Michael Strahan made his official debut as "Live!" cohost Tuesday… (Sandy SooHoo / ABC / Associated…)
On Tuesday morning, Michael Strahan was officially unveiled as the new permanent cohost of “Live!”, putting an end to the worst-kept secret in morning television.
He joins Kelly Ripa on the syndicated morning talk show, filling the seat vacated late last year by long-running cohost Regis Philbin. Strahan is one of 50 guests hosts who’ve stopped by over the past 10 months, quickly endearing himself to fans with his self-deprecating sense of humor and chemistry with Ripa.
The rumor mill has been in overdrive since early this summer, when “Saturday Night Live” star Seth Meyers and singer Josh Groban were said to be in the running for the gig. Then late last month news leaked that Strahan, a former defensive end for the New York Giants, had officially been offered the job. Producers at Disney-ABC Domestic Television remained coy, refusing to confirm or deny the report until the planned unveiling on Sept. 4.
Ripa managed to milk the non-secret for all its worth Tuesday morning, speaking for several minutes before finally revealing the identity of her new onscreen partner. ““It’s an exciting day around here,” she said. “It has been nine months and I’m about to give birth to my new cohost.”
Strahan emerged from an SUV outside the “Live!” studio and took to the stage wearing a dapper gray plaid suit. He and Ripa welcomed guests including “Homeland” actress Claire Danes and “American Idol” singer Phillip Phillips. Strahan later swapped out the gray plaid for blue spandex to compete in a balance-beam relay race with Olympic gymnasts Jordyn Weiber and Aly Raisman.
“As a guest co-host, Michael’s chemistry with Kelly was off the charts, and continued to grow each time he visited the show,” said Michael Gelman, executive producer of “Live” in a news release. “The interaction between the co-hosts always has been what makes this show different from any other on television. Kelly and Michael’s ability to play off of one another and just plain have a good time together creates great TV for the audience.”
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