Kathie Lee Gifford Has Advice For Kelly Ripa, Michael Strahan: Is There An Ironic Connection?

Kathie Lee Gifford has apparently weighed in on the Kelly Ripa vs. Michael Strahan controversy.

The former Live with Regis and Kathie Lee co-host opened up about the situation during a recent appearance on FOX411 Tuesday. Instead of focusing on the drama or gossip surrounding the situation, Kathie Lee Gifford simply offered valuable advice for Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan on handling it properly.

“Be totally professional. I would keep anything that is going on between you private. It’s nobody’s business but yours. But always, always be professional at your job. That’s what you’re hired to do.”

Long before Kelly Ripa became the Live co-host alongside Regis Philbin, Kathie Lee Gifford was the lovable television personality that sat alongside him on the stage. For most of the 1980s, Regis Philbin co-hosted The Morning Show on a local station in New York alongside Cyndy Garvey and later Ann Abernathy.

After Abernathy left, and her slot was filled by Kathie Lee Gifford (who was actually “Kathie Lee Johnson” at the time) in June of 1985. The show was later renamed Live with Regis and KathieLee nearly three years later, and quickly became a big hit in national syndication.

Kathie Lee Gifford [Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for New York Giants]Entertainment Weekly published a review of Live with Regis and Kathie Lee back in September of 1990, giving the popular morning show an “A” grade.

The review claimed that the majority of daytime talk shows settled “into idle chattiness or melodramatic muckraking” and overall predictability. The review further stated that the “funny, energetic, and surprising” nature of Live with Regis and KathieLee broke that mold and set the show apart from the others.

“Older TV viewers must be shocked by Philbin’s recent fame, for before his daytime-talk employment, Philbin was at best a footnote in TV history… Before she joined Philbin as cohost, Kathie Lee Gifford was known primarily for her excessively chipper commercials for a sea-cruise company. But together, Regis and Kathie Lee are hot.”

Fast forward to now, many Live with Kelly and Michael fans might be worried about Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan’s off-set drama and potential bickering making its way onto a live broadcast. However, according to that EW review from 1990, the subtle clashing actually proved to be a strong point for Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.

The review stated that if everything was “merely playful, it would be insufferable.” However, that was apparently not the case when Regis and Kathie co-hosted on the show.

“There’s a tinge of nastiness in this duo’s sniping that keeps you wondering who’s hurting whose feelings more. The guests on the show — the usual parade of celebrities with something to plug — are almost irrelevant. One tunes into Live to listen to the edgy, amusing bickering.”

There could be a bit of irony that somewhat connects Kathie Lee Gifford to the current transition being experienced by Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan on the Live set.

Kathie Lee Gifford left Live with Regis and Kathie Lee behind on July 28, 2000 — 15 years after she first joined Regis Philbin on The Morning Show. On the day of her emotional departure from the show, according to ABC News, Regis quipped that “it’s taken 15 years to say goodbye.”

In February 2001, Kelly Ripa reportedly edged out Valerie Bertinelli and Dolly Parton by being named the official co-host alongside Regis — creating Live with Regis and Kelly.

Fifteen years later, Kelly’s co-host — Michael Strahan — announced his departure from the Live with Kelly and Michael morning talk show.

More than likely, it is all just an unfortunate coincidence. With recent reports of Michael Strahan now leaving the show in a few weeks (instead of a few months), perhaps Live fans will get a chance to see a “tinge of nastiness in this duo’s sniping.”

At the end of the day, though, following Kathie Lee Gifford’s advice of being “totally professional” will undoubtedly work in favor for both Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan.

[Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images]