This day was a long time coming.
Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan had their final show together Friday, and neither seemed particularly emotional about it.
Last month, Strahan announced he was leaving Live! With Kelly and Michael for a full-time gig on Good Morning America.
Several weeks of drama followed, starting with Ripa’s sudden disappearance from the show. For about a week after the big announcement, she was absent from the show.
When she finally returned, she explained herself in a monologue, saying her absence was very much about respect in the workplace. She wish Strahan the best, and the two went on with the show.
That same week, leadership announced that Strahan will be leaving the show four month earlier than planned, so they can search for a proper replacement for him.
His farewell show featured flashbacks from his time on Live! Ripa made a joke about the date of his last day.
“It’s your final day on the show. We all came to celebrate you. We want to remind the audience that there is a run on discounted merchandise, collector’s items,” said Ripa.
Strahan said the day was bittersweet.
“It’s a great day, though. It’s bittersweet. Of course, you get nervous like this. I’ve done this for four years. So this is a moment that I didn’t anticipate being here at this point. But it’s here and we’re going to enjoy it. I’m not dying!” said Strahan.
Strahan offered to return as cohost if the show ever needs a fill-in.
The show played out just like any other after an intro acknowledging Strahan’s last day. At the end of the show, Ripa presented Strahan with gifts and said she enjoyed working with him over the years.
“I just want to say — and I just want to — it’s very bittersweet for me. I want to say thank you to everybody. I mean, it’s amazing. You come here and you guys have let me into your homes the last four years every day and I didn’t know what to expect coming from sports to daytime television,” he emotionally recalled. “And you guys opened up your hearts to me and you opened up your homes to me and it’s been so overwhelming with the response that we’ve had over the last four years that you guys have loved this show. And it means the world that you give us an hour of your day and what you don’t realize, we get more from that hour than we really do. We sit in front of a live audience who I always say during our commercial breaks, they are the third cohost of the show,” said Strahan.
He closed by telling Kelly, “Kelly, you are the best. I love you, baby.”