Regis Philbin Rates Kelly Ripa's New Cohost Michael Strahan

Entertainment Oct. 5, 2012 AT 10:30AM
Regis Philbin and Michael Strahan Regis Philbin and Michael Strahan Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage.com; Roger Kisby/Getty

If you ask Regis Philbin, Michael Strahan has stepped into his LIVE! shoes just fine.

Taking a cohost seat alongside Kelly Ripa in September -- nearly one year after Philbin retired from the program -- Strahan has been "doing great" on LIVE!, his predecessor tells Us Weekly.

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"He's got a good sense of humor. He's a good guy. I think they're doing great," Philbin, 81, told Us at Thursday's Exploring the Arts Gala in New York City of Strahan, 40, and Ripa, 41.

Though he had cohosted with Ripa in the past as ABC searched for Philbin's permanent replacement, NFL star Strahan admitted that his first day on the job was more nerve-wracking than his first professional football game. "I was more nervous getting out of the limo today [to begin on LIVE!] then coming out of any tunnel," Strahan said after his September 4 LIVE! debut, referring to his time on the gridiron. "At least there I have a mask to hide behind, here it's just me."

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As they go into their second month together as cohosts, Ripa can't help but rave about her new morning show partner-in-crime. "I wear my heart on my sleeve," Ripa has said, "so it's pretty obvious that I love him."

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Ripa herself was a former LIVE! guest host before she replaced Kathie Lee Gifford, 59, in 2001. LIVE! won its first Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show in June 2012.

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