Michael Strahan appeared for his last day as cohost of “Live with Kelly and Michael” on Friday.
Both he and cohost Kelly Ripa were in good spirits. She opened the show with a joke: “Don’t take this as a bad sign, it’s Friday the 13th.”
She later added, “It is your final day on the show. We all came to celebrate you. We want to remind the audience that there is a run on discounted merchandise, collector’s items.”
Strahan called the day “bittersweet.”
“It’s a great day, though. It’s bittersweet. Of course, you get nervous like this. I’ve done this for four years. So this is a moment that I didn’t anticipate being here at this point. But it’s here and we’re going to enjoy it. I’m not dying!”
Strahan, who is leaving “Live” for a full-time job at ABC’s “Good Morning America,” added, “I’m still with the family and I’m still available to come back if I’m ever called to cohost. I’m not going anywhere. I’m not gone.”
Ripa then joked that Strahan could fill in for her. To which he replied, “I don’t know about that. Too soon?”
The two resolved to treat the rest of the morning opening like any other day, but later in the show a retrospective of Strahan’s time there will be played.
Strahan is leaving earlier than his original scheduled exit over the summer after Ripa became angered that she was informed of the change just moments before it went public.
In the coming months, Ripa will cohost with dozens of people, essentially auditioning for Strahan’s vacated seat in front of a live audience. This is exactly what the show did in 2012, when Strahan was chosen to replace the retired Regis Philbin.
The former NFL player and ESPN contributor is being brought over to help “GMA” in the ratings war with NBC’s “Today.” While “GMA” has more total viewers, NBC’s morning show wins with the target audience of 25- to 54-year-old viewers.
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