The Mirror

Kelly Ripa Has An Incredibly Emotional Return To ABC’s ‘LIVE’

(Helga Esteb/

Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger
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Kelly Ripa, the host of ABC’s “LIVE” who went awol the last several days, returned to the set Tuesday to a standing ovation. She held a hand to her heart and looked like she was going to cry.

“Guys, guys, guys … our long national nightmare is over,” Ripa told the audience Tuesday morning.

Oh, did the dressing rooms run out of fresh lemons?

Actually it was far worse than that. Her co-host Michael Strahan jumped ship for ABC’s “GMA” without giving her proper warning. Network execs also did not let her in on the news until minutes before it broke.

Rumor has it Ripa and Strahan can’t stand each other. According to the New York Post‘s Page Six, Strahan would throw “locker room”-style temper tantrums. Sources said on-air niceties were just for show.

But don’t worry. She’s fine. They’re fine. The pair walked out tightly holding hands. The Mirror hopes the retired NFL defensive lineman wasn’t squeezing the petite blonde too hard. The morning host who earns $20 million a year explained that she was just vacationing with her husband, Mark Consuelos, on a pre-planned trip to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. She was also “gathering her thoughts” and stewing about not being given warning that her co-host was leaving.

The total number of days she really missed: 4 if you count her vacation days; 2 if you count the days she decided to just not show up for work.

But somehow this is all so wonderful because it’s turned into a national conversation about respecting women in the workplace. The world will be forever changed.

Looking like she was on the brink of an emotional downpour, Ripa pulled it together. “I’m fairly certain that there are trained guards with tranquilizer darts if I go too far off message,” she said. “I needed a couple of days to gather my thoughts. After 26 years, I earned that right. In that time, I gained some perspective.”

Ripa explained that her time away created a seismic shift on the planet.

“Over the course of a few days what has transpired has been extraordinary,” she said.

Has there been a cure for brain cancer?

“Communication and consideration and respect in the workplace,” she continued. “Since we’re being honest, I don’t consider this just a workplace. This is my second home. … We have an incredible team. We are incredibly devoted to one another. We are  family. … Our parent company has assured me that LIVE is a priority. There is a commitment to this show … and most importantly to you the viewers.”

And then she unloaded a torrent of bullshit.

“I am thrilled for Michael,” she said. “I am thrilled for you. And I couldn’t be prouder of you and everything we accomplished together.”

She emerged from her psychological break, saying, “My dad was a bus driver for 30 years. Thinks we’re all crazy. And I think he’s right.”

Next it was Strahan’s turn to turn on the fake enthusiasm for Ripa’s return.

“I’m so happy you’re back. … I love you,” he said, likely lying through his teeth. “I’m so happy you’re here because you brought me here. This show has been transforming for me. You are the queen of morning television.”

Ripa joked that Oprah is “the queen.” Strahan joked back, “She’s retired.”