Now that Michael Starahan has officially announced his impending exit from LIVE with Kelly and Michael, viewers are wondering who will replace him when he officially joins Good Morning America in a full-time capacity this September. There are several names that would definitely make for the perfect partner-in-crime for the show's longtime leading lady, Kelly Ripa. Of course, among those names being tossed around are Andy Cohen and his BFF Anderson Cooper. When TMZ caught up with Andy on Wednesday night, he shared why he thinks Anderson would be the perfect counterpart for Kelly.
"Anderson, I love him," the Watch What Happens Live host said of his friend and CNN host, who's previously guest hosted on LIVE. "AC. Anderson. Anderson; he'd be amazing [to replace Michael]. Yeah, [I spoke to Kelly]. I think she's gone [on vacation]." Andy also shot down any talk about himself being in consideration for the role. "I have like 10 jobs, dude," he told TMZ. "Do you know how many jobs I have?
Kelly was absent from LIVE on Wednesday following the news of Michael's exit. Saturday Night Live alum Ana Gasteyer filled in for her as the former football player formerly made his announcement about his departure on air. “It is the same channel. I’m not going anywhere. I was reading some stuff and it sounded like I died," Michael said, via the New York Daily News. “I’m always here. I’m always available to guest co-host if I get a call. Because I consider myself to be a part of this family forever.”
Michael, who officially joined the chat show in 2012, also thanked Kelly, as well as longtime LIVE producer Michael Gelman for their support. "I'm very thankful for her, to her, because I've learned so much from her. And [executive producer] Michael Gelman showed me the ropes," he said. "I was so new to all of this and if it weren't for her and it weren't for Michael Gelman and the staff there that really boosted me up and made me look a lot better than I really am, I never would have had a chance to be here and I'm grateful that I'm here."
Daily News also reports that a source said that both Kelly and Gelman were surprised by Michael's decision, which he shared with them on Tuesday, following the broadcast. “They were shocked,” a source told Daily News. “They were surprised.”
One day after the news broke of Michael's exit, Kelly was spotted on the streets of NYC. E! News reports she will be absent from the show for a few more episodes as she and husband, Mark Consuelos, will be on pre-planned vacation in Turks and Caicos, as Andy teased to TMZ. Erin Andrews and Pretty Little Liars actress Shay Mitchell will fill in for her during that time.
Kelly spotted in NYC on April 20.
Check out some photos of Anderson and Kelly, below.