kelly ripa cohost

Kelly Ripa's Dilemma: Why the Live Host Needs a New Pal, Not a Bestie, Sitting Alongside Her

In just under two weeks, Michael Strahan will doff his hat, back away from the Live With Kelly and Michael hosts’ table, and bid adieu to the show he’s called home for the last four years.

Strahan, of course, is headed for Good Morning America come September — and news of his departure blindsided his co-host Kelly Ripa and set fire to any and all warm fuzzies ABC had hoped would surround the transition. The way it all went down probably will yield a few more awkward on-air exchanges before the duo goes their separate ways, too.

Of course, once Live brings in a rotating roster of guest co-hosts to fill in alongside Ripa starting May 16, talk will inevitably turn to who deserves to have his (or her) nameplate added to the Regis Philbin Memorial Chair. In fact, there’s already been plenty of buzz about Ripa’s buddies Anderson Cooper or Andy Cohen or even husband Mark Consuelos — all of whom have pinch-hit for Strahan in the past — getting the gig.

To which I say, “Eh.”

Much of the joy of Live these last few seasons – at least as a viewer, I can’t speak for Ripa and Strahan or whether or not either/both were harboring well-masked feelings of blind rage — was watching two very funny, very charming storytellers from different walks of life get together every morning and dish the headlines, their personal lives and their take on everything from social trends to pop-culture events.

She came from soaps. He came from sports. Together, they were a zingy, unanticipated flavor combination that culminated on Sunday night with a Daytime Emmy win as Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Hosts.

The idea of Ripa’s permanent on-air partner being someone who travels in the same circles, who knows all her anecdotes (and vice versa), removes the element of surprise from those opening 20 minutes of chit-chat that makes Live such an indispensable morning staple.

What’s more, where’s the fun of Live spending the summer searching out newbies alongside Ripa only to go with somebody who’s already in her iPhone contacts under “Favorites”?

By casting its net wide and weird, Live can generate some positive summer buzz, help to erase memories of its “national nightmare” interlude and give its audience the joy of watching a daytime star hatch in front of its very eyes.

Your turn. Should Live cast someone in Kelly’s circle as her co-host? Or do you agree that it’s time for the show to take another road less traveled? Hit the comments with your thoughts!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Grobanite says:

    Very true. My favorite guest host is always Josh Groban. Would love to see him with the gig, but I doubt his career would allow. If so I’d still be wary of him going every day. I’d HATE for him to deal with the “national nightmare” stuff if he ever left.

  2. AJ says:


  3. Rob says:

    On one hand, I always wanted to see Anderson Cooper get the job once Regis left (he just had that pesky talk show of his own during the initial search) and I really do love their chemistry. But, on the other hand, I actually agree with you, Michael. The fact is that it would be hard to watch a show where one co-host asks, “What did you do last night?” and the other says, “I went to dinner with you…” The nature of the show has always been this work husband/work wife relationship where they have a morning chat after spending the afternoon and evening apart. The best option I heard thus far was that ABC was trying to coax Ryan Seacrest to take the seat next to Kelly and other than him, I can’t really get behind any of the people that have been named in recent articles.

    • Rob says:

      But if they ever decide to revamp the show entirely, I’d be down for a Reality Check reunion on ‘Live! With Melinda and Michael’ every morning!

    • Kristin says:

      As much as I hate Ryan I think he might be the best option. He knows so many people. There really isn’t another person like him out there.

    • J Hollingsworth says:

      I agree: I liked Anderson Cooper’s show (he did a great job) but, being too close a friend to Kelly would interfere with LIVE! Same with Andy Cohen of BRAVO (good job at BRAVO, but too close a friend w/ Kelly, interferes with the show)

      Need to bring in a new face (and hey, maybe Kelly can be more humble? Q: can Kelly’s ‘big head’ be deflated? Can Kelly’s self-absorption be correct ed? Tune in to LIVE and see…

  4. LJ says:

    I agree it needs to be someone not in her circle of friends. I love Andy, Anderson and her husband Mark is fantastic, but keep them as ones who fill in when needed. I watched The Meredith Vieira Show this season and I enjoyed Lance Bass on the panel. He was warm, funny, had some interesting points on topics and I think he would be great along side Kelly.

  5. Cassie says:

    I couldn’t agree more. There is nothing more boring than listening to friends sit around and shoot the breeze unless you are one of those friends. The great thing about LIVE is listening to each of the hosts tell their separate lives and have the other person react. Regis was the king of that and, although I realize he was past his prime, Kelly and her “friends” would never live up to his legacy. The best I’ve seen were her with Josh Grobin and Fred Savage.

  6. Amanda says:

    How bout a female co host? They should also be looking at local hosts from large markets. Bring a relative unknown into the mix.

  7. Wooster182 says:

    I can’t believe I’m even saying this but they should get John Cena.

    • lll says:

      Hilarious. And Interesting. However, now that you mentioned it, it wouldn’t be a bad idea. He can hold both this show and WWE.

      • Wooster182 says:

        I was thinking more move him here so I don’t need to see him on WWE. LOL. But he is a good spokesman and he does have a good personality. He would do well. Plus, women love him.

      • LaDonna says:

        Made me giggle at first, but when I think about it, I don’t know. Maybe. He was on Talking Dead last week or the week before, and I actually found him intelligent, thoughtful and fairly articulate. He would certainly bring that diversity of flavor that Micheal is talking about.

  8. I agree. I think they should go with another athlete. Michael brought in male sports fans.

  9. Max says:

    As much as I would like to see Kelly replaced, if we must soldier on with Ripa at the helm, then Cameron Matheson is an obvious partner for her.

    • Cameron Matheson Is actor on the soaps and she gave him a big party for his engagement . They are to close to be working together will find it hard for topics to discuss being they party together and dine together . I think Nick Lachey – & Joey Fatone -would be very good for the show . I think Kelly needs someone like a lady to have as her partner in crime -Yes Kelly will be jealous but that is the way it goes Kelly . You did not like Regis – and you did not like Michael Strahan – it is hard with you to get along with anybody you are so jealous of all of them . With Regis you made him look stupid and he was not a stupid man host always making them feel dumb- not beautiful – low class and not intelligent enough . Let’s try Maria Menounos – Melissa MaCarthy. – Debbie Matenopoulos – thank you

  10. Get rid of her altogether, and take her NPH, COHEN, COOPER Squad with her. They all need an attitude adjustment. Kelly is really feeling her oats. #mostoverpaidpersonalityontelevision.

    • J Hollingsworth says:

      Sad but true: been a long-time viewer of LIVE and thinking back, how sweet and refreshing Kelly ‘was,’ 15 years ago, so funny and down to earth, (back then) Kelly did listen to the guests (instead of injecting ‘herself’ into every Celebrity interview, right?) Must have been all the $$$, went to her head. Strahan’s ego has already grown immeasurably: the camera does not lie…

  11. Let the watchers vote

  12. Spot on Article Slezak!

  13. Andrew Hass says:

    I think the show will give all the potential candidates a fair shot.Plus once the list is narrowed down maybe the finalists will be given a chance to guest co-host again before any final decision is made.However i think whoever is chosen should have a good relaltionship with Kelly Ripa.I’m not saying they have to be besties .but they should get along.

  14. Lauren says:

    Nick Lachey was always my favorite guest host. Well, and Seth Myers but he obviously has a gig he isn’t leaving. But I think Nick would be great with Kelly full-time. He has the showman quality that is great for a show like that.

  15. Bobby Bones please. His radio show is amazing and he would do well beside Kelly.

  16. Scott Holmes says:

    I say Neil Patrick Harris

    • Deedee says:

      In any other situation I would like to see NPH as the co host. I think TPTB might be best served to pick someone older and more mature than Kelly. Regis had the show business history and he was able to reel her in when necessary. I think the show needs someone with the strength to re-balance the show. I do not like the snips Kelly has been throwing at Michael. That is beyond unprofessional. Michael, to his credit, accepted the behavior and did not respond. It is this behavior that is turning off long term fans who have been with the show since Kathie Lee joined. I agree with the other comments, that having a friend or husband, will continue her feeling of superiority on “her” show. The show needs to be “our” show. I can not think of someone to recommend. I hope TPTB will find that person.

  17. chrisjroof says:

    Would they be willing to work about Jeff Probst’s Spring/summer tapin of Survivor?! The rest of the year he is free and he’s great when filling in.

    I actually wonder if they’ll go after Jeff Gordon now that he’s retired from NASCAR and used to fill in repeatedly.

    That said, I’d still love NPH, Anderson, or Mario too.

    • J Hollingsworth says:

      Sorry, No to Survivor’s Jeff Probst: too fake, too plastic (reminds me of a ‘hey, hey, hey!) pushy, used car salesman.

  18. Joeybelle says:

    I think this is the best thing I’ve read so far on this bloody hot mess and I couldn’t agree more. I hate to see Strahan go, and this coming from somebody soooo disappointed that he was chosen. I didn’t care for him at all at first, but it didn’t take long to see that the show had somehow captured lightning in a bottle. Kelly is a quick wit and MS held his own, charming and funny and goofy and real, a perfect foil for the sleek, toned, Hamptons-style Ripa. I hope she doesn’t insist on a lapdog who will fawn in her shadow, because as it is I don’t see watching past May 13, but I am wondering one thing: Will she require the next one to sign a blood oath that he will 1) never accept any other jobs while on Live, and 2) require him to stay on Live til the end of days, the of Ripa, or the end of Live, whichever comes first?

  19. Megan says:

    Nathan Fillion

  20. Jen says:

    I liked when Fred savage co hosted this summer. If he wasn’t doing a tv show in LA he’d be great! He and Kelly were adorable together.

  21. Linda says:

    I think when the show stops giving into the I don’t like theme. Take control and change the theme. I don’t like when one person thinks they can take over and do as they like. I like Michael ‘s way of handling some things that shouldn’t have happened. They are host to the people that watched them for the flavor of entertainment. I’m sorry to see the turnover. I loved the togetherness, I thought.

  22. JenniferK says:

    I agree and disagree. I love her with Neil Patrick Harris, Josh Groban and Anderson Cooper. So if it was one of them i would be super happy. I am just afraid that they will choose someone that I don’t like.

  23. Pam says:

    Mario Lopez

    • Max says:

      God no. Such vanilla toast. I wonder what his employer thinks with him (&Cameron Mathison) so openly campaigning and tweeting about wanting the job when they have good gigs at other companies. Alfonso Ribeiro was also mentioned but at least he works from ABC. It would be nice to see someone who moves FROM LA or another city (local markets have some cool people) and then can share their moving to NY, exploring the city, how different it is than most etc. It would give them something to talk about that would interest the majority of the audience who doesn’t live in the big Apple

  24. Sarah says:

    Couldn’t agree more!!! Host chat with Kelly’s BFFs or husband is fun for a couple days but would get boring long term.

  25. marl says:

    Get CHER to cohost. I’m surprised noone has thought of it yet. GREAT FIT!!!!

  26. Matt says:

    Bernie Sanders. He will be free in the fall.

  27. GeoDiva says:

    Retta would be fabulous!

  28. Nero tTVFiddler says:

    My question… what happens when Michael S. arrives at GMA? How many ‘hosts’ will the show have at that point – three? four?

    By default, Kelly’s next co-host may be George Stephanopoulos.

  29. David says:

    Tom Bergeron. Sam Champion. TJ Holmes (ABC News), Ross Matthews. Ryan Seacrest – Who would get top billing? Live needs someone fun like Michael Strahan was, not Kelly’s BFFs or hubby. I like Anderson Cooper, but I don’t see CNN letting him work for ABC for a few hours a day.

    • David says:

      LANCE BASS would be awesome!

      • Jamie says:

        Totally love this idea! Lance Bass would be great! He’s fun, comes across really sweet. Think he’d be a good fit next to Kelly.

    • Ma says:

      Ross hosts Hollywood Today Live and is ensconced on the West Coast. Bergeron is too old. Ryan is too expensive. Anderson has 1 year left on his CNN contract reportedly. Page Six had an interesting story yesterday about the whole drama with a lot that rang true. Interestingly, they said Andy Cohen encouraged Ripa to do the sicko UT as a negotiating ploy. Considering he’s a bestow who’s defended her & criticized Strahan, and has worked as a network exec, that would not surprise me

  30. Rose H says:

    I have always liked Josh Groban with Kelly. He’s a natural.

  31. shkamidit says:

    I would LOVE for it to be Anderson. I was actually mad he got his own show because I wanted him to be with Kelly.

    Ryan Seacrest might also be a good option.

  32. JOSEPH says:

    Yes. time for a new co host

  33. Susie says:

    I agree. While I enjoy the repartee Kelly has with Anderson, Mark and… Josh, someone outside her best friend list might keep the show more stimulating. But I am so ready for things to move forward. I can’t stand Kelly’s ‘pretending’ anymore. Michael’s been doing a pretty good job of ‘the show must go on’ but we haven’t seen a genuine Kelly since this all came down… and it shows. Although, today seemed less uncomfortable overall. Maybe Monday will be even better. Here’s hoping!!! ;-)

  34. Trea says:

    How about David Ortiz….Big Papi from the Red Sox

  35. Valerie Evans says:

    Try someone different, other than the same 6 faces on TV non stop.
    Find a very talented and funny “nobody ” that can add some interesting conversation

    • Max says:

      It would be cheaper & more interesting. Let the viewers in for a ride – kind of like Idol – as they see someone catapulted to fame & the party life in NYC. Sadly, they’re probably a lot of great people who could do the job but aren’t powerful enough to.l get an audition. I don’t know if they did it last time, but have a contest where people submit videos and then at least gave a week. Where they cohost. They might get lucky.

  36. Sylvia Schaffler says:

    Kelly and Anderson have always had a great vibe, we’ve found Michael becoming pretty arrogant of late! Ryan Seacrest would be a great choice or how about Shaq, he’s hilarious!

  37. Isabel kline says:

    I think the husband and wife team would be good and a nice change and she certainly wouldn’t have to worry about being blindsided again, I think what Michael did to Kelly or the network was very wrong.

    • Tvinsider says:

      But the network would guarantee losing 2 hosts at once so its probably not something they want if considering the show viable long term. If they just want to go thru 2020 & be done, they can pick a friend or hubby

  38. V. says:

    They should gve David Burtka a call.

    • J Hollingsworth says:

      No to David Burtka, no to Neil Patrick Harris – ‘case of the Big heads, Success has gone to their heads,’

  39. Margaret miketich says:

    Plain &a simple Anderson Cooper the chemistry is solid

  40. Margaret miketich says:

    Plain & simple Anderson Cooper the chemistry is dynamite

  41. Fran V says:

    Maks was great when he was on with Meredith Viera. And I sure wouldn’t mind waking up to him every morning.

  42. Lana says:

    I vote for LL Cool J! :)

  43. Kim R says:

    I realize I am in the minority but I stopped watching Live when they picked Michael. I did try but I found him to be not that funny (like the guy in the room that was trying to be funny but falling flat) and his interviewing, for me, was clunky and awkward.
    Kelly is witty and she needs someone who is a match for her so she is not put in the position of trying to keep the flow going. I’m hoping for Anderson. He was able to keep his CNN job while attempting to have a daytime talk show so he must be able to manage the time for this, a much less taxing job. I think they would be great together.

  44. Lula Banks says:

    I Think I Would Do A,Great Job As Kelly New Co Host. I’m Just An Average Country Gal. & Shes A,Soap Opera,Star. Think We Could Make Magic Together. I’m Very Funny & Outspoken & So Is She. Good Luck Kelly In Your Search For A New Co Host. But I’m Here In Helena Ga If You Need Me.

  45. Ljsm says:

    I agree, the usual suspects can be the next host….Josh Elliott,…he from sports and was with GMA …he was funny and could add some charm to morning tv…
    They should at least give it a try.

  46. :-) says:

    If we are replacing Kelly i vote Allison Sweeney and NPH. If just looking for a new male an athlete or comedian would be great. Live is very time consuming in that you have to be there everyday. That cuts into a lot of projects. That would make it hard for a Ryan Seacrest or Josh. Someone said TJ Holmes. That might work. He has a journalist background and is fun. I really don’t see Kelly and Mario Lopez working well together. The best fit qill probably be someone who is less than a household name. Good luck to the team on whoever they pick.

  47. Lee says:

    I couldn’t agree more with your article! Live should cast a wide net while finding a replacement for the chair. Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper are great a substitutes but they bring the same nuance as Kelly. Let’s bring in someone fresh with a different yet entertaining perspective.

  48. Ana says:

    I would go in a completely different direction – someone smart, well-educated, funny and charitable – MISHA COLLINS. He’s hilarious and smart. He was a white house intern during the Lewinsky days. He’s quirky and fun. He runs a few cool charity events and he has a ridiculously loyal fan base.

  49. Tammy Rogers says:

    Take a different road.