Michael Strahan‘s final edition of “Live! with Kelly and Michael” started off with co-host Kelly Ripa pointing out that his farewell comes on Friday the 13th, but the former NFL star said: “It’s a great day.”
“Thirteen is a lucky number,” Strahan joked. “I am happy I’m not six feet under. I’m six-feet-five above the ground.”
Ripa told her departing co-host that everyone is there to celebrate him and reminded the audience that Strahan-branded merchandise will be on sale following the show.
“It’s bittersweet,” Strahan continued. “I’m not dying. I’m still in the family.”
He said he didn’t want to make a “big to-do about it” about his final show and mentioned that he’s still available to come back and fill in. A few minutes into the episode, a montage aired of some of Strahan’s memorable moments.
When the show returned from commercial breaks, additional highlights of Strahan’s tenure were played. The first guest of Strahan’s final show was actor Matt Bomer, who seemed to make Strahan a tad emotional.
“You know I’ve got to get a little sappy and thank Michael,” Bomer said. “It’s been a pleasure doing business with you for four years and whether you’re here looking all dapper or in a gold thong, on the set of ‘Magic Mike,’ you always conduct yourself with great intelligence, grace and generosity.”
Next up was New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, who didn’t mention Strahan’s situation — choosing instead to focus on his role in the upcoming Puerto Rican Day Parade and upcoming role in the new “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” film.
Ripa then introduced another montage, this time dedicated to unusual and embarrassing Strahan moments from the past four years, including his attempt at a British accent and various elaborate costumes.
The review took a more serious tone as it went on, including clips of an interview with President Obama and Ripa’s first time introducing her co-host when he became a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“Good Luck, Keep Smiling,” appeared on the screen as the montage concluded and a live shot of Strahan and Ripa, hand-in-hand, appeared before they hugged and cut to commercial.
Ripa then presented Strahan with a a few gifts, including pair of size 16 high-healed shoes and a photo book of “Live!” memories.”
“We did everything together,” Ripa said before grabbing champagne for a toast.
“I just want to say, behalf of myself and all of us, we couldn’t be prouder of you. You have given us so much joy in the mornings. From your sense of humor to your horrible French accent, we really are so, so proud of you,” Ripa said. “We’ve achieved so much together and I look forward to watching you every morning and seeing what else you achieve over at ‘Good Morning America.'”
Strahan responded by saying, “Thank you to everybody. I mean, it’s amazing. You guys have let me into your homes the last four years and I didn’t know what to expect, coming from sports to daytime television and you guys opened up your hearts to me and opened up your homes to me and it’s so overwhelming with the response we’ve had over the last four years that you guys have loved this show. It means the world that you spend an hour of your day, and what you don’t realize is that we get more from that hour than you really do. We sit in front of a live audience and I always say during our commercial breaks, they are the third co-host of the show.”
He continued over the closing credits: “It’s not about myself, it’s not about you [Ripa]. We have incredible staff here, from the producers, to the staff, to the crew, they make sure we;re always prepared and we come out here and put on a great show for you guys. We love you. We appreciate you. I love you. And to Kelly, you are the best.”
Ripa and Strahan toasted their glasses, kissed, and just like that, it was over.