Jimmy Kimmel on Monday helped daytime talk-show host Kelly Ripa launch what is now “Live with Kelly,” following the pushed-up departure of co-host Michael Strahan.
Kimmel, 48, host of ABC’s late-night “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” asked Ripa, 45, whether her Friday farewell to Strahan — who left to join ABC’s “Good Morning America” full time — was genuine. “We don’t fake hug and kiss,” Ripa replied.
Kimmel also assured viewers that reports of Strahan’s photos having been summarily removed from the show’s office walls were untrue, and spun a jokey “Wheel of New Co-Hosts” with such unlikely candidates as Derek Jeter, Pippa Middleton and the winner, a sausage.
The remainder of this week’s guest hosts are, in order starting Tuesday, “Empire “ star Jussie Smollett, comedian Cedric the Entertainer, ABC “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir and “Hawaii Five-0” star Daniel Dae Kim, currently starring in a Broadway revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “The King and I.”
Next week, “The Grinder” star Fred Savage co-hosts Monday and Tuesday, with singer-songwriter Seal on Wednesday and Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” late-night host Andy Cohen rounding out Thursday and Friday.
Strahan, 44, had caught both Ripa and executive producer Michael Gelman by surprise on April 19 with news he planned to exit “Live with Kelly and Michael” in September to appear full time on “GMA,” where he has been a twice-weekly guest host since 2014. One week later, producers announced that Strahan would be leaving after the May 13 show instead.