"Working with your friends is a great privilege. It is a joy, and I have to say that it is a rare thing to work with a guy who is so authentic and fun and joyful and humble and generous and kind to everyone," Ripa told ET's Rachel Smith, during a joint interview on Monday. "What you see of Ryan on the air is the person he is backstage, which is a unique thing."
"He just brings joyfulness and enthusiasm and professionalism and an authenticity to this place that I'm just so grateful to have here," she added.
"I'm using every ounce of energy to fight back tears right now, while she's saying that," Seacrest added, misty-eyed.
"We do a television show, but it's not just a television show," he continued. "We come in and we literally have our first cup of coffee together and catch up with each other as friends do, and that's the dynamic we hope we have with people who are watching as well."
For Ripa, their friendship is one of genuine connection, shared interests and care for each other's personal lives.
"What's interesting is we usually text each other 15 times before the show," she explained. "Yet we still have things to say on the air, which is weird."
"It's a weird codependency," Ripa joked. "We're happy to have our psychiatric episodes unfold before everyone on live TV."
"It's our therapy," Seacrest chimed in.
Seacrest took over the seat next to Ripa in 2017, and excitedly ushered in the new iteration of the long running series, Live With Kelly and Ryan. In the years since he signed on, Seacrest said the experience has "exceeded the expectations, absolutely."
"To work with this amazing individual is an incredible thing," Seacrest said, returning Ripa's adulation. "I learned so much from her, not just [about] being on the air but about life. I mean she's a remarkable colleague, the most amazing mother and wife and I get to see all sides of that."
"I'm on the text messages with she and her husband so I really get to see their exchanges," he added with a laugh. "It's a great lesson in life for me from my coach Kelly."
For Ripa, one thing that has really stood out about Seacrest, among his many impressive qualities, is how he's managed to stay grounded and humble.
"He's not spoiled, the way a lot of people get spoiled really, when they get their fancy job -- and by fancy I mean like, you know, a show-business-y job," she shared. "Ryan has not been jaded or made cynical by a job that often makes people cynical or jaded immediately."
It seems a lot of that has come from really getting to connect with his co-host, the way Seacrest has with Ripa.
"You learn so much about the other," he explained. "Like I know every day Kelly and I workout about the same time, she watches things that irritate her to burn off calories, I listen to ballads, love songs. She eats dinner when I go to bed. There're just these things we know about each other's rhythms that you learn once you work together."