Michael Strahan officially said goodbye to ‘Live!’ on May 13. It was an emotional send-off for Kelly Ripa’s beloved co-host. Check out all the pics of Kelly and Michael’s last ‘Live!’ together now!
The May 13 episode of Live! with Kelly and Michael was the last time that Kelly Ripa, 45, and Michael Strahan, 44, would be together as permanent co-hosts. After weeks of drama, it was time to say goodbye to Kelly’s co-host of 4 years. See the photos from his last episode now!
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Kelly and Michael were all smiles as they walked out together for the last time as the co-hosts of Live! with Kelly & Michael. She hugged him when he sat down, and then she joked about discounts in the gift shop.
Michael got serious for a moment to reflect on his departure. “I’m not dying!” he said. “I’m still in the family. I’m still available to come back if I’m ever called to co-host. I’m not going anywhere. I’m not gone. So, there we go.”
At the end of the episode, a touching montage of Kelly and Michael’s best moments together aired. It was so sweet! Then they kissed and hugged. They ended the episode with speeches. “You have given us so much joy,” she said. “We really are so, so proud of you.” Michael closed the show and thanked everyone for their support. “Kelly, you are the best,” he said. “I love you, baby.”
The last time Kelly said goodbye to a co-host was when Regis Philbin left the show in 2011. The May 13 episode wasn’t supposed to be Michael’s last day. He originally announced that he was leaving in September for a full-time gig at GMA.
But after his original announcement didn’t go over so well with Kelly — she was “blindsided” by the reveal and didn’t attend his first show after he said he was leaving — he decided to leave 4 months early.
“He’ll take the summer off and GMA can integrate him early before September, and this will give Live! more time to find the co-host,” a source told PEOPLE. “He’s totally fine with that. Now he can enjoy his summer.”
Kelly made her return to Live! on April 26 and admitted that the whole situation “started a much greater conversation about communication and consideration and, most importantly, respect in the workplace.”
But Kelly’s return didn’t mean things were totally cool between her and Michael. “The mind games and awkward conversations between him and Kelly remind him of playing football — it hurts and he’s got a huge headache,” a source told HollywoodLife.com. “Mike’s grateful to the show, the staff, the viewers and even to Kelly. But his end date couldn’t come sooner.”
Despite all the drama, we’re still not happy to see Michael leave Live! But we can’t wait to see what he has in store on GMA!
HollywoodLifers, are you sad Michael’s leaving Live! after 4 years? Let us know!