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“I’m an open ebook,” Alex Cooper, the host of the wildly well-liked Spotify podcast Call Her Daddy, proclaims firstly of our dialog. It’s a day in late May, and she or he’s lounging in a tasteful écru chair on the bottom flooring of her recording studio in West Hollywood, her two goldendoodles Bruce and Henry sometimes yapping at her toes. In ripped denims, Adidas, and a white tank high with the slogan “your manifestations are on the best way,” she appears like a university junior en route house from spring break, albeit one with flawlessly conditioned hair and an enormous five-carat oval-cut diamond engagement ring on her finger. (Her finacé, YA movie producer Matt Kaplan, proposed to her a couple of months earlier than our interview, in a scavenger hunt main up to a photograph shoot, which she posted to her 2.4 million followers on Instagram.)

Cooper has constructed a multimillion greenback model round emanating candor; within the early years of Call Her Daddy, she chatted freely about all the things from her specialised oral intercourse approach (which she famously referred to because the “Gluck Gluck 9000”) to the time she and her boyfriend had been having intercourse whereas watching porn in a Hawaii lodge room and she or he by chance modified the channel together with her ass. 

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Alexandra Cooper and fiancé Matt Kaplan.

Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

These days, she’s utilizing that openness to elicit celeb scoops that E! News would kill for. It was Cooper who received Hailey Bieber to speak, for the primary time ever, about her relationship with Selena Gomez. (Bieber, she says, is the best-smelling celeb she’s ever interviewed. “She’s so clean-girl aesthetic. When she walked into my home, it was like a bathe.”) It was Cooper who received Zayn Malik to lastly dish about precisely why he left One Direction, and Gwyneth Paltrow to fee Ben Affleck and Brad Pitt on how good they had been at intercourse. (Ben was “technically wonderful,” apparently.) She has a knack for treating interviews as “very intense remedy classes,” as she places it, main historically guarded celebrities to reveal the susceptible slivers of themselves on-air. If Alex Cooper had a consultant for the Federal Aviation Agency on Call Her Daddy, her viewers would know the precise coordinates of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 throughout the first 5 minutes. 

Over the previous three years, Cooper has grown Call Her Daddy to the purpose that it’s the quantity two most listened to podcast on Spotify, and she or he has turn out to be a Gen Z Barbara Walters of kinds — the pinnacle of a multimillion-dollar franchise (her $60 million Spotify deal made her the highest-paid girl on the model) in addition to the Unwell Network, a podcast firm she launched in August. Season 4 of Call Her Daddy is kicking off this Wednesday that includes TikTok It Girl Alix Earle, who can also be set to launch a podcast with Unwell. “I don’t suppose there’s been lots of people which were ready to fairly actually take a model, remodel it into one thing primarily fully totally different, and never solely keep profitable, however develop even larger,” she says. “And I’m actually pleased with [that].”

A big a part of her attraction may be attributed to her potential to seem open and relatable to her viewers, regardless of having inked a high-profile deal and searching like somebody who would make you cry in fitness center class. Call it the Kelly Ripa impact, tailored for the zoomer period. “In my conversations with my visitors, you’re all the time going to really feel comfy-cozy,” she says. “That’s the place my private abilities as a human are available. I can actually speak to an acorn outdoors. I can speak to anybody.” 

TO START HER INTERVIEWS, Cooper typically asks topics a few core childhood reminiscence. For her, it’s her dad and mom yelling at her to come inside whereas taking part in Manhunt or Capture the Flag with neighbor youngsters within the cul-de-sac the place she grew up, in a suburb of Philadelphia. Her mom labored as a college therapist, and her father was a broadcast producer for the NHL, which Cooper says helped spark her curiosity in each sports activities and media. “From a really younger age, I used to be ready to have a look at my dad doing one thing that he liked,” she says. 

Though she was raised on hockey, she was naturally good at soccer, and as a teen “gravitated in direction of that,” taking part in on the number-one ranked group for the Pennington School in New Jersey. “I used to be instantly afforded some sort of standing for being an athlete on campus,” she says. “But at instances, I positively felt like a fraud.” At the identical time, she had a ardour for filmmaking, however was frightened about being perceived as an AV geek. “I used to be superb at faking it,” she says. “I wished to slot in.”

For school, Cooper landed at Boston University on a Division 1 soccer scholarship, choosing the varsity as a result of she additionally favored its movie program. However, her senior 12 months, she left the group due to a “traumatic expertise” with somebody there who held energy over her, one thing she says she’s not prepared to focus on publicly. “I need to do it after I’m totally healed from it, and I can converse on it in a manner that I really feel snug,” she says. 

That expertise, although, performed an amazing position within the formation of Call Her Daddy — not simply by way of giving her the free time to focus extra on her curiosity in manufacturing, but in addition in prompting her to take into consideration the problems that the podcast would mine in its early years. “I actually do imagine that by means of a comedic lens, we had been attempting to flip energy dynamics on its head,” she says. 

It additionally had the impact of liberating her from a task she had been compelled to play. “I feel lots of athletes can relate to this concept of like, you don’t have any voice, you’re property, you’ll be able to’t arise for your self,” she says. “[Every] single a part of your life is micromanaged by this higher being, which is the group and the coach and the group and the college. And lastly, I used to be like, I can do no matter I need, I can say no matter I need, and nobody’s going to name me into their workplace and inform me that I shouldn’t be doing this. I can discuss something. And I’m not going to maintain again.” 

“Through a comedic lens, we had been attempting to flip energy dynamics on its head”

Podcasting was not the fast transfer for Cooper, who moved to New York and took a job within the gross sales division at Gotham Magazine after commencement. She additionally began making the nightlife circuit and relationship a string of athletes, together with former Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard. “I used to be dwelling this very glamorous life-style as a result of he was wealthy,” she says. “And I used to be no one.” When they broke up, she went on Facebook to discover roommates, and was related with Franklyn. Cooper had already been vlogging, and the 2 determined to begin a podcast. “She was very enjoyable and charismatic and a celebration woman. She liked to exit,” she says. “It was a pure match. I used to be like, wow, there’s something right here. We are laughing, and there’s this chemistry.’”

By this level, Dave Portnoy, the bombastic, controversial founder and CEO of Barstool Sports, had noticed Cooper hanging out with Syndergaard at a live performance and adopted her on Instagram. (The firm had additionally featured her as a “Smokeshow of the Day” on Instagram whereas she was in school, getting her in bother together with her coach. “It’s insane that was even a factor,” she says of the collection, laughing.) After Portnoy got here throughout a promo for the podcast on his feed, he known as Cooper and Franklyn into a gathering, and the 2 signed a deal to function the present solely on Barstool.

Almost instantly after the primary episode aired in 2018 — the place they mentioned the proper adjective to use whereas sexting — Call Her Daddy was a success. “By episode eight, we had been proper under Joe Rogan,” Cooper says. “And we by no means left.” Cooper was hyper-conscious of Barstool’s historically fratty viewers. “Weirdly, I feel it was type of my favourite problem,” she says. “Like, ‘This isn’t a present for males, that is gonna be for girls.’ But in a advertising and marketing manner, I knew we additionally might get the lads to hear.” 

PART OF THE REASON WHY Call Her Daddy was such an enormous success off the bat was due to Cooper and Franklyn’s uncooked and unvarnished views on intercourse and gender. Some of the fabric hasn’t aged nicely: in a single early episode, Cooper urges a male listener whose girlfriend has but to have intercourse with him to “cease taking her to fucking dinner,” whereas in one other October 2018 episode, Franklyn and Cooper urge girls who’re “fives and sixes” to compensate for his or her lack of pulchritude by overperforming within the bed room. 

“As you’re saying that to me, I need to crawl right into a gap,” Cooper says after I learn the “fives and sixes” quote again to her. “That’s very cringe.” She refuses to relisten to previous episodes because of this: now, she says, “after I sling the shit, I can, and I’m not going to be an insensitive asshole.”

But because the present grew to become extra well-liked, it didn’t take lengthy for Cooper to begin chafing in opposition to each Barstool and what she seen because the restrictions of the podcast’s personal success. “Eventually, in direction of the tip, I used to be like, ‘I’m going to lose my thoughts if we’ve got to do yet one more intercourse section and fake we had intercourse this week,’” she says. Nonetheless, in gentle of the present’s success, “it felt prefer it wasn’t potential to change what we had been doing. I resented the character that I had constructed.” Barstool would additionally ask Franklyn and Cooper to write blogs selling the present or go to firm Field Days, which they hated. “[It] was bizarre strolling into an workplace with all these males,” she says. “We actually didn’t need to be part of [company culture].”

The particular particulars of the dissolution of Call Her Daddy in its unique kind at Barstool primarily boiled down to this: on the peak of the pandemic, each Franklyn and Cooper realized their salaries weren’t commensurate with the success of the present, and met with Portnoy a number of instances to attempt to negotiate extra favorable phrases. When the duo reached an deadlock, with Franklyn persevering with to push for more cash, Cooper contacted Portnoy independently to attempt to strike a deal. The end result was that Cooper was ready to hold the Call Her Daddy model, permitting her to take it to Spotify when she signed an unique take care of the community in 2021. (Barstool nonetheless handles Call Her Daddy merchandising.)  

Though the main points surrounding her exit from Barstool fluctuate relying on who tells the story, Franklyn later informed Rolling Stone that she believed Cooper had gone behind her again to get a greater deal for herself. “The betrayal piece was extra upsetting than the monetary piece,” Franklyn stated in a July 2023 interview. “I’m going to mattress resting my head on my pillow realizing I’m a superb individual, I’ve not accomplished shady shit or fucked up shit or backhanded shit to get forward financially.” 

The Call Her Daddy blow-up, insofar because it was centered round an imbroglio between two feminine pals, led to some viewing Cooper as having thrown Franklyn below the bus. Cooper rejects this narrative, saying that this notion “damage for a really very long time.” “We can say, ‘Who threw somebody on the bus or no matter,’” she says. “[But] if that had been true, [Franklyn] might have sued me.” She significantly took subject with what she noticed as sexist media protection of the feud as a “catfight.” “Some of the headlines, they simply by no means would have been written that manner if it was two males,” she says. “It’s like, this isn’t a cat combat. This is a disagreement over the price of a multimillion-dollar model.” 

Cooper denies having edged Franklyn out of the present or sacrificed their friendship for the model. “We had been extra work companions than pals. That is simply the reality,” she says. “[We] created this narrative the place, after we began the present, I used to be advertising and marketing the fuck out of [us being] finest pals. The world was extra related to the friendship that we introduced than [what] we had been coping with behind the scenes.” 

Regardless, it’s plain that internet hosting Call Her Daddy solo was the very best end result for Cooper — not solely as a result of it allowed her to financially profit, however as a result of it let her to take the present in a inventive course she felt extra snug with. Before Franklyn’s departure, “I felt like I used to be taking part in a personality,” she says. “When I lastly received to do it by myself, I used to be like, ‘What do I need this present to be?” For her, step one was publicly discussing her expertise with remedy, which Cooper says she began in 2019.

“The character that I constructed was this girl that was like, ‘I don’t give a fuck about my emotions. We’re simply gonna brush all the things apart, and be a badass and and identical to, , go get the man and get the job and get the cash,” she says. “That was very taboo for the model for me to come out and say [I was in therapy]. I feel it was unusual for my viewers to hear.” 

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Alexandra Cooper (L) and Sofia Franklyn in New York in 2019.

Gotham/GC Images/Getty Images

Call Her Daddy’s evolution coincided with modifications in Cooper’s private life. She says she began figuring out as a feminist across the time she took the reins of the present, which is one thing she didn’t do when she was youthful. “When I used to be in school, the feminist motion felt very ‘Fuck males, we hate males,’” she says. “I don’t suppose that’s truly what it was. But it received a foul rap, and I feel in a great way, I began to be like, ‘Why am I wanting to different folks to clarify to me what feminism is? I ought to simply discover out for myself.’” 

Throughout Call Her Daddy’s historical past, Cooper had confronted accusations of staying silent on numerous political points. Her October 2022 episode on the overturning of Roe v. Wade, “An Abortion Story,” wherein she documented its affect on a girls’s well being clinic in North Carolina, was a defiant fuck you to these detractors. Cooper refers to that episode as each a problem for her as a marketer, by way of sustaining her viewers whereas tackling a tough topic — “It allowed me to flex my inventive abilities to the very best of my potential potential, the place I used to be like, how am I holding a pro-life individual listening to this after 30 seconds” — and as one of many “coolest, most unbelievable factors in my profession.” 

WITH CALL HER DADDY CONSISTENTLY showing close to the highest of podcast charts (Rogan’s constantly has extra downloads, which Cooper attributes to his comparatively bigger output: “Joe Rogan does 4 episodes every week,” she says “Who’s to say the place I might be if I did 4 episodes every week?”), Cooper has carved out a novel area for herself within the media ecosystem, someplace between journalist, therapist, and influencer. She doesn’t fairly self-identify as the primary one, although she says she routinely makes use of journalistic protocols as a tenet whereas reserving interviews: ​​”If somebody says to me, ‘The solely factor you’ll be able to’t speak about is XYZ,’ and people are the subjects I wished to speak about, I say, ‘Totally high-quality, and respectfully, we’re going to go on the interview,’” she says. “If they’re not keen to go there, I completely respect it. But then it’s simply not for Call Her Daddy.”

Cooper adopts the same perspective towards her personal press appearances. “You can ask me something. I’m not hiding something,” she says after we first meet. “With sure careers and media folks, there are specific issues persons are like, ‘Well, perhaps that’s off limits.’ Which I completely perceive. But I’m like, ‘Let’s speak.’” After our dialog, I study that her openness comes with some caveats; her PR group, as an illustration, will later get in contact to specific her displeasure with a few of the questions I requested her, together with these about her private life, Barstool, and the implosion of her enterprise partnership with Franklyn. 

But as Call Her Daddy and Cooper’s model have matured, it is sensible why she would need to draw traces within the sand relating to what she chooses to share and never share together with her viewers: her podcast has equally shifted away from utilizing the extra intimate points of Cooper’s private life as fodder. When Cooper first began relationship her now-fiance Kaplan, whom she referred to on the pod as “Mr. Sexy Zoom Man,” he didn’t initially really feel snug together with her discussing their intercourse life intimately on air. “The first episode I talked about him being actually good at oral intercourse,” she says. “And he was like, ‘My dad and mom are gonna hear to this to attempt to gauge who you’re. And that is what they’re gonna hear.’” 

After a couple of months, Cooper says, Kaplan started to “totally perceive” that she used points of her private life as a manner of connecting together with her viewers and making folks really feel extra snug. “It’s not only for clickbait. You know what I imply?,” she says. “There is function behind it.” Now, nonetheless, although she’s going to nonetheless take to the mic for an occasional solo episode the place she’ll contact on, say, her stance on pre-wedding evening intercourse, it’s normally within the context of a bigger dialogue a few topic like wedding ceremony planning, and whether or not she ought to have bridesmaids. She not feels compelled to speak about intercourse for the hell of it — and she or he says her relationship with intimacy has exponentially improved. 

“When I used to be in my twenties, completely, there have been instances I used to be hooking up with guys and was like, ‘I’m not even having fun with this, like, I’m not having an orgasm, however I’m gonna get him off,’” she says. “I really feel like that’s basic for girls in hetero relationships. I’m lucky now to be in a relationship the place I truly really feel like I’ll by no means try this once more.” 

Last spring, Cooper launched into one other first: she and Kaplan based Trending, a media firm focused at Gen Z, geared toward combining the ability of Cooper’s huge viewers and podcast community with Kaplan’s deal with YA content material, such because the Jenny Han-created Netflix collection XO, Kitty. In early August, she additionally introduced that the primary venture below the Trending umbrella could be the launch of the Unwell Network, a podcasting firm that includes such Gen Z stars as TikTokers Madeline Argy and Alix Earle. In September, Earle introduced she could be launching a weekly podcast, Hot Mess with Alix Earle. “I really feel honored to be at a spot in my profession the place I can go alongside information and recommendation for a brand new technology of creators to flourish,” Cooper stated in an announcement. 

When we spoke, Cooper and Kaplan’s wedding ceremony date was tentatively set for March, however Cooper had already settled on a couple of clear tips: “I’m not sporting a veil strolling down, and my dad’s not giving me away, completely fucking not. So I’m going to make my very own model of what I really feel snug with.”

A couple of years in the past, it will have been tough to think about a model of Call Her Daddy with a monogamous host, sans the specific accounts of intercourse with nameless hedge fund managers. But it additionally would have been tough to think about a model of Call Her Daddy that delved into the abortion rights, or requested Christina Aguilera about PTSD from her abusive childhood. Even although the present has morphed into one thing extra nuanced than the confessional tone of the unique incarnation, the factor that makes Cooper such a profitable podcaster — her willingness to naked all, or not less than give the impression of doing so — remains to be deeply embedded in its DNA. 


For this purpose, it is sensible to surprise how Call Her Daddy might look as soon as its host settles into home life or begins a household, which she says she and Kaplan are keen to do in some unspecified time in the future sooner or later. In true Alex Cooper vogue, nonetheless, she says she is unruffled by no matter curveballs might come at her, and by extension her content material. She has larger plans. She desires to ebook higher-profile interviews — her dream visitor is Michelle Obama — and develop her new media firm, perhaps produce or make a movie, and customarily “take over the world.” Call Her Daddy, she says, “will do what it has all the time accomplished. Which is evolve with me.” 

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