Darren Franich
January 12, 2015 AT 12:00 PM EST

Andy Cohen is a busy man. After rising through the ranks at CBS News, Cohen served as the head of development at Bravo for over a decade—a period that saw Bravo rise to prominence as one of the leading cable networks. Now he’s the host of the late night show Watch What Happens: Live! and the lead producer of the ever-expanding Real Housewives universe. For the latest episode of Lightbulb, Cohen was kind enough to welcome us to the set of Watch What Happens to talk about his influences (which include Dick Cavett and Howard Stern) and the “nightmare” first season of Real Housewives that almost caused the show to be canceled before it ever got to air.

We also covered some less discussed, though no less important, topics:

For more Lightbulb, watch Rashida Jones talk about her career ascension from “comedy adjacent” to comedy creator, or check out all the past episodes.

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