that makes me feel like I did my job and wow, this is great.


Louis Virtel Do you have a favorite, like legend you’ve, like, Tangled with? And like they ended up revealing something new about themselves that surprised you?


Andy Cohen Well, I mean, I think when Oprah was on, it was just super exciting for me. It’s always people like that who I love. And I, you know, grew up loving it’s like Oprah or Cher or Gaga. We just had Nicki Minaj on, you know, just anyone who so huge. It’s just there’s a buzz at the show and and I’m buzzed from it, too.


Louis Virtel One of my favorite segments you’ve done that I forget the name of it. You’ll just ask a celebrity if you’ll take random names and ask if they ever met somebody else.


Andy Cohen Have you met them?


Louis Virtel Yes. It’s like what the great question. Like Jane Fonda. Did you run into whatever the Carpenters like? I’m just curious.


Andy Cohen You know, I love that. And that’s something that I’ve played with famous people who I know through the years. And so, yes, I just translated to watch what happens live. And that’s it always works.


Louis Virtel I can’t believe I’ve never seen that before. It’s like it’s such a good segment.


Andy Cohen Thank you.


Ira Madison III I mean, it’s a funny question to just because the fact that I love I loved early on in like writing about pop culture, when I would discover that you think that all these people just sort of know each other. You think even if they’re at an event that they’re going to be talking to each other. But they really don’t. They’re they’re they’re sort of doing their job and then they leave. So it’s really interesting when you find out people who have weird connections and stuff like that.


Andy Cohen I agree.


Ira Madison III It’s going back to Julia Roberts. I just I was so enamored with that interview. And I find that it’s always fun when you find a celebrity who comes on and they seem to be game to talk about housewives or maybe they’ve watched it. It’s just sort of like, what’s it like talking to them and getting them into like, I guess reading a scene from a show? You know, there was the Ray Fine’s one. You had Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore, like Julia Roberts, actually watch Real Housewives, which I wouldn’t be shocked because she. She does. Okay. Yes. She famously watched Days of Our Lives for years.


Andy Cohen She does watch Housewives and she was behind.But


Ira Madison III Oh.


Andy Cohen That morning. We were going to do Bravo: No, They Didn’t with her, which is where I just ask her all of her opinions on current shows. But she was pretty behind that morning. I woke up and I was like, I had seen how much traction we were getting from the Julianne Moore Natalie Portman thing. And frankly, I woke up that morning to go, Wait a minute, we should do Name Em with Julia Roberts. It’s the perfect scene for her. So we sent it to her person that morning, and that’s how that happened. And they showed it to her and Julia said, Oh, my God, I have to do that. So I was very excited about that. But it’s, you know, yeah, it’s our real now is so good of Oscar winners portraying, you know, Housewives or Vanderpump people that all we have to do is show someone, three other people doing it. Also, it gets so much, it’s so good for them because they look game. And also it gets so much pick up and everybody loves to see it. So it’s like, would you rather play, plead the Fifth or be in a Housewives scene?


Ira Madison III Shocked or.


Andy Cohen Both. She did both, by the way.


Louis Virtel I’m never surprised that you’re really good friends with Kelly Ripa, who I feel like is sort of like a parallel talent to yours in a way where it’s like there’s something about her where I just would admit everything. And what do you think that quality is that you have? Because I feel like people don’t even think about it. It’s like Howard Stern, I guess they just go on and they’re like, Actually, here’s everything you have ever questioned about me. I’ll just go ahead and say it.


Andy Cohen I think that they know that even though I go first of all, I think it’s it’s like I love doing the Howard Stern Show because it it it keeps you on the edge of your seat. Again, you’re edging out sitting there with Howard.


Louis Virtel A theme this.


Ira Madison III Episode really working.


Andy Cohen But you’re you know, it keeps you on your toes. And it’s exciting because you don’t know what’s going to happen. And if you do a lot of interviews, you know, you kind of have a sense of what’s going to happen. So I think it’s exciting for people to come down. It feels dangerous. It’s like dangerous. But ultimately, I’m not going look, sometimes a lot of times a Julia Roberts or Nicki Minaj or whatever, it’s on tape. So they know that if something absolutely horrible happens, they can say, you need to trim that down or, you know, whatever. But also, I think they know I’m rooting for them. I don’t want them to leave mad. I want to play by the rules. And if they come in and say, look, no questions about exes, then I’m not going to ask, you know, then I won’t ask questions about exes. It’s fine.


Ira Madison III As a personality. I also wonder how you feel about just being on the show get so much traction. And you people talk about housewives all the time on social media. But how have you been able to, I guess, deal with the fact that people talk about you online as much as they talk about the housewives and then get involved in like your life and what you do publicly in a way that they don’t. I feel like other TV hosts like no one’s no one’s digging into, like what Kelly Ripa is doing, you know?


Andy Cohen Well, part of the thing is I share a lot, so I’m putting myself out there. So, you know, you can’t put yourself out there to the degree that I do and then say it’s unfair that people are having opinions on it or commenting on it. But I think sometimes it sometimes you really have to have a thick skin. I think the people that are the hardest on me are gay guys sometimes, which doesn’t feel.


Ira Madison III I’m shocked.


Andy Cohen Yeah, I know it’s not stuffy. It’s like, Wow, I kind of thought we were all in the same. I mean, listen, that thing that happened to me, Ira, actually really helped me. Frankly. Thank you, Ira. I ran into you gay pride weekend, and I. There was that thing where someone took a video of me at a club on Pride weekend with someone sitting on my lap, and I’m, like, playing with with his nipples a little bit. And the video went all over the place, and I was really embarrassed. I was like, I was really embarrassed. And I saw Ira at a party the next day and he was very sweet with me and he was like, It’s okay. People are actually on your side. And I was like, They are. Because usually it’s like, you know. They go for it. But yeah, so.


Ira Madison III I feel like invasions of privacy, people get upset about, you know.


Andy Cohen I’m glad people saw it as an invasion of privacy because it was. But a lot of times you’ll be like, He’s disgusting. He has kids. I mean, you know, you don’t know where it’s going to go. You don’t know where the judgment is going to go. I was happy that one seemed to have gone in my way.


Ira Madison III I feel like your most controversial thing is whatever it was you were wearing to Jingle Ball. Well.


Ira Madison III That was very controversial.


Andy Cohen Well, let me say on my defense, it looked really good on stage and it will look good on ABC, I feel. But on the red carpet, when I saw that red carpet picture, I was like, Oh my God, this is real bad. I knew immediately when I saw it and I saw I was getting dragged on Twitter like on Saturday morning or something. And it’s one of those things. And by the way, I said, I’m so bad dressing casually sometimes that I was like, What do I wear to this thing? I was texting Nick and Anthony, who I went with who are my pals, and I was sending I go, Can I wear this? Can I wear that? Anyway, it was so bad. But again, you know, funny you say that because then I was there’s some guy that goes up to people on TikTok and sing Mary.


Ira Madison III I love I love him. He says, okay, so Louis, you probably see it. He sings to celebrities on Tik Tok, right? Yeah, them when they’re exiting a building. Yeah.


Andy Cohen So I had never seen him and my guys were like, Nick and Anthony were like, This guy is about to come over to you. He sings to people on Tik Tok. They go have fun and just enjoy it. So I did. And then I looked on Twitter today, which I just should never open Twitter and everyone’s trying to me like, What is he on?


Ira Madison III He’s old.


Andy Cohen Why is he doing that? I’m like, She is this. I’m just trying to play along with this Tik tok or I don’t know what, what should I have done anyway? So. This is again saying you just have to take it in stride. But sometimes it is hard, I have to say sometimes. I so want to respond sometimes. But then when you respond.


Ira Madison III It’s not good.


Louis Virtel Now, of course, as we said before, you wear many hats at Bravo. But what is the best part of the offscreen part of your job? Like, what do you do that we never see that is interesting to you our most.


Andy Cohen I love producing. I mean, I love being a producer and that’s on the Housewives. I like the casting conversations. I like, you know, figuring out problems. If I watch an episode of a show and I say. We got to think of a restructure. This ending isn’t working. You know, what can we do? Whatever or or on watch what happens live. I love it. I feel good when I can say Julia Roberts and I should do name them. And then 6 hours later, I’m standing there with Julia Roberts doing the scene. So I think it’s that kind of stuff. And I think on Watch What Happens Live, it’s just being a very active producer and in my mind, sitting there being like, okay, I’m going to kill that next game and we’re going to keep this conversation going. It’s too good, you know, much like that.


Ira Madison III Hmm. Okay. Well, lastly, I’m going to finally ask a question or two that Louis doesn’t give a fuck about, but. What are you all doing to Ms. Quad on Married to Medicine? No.


Andy Cohen What?


Ira Madison III I am distressed.


Andy Cohen I’m not a producer on Married to Medicine, So.


Louis Virtel Oh, interesting.


Andy Cohen People are upset.


Ira Madison III It is. And it’s like. It’s weird because it feels like. It feels like Bravo enjoys her, but it feels like the. You know, the women, you know, are. That’s such a very interesting show because it’s very different from a Real Housewives. Those women, like, check in with each other off camera.


Andy Cohen Well, I talked to Dr. Jackie about this and I said, what’s the deal with the Quad thing? And they feel like Quad only shows up with them when the cameras are around. And they are, you know, which is a housewives like.


Ira Madison III Yeah, they all collect a check, you know.


Andy Cohen But but she they did not This group is very entwined. So but I don’t know I do not produce Married to Medicine. I love hosting the reunions though they are some of my favorite host.


Ira Madison III Now, if she’s just like a housewife who comes and collects a check, would you put Ms.. Quad on Atlanta?


Andy Cohen I think it’s an interesting question.


Ira Madison III I think she’s the only person I think she’s one of the few people who could come in and have a lot of energy. And also, she knows all those women.


Andy Cohen Yes. Yeah. I mean, you know, there’s always been a thin line between married to Madison and Atlanta Housewives. And now you see Phaedra and Married to Medicine, which is complete. But, you know, we’ve flirted with having Phaedra back to Atlanta. And so she got back on Married to Medicine first. But, you know, it’s always an interesting conversation. They’re kind of two ecosystems, but they certainly overlap.


Ira Madison III And lastly, this is a podcast and we love, you know, recording our podcast and we put our podcast out, you know, where people can listen to podcasts and you can watch our video on YouTube. But what I’m concerned about is the amount of housewives who are podcast and then put it on the show. How can we stop me from having to watch Housewives recording their podcasts in scenes on episodes?


Andy Cohen Well, I think that what you’re seeing I’ve been thinking a lot about this, and I think that what you’re seeing is I think that with like Meredith and Seth on Salt Lake City, I think that the point is that you’re getting hopefully some insights into their marriage that you’re maybe not getting on the show because they’re talking about it naturally on the podcast that is about their marriage. And I think in theory, watching Larsa and Marcus Jordan doing their podcast in Miami may not be the most exciting thing, however, and I was watching a future episode. They’re sitting there recording their podcast and I was thinking, Oh man. And then the conversation that they wound up having was really about their relationship in a way that I was like, Oh, this is good. They’re talking about shit that I am interested in. So I think there has to be a reason, but I respect what you’re saying and it’s crossed my mind. But I think if they’re advancing personal story about themselves, then I would argue that it’s worthy of showing on the show.


Ira Madison III Just as long as you never let Tamara film with Teddi.


Andy Cohen Well, she hasn’t. So there you go. We haven’t seen that.


Louis Virtel Wait. Actual last question. Do you have a most memorable first meeting with a housewife where you maybe their first casting call, whatever, where you’re like, Oh, Jesus, Who is this person? They have to be on TV.


Andy Cohen No. What? I don’t meet with them. Typically, the New York women, I remember when we were recasting New York between season four and five, and we did that huge thing where we let go of Jill, Alex Kelly and Cindy Barshop and those and Carole Radziwill I knew for years. But I did sit down and meet with Heather. I remember meeting with her. So I don’t typically sit with them until but I did with some of the new Rhony women when we recap the entire show because she had just wannabes. Sure. But typically, I don’t meet with them. I will say, I mean, I’ll never forget meeting Nini for the first time. I’ll never forget. Meeting Lisa Vanderpump for the first time. There are some that just stick in your mind. I remember meeting the Jersey cast for the first time. I met them all as a group and they were all barely speaking. It was after they had shot the table flip and I had not met them in person and they came to Bravo for like a year for a media training. And I was I used to be in their sessions for their media training. And it was it was you could cut the tension with a knife in the room.


Louis Virtel Ten Part Limited series about media training The New Jersey cast.


Ira Madison III Jesus Christ. Honestly, I know, right? Oh, that’s so funny.


Ira Madison III Do you like do you avoid them sometimes, by the way? I mean, like, is it fun for you to be, like, at a party and all of a sudden you see a housewife is there that you didn’t expect to be there and you’re like, Am I going to have to talk about work?


Andy Cohen It depends on the moment. Sometimes I absolutely want to see them and sometimes, you know, sometimes I’ll be on Fire Island and someone’s like Kelly Dodds on the island. I’m like, What’s that? I want? When Kelly Dodd was on the island, I was like, I got to see Kelly, you know, And I think I did her and she was great. But sometimes. No, you’re like. This is my party zone. This is my save space, you know, But I would say typically, I’m always happy to see that we share something that is very unique and cool that we’re in together, you know? So I feel like ultimately I owe them a lot of gratitude. So, yeah, it’s good.


Ira Madison III Well, thank you for being here, Andy.


Louis Virtel Jesus Christ. What a pleasure.


Andy Cohen Guys. You’re so nice. Thank you very much. What a kind interview.


Louis Virtel Also, just somebody. It’s like you end up having, like, 50 questions for and then you answer them, and it’s like, Great. We all benefit. It’s wonderful.


Andy Cohen Good. I’m glad we feel we benefited. Thank you guys for having me. And congratulations. Here’s to 300 more episodes.


Louis Virtel Oh, thank you. That means a lot coming from you. Where do you at? Like episode 7600 now or something on Watch What Happens Live.


Andy Cohen Watch What Happens Live, we’re entering year 15 this year.


Louis Virtel Mother of God.


Ira Madison III Wow.


Andy Cohen Yeah. Believe it. Rate.


Louis Virtel Gun Smoke shit.


Andy Cohen Entering year nine. I know.


Ira Madison III He’s going to kill me year 11. So you know


Louis Virtel But for the ratings.


Ira Madison III Yes. You know.


Speaker 3 <AD>


Ira Madison III The legendary Norman Lear, the comedic tour de force recently passed at the age of 101. He took all his Dalmatians with him.


Louis Virtel You should write for Late Night with that kind of fucking joke.


Ira Madison III Since he revolutionized the world of television, it would be criminal if we at Keep It didn’t honor him with a retrospective of the shows he gave the world and the man that he was.


Louis Virtel First of all, let me say nothing was crazier than the fact that Norman Lear was actively working up until the day he died. Whether or not it was through political activism or literally making television. You might know that Jimmy Kimmel does these live shows where he recreates old sitcom episodes and then they get current actors to play. Recently, a couple of years ago now, I mean, a year and a half, Tony. Anyway, we did one. Where was Diff’rent Strokes and the Facts of Life. And Jennifer Aniston played Blair in the Facts of Life. And John Lithgow was part of Diff’rent Strokes. Kevin Hart was part of Diff’rent Strokes. And during the rehearsals for it. Norman Lear just walks in and sits down and and is like observing it the way he’s observed so many, you know, sitcoms in the past. And it was like crazy. He was so interested in it being good. And you would just look at him and be like, How can you still be doing this? Like, how can you still be interested? But that’s his whole thing. He was interested in people and being a part of the discussion and helping. He was like such a politically rad person, But talking about the TV shows he made basically until Norman Lear. TV was aspirationally quaint. Like I would say, the Brady Bunch is sort of like. Even though that’s like almost a cartoonish example of quaintness. That was kind of what TV was about. Like you wanted to see characters who had like a placid life with, like, easily manageable problems. And he basically said there’s a lot of tension in the living rooms of the people who are watching these shows. And that would be interesting to see on the small screen. When you watch All in the Family, like they’ll resolve a fight and it sometimes it feels like a fight you may have literally had or like that episode of Maude, where she gets an abortion, a two part episode that is still controversial today. He like, if that aired now, it would be extremely interesting. We would not know how to talk about an episode of that kind of power. He just was interested in TV being filled with people you might actually know in your real life, and that did not really happen prior to him. We had interesting creators like Rod Serling and Gene Roddenberry and stuff, but he was the one who literally said, No. The people watching these shows are way more interesting than the TV’s characters we’re putting on screen right now.


Ira Madison III Well, you know, Rod Serling and Gene Roddenberry were people who put those people on television, but they put them on. They were telling those stories via a metaphor. Yeah. I think during that period we needed stories about race and class and sexuality and feminism through Star Trek and its allegories, you know, through the Twilight Zone and, you know, the the monsters on Maple Street showing you that it can be evil in the suburbs. Yeah. You know, and I think that Norman Lear really put sort of the working class people on television and really dealt with race a lot too, in not just in Archie Bunker being a racist, you know, but also in creating shows for black people to star it, you know, which obviously all the families fought off The Jeffersons, which I mean, Sherman Hemsley.


Louis Virtel Isabelle Samford, Marla Gibbs, please. Yes.


Ira Madison III Like to to create stars and Edith and Archie Bunker. But then to also put George Jefferson on that show and then create a show out of him. It’s just that is those are iconic television characters. And it’s not just that, you know, I, I grew up watching Sanford and Son and 2 to 7. I mean, like, he put those like, black shows that I watched on Nick at night. TVLand were all Norman Lear.


Louis Virtel It’s also worth saying, like a black actress did not win an Emmy until 1970. That was Gail Fisher in the TV show. MANNIX So it’s like you have to understand the, like, interesting black characters on TV was basically kind of radical, You know, like, like Bill Cosby and I Spy was one of the first ones, you know, like, that’s that happened way later than the advent of television. I am my favorite Norman Lear show is One Day at a Time, The original with Bonnie Franklin and Valerie Bertinelli, who was an amazing Keep It guest. Ira, you were not here for this. If you go back and listen to that interview, it’s me, Guy Branum and Diablo Cody who interview her. Mackenzie Phillips is on that show, too. And basically the show was, what if we just got into a family where it’s three women? I mean, what show before that just had a bunch of women talking? You know, it just it didn’t exist. And he was interested in things like that. He also had some basically flops that were still experimental triumphs. He had a show called All That Glitters, which was about if women had the patriarchal power in a workplace that men do and like, the men were more like sex objects. It’s a very interesting experiment. Mary Hartman Mary Hartman was a primetime soap that ran every single night. Yes. If you want to see the best of Mary Kay place, you got to watch that show Fernwood Tonight, which is a satire of late night comedy that starred the late Fred Willard and the great Martin Moore. Literally any straight guy who was like 53 years old is obsessed with Fernwood Ionight. They haven’t talked to you about it yet at a party, but it’s true.


Ira Madison III Yeah. And I just think that obviously Mary Hartman Mary Hartman was a show that I saw as a kid and sort of I think influenced a lot of my creative tastes. You know, it was the soap opera satire of it. I also really loved Silver Spoons.


Louis Virtel Oh, sure. Rick Schroeder pre being the worst person who ever lived.


Ira Madison III And him and Ryan O’Neal battling it out.


Louis Virtel Right. Some combat there.


Ira Madison III But obviously, I really just love how active he stayed. In his later life. You know, like you said politically, he was very involved with donating and also just donating to writers as well and supporting them. One of my close friends, Cindy, worked for him and so she would always give me updates on Norman Lear and sent me his memoir when it had come out. And I’m so sad that she tried to have him on the show.


Louis Virtel Right. Yes, I forgot about that.


Ira Madison III And never got to pan out.


Louis Virtel It was like 2018.


Ira Madison III Because yeah, that was like that’s a person who just truly you can’t have wanted a career in television and not be influenced by Norman Lear. And I think what’s interesting to about his career is he talks a bit in his book too, about how he used to get complaints from people all the time. You know, I think he had a quote where was, um, we get messages from Western Union, which is lol thinking about when we used to send text to Western Union. I got money from my parents in college via Western Union.


Louis Virtel That is very funny. Yeah. What was this delivery on Stagecoach? Confusing. Oh, by the way, there is an amazing recollection of his life from Rob Reiner, who, of course, played Meathead makes Divac on All in the Family, Obviously very active on Twitter now. Great recollection. Also, just watch All in the Family. It’s still really funny. It’s like I love Lucy, like in the way that like it still holds up the jokes. The rat a tat is all very alive, very cool.


Ira Madison III Also eight times also that is. 227 is just as funny as.


Louis Virtel Did he produced 227?


Ira Madison III Well, so there was a writer, Christine Houston. Apparently, she won a playwriting contest and that was in his name were 2 to 7, a story of women who lived together in Chicago in the fifties. And apparently he took her under his wing. And eventually Marla Gibbs got the script and he served as a producer and helped her make that television show.


Louis Virtel Because obviously that takes place in Washington, D.C..


Ira Madison III Yeah. Which just goes to show, like what he would do, you know, for other writers. You know.


Louis Virtel He loved writers, loved creatives. He’s like the Sondheim of TV, one of those people where everybody has the inspirational back and forth with this guy. And because he really cares, he just wants to be around, like talented, cool people with great ideas.


Ira Madison III I mean, we talked about it last week with Juan, about there being too many fucking Sondheim things. Yeah, on or off Broadway now. But television could actually stand to just reboot a bunch of Norman Lear shows.


Louis Virtel And of course, he was the original script. Yeah. And of course, by the way, he was a part of the One Day at a Time reboot, which was rad and obviously like the last great thing. Rita moreno has given us no shade to 80 for Brady. But.


Ira Madison III She was of the West Side Story remake. Oh yeah.


Louis Virtel No, she was good in that people really overhyped her presence in that movie that she had. The one scene I was kind of expecting a little bit more.


Ira Madison III Lady Doc.


Louis Virtel Yes, right, right, right.


Ira Madison III A boy like that. Kill your brother.


Louis Virtel Not your worst work. Not your worst.


Ira Madison III Thank you. I’ve worked on that would for you. Oh, okay. I please the about the times. I’ll just be sick. The West Side Story cast recording in my bedroom as a kid.


Louis Virtel Which reminds me, by the way, I’m doing a bit for Kimmel and I have to imitate the We come to this place for magic intonation of Nicole Kidman, and it’s a little bit hard. So just if you have any tips, let me know.


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Ira Madison III All right. Norman Lear. An icon.


Louis Virtel Fabulous. Please. Please. Television himself.


Ira Madison III Hmm. When we’re back. Our last Keep It of the year. And we’re back with our favorite segment of the episode. It is Keep It. Louis. What’s yours?


Louis Virtel I am bedeviled by a story I saw on Demoir, and I’m so confused. And I know I will not get any more context about what this is, but just know what’s his problem. Precisely.


Ira Madison III Being on Demoir


Louis Virtel Yeah, right. Apparently in West Hollywood, where I live. Jason Mraz and Bjork got a drink together. I’m going to say that again. Jason Mraz and Bjork got a drink together and they’re just in West Hollywood where I live. What are they doing? Why do they know each other? He said he was bisexual recently. Okay, that’s scanning now. You’re hanging out with her. And also Bjork. What are you getting out of him? I just have no idea where to begin with this story, what it could possibly mean. I don’t really know anything about either of their personal lives, so I don’t know whether this is like a music thing, a friend thing or a relationship thing. I can’t make heads or tails of it, and I will help me. Do you hear me? I have nothing to say because it’s so insane. I don’t know what to do.


Ira Madison III The geek in the pink and the diva from the ice rink. Yeah.


Louis Virtel What was that Ms Minaj?  Mrs. Petty, what was that?


Ira Madison III The Geek in the Pink was a song. Okay. I couldn’t find a way to write that with Iceland, so I said Ice rink.


Louis Virtel Right. Also, let’s just talk about the Bjork. She’s just lingering around L.A.. Does that seem right? She should be like writing an ice floe and, like, beatboxing or something. Like, what is she doing?


Ira Madison III Well, he does like to beatbox, right?


Louis Virtel No, that’s what I’m saying. I wonder if they got into that, if, you know, she had that whole album where it’s just vocal noises and the guy from Faith No More is like doing guttural, weird shit. And then, you know, we stop paying attention to Bjork because it was too weird for us.


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Ira Madison III All right. Well, that sounds like a that sounds like a bizarro version of WHO Weekly, because obviously we know who Jason Mraz and Bjork are, right. Lindsey and Bobby get to the bottom of it.


Louis Virtel Also, by the way, Bjork should’ve won that Oscar for I’ve Seen It All from Dancing Dancer in the Dark. That’s such a fucking awesome song with the lyrics written by Lars von Trier.


Ira Madison III All right. He does it all.


Ira Madison III Triple threat. Yes. And they say a maybe Nazi sympathizer can’t have it all.


Louis Virtel Right. Right. A girl with a dream.


Ira Madison III All right, my. Keep It. This week goes to the gays.


Louis Virtel Oh, no, not them slashers.


Ira Madison III You know what? You know what I am sick of seeing online? These God damn. Well. Kind of sorta.


Louis Virtel Right.


Ira Madison III I am sick of seeing these fucking prompts.


Louis Virtel Oh, yeah.


Ira Madison III On Twitter.


Louis Virtel A time this year. Your chest looks fucking amazing.


Ira Madison III Let me see your back muscles. Let me see. Let me see your thighs. It’s. Can you just link your fucking Instagram or only fans and move on?


Louis Virtel Stop pretending you need, like, a fucking ambient voice in the wilderness to tell you to show a selfie with your shirt off. I mean, it’s so stupid.


Ira Madison III Also that some of the kids who have jumped on every single one. Oh, be posted all day. Get a life.


Louis Virtel Yeah, that’s tough. Right, right, right. Also, I mean, just in general, I find this is something you would see, generally speaking, on Twitter, I feel like. But it is leaked over to Instagram. I just I you know, you know, my hard and fast hot take is that I find Instagram more depressing than Twitter always.


Ira Madison III It’s Facebook now.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Oh. Sick.


Ira Madison III Every old.


Louis Virtel Tell that to the PR team there.


Ira Madison III Every old meme from Twitter. Every old meme from Tik Tok. Something that you’ve seen before it all. It pops into people’s stories. Or their posts, God forbid, on Instagram.


Louis Virtel Yeah.


Ira Madison III Whatever have to photos? What about having a fun. Do you know that Fall out of Window?


Louis Virtel Kristen Johnston. Come on, Keep It. Kristen Johnson. Do you know what I kind of miss about Twitter? And I think it might be coming back because we’re getting a new late night version of it. Bring us back the at midnight joke shit where like, they give you a prize and then you come back with a pint or something that gives everybody something to do. A little jackbox fun for everybody on Twitter.


Ira Madison III A little yak yak, if you will.


Louis Virtel Right. I’ve already explained my theory that I believe I created the show at midnight and I’m not getting credit for it. Do you know how this happened?


Ira Madison III Hmm. No.


Louis Virtel I worked 4 to 6 weeks. It was a short program at VH one where they had to pitch ideas for TV shows. And because you didn’t, you weren’t represented or anything, they paid you like a nickel and then whatever for any idea they bought off you? I sold something called Tweet Fighter, where people compete on stage to fill in tweets and make them funny, and then the audience votes on them. And that was through Viacom. And then on Comedy Central, a few years later, there was a show called at Midnight where they basically do that, fill in tweets.


Ira Madison III Oh.


Louis Virtel Well, that’s my conspiracy theory about my success.


Ira Madison III Thank you. If you would like to sue them, and I think that I would have a second really hot blacklist script about you. Or I could just fold that into the Jeopardy story.


Louis Virtel Oh, that’s right.


Ira Madison III The snap.


Louis Virtel Your whole screenwriting career depends on me. I forgot all about that.


Ira Madison III Yeah. You know. We’re a symbiosis.


Louis Virtel Right. Right, right. We help each other. Right. Right, right.


Ira Madison III You are Tilda. And I’m Dakota.


Louis Virtel Wow. I love them in movies together.


Ira Madison III Yeah, I just watched Suspiria last night. The remake.


Louis Virtel It’s so fucking disturbing.


Ira Madison III It’s also not good.


Louis Virtel It’s so long when people love that movie. I’m like, there’s like three good parts. Yeah.


Ira Madison III I was watching it on a date last night and at a certain point he was like, When is this movie over?


Louis Virtel Also, when when does this movie start?


Ira Madison III There was an hour left.


Louis Virtel What does movie star Chloe Grace Moretz is like giving a monologue for like a fucking hour before we get to fucking Dakota Johnson? Anyway.


Ira Madison III What happened to that movie being about witches in a creepy school?


Louis Virtel Right? That’s what we wanted.


Ira Madison III And then. And then all this other stuff about the doctor and his his his wife that he’s trying to get back to who he lost after the Holocaust. It’s it’s it’s a very sad story. I don’t know that I particularly care about it in the context of these naked witches ripping people’s heads off. Yeah. It’s two different movies.


Louis Virtel I don’t want to see basically elbows do that. What happens in that movie? It’s really gross.


Ira Madison III Anyway.


Louis Virtel That’s our year.


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Louis Virtel I would say was a good one.


Ira Madison III It was good. What are our hopes for next year?


Louis Virtel Oh, Jesus Christ. That my cancellation is a creative one. I just hope that the way it goes down, everybody learn something.


Ira Madison III Maria Callas movie is coming out this year.


Louis Virtel Fuck, slay boots up, down backwards. I cannot wait for this shit with Angelina Jolie.


Ira Madison III Whatever that was you just said.


Louis Virtel Yes.


Ira Madison III We need Angelina Jolie on Keep It next year.


Louis Virtel Yeah, please. All right.


Ira Madison III I’m not playing around.


Louis Virtel Please.


Ira Madison III My queen, my icon in this fucking Marie Callas movie. Like, I want to talk to her about it.


Louis Virtel Also, like, I didn’t love Jackie. I didn’t love Spencer. I’m waiting to love the Pablo Larrain movie. So let’s hope that the movie is just excellent also.


Ira Madison III Yeah. All right, well, here’s, we’re signing off and we’ll see you the second week of January.


Louis Virtel Wahoo.


Ira Madison III We’ll see you in two weeks. Don’t forget to follow Crooked Media on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. You can also subscribe to Keep It on YouTube for access to full episodes and other exclusive content. And if you’re as opinionated as we are, consider dropping us a review.


Louis Virtel Keep It is a Crooked Media production. Our producer is Chris Lord, and our associate producer is Malcolm Whitfield. Our executive producers are Ira Madison, the third and Louis Virtel and Kendra James. Our digital team is Megan Patsel, Claudia Sheng and Rachael Gaewski. This episode was recorded and mixed by Evan Sutton. Thank you to Matt DeGroot, David Toles, Kyle Seglin and Charlotte Landes for production support every week.