Watch Michael Strahan in his farewell episode of ‘Live with Kelly and Michael’ alongside co-host Kelly Ripa, weeks after the controversy that first erupted in the aftermath of the announcement he was leaving the show to join ‘GMA full time.

Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan

Photo: Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan
Credit: PR Photos

To say the least, it’s been a turmultous few weeks, as the co-hosts’ visible tensions have produce many a viral video. The 45-year-old Kelly Ripa was reportedly “blindsided” by the news that her co-host was leaving the show, and she took a week off.

After returning, and making a conciliatory speech and discourse on the importance of communication in the workplace, tensions began to erupt by the day. This final episode with the 42-year-old former NFL star Michael Strahan is no exception as it had its moments of both awkwardness and pathos.

The Friday the 13th episode was dubbed ‘Michael’s Flashback Friday Farewell’ to the departing host who originally replaced, television legend Regis Filbin who was the original host alongside and Kathie Lee Gifford back in the 1980s.

Kelly Ripa was wearing all black and, given all that’s happened, and this being that superstitious date on the calendar, it’s hard to think it was just incidental. All the more underscored as she said, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but it’s Friday the 13th.”

For his part, Michael Strahan said, “I didn’t anticipate being here at this point. I’m not dying. I’m still family. I’m still here to come back to co-host if I get the call.”

To that, Kelly Ripa retorted, “You can fill in for me. start vacation in a couple weeks, so I’ll let you know.” A bit awkward, unmistakably, given the recent history.

Strahan went on to say he didn’t want to be “formal” and focusing on his farewell. He added, “Let’s have fun and get on with the show.”

Later, the episode launch into the full-fledged “Flashback Farewell, with a retrospective montage of some of the highlights of Michael Strahan’s four years on the show. Afterwards, Michael Strahan said, “A lot has happened.” And as he kissed her hand she hugged him.

Later, she presented him with what she called his “going-away gift,” pair of high heels he had worn as part of a Halloween costume, bronzed. She said of them, “Nobody rocks a size-16 stiletto than you.” Along with that she also gave him a photo album and told him, “No matter where you go, you’re always here with us.”

She then offered a toast to her departing co-star, and said, “I just want to say, on behalf of myself and all of us, we couldn’t be prouder of you. You have given us so much joy in the mornings. We really are so so proud of you. We achieved so much together, and I look forward to watching you every morning and seeing what else you achieve on ‘Good Morning America.’”

Michael Strahan in his final words, said, “I just want to say this is very bittersweet to me and I just want to say thank you to everybody. I mean, it’s amazing you guys have let me into your homes for four years, every day. And I didn’t know what to expect coming from sports to daytime television and you guys opened up your hearts to me and you opened up your homes to me.”

Continuing, he went on to say, “And it’s been so overwhelming with the response that we’ve had over the past four years, and I have loved this show. And it means the world that you give us an hour of your day, and what you don’t realize is we get more from that hour than you really.”

He went on to pay tribute to the live audience calling them, “the third co-host of the show” and adding that “the energy that they bring really makes this show work.”

As he was running short of time, he quickly thanked the producers and staff and, went on to hug and kiss his co-star, telling her, “Kelly, you are the best. I love you, baby.”

And with that, his tenure on the show had come to an end. The new co-host has not yet been announced, and in the meantime, Kelly Ripa will share the stage with a variety of guest co-hosts.

You can see the full video below, as Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan part ways on ‘Live with Kelly and Michael.’

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