Kelly Ripa returns to ‘Live with Kelly and Michael,’ jokes about ‘national nightmare’ ending

Kelly and Michael -

On Tuesday, Kelly Ripa finally returned officially to “Live with Kelly and Michael” after days off the air, which in part seemed to be a response to news that her co-star Michael Strahan was leaving to go host a part of “Good Morning America.” For days, there have been questions regarding just who was at the greatest fault here for blindsiding Ripa with the news, whether it be Michael for not telling her or ABC itself for not passing along this information in some way. Maybe there was a miscommunication as to who was going to tell her.

Either way, Ripa joked at the start of Tuesday’s show that the “national nightmare is over,” and then also explained that she needed the time away to keep herself from saying anything that she would regret down the line on live TV:

“I gained perspective … I always speak from my heart. I didn’t want to come out here and say something I will regret … [The aftermath of this incident] started a much greater conversation about communication and consideration and most importantly respect in the workplace.”

You can see more of this in the video below, including Strahan praising her as the “queen of morning TV” after she delivered her opening statement. Regardless of how you feel about Ripa or the past week or so, it’s pretty clear that the real winner is ABC. Had she gone back to work the next day, we certainly feel like this would’ve blown over much faster, and the ratings probably would not be anywhere close to what they probably were today, since Ripa had announced in advance that she would be returning Tuesday.

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