One day after announcing he was leaving the show for Good Morning America in September, Michael Strahan hosted Live! without Kelly Ripa on Thursday. Ripa was replaced by Ana Gasteyer, and Strahan began the broadcast by commenting on the news of his departure.
“It’s the same channel, I’m not going anywhere,” Strahan said, thanking viewers for watching the show over the four years he co-hosted. “I couldn’t ask for better fans. On top of that, I’ve worked with incredible staff here. I’m always here, I’m always available to guest co-host if I get a call, because I consider myself to be a part of this family forever.”
As for Ripa’s absence, a rep for the show would only tell EW, “Kelly had the day off today.”
After an hour of dancing with Von Miller and practicing acupuncture for “Take Charge of Your Health Week,” Strahan returned to the topic of his departure at the end of Thursday’s broadcast, thanking Ripa by name.
“I really want to thank, of course, Kelly Ripa. Kelly welcomed me here and I learned so much from her. She has been an amazing influence on me, and this has truly changed my life to be here with her,” Strahan said. “The staff here is so talented. This show has not been around for 30 years by mistake. That is a very hard thing to do in any business, and it’s because of all the people who work here extremely hard. Kelly, I thank you and love you, and everyone else here at Live!“