Kelly Ripa returned to Live With Kelly and Michael for the first time since the Michael Strahan news broke, and the host chose to address things openly.
Ripa's big return to Live took place Tuesday morning. Instead of delaying the inevitable, she spoke about the recent developments going on at the show, with Strahan leaving in September in favor of Good Morning America. With rumors that Ripa was "beyond angry" with producers behind the scenes, she decided to take the time to speak on what's on everybody's minds.
"Our long national nightmare is over," she quipped. "I first want to honestly, sincerely thank you for welcoming me back to the show. The show of support in this bizarre time has been overwhelming."
Ripa discussed why she took off those first few days after Strahan's announcement.
"I needed a couple of days to gather my thoughts. After 26 years with this company, I earned the right," she said. Ripa also joked that half the audience called in sick to work in order to attend Live, "So, we get each other."
She then talked about what Live means to her and why she's happy that the past week has brought about a dialogue on the national stage.
"What transpired over the course of a few days has been extraordinary, in the sense that it started a much larger conversation about communication and consideration and most importantly respect in the workplace. And since we're being honest, I don't consider this just a workplace," she said. "This is my second home."
The audience gave her a very warm reception. Strahan then took the time to comment on their relationship.
"I'm so happy you're back," he said. "And one thing about you is you love this show, you love the fans, you love the staff, I love you, and I am so happy you're here because you brought me here with Gelman and this show has been transforming for me and I know this show lives on because you are the queen of morning television and it will continue to go."
Strahan added that he's right down the street if she ever needs him to come back.
"You need me, I'm coming back to help out."