Kelly Ripa needs a new co-host. This much we can all agree on. And she needs one in a hurry, too, what with Michael Strahan set to leave for Good Morning America later this month. It turns out lots of people have lots of opinions about this, as names like Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen, and Mario Lopez have been strewn about by websites across the internet. While those certainly seem like reasonable candidates based on their history of guest hosting and general on-camera abilities, there is also, as far as I can tell, no reason that one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles can’t be her new co-host. After all, they have daytime television experience, too.
Now, perhaps you have some questions about this notion of a talk show co-hosted by a fictional mutant turtle who developed high-level martial arts skills and started behaving like a pizza-loving American teenager after crawling through a puddle of green ooze. Like, for example, which one? Well, I’m glad you asked, because I have more than a few thoughts about this.
First, a look at the candidates:
I think we can all agree that Donatello wouldn’t be a good fit on a morning talk show. He’s a perfectly nice guy, but he’s kind of a geek, and I really don’t know what exactly he and Kelly would talk about for 15 minutes of host chat every weekday.
KELLY: … and then we came back from the Hamptons. It was lovely. What were you up to, Don?
DONATELLO: I built a microwave out of scraps I found in the sewer.
KELLY: … Why?
DONATELLO: [has walked off and is now asking the cameraman very specific questions about his camera]
KELLY: We’ll be right back with Blake Lively!
That’s not to say Donatello doesn’t have any future in television. Mythbusters is looking for new hosts. He would be great for that. But as far as this gig goes… sorry, bud.
Which leaves us with three:
Leonardo is the leader of the Turtles, so there’s probably a little temptation to put him in there. The problem is that Leo isn’t a hyper-charismatic, Type-A kind of leader. He’s more of a “We need to save the city, but do it the right way, and not take any unnecessary risks, and will you guys stop skateboarding for five seconds and listen to me” kind of leader. He’ll never fit with a spitfire like Kelly. She’ll drop one or two little innuendos bombs into their conversation and he’ll just retreat into his shell oh my God did you guys see what I did there with the shell thing what a good joke.
But! Those same cheery/dorky “Come on, guys! Let’s go!” attributes that would make him a bland morning show host would make him an excellent producer, so let’s get him on staff somewhere behind the scenes. I imagine productivity among interns will increase once they have a superior who walks around the set with two huge swords on his back. On the air, though? No thanks.
And then there were two:
Let’s be honest, this was always coming down to Raph and Mike, because they’re the only two that have anything resembling a personality. And it’s even more fun, because those personalities are almost polar opposites. Raphael, the sarcastic, rebellious one. Michelangelo, the fun-loving party guy. You could almost go with either. Almost.
See, Michelangelo looks good on paper. He’s fun! He has jokes! He often has a pizza! But how long can you — you, the audience, and you, Kelly Ripa (hi!) — really put up with that before it starts to drive you mad? This is a long-term commitment. Five mornings a week, 40 to 50 weeks a year. At some point he’s going to walk into the studio at 8 a.m. carrying a full pizza for the 50th-straight day and someone — a producer, a staffer, Kelly — is going to lose it and smash the pizza on the ground and shout, “Would it kill you to prepare for an interview one time instead of just asking every guest for their favorite roller blade spots in New York?! And eat a fruit salad for once in your life, you cheese-mad child! Your bowels must be a disaster!” And then TMZ will get wind of it and run a headline like “HEY, MICHELANGELO. DO YOU EVEN POOP, BRO?” and then it’ll hit the internet and then it’ll just be a whole thing with thinkpieces and memes and such. Not worth it, I say.
Michelangelo: Great guest host. Not the full-time solution.
Which brings us to:
It’s perfect. Even though Michelangelo is usually described as “the funny one” in TMNT, the truth is that Raphael has the sharper sense of humor. It’s kind of like a Fallon vs. Letterman thing, except, again, both of them are giant pubescent amphibians who have been trained in the art of hand-to-hand combat. (Related: The Leno/Letterman and Leno/Conan feuds would have been way more interesting if everyone involved was a martial arts master. Leno would have used a bo staff. I am certain of this.) And for anyone who thinks Kelly can’t work with a grumpy, difficult, irascible co-host, I mean, she did work with Regis for years.
It’s settled. Live With Kelly & Raphael. Alert the affiliates.