It’s not everyday that the Shmooze gets to write about Live! With Kelly, arguably one of the best shows on morning television, but today is an exception because Kelly Ripa has finally settled on a co-host: former New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan.
Key to the selection process was Michael Gelman, who has been producing Live! since Regis Philbin’s heyday. Philbin was the one who made Gelman into an off-screen character on the show, teasing him, humiliating him and at one point, launching him from a cannon on New York’s Columbus Avenue. In 1995, the Anti-Defamation League took issue with the taunting when Philbin co-host Kathie Lee Gifford characterized Gelman as “a male, Jewish, single guy, living in New York City.” “One wonders why Kathie Lee Gifford needed to identify the religion of her producer,” said ADL National Director, Abraham H. Foxman. “Surely, Ms. Gifford must understand the power of the medium of television and the dangers inherent in her statements.”