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TV Column
Posted at 06:40 PM ET, 09/04/2012

Michael Strahan officially joins Kelly Ripa as co-host of ‘Live!’


Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan (Charles Sykes - CHARLES SYKES/INVISION/AP)
“Live With Kelly and [Fill In the Blank]!” continued its homage to the ’70s on Tuesday when host Kelly Ripa announced her new permanent co-host two weeks after Disney announced that she would reveal the lucky search winner Tuesday.

But because it’s not actually the ’70s but rather 2012 — the age of social media — we’ve known that Michael Strahan (the former New York Giants defensive end and current NFL commentator) had been picked as her new co-host since a few hours after Disney announced that Ripa would announce her new co-host in two weeks.

Still, Tuesday’s Time-Warp TV was very sweet.

Kelly, sensing the focus would shift to the newly named co-host as soon as she spoke his name, stalled as long as possible. She prattled on about her 59 non-winning guest hosts who have appeared on the show with her since Regis Philbin threw in the towel 10 months ago — after Disney declined to cough up the cash Rege needed to stick around the show he’d headlined in syndication for more than two decades.

“We finally have our new guy. That’s right, I said, ‘guy.’ This morning on ‘GMA,’ I wouldn’t even commit to whether it was as guy or a girl. I was so secretive!” Kelly said.

“You’re the best audience. I love you guys. I really appreciate all your input during our co-host search. . . . Stop sending me your résumés to my home address. . . . I’ve been very fortunate. . . . I’ve sat next to so many talented people. . . . I have enjoyed every single solitary person, except for, like, one. The staff is laughing because they know it’s true,” she continued in what may be her highest concentration of “I’s” per second yet.

“But now it’s time for a new era of our show to begin. . . . It gives me great pleasure to introduce the newest member of our ‘Live!’ family. We are honored to have him — Michael Strahan!”

Strahan was seen getting out of a large SUV, with its black-tinted windows, and running into the studio past a cloud of confetti and balloons. Kelly jumped into his arms, and he carried her across the goal line, while whispering things into her ear. She kissed him on the lips. The audience woo-hooed.

“We’re like that insane couple from ‘The Bachelor,’ ” Kelly said, dutifully plugging another Disney show.

“I missed you so much. I really missed you,” she told Strahan, who had guest co-hosted the show 20 times over the past two years.

“Live!,” she warned him, is “one of those places, once you walk in, you never walk out. But it’s worth it in every sense of the word. It has changed my life, when I came to the show I had a 3-year-old little boy. . . .

And, Kelly was off again, talking about Kelly.

By  |  06:40 PM ET, 09/04/2012

 
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