EXCLUSIVE: Michael Strahan Calls Dramatic 'Live!' Taping a 'Hard Day' for Everyone

by Antoinette Bueno 9:55 AM PDT, April 20, 2016
Playing EXCLUSIVE: Michael Strahan Calls Dramatic 'Live!' Taping a 'Hard Day' for Everyone

Wednesday's episode of Live! With Kelly and Michael was obviously out of the ordinary.

But Michael Strahan did address the elephant in the room during the taping, a source tells ET, after Saturday Night Live alum Ana Gasteyer had to fill in for co-host Kelly Ripa, who wasn't present a day after Strahan announced he was leaving the show to go full-time at Good Morning America.

"Michael said during the break that it was 'a hard day' for everyone," the source says. "Michael was positive, professional and graceful throughout the shooting."

WATCH: EXCLUSIVE -- Kelly Ripa Skips 'Live!' Appearance After Feeling 'Blindsided' by Michael Strahan's Exit Announcement

Gasteyer, who has regularly appeared on Live!, was called after 10 p.m. on Tuesday to fill in for Ripa on Wednesday morning, the source says. Ripa, 45, took an unplanned day off after feeling "blindsided" by Strahan's big move, another source previously told ET.

Gasteyer and Strahan appeared to be in good spirits at the taping, judging by this video of the two joking around with one another in the hallway posted on the show's Instagram account on Wednesday.

Today's show with #AnaGasteyer, #DWTS' #VonMiller & #WitneyCarson dance. #kellyandmichael

A video posted by LIVE with Kelly and Michael (@kellyandmichael) on

Strahan was initially not going to address his exit on the show, but he changed his mind just minutes before going live and said he would make a brief mention, our source notes. The 44-year-old former NFL pro ended up addressing the news twice, personally thanking Ripa at the end of the show. When Strahan realized he hadn’t thanked Ripa initially, he circled back to address it again, the source says.

"I didn't want to say it earlier, but I really want to thank, of course, Kelly Ripa, because Kelly welcomed me here and I've learned so much from her," Strahan said on-air. "She's just been an amazing influence on me, and this has truly changed my life to be here with her."

Meanwhile, Ripa may take the rest of the week off. A source says she "is pissed" because she didn't know about Strahan's deal to leave the show for GMA until after shooting Tuesday's episode of Live!. The news broke the very same day.

Sources previously told ET that there has been tension between Strahan and Ripa, as well as between Strahan and longtime Live! executive producer Michael Gelman.

"Michael and Kelly have not been getting along recently," one source said. "They got along great in the beginning -- but not so much lately."

WATCH: Regis Philbin -- I Haven't Spoken to Kelly Ripa Since I Left the Show

As for who will replace Strahan on Live!, producers are already looking at CNN anchor Anderson Cooper -- a close friend of Ripa's -- and actor Neil Patrick Harris, sources tell ET.

Watch below: