EXCLUSIVE: 'Live!' Still 'Debating' Big Sendoff for Michael Strahan

by Jackie Willis 10:00 AM PDT, April 27, 2016
Playing EXCLUSIVE: 'Live!' Still 'Debating' Big Sendoff for Michael Strahan

Michael Strahan might have a quieter exit from Live! With Kelly and Michael than some fans would expect after his four-year stint on the daytime talk show.

After Kelly Ripa's return to Live! on Tuesday, ET confirmed that Strahan would be leaving the program on Friday, May 13, instead of in September, which was initially announced as the month he would be departing to begin working full-time on Good Morning America. A source close to Live! tells ET that, as of right now, the show does not have anything special planned for the co-host's sendoff.

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"[Executive producer Michael] Gelman is debating as to how big of a deal to make it," the source says. "If it seems too celebratory, it’ll seem disingenuous due to all the known drama."

As for Ripa and Strahan, the source adds that they are "playing nicely together, but all parties felt it best to not drag it out all summer."

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The co-hosts did not mention Strahan's early exit on Wednesday's Live!, and an audience member tells ET that everything appeared "completely normal" during the taping. "The only difference is the audience controller made us cheer more than normal when they first walked in," the audience member added.

After the episode aired, Ripa conducted an interview solo with Veep actress Anna Chlumsky, but assured the audience that she was only doing this because Strahan will be gone when the interview airs and they have yet to choose who will be guest-hosting when he's gone.

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Ripa then went up to the mic and thanked the audience for coming to Live! and invited everyone back.

The 45-year-old co-host's return to Live! with Strahan on Tuesday was certainly not without its awkward moments. Relive them all: