While on the red carpet before hosting The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation gala on Thursday’s “A Magical Evening,” O’Connell gushed about working with the longtime host.
“She’s number one, she’s the best, she’s beautiful, she’s funny, and as a parent, she’s inspiring,” he told PEOPLE of Ripa. “Whatever Kelly wanted me to do, I would do it. If she needed me a couple of days a week, I would help her out.”
It’s no secret that O’Connell, 42, has voiced his desire to join the show but if not him, he knows who would be perfect for the job.
“My vote is with Andy Cohen. I saw him on there and I thought he was really good,” he said of the Bravo host. “His parents came, he told funny stories, he’s an author. I don’t know how you top Andy Cohen. I got a lot of competition.”
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Just last month the actor co-hosted an entertaining Halloween show with Ripa where they mocked the presidential election. Ripa, 46, dressed up as Donald Trump and Melania and O’Connell as Hillary and Bill Clinton for a parody of the show, Family Feud.
Cohen, Ripa’s longtime friend, also made an appearance — playing himself — as the host of skit, which was recorded to seem like a commercial preview of the episode.
Both O’Connell and Cohen are rumored to still be in the running, but a source previously told PEOPLE, however, that Ripa and Cohen are “such great friends in real life it might actually hurt the host chat element of things, where they each talk about what they did the night before or over the weekend, etc.”
Live with Kelly airs weekdays (check local listings).