As soon as Michael Strahan announced he was leaving Live With Kelly and Michael for Good Morning America in April, names of potential cohosts started springing up.
Co-host Kelly Ripa was caught off guard by his exit, but once he left May 13, the network got to work on finding a replacement. As they’ve done in the past, they are auditioning people on the show, giving them co-hosting slots to see how they do. One familiar face you’ll be seeing a lot of during this time is Jerry O’Connell. The actor is a veteran to the show and apparently in the mix for the gig. Read on for more.
1. He Might Replace Michael Strahan
O’Connell is on board, but Ripa has to ask him first.
“It would be an honor–I would do anything Kelly asked me to do,” O’Connell told Us Weekly of joining Ripa permanently. “That’s how much I respect her.”
That means, if she pops the question right now, he’d be down. So, come on Kell, all you have to do is ask. Oh yeah, and get your network on board and draw up contracts and negotiate with his other projects (O’Connell’s new talk show with People magazine, People’s List, premieres this summer). Clearly, it’s not so simple.
2. O’Connell Admires Ripa
When it comes to Ripa, O’Connell is sold. “To get to work next to Kelly Ripa would be anyone’s dream in that field,” O’Connell told Us Weekly. “Kelly is the best of the best,” he continued praising the former soap star. “Having worked with her there at Live, Kelly is the best. I’m always Team Kelly.”
And, as we mentioned before, he’s said he’d do anything she asked. As long as it doesn’t interfere with his marriage to model Rebecca Romijn, of course.
3. O’Connell Has Been on “Live” 19 Times
O’Connell first made an appearance on Live in 2007, as a guest. At this time, Regis Philbin was still the co-host, and Ripa was in her sixth year on the show. Clearly he made a good impression because the next time he appeared on the show, two years later in 2009, he co-hosted for the first time.
He’s been a co-host 14 times, so it’s safe to say he’s comfortable in the role. He has several co-hosting slots coming up while they search for a replacement for Strahan.
4. O’Connell Was in the Running for the Job Before Strahan
O’Connell’s wife said in an interview with ET Online that he’s been considered for the job before. “He was in the rotation before Strahan was hired–it was down to just a handful of people and he was definitely in the running then,” Romijn said.
She is definitely on board with the potential gig.
I think he’d be great. I love watching him and Kelly together. He and Kelly are awesome [together]. He was born and raised in New York City, which I think is really important for whoever fills that seat. That’s why people loved Regis Philbin so much — he was a native New Yorker. It is such a New York show, even though it’s national. Jerry is a wholesome married man with children, and people can relate to that when they watch a morning program.
5. Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen Are Also in the Running
After Strahan announced his departure, rumors started swirling that Ripa’s close friends Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper were also being considered for the gig. They’ve both cohosted before but according to CNN they both have contractual hurdles that might stand in the way.
In fact, Cooper told Fox News that no one has talked to him about the talk show. “I’m very happy at CNN. I’m not going anywhere,” he promised.