Kelly Ripa Returns To ‘Live!’ With An Emotional Monologue About Respect And Perspective

Kelly Ripa made her return to Live! with Kelly and Michael Tuesday morning amid speculations of a meltdown following the sudden, blindsiding news that her co-host Michael Strahan was departing the show for Good Morning America. All signs of tension and drama were absent, however, as she and Strahan appeared to be in a united front, holding hands as they made their way out to stage to thunderous applause and cheering.

Before starting the show, Ripa did take a few minutes to address the controversy of the past week, after the audience finally managed to settle down, telling the crowd: “Guys, guys, guys. Our long national nightmare is over.” She graciously thanked everyone for welcoming her back to the show, and for the support her fans have shown her over this difficult time.

Ripa says that after having some time to process, the ordeal has led her to gain perspective, and that everything that has transpired has led to a greater conversation behind the scenes about “communication, and consideration, and most importantly, respect in the workplace.” But perhaps most importantly, she says that her parent company has assured her that Live! is very much a priority.

And if you think this whole thing was ridiculous and blown out of proportion, Ripa assures us that her father, who was a bus driver for 30 years, “thinks they’re all crazy.” Well said, on all counts.