He's fascinated, too! Howard Stern shared his many questions for Kelly Ripa with Jimmy Kimmel ahead of the late-night personality's stint as the first guest-host on Live with Kelly following Michael Strahan's departure last Friday, May 13.
Kimmel, 48, called in to Stern's SiriusXM radio show on Monday, May 16, shortly before joining Ripa in the cohost's chair on the syndicated program. Like other morning-show viewers, Kimmel and Stern discussed Strahan's dramatic exit from Live and the hullaballoo that preceded his transition to coanchor with Good Morning America full-time.
As previously reported by Us Weekly, Ripa was blindsided by the news of the former NFL player's departure and was upset during an intimate meeting with her former cohost and ABC executives. She then took a sick day following news of Strahan's departure, and enjoyed a preplanned wedding anniversary vacation. She returned to the program that following Tuesday, when she spoke about "respect in the workplace" among other issues at Live. Below, Us lists some of the burning questions Stern, Kimmel and some of the shock jock's team had about Ripa.
1. "I want to know: Will she ever talk to Michael Strahan again?" Stern asked Kimmel. "But the real answer … because they're not talking to one another because we read it in the paper." And by logic, said Stern, "the paper never lies."
2. Stern's sidekick Robin Quivers also had some questions of her own. "First of all, I want to know how she is dealing with the ABC executives who ignored her as if she wasn't even there?" she noted.
3. "Does she need to hire a black cohost?" Stern asked, as Quivers added, "Is that a black job?"
After some bantering, Stern offered his opinion about the open cohost's chair. "I think it is a black job," the self-proclaimed king of all media said. "If they give it to a white, then I don't think it would be good, because blacks are excited that there was an interracial question."
4. Stern's head writer and longtime staffer Fred Norris then jumped in with several questions of his own. "Did she hurt her voice after hearing the news about Michael's hiring?" he inquired. (As reported by Us, Ripa stormed out of that meeting with Strahan, Live executive producer Michael Gelman and WABC general manager Dave Davis after learning that her cohost of four years was leaving.)
5. Norris followed up with another overarching question. "Why doesn't she talk to Regis?" he noted. "Allegedly she hasn't spoken to him since he left the show."
"That's true," Stern said of Ripa's now nonexistent relationship with legendary Live host Regis Philbin, who originally led the program alongside Kathie Lee Gifford. Philbin admitted this himself in an interview last month.
6. Even more! "Does it upset her now that they're saying she's a diva?" Stern asked. Both Ripa and Strahan have dealt with criticism since the news broke of his departure, with both parties being called out for their behavior amid the fallout.
7. Stern then brought up what appeared to be a sour subject. "Is she nervous that Billy Bush is coming in to be her direct competition?" he asked Kimmel, who replied, "Uh, we don't need to get Billy Bush in there.” As confirmed by Us, Bush will join the 9 a.m. hour of NBC's Today show, which airs at the same time as Live with Kelly.
8. "Is there anything about her personality that might have turned off Michael?" Stern asked Kimmel. "Because that's the key question. In the sense that now they've had this rift and they've fallen apart as an on-air couple. And they've had personality issues. Maybe some of it's her fault. Does she see any of that in herself?"
Strahan departed the show this past Friday, May 13, four months ahead of his originally scheduled exit. The former athlete will join GMA full-time in September.
It turned out that Kimmel actually used some of Stern's many questions on Monday, first addressing the elephant in the room by asking Ripa, "Where's Michael?"
"Oh, that's right," Ripa, 45, replied. "You don’t read newspapers."
Listen to the interview above.
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