Michael Strahan appears as Kelly Ripa's guest co-host back in February.… (Sandy SooHoo / Associated…)
Kelly Ripa finally announced her new co-host Tuesday morning — former NFL star and current analyst Michael Strahan.
Of course, that was no surprise to anyone. Strahan had made numerous appearances as guest host since Regis Philbin retired back in January, and the news that the former New York Giants defensive end had been chosen as the permanent replacement leaked weeks ago.
Still, that didn't stop the newly retitled program, "Live With Kelly and Michael," from playing up what Ripa called "a new era of our show." After teasing the news earlier in the morning on "Good Morning America," Ripa finally made the announcement and was swept off her feet by Strahan, who gave her a hug and a kiss and presented her with a bouquet of roses as balloons dropped.
"I'm so happy to be part of this," Strahan said. "You know how they say, it's a dream come true. I truly can't say that because I didn't know I could even dream this."
Strahan already had multiple dreams come true during his 15 years in the NFL, making seven Pro Bowls, setting the single-season sack record (22.5) and winning a Super Bowl in his final season before retirement (helping the Giants prevent the New England Patriots from becoming the first-ever 19-0 team, no less).
Now Strahan is living a dream of a different sort — one that had him dancing onstage in his boxers at one point during the audition period and now has him interviewing the likes of "American Idol" winner Philip Phillips. But with Strahan's likable personality and his already established TV presence (his regular "Fox NFL Sunday" job and tons of guest appearances and commercial spots), the transition seems perfectly normal.
Does it still make you cringe to think of a former NFL tough guy transforming into a daytime TV star? (What's next? Pro athletes performing ballroom dances on prime-time television?)
Or are you cool with it? After all, Strahan does seem to be a natural. Plus, maybe he's paving the way for a whole new wave of NFL stars to become talk show hosts. Ray Lewis? James Harrison? The possibilities really are endless.
Let us know what you think of Strahan's new gig.
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