What do an elderly white longtime television personality and a younger black former football star and NFL Sunday analyst have in common? Apparently, enough chemistry with Kelly Ripa to join her in hosting Live! It was just announced that Michael Strahan is Regis Philbin’s replacement on the morning program.
It’s a safe bet that the show’s new permanent personality will bring less talk about hip-replacement surgery and more about sports. But we’ll wait and see whether the perspective of an African-American host translates into extra morning chitchat about the ever-increasing ways in which issues of race and pop culture overlap.
Also, look out for whether audiences will read Ripa’s famous over-the-top flirtatiousness and sexual innuendo differently with Strahan as the target than when they were applied to the likes of Philbin and Anderson Cooper (wild guess: yes). From the Hollywood Reporter:
Since Philbin’s exit last November, Live! has had numerous guest co-hosts, starting with Jerry Seinfeld. Others included Neil Patrick Harris, Jim Parsons, Alec Baldwin, Kim Kardashian, Mary J. Blige and Ripa’s husband, Mark Consuelos.
“As a guest co-host, Michael’s chemistry with Kelly was off the charts, and continued to grow each time he visited the show,” said Michael Gelman, Live! executive producer, in a statement. “The interaction between the co-hosts always has been what makes this show different from any other on television. Kelly and Michael’s ability to play off of one another and just plain have a good time together creates great TV for the audience.”
Strahan made 20 appearances as a guest co-host on the daytime program over the past two years.
Read more at the Hollywood Reporter.