Kelly Ripa absent for Michael Strahan’s ‘Live!’ departure announcement

Kelly and Michael -

On Tuesday, it was first reported that “Live! with Kelly and Michael” is going to need to undergo a name change, as Michael Strahan confirmed that he is leaving the show in order to take over on “Good Morning America” starting in the fall.

However, what’s slightly more interesting now than the story itself is the way in which the aftermath is playing out … in part because of the way in which the news first broke. There have been rumors out there suggesting that Ripa was blindsided by the news her co-host was leaving, and on Wednesday’s edition of the show she was noticeably absent while Strahan announced his exit. Ana Gasteyer was present as a guest co-host in her place.

At the end of the show, Michael did opt to think Kelly for everything that she did for him over the course of their years together on the show:

“I really want to thank of course Kelly Ripa because [she] welcomed me here and I’ve learned so much from her. She’s been an amazing influence on me and it has truly changed my life to be here with her. I know that the show will continue to be strong and great because of Kelly and [executive producer] Michael Gelman and the staff here. Everybody is so talented and this show has not been around for over 30 years by mistake.”

What is even more strange around this was the awkwardness that surrounded Regis Philbin’s own exit from the show a few years ago. For whatever reason, nobody seems to leave this show without there being some sort of hoopla. It’s certainly funny given that this is one of the fluffiest shows in all of late-night.

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