Both men — as well as Lewis’s partner, Gage Edward, and their cohost Megan Weaver — are in the midst of a gripping conversation for Bravo fans, spilling the tea about a behind-the-scenes back and forth between Real Housewives of Orange County stars Vicki Gunvalson and Kelly Dodd, and the network’s executives.
But before they can go too deep, Cohen is patched in with a strict message from the streets of New York City. “You are such a f—ing idiot, Jeff,” the Watch What Happens Live host and Bravo exec quips, disciplining Lewis for oversharing. “Call me when you get off the air!”
This message wasn’t the first time Cohen has called-in to slap Lewis on the wrist.
Since the famous house flipper’s show launched over 8 months ago, he has quickly built a reputation as the most outspoken, unedited voice on Cohen’s SiriusXM network, Radio Andy. His guests — a regular mix of past and present Bravolebrities like Lisa Rinna, Kyle Richards, Dorinda Medley, Shannon Beador, Brad Goreski, and Lea Black — follow his lead, engaging in unfiltered, candid conversations about sex, relationships, parenthood, current events, and those backstages battles.
Lewis’s deliciously fun show is doing so well, the station is even moving it from it’s current once a week timeslot to three times a week for the rest of August — a “summer fling” expansion that, if successful, could lead to a permanent schedule for the reality star.
Perhaps a caller named Carole put it best when she dialed into the show recently. “I have to listen to every minute,” she gushed. “I don’t know what’s going to come out of your mouth.”
As exciting of a listen as it’s been for fans, the show has been equally rewarding for Lewis.
“I have truly had so much fun,” he tells PEOPLE. “And I think part of that is because I have purposely surrounded myself with people that I care about. It feels to me like I’m just hanging out in my house and just shooting the s— with my friends.”
It’s more than just hanging out, though. Lewis has proven to be an excellent interviewer, able to get major revelations out of his guests while still effortlessly promoting their latest products and projects.
“We’ve had a lot of fun with our guests,’ Lewis says. “I tell them, ‘You are a co-host. We’re doing this show together.’ This is not a situation where I’m interviewing them and they have to wait to answer. Talk when you want to talk. Interject, cut me off. I just want a good show and I want my guests to have fun.”
“I get feedback like, ‘We’re getting to know these people in a way we have never gotten to know them before,'” Lewis adds. “How great is it when you have Kyle Richards talking about being a mother? I never knew she goes grocery shopping on her own. I never would have thought she goes to the bank and makes deposits on her own. You think these people probably have staffs of nine, so the fact that she does that? I was like, ‘Wow, I didn’t know that about you!'”
Not all revelations have been as tame as Richards’s, of course.
There was the time Lewis read threatening text messages that Shannon Beador’s estranged husband David Beador had allegedly been sending her. Or the time he revealed information about the alleged inner workings of Bravo contacts. And perhaps the most delicious gossip? Those Housewives stars who were alleged nightmares when the cameras weren’t rolling.
“In a very sanitized world, I think people are appreciating my honesty,” Lewis admits. “Our society has become overly politically correct. It’s gone way to the extreme. I think I’m rebelling on that.”
“It’s ridiculous, some of these things that are happening today,” he continues. “Most people are watching what they say, but not most people coming on our show. They don’t care. They’re not feeding us b——-. There are so many people out there who are telling us what they think we want to hear, and I don’t like those people. I don’t want to be around those people.”
That doesn’t mean Lewis scoffs when Cohen calls in live with feedback.
After that aforementioned call, Lewis agreed to a few conditions. He can no longer read confidential Bravo emails on air, for example, or call out Bravo executives by name.
“Andy was really, very upset,” Lewis tells PEOPLE. “But he was absolutely trying to protect me. Look, he’s not just my boss. We’ve been friends for a long time. This was his whole idea in the first place. I absolutely think he’s been harsh with me over the past few weeks, but his intentions are in the right place.”
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While changes will come, Lewis promises the show won’t be that different.
“I won’t be censoring myself too much. That’s just not going to happen,” he says. “I think like Andy said, there’s a line and you should know where that line is and stay on that line. And that is probably what is going to happen now. But I’m still going to talk about what I’m going to talk about.”
He adds: “I don’t intend to change. I’ll probably periodically upset people and get in trouble, but that’s a part of being honest. I’m not making s— up, I’m just telling the truth.”
Jeff Lewis Live airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (11 a.m. ET) on SiriusXM Radio Andy (Ch. 102) through Aug. 31.