Here's How Kelly Ripa Said Farewell to Michael Strahan

There were no tears but there were sweet gifts.

There were no tears during Michael Strahan's final episode of Live with Kelly and Michael. In fact, other than a couple of flashback montages, today's epsiode didn't feel all that different from any of the others. 

The hosts mentioned it was Strahan's last day in their opening monologue. And guest Matt Bomer brought it up. But Strahan insisted "I'm not dying! I'm still in the family, and I'm still available to come back. I'm not going anywhere." When Ripa joked she was going on vacation in a couple of weeks and asked if Strahan might want to pop back over to fill in, he responded: "Too soon!"

During the final few minutes of the episode, they played a montage of Strahan's greatest moments, and Ripa gave him a few parting gifts, including bronzed heels that he wore during one of their famous Halloween episodes, a framed flashback photo and a photo book. "So you know that no matter where you go, you're always here with us," Ripa said. "Look at all we did together. We did everything together."

Then, raising a glass of champagne, she said: "I just want to say on behalf of myself and everyone else, we couldn't be prouder. You have given us so much joy in the mornings from your smile, to your humor, to your horrible French accent. We are so proud of you. I look forward to watching you and seeing what else you achieve at Good Morning America."

Strahan spoke straight to the camera saying: "You've let me into your home for the last four years everyday. I didn't know what to expect coming from sports to daytime TV. It means the world that you give us an hour of your day." Then as the music started to play him off, he said to Ripa, "Kelly, you are the best. I love you, baby."

See more

It was an anticlimactic end to a dramatic couple of weeks.

Since it was announced April 19 that Strahan is ditching Live for Good Morning America, things have been awkward between the hosts on-air. Ripa has said she wasn't upset with Strahan, but with how the executives dealt with the transition: Not telling her about the switch-up until the last minute. Ripa took a few days off after the news broke. When she came back, she explained to the audience: "What transpired though, 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."

Now begins the search for Ripa's new co-host. Last time around, it took a year before they settled on Strahan. Next week, Jimmy Kimmel will join Ripa on Monday, then we've got Empire star Jussie Smollett  Tuesday, Cedric the Entertainer Wednesday, ABC News anchor David Muir Thursday, and Hawaii Five-0actor Daniel Dae Kim Friday. 

And perhaps it's worth mentioning that Ripa's old co-host Regis Philbin joined Rachael Ray right after Strahan's final episode. Could Reege be getting back into the game? 

Follow Marie Claire on Facebook for the latest celeb news, beauty tips, fascinating reads, livestream video, and more.   

Kate Storey

Kate Storey is a contributing editor at Marie Claire and writer-at-large at Esquire magazine, where she covers culture and politics. Kate's writing has appeared in ELLE, Harper's BAZAAR, Town & Country, and Cosmopolitan, and her first book comes out in summer 2023.