Forty-six days ago former NFL defensive end for the New York Giants, Michael Strahan, began his daily gig on the TV talk show "Live with Kelly and Michael." I wrote about his debut back in early September when he officially took over for television legend Regis Philbin.
Strahan had guest-hosted several times for Philbin and developed a strong rapport with the program's other host, Kelly Ripa. That strong rapport continues as the two bounce from topic to topic on their morning chat fest. The chemistry between Ripa and Strahan is apparent. They truly like one another and enjoy working together. The football hero makes her laugh and she makes him smile. They are a charming TV "couple."
So much so that this week they even participated in a wife carrying contest on their program. They didn’t win, except in the laughter category. They laughed at themselves and we laughed with them.
LIVE is very lively and entertaining. Strahan and Ripa have engaging personalities and senses of humor. I enjoy watching them and my favorite portion of the program remains the opening host chat segment that LIVE’s original stars Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford made famous. Regis may be the best storyteller in the history of live television.
However, the new hosts lack the spontaneity that Philbin and Gifford brought to the program. While “Reege” and Kathie Lee would often riff about their latest vacation or embarrassing moment, Ripa and Strahan usually rely on prepared topics. Therefore the show has a less organic and more forced feel. With the original hosts I felt like a part of their family, sitting in on a conversation. With the new stars I feel like an outsider watching a performance.
Nevertheless, LIVE remains popular and Ripa and Strahan will only get better as they get to know one another more. And with his football credentials and a large daily audience, Strahan will prove to be an invaluable public relations asset for the NFL.