Andy Cohen's talk show Watch What Happens Live is unique in the world of late night in a lot of ways. For a start, it's on Bravo rather than network TV and it regularly features reality stars from the channel's other shows. But the host recently pointed out that there's one thing his show has in common with one of its peers. During a recent interview, Cohen claimed that James Corden's show copied his set. Read on to find out what he had to say about the intentional or unintentional plagiarism and about why Cohen feels like he's often not included in the fraternity of late night hosts.
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Cohen has been hosting his show for 13 years.
Cohen began hosting Watch What Happens Live in 2009. The pop culture-themed talk show features "Bravolebrities" from the Bravo network, as well as other famous faces, including actors, writers, and musicians. In addition to being interviewed by Cohen, guests often play games and take questions from viewers.
During the Dec. 27 episode of the podcast Table for Two with Bruce Bozzi, Cohen shared that even though he's been a late night host for over a decade, he often feels excluded.
"I don't feel totally part of the group. I've been on late-night TV for 13 years," Cohen said. "There was a big photo shoot that Vanity Fair did of all of the late-night talk show hosts, and they left me out of it. But they added in James Corden, who wasn't even on the air yet, and Trevor Noah, who had just started." Cohen said the then-editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair, Graydon Carter, later apologized to him for the slight.
He thinks Corden copied an aspect of his show.
Bruce Bozzi asked Cohen why he thinks this happens.
"I'm not a comedian. I think it's a different kind of talk show," Cohen explained of WWHL. "I think there has been a traditional idea of what a late-night talk show is. I would argue that Watch What Happens Live has redefined what the late-night talk show is."
He continued, "It was the first bar on late-night, James Corden got a bar. James Corden wound up kind of…" Bozzi interrupted, "Ripping off your set." Cohen said, "There you go. So, it is what it is."
Their sets do share certain similarities.
In addition to The Late Late Show and Watch What Happens Live both having bars as a feature on their sets, there are some other similarities. Like Cohen, Corden does not sit behind a desk while interviewing his guests; though he does have a desk that he uses at other times during the show. Both Corden and Cohen's sets also include tall shelves full of memorabilia situated behind the guests.
Best Life has reached out to representatives for The Late Late Show but has not yet received a response.
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Cohen has no hard feelings about his place in the late night world.
Cohen said that he doesn't care anymore about his show not being grouped in with the others, because he's grateful that his show is still successful.
"That used to be stuff that I was really hyper sensitive about," the Bravo producer said. "And frankly, I just feel so grateful now, and I'm not just blowing smoke and being [expletive], I'm so glad we're still going that it's like, 'Great, copy my set. Go with God.'"
His set is personal to him, however.
Cohen has said that the set design for Watch What Happens Live is pulled straight from his life. In a 2014 interview with USA Today for the fifth anniversary of the show, the host said, "Pinch me that it's lasted so long. This show could not be more an extension of me. It's so personal. It's my format. It's my set. It's based on my den in my house."