Despite the tension that has swirled since Michael Strahan announced he would leave “Live” to focus more on “Good Morning America,” his farewell show was full of love and laughs. Kelly Ripa shared a video montage of highlights from his time on the show – including when they visited the White House, the salute to Strahan’s Hall of Fame induction and a slew of on- location stunts.
“The past few years we’ve had a lot of fun,” Ripa said. “We’ve made a lot of memories. We even learned a thing or two.”
She presented him with a scrapbook and said no matter where he goes, Strahan will always be part of the “Live” family.
“We did every thing together. On behalf of myself and all of us: We couldn’t be prouder of you. You have given us so much joy in the mornings. We really are so proud of you. I look forward to watching you.”
Strahan said his leaving was “bittersweet.”
“It means the world that you give us an hour of your day,” he said. “We get more from that hour than you do.
Moving forward, Ripa will be joined by some guest co-hosts while the show seeks a permanent replacement.
Fred Savage, Seal and Andy Cohen will visit soon as the show seeks a permanent replacement.
Ripa found out about Strahan’s depature just an hour before the announcement last month, while “Good Morning America” co-hosts Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos reportedly knew in advance. Ripa was furious over how the announcement was handled.
“I needed a couple of days to gather my thoughts. After 26 years with this company, I earned the right,” she said after she returned to the show following a hiatus of a few days. “In that time, I gained some perspective. What transpired over the course of a few days has been extraordinary in the sense that it started a much greater conversation about communication and consideration and most importantly, respect in the workplace. And since we’re being honest, I don’t consider this just a workplace. This is my second home. This is a place that I’ve devoted myself to not just because of you, our loyal viewers, but because of all the producers and the crew who work on this show. We have an incredible team. We are incredibly devoted to one another. We are family. Apologies have been made, and the best thing to come out of all of this is that our parent company has assured me that ‘Live!’ is a priority.”