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Andy Cohen, the Ultimate Daddy, Spills His Parenting Secrets (Exclusive)

Andy Cohen became the first-ever openly gay host of a late-night talk show when Watch What Happens Live debuted in 2009.

The 56-year-old dad to son Ben, 5, and daughter Lucy, 2, has publicly championed LGBTQ+ rights for years: He’s served as the ambassador for the Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative, raised money for victims of the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting and was honored with the Vito Russo Award by GLAAD in 2019. He also uses his platforms, including his SiriusXM channel, “Radio Andy,” to speak out on causes close to his heart.

Cohen exclusively shares in the latest issue of Us Weekly that his status as a gay icon isn’t one he takes lightly.

“Anytime a mom comes up to me and says, ‘I have a gay son, and we like watching your show together,’ or a gay person says, ‘I’ve watched you all my life, and it meant something to see that you were OK and happy,’ that means a lot,” he says.

Here, the Emmy-winning producer, who recently teamed up with Fresca Mixed to invite fans 21 and older to join the Fresca Mixed Club, tells Us more about his life today.

The Ultimate Daddy Andy Cohen Spills His Parenting Secrets
Don Arnold/WireImage

How will you be commemorating Pride Month this year?

I’m going to split town and celebrate at my [Hamptons] beach house. Pride is wherever I am.

Your son, Ben, is 5. Have you talked to him at all about Pride?

I haven’t. But he understands what the LGBTQ+ community is and that he’ll have another dad before he has anything else. He has friends who have two dads and a mom and a dad or two moms, so I never really had to explain how different families are. He just got it because he saw it, which is pretty cool.

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You’re a single dad, but you make it look easy. What’s your secret?

Instagram makes everything look easy. I don’t show you my moments of intense vulnerability and loneliness and frustration because that’s not fun to look at. But those moments happen like they do for all parents.

What’s the toughest part about parenting for you?

Being the good cop and bad cop all in one person and just being everything [to them]. But I also think having kids late in life has suited me well. I’m better at not taking everything on.

The Ultimate Daddy Andy Cohen Spills His Parenting Secrets
Courtesy of Andy Cohen/Instagram

Do your famous friends give you advice?

Kelly [Ripa] and Mark [Consuelos’] kids are so polite and kind. They raised them right, so I absolutely look to them for advice. (The couple share sons Michael, 27, Joaquin, 21, and daughter Lola, 22.)

What’s your plan for keeping your children grounded?

I try to teach them values and have very strict boundaries and rules. They’ll both work — I don’t want them to start getting too obnoxious.

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Does Ben understand that you’re a celebrity?

I don’t think so. He knows which of my friends are famous. He’s seen a bit of [my] New Year’s Eve [live shows], so he must know that Anderson [Cooper] is on TV, and we’ve seen Kelly on the TV in taxis. He thinks everyone has a show. He doesn’t know any better!

Do you let him tune in to ‘Watch What Happens Live’?

No, but he’s been [on set] a lot, and he knows I have a show and knows people like it because people always come up to me and say, “I love your show.” He’s like, “They love my daddy,” which is really nice.

The Ultimate Daddy Andy Cohen Spills His Parenting Secrets
Courtesy of Andy Cohen/Instagram

You recently said that you love having Lucy’s female energy in the house. What’s she up to?

She’s really blowing up speech-wise; she’s saying so much. She knows what she wants. I love it — I’m like, “Oh, boy, here we go.”

How is Ben and Lucy’s relationship?

They get along and Ben’s really protective of her. They’re very cute together.

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Ben starts kindergarten next year. Are you feeling emotional about that?

I’m excited. We were at nursery school yesterday, and some of the moms were getting weepy, but I was OK. I feel good about it.

Where do you currently stand on sharenting?

The last time I really showed Ben’s face was when I got my star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame [in 2022]. You can hear his voice on my Instagram, which I think is great. I’d love to show them both on my feed every day but I want to give them their anonymity. They didn’t ask for this, so I’m trying to be respectful of that.

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If you could join any Housewives franchise for a day, which would it be?

New York City, so I wouldn’t have to leave town. I’d fit right in.

You’ve been executive producing Housewives since 2006. When do you think you’ll call it quits?

When Bravo tells me to.

So no plans to retire?

[That word] isn’t in my vocab.

For more on Cohen, watch the exclusive video above and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly — on newsstands now.

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