A History of Live Hosts, from Regis & Kathie Lee to Kelly & Mark

As Live says goodbye to Ryan Seacrest, look back at the history of the daytime talk show, which premiered in 1988

01 of 05

'Live with Regis and Kathie Lee'

Regis Philbin
Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford in 1994. Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

After a few years as The Morning Show with Regis Philbin and Cyndy Garvey, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee premiered on Sept. 5, 1988, with Philbin and co-host Kathie Lee Gifford of Good Morning America fame. The pair's banter was a smash, and they were a morning hit until she left on July 28, 2000, later hosting the fourth hour of Today.

"We were each other's best audience," Gifford told Tamron Hall of the late Philbin in 2022. "I loved that man dearly. We became closer friends after we stopped working together. We worked together for 15 years and for the next 20 years, we just hung out as friends."

02 of 05

'Live with Regis and Kelly'

Regis Philbin
Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa in 2001. Spencer Platt/Newsmakers

Following Gifford's departure, All My Children star Kelly Ripa eventually landed the coveted co-hosting gig on Feb. 5, 2001, sharing the desk with Philbin until his retirement on Nov. 18, 2011.

Though the stars also earned high ratings thanks in part to their chemistry and entertaining generational differences, Ripa wrote in her 2022 memoir, Live Wire, that the day-to-day wasn't always as effortless as it looked on TV.

"There were good and bad days," she told PEOPLE. "I don't want to feel like I'm slamming anyone or that I'm being disrespectful. But I also want people to know it was not a cakewalk. It took years to earn my place there and earn things that are routinely given to the men I worked with. Including an office and a place to put my computer."

03 of 05

'Live with Kelly' and 'Live with Kelly and Michael'

Dave Steele/Disney-ABC/Getty

Once Philbin left, Ripa took on solo hotsing duties for a season, welcoming a rotating roster of guests hosts including Andy Cohen, Mary J. Blige, Kim Kardashian and Josh Groban.

After a year-long search, former New York Giants star and Fox football commentator Michael Strahan officially took the co-anchor seat on Sept. 4, 2012. Once again, the pairing worked, with viewers taking to the stars' easy vibe.

On April 19, 2016, Strahan announced he was leaving to join Good Morning America full-time — a fact Ripa didn't learn about until the news was made public.

A source told PEOPLE at the time that Ripa felt "betrayed and so hurt" by how Strahan's announcement was handled, and she later explained to the show's audience that the entire scenario highlighted the importance of "communication, consideration and, most importantly, respect in the workplace." She took a surprise week off following the announcement.

"The most disappointing thing to me was that I was painted as the bad guy, because I value the way I carry myself," Strahan later told PEOPLE. However, "I wasn't surprised by her reaction at all, but I can't control somebody else's actions. I was there four years, and it's about more than just being in front of the camera." He signed off Live on May 13, 2016.

04 of 05

'Live with Kelly' and 'Live with Kelly and Ryan'

LIVE! WITH KELLY AND RYAN - Airs 11/14/22 - “Live! With Kelly and Ryan,” airs weekdays in syndication on ABC
ABC/Jeff Neira

Once again, Ripa did a season solo as the search began for a co-host, welcoming a slew of celebrities to the desk until American Idol host Ryan Seacrest landed the job on Sept. 5, 2017.

"We started talking about this, like, a decade ago," Ripa told reporters following an announcement about Seacrest's hiring months prior. "But you were so ensconced with your other job and living in L.A. But we've always enjoyed working together — that's never been a question. It's just been being on the same coast at the same time."

"When we look at each other and talk to each other, there's obviously a tremendous amount of trust and respect, but also we can read each other's mind," Seacrest later said. "And I didn't know we could do that so well, but that's true every day."

The popular pair made it through several challenges, including at-home shows during the COVID-19 pandemic and Seacrest's busy bi-coastal career. On Feb. 16, 2023, Seacrest announced he'd be leaving the show in the coming weeks as American Idol once again kicks off on the West Coast.

Leaving was a "tough, tough" decision, Seacrest noted on the show, and a "bittersweet" one. "We've made memories to last a lifetime, met some of the most incredible people and had the warmest welcome into the homes of so many viewers across America," he added.

05 of 05

'Live with Kelly and Mark'

Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos
Live with Kelly and Ryan

With Seacrest's news came another headline: Ripa's husband and frequent fill-in co-host, Mark Consuelos, will soon join her permanently on the show.

"As a fan-favorite guest host for years, Mark is no stranger to the Live family," executive producer Michael Gelman said in a statement. "Having him join the show is so special for us and we're sure that viewers will feel the same."

"This is going to be amazing!" Consuelos wrote in an Instagram post reacting to the news. "I can't believe after all these years of listening to [Ripa] talk for free, I found a way to get paid for it. Is this a great country or what?"

He also congratulated and thanked Seacrest, writing, "I love you like a brother," before joking that he has "big shoes to fill. Well actually they're only a size 9, but you know what I mean."

Related Articles