Ana Gasteyer is now part of the awkward dynamic on Live With Kelly and Michael. One day after it was announced that Michael Strahan will be leaving the ABC morning chat fest to move over to Good Morning America, his longtime Live co-host, Kelly Ripa, no-showed for the live ABC broadcast, so actress-comedian Ana Gasteyer sat in her place. The result was an awkward announcement from Strahan without his usual perky blonde co-host by his side.
“Kelly is off today,” Strahan said uncomfortably before announcing Ana as his co-host at the beginning of the show.
Ana Gasteyer sat and listened in earnest as Strahan told fans he’s not going anywhere and that he’s just moving to another morning show on the same network. No one in the audience clapped when Michael said he was moving to GMA.
— Al Kahn (@idolxfactor1) April 20, 2016
With Ana Gasteyer as the elephant in the room, Strahan also thanked the show’s crew and said he is available to return as a guest host anytime Live comes calling. At the end of the show, the former NFL star thanked his missing co-host for being such an “amazing influence” on him. But because Ana Gasteyer was on the receiving end of the farewell speech, the whole thing came off as really awkward. Hopefully, Michael will get to issue similar sentiments to his regular co-host later this week.
Of course, it’s not surprising that Ripa took a mental health day to process the news that her co-host of four years is moving on from the show. According to TMZ, the Live star was not told Strahan was leaving ahead of time, and she found out the news at the same time that Disney/ABC issued the announcement to the press. In addition, there have been rampant rumors that ABC is considering adding a third hour to Good Morning America, which would close the door on Live and Ripa’s longtime job at ABC, which she has held for 15 years. It’s definitely a blow that Strahan has a guaranteed job at GMA and Kelly could end up with nothing.
Luckily, Ana Gasteyer was available to fill in for Kelly while she took a day off, and it will be interesting to see if this turns into a multi-day stay for the former Saturday Night Live comic.
Needless to say, Live With Kelly and Michael fans had plenty of reaction to Ana Gasteyer’s last minute guest hosting stint.
— NWA Gossip Girl (@NWAgossipgirl) April 20, 2016
— Deanna Rigano (@48nylady) April 20, 2016
Right…..and they just happened to have Ana Gasteyer waiting in the wings to co-host today. What BS. https://t.co/ZcATUD2d1w
— Headless Gal (@HeadlessGal) April 20, 2016
So awkward watching #LiveKellyMichael Ana Gasteyer filling in.
— Rudy Guadarrama III (@RudyGIII) April 20, 2016
— Joe (@Jrn2755) April 20, 2016
Ana Gasteyer has been all over the small screen lately, but sitting in the Live chair as an uncomfortable fill-in was not a place anyone expected to see her. While she was a suitable substitute, the morning show format wasn’t the best use of Ana’s talents, especially in such a sticky situation.
In addition to her recurring role as drama teacher Miss Cinoman on the ABC sitcom The Goldbergs, Ana Gasteyer channeled a spot-on Eve Arden when she played Principal McGee in Fox’s Grease Live earlier this year. And of course, Ana is best known for her Saturday Night Live characters Bobbie Mohan-Culp, NPR radio host Margaret Jo, as well as her hilarious impressions of Martha Stewart and Celine Dion.
Now, with Strahan out there will be at least one vacant seat on Live starting this September, but based on his missing co-host’s act of protest, fans hope he won’t be the only one leaving.
Take a look at the video below to see Strahan talking to Ana Gasteyer about his move to Good Morning America.
[Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images]