The Enrapturing Church of Alex Cooper and Call Her Daddy
“This is where Call Her Daddy was created,” Alex Cooper screamed at an equally loud crowd on Wednesday night. She was referring to New York, the city where she launched the sex and dating podcast that set her on a path to overseeing what is now a growing media empire. Wearing a baggy red sweatsuit (of her own merch line) and Ugg boots, the 29-year-old was also describing her communion with a sold-out audience at Madison Square Garden that in many cases dressed in a version of the same.
“I’m already crying,” Cooper told the “Daddy Gang,” the collective name for her listener base that she invoked countless times throughout the night. “Holy fuck.”
The event, the third stop of Cooper’s live podcast tour, had the spirit of a bachelorette party—and the gender composition of one, aside from a smattering of boyfriends. One woman entering the venue discussed her sorority friends and asked a companion if she wasn’t trying too hard to be a “boy’s girl.” Another wore a pink trucker hat reading, “IDILFs.” Cooper emerged on stage in the middle of five male dancers stripping down to a mash-up of Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B’s “WAP” and Ginuwine’s “Pony.”
Cooper launched Call Her Daddy in 2018 with her then roommate Sofia Franklyn. Barstool Sports signed the duo to a contract that year, but after afalling out, Cooper struck out on her own. She signed a three-year, $60 million deal with Spotify in 2021 and has steadily grown in stature, with her show becoming an increasingly common forum for celebrity interviews and the leading archetype in a large ecosystem of podcasts centered on relationships and advice. (In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, she described Post Malone as “the sweetest soul” and said that Gwyneth Paltrow’s “vibe is so lovely.”) She and her fiancé, Matt Kaplan, a TV and film producer, started a new media venture this year devoted to “Gen Z focused endeavors,” including a podcast network with Cooper-produced shows hosted by TikTok personalities Alix Earle and Madeline Argy.
On stage, Cooper broke into a discussion of an oral sex technique that she explained in the third episode of Call Her Daddy and that has since become one of the show’s signature moments and reference points. “Ultimately it was a power move,” she said. She looked at ease in a headset, purposefully pacing across the stage and punctuating her monologue with vigorous hand gestures. Bawdy disclosure, or at least the suggestion of it, is Cooper’s stock in trade, and she operates in a role more akin to a self-help guru—“Father Cooper,” as her audience knows her.
They were no doubt familiar with the beats of Cooper’s personal and professional ascent, and the event largely doubled as a greatest hits show. She shimmied out of her sweats to reveal a Boston University soccer uniform, which Cooper wore when she played for the school. It was in college, she recounted, that she used the force of her charisma to win the attention of a seemingly untouchable group of men’s hockey players. “When you’re busted,” she told the crowd, “you gotta have a good personality.”
By the time Bravo impresario Andy Cohen joined Cooper on stage to discuss his own sex life, she had traced through a romantic trajectory that saw her move on from college athletes to professionals. She dated former Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard shortly before starting Call Her Daddy—he’s known to listeners as “Slim Shady”—and she recalled how the revelation of his cheating prompted her to pursue her career path. (Syndergaard couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.)
“Fuck the Mets!” the crowd chanted.
After the breakup, Cooper said, “I was like, There is no way that this is how my New York City dream was ending. I was like, There’s no fucking way that this is happening to me now. And then something shifted. I realized I just needed to focus on myself.”