Michael Strahan made his final appearance alongside Bridgehampton’s Kelly Ripa on Live! with Kelly and Michael on Friday, May 13. And while Strahan moves on to cohost Good Morning America, Ripa has been left without a cohost for the first time since Regis Philbin left Live! with Regis and Kelly back in 2011.
In 2001, a decade before Strahan entered the scene, Ripa replaced Kathie Lee Gifford as Philbin’s cohost, changing the show’s name from Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee (it was also Live! with Regis briefly) to Live with Regis and Kelly. This is all very confusing already, so seems a little early to change the show’s name for a fourth time in 15 years, so how can Ripa get a great permanent replacement without affecting the name of her popular program? Hire another Michael, of course.
We offer our top five Michaels to replace Strahan—all of them Hamptons residents and visitors, of course.
5. Mike Tyson
This former king of the heavyweight ring isn’t exactly a Hamptons regular, but he’s made the trip east a few times (and Derwood Hodgegrass has his bathtub), and he’d be a really interesting choice for Live! with Michael and Kelly. Like Strahan, Tyson is a former sports star, but his legend, his downfall and his recent return to the limelight is all excellent fodder for onscreen banter. Plus, he’s something of a teddy bear these days, and seeing this frightening boxer, face tatoo and all, doing cooking demonstrations and other morning show tropes with petite Ripa would be amazing television.
4. Michael Kors
This elite fashion designer and Hamptonite is always full of quips and observations as a beloved judge during his 10 seasons on Project Runway. Kors could add some sass and, of course, a heavy dose of fashion-forwardness to the next iteration of Live!.
3. Michael Bloomberg
A well-known Hamptons resident, billionaire and former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg could be a perfect straight man against Ripa’s bubbly personality. It certainly worked with Regis. Besides, he could add some political knowledge and lots of fun bits, like seeing how much money he could burn before it actually affects him in a significant way, or explaining why people should be arrested for drinking a Cherry Coke Big Gulp. Jokes aside, he’s wise, he’s experienced and could have great chemistry with Ripa.
2. Michael J. Fox
With his awesome run as Louis Canning on CBS’s The Good Wife over, this Back to the Future star and Quogue resident could be a great Live! cohost. Yes, his Parkinson’s has slowed him down a bit, but Fox is still every bit as magnetic onscreen as he was in some of his 1980s classics. If you don’t believe it, watch him on The Good Wife or on FX’s Rescue Me. No, his Michael J. Fox Show didn’t make the cut a couple years back (2013–14), but Fox could be really good alongside Ripa, if he could handle the stress and work of a daily talk show.
1. Michael Gelman
This Hamptons regular and longtime producer of all the Live! shows has stepped in front of the camera before (on Live! and Ripa’s ABC sitcom Hope and Faith), so why not do it on a more permanent basis? When he took over the helm of Live! in 1987, Gelman became the youngest producer of a national talk show. He has since had a longer tenure than anyone at the top of a popular syndicated show, he oversaw the addition of both Ripa and Strahan to the show, and he’s heavily credited with bringing Live! its excellent ratings over the years. This guy would surely be as golden on camera as he is behind the scenes. And he did fabulously as a Dan’s GrillHampton host!