“You know we really didn’t set a time frame for ourselves; we just wanted to wait until we found the right person,” Live! with Kelly host Kelly Ripa answered coyly when asked by Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen for an update on her search for a new co-host.
“What we didn’t anticipate was that we would have such an outpouring of interest,” Ripa said. “Our list got very long very quickly. We’ve been trying to keep it as narrow as possible, but then people pop up.”
Ripa said so-long her co-host Michael Strahan in May, in what might have been the most drama-packed daytime talk show host exit ever. Ripa went MIA from her ABC show, after Disney announced the act was busting up after four years so Strahan could head to ABC News’ Good Morning America full time. Ripa had been informed just 30 minutes before the news hit the press. Returning two days later, Ripa pointedly told viewers about the importance of respect in the workplace, while Disney said it would take Strahan off the show in May instead of September as had been announced.
At the time, it was presumed producers did so because they wanted to get Strahan’s replacement lined up lickety-split, what with Ripa’s contract coming up in 2017 and her being mad as a wet hen about how in-the-dark she’d been kept about Strahan’s plans. The execs’ decision seemed to have been confirmed to be the right one, when the show was visited by a screaming (literally) hairy armadillo and Ripa said she wanted the ear-piercing creature to represent her in contract talks.
While Cohen and his viewers might not have learned much about the search, candidates might have gleaned some information about working with Ripa during last night’s round of “Truth or Drink!”
More accurately, Ripa’s assistant, Lauren, played the drinking game on Cohen’s show, joined by Cohen’s assistant and the assistant of CNN’s Anderson Cooper (aka the dream co-host that “got away,” Ripa said). But Ripa did the drinking, and a lot of it, because her assistant is pregnant, and declined to answer most of the questions.
“You’re going to have to hold my hair when I’m vomiting,” Ripa warned her.
Meanwhile, ravo announced this morning it’s changing Cohen’s show name in January to Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, coinciding with an expansion of the set and other changes, including this new logo: