Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest Take Flight in 'Top Gun' Spoof for 'Live' After Oscar Show — Watch

The Live with Kelly and Ryan hosts take PEOPLE behind the scenes of their annual After Oscar Show, which airs Monday from the Dolby Theater stage in L.A.

Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest are taking Live's annual After Oscar Show to new heights this year!

The daytime co-hosts will be back in Los Angeles again on Monday, bringing their New York City-based talk show across the country to the Dolby Theater stage, hours after the 95th annual Academy Awards wraps.

"They move out and we move in," Ripa, 52, jokes to PEOPLE about the show, teasing how it goes from Hollywood's biggest night to its biggest morning party. "We're like the changing of the guards."

It's a show that is very much put together on the fly, with the night before's footage from red-carpet special correspondent Carson Kressley being cut in with live interviews in front of a studio audience, broadcast for the syndicated series at 6 a.m. local time.

There's also Live's beloved pre-filmed packages that place Ripa and Seacrest, 48, in some of the year's Oscar-nominated films. Monday's show, for example, opens with the two training alongside a Tom Cruise lookalike for Best Picture nominee Top Gun: Maverick — a hilarious sequence PEOPLE can exclusively premiere.

"Ryan is just so, so good at these skits," Ripa boasts, despite her co-host's admission that he's "always embarrassed" by his performances. "It just tickles me every time I watch him because he really commits and gives his all!"

"I've said it a thousand times: If Ryan wanted to take a 900 percent pay cut, he could have been one of the best actors," she adds. "He could have been receiving an Academy Award! But he chose the money and not the fame. And that's ... commendable!" Credit to Live with Kelly and Ryan
Ryan Seacrest and Kelly Ripa. Live with Kelly and Ryan

Meanwhile, guest bookings for the show are secured only hours earlier. "We often have no idea who will be the live guests until maybe the next morning," Seacrest says. "Most of them are coming straight from the afterparty!"

"Oh, they've clearly been up all night," Ripa says. "Nobody's slept. We're the only two that have been rested — and barely, at that, because we'll be there in our production office after the Oscars, editing pieces with the team. We sit there with pizza, talking about what parts should be in."

"Usually, I'm soaking my feet in ice from the heels, watching that countdown clock in the corner going, 'Five hours 'til air ... four hours ... three hours ... ' before going to bed saying to myself, 'If I sleep sitting up, I won't have to have my hair and makeup redone, so I could get an extra hour!' " she adds.

"There's nothing like it," Seacrest jumps in. "It's a tight turnaround, and even more so for our guests. Even just in the years that I've been doing it with Kelly, I've passed Chateau Marmont on my route from my house, and you can see all the limos and black cars still lined up from the night before, waiting for the partying stars inside. And we're on our way to work! So we really ask these guys for a lot."

KELLY RIPA - Just hours after the Academy Awards come to a close, Kelly and Her co-host Neil Patrick Harris broadcast live from the very same stage on LIVE WITH KELLY
Kelly Ripa filming Live's After Oscar Show in 2012. Eric McCandless/Disney-Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images Domestic TV via Getty Images

Ripa and Seacrest will both be backstage on Oscar night, conducting interviews in the first spot winners and presenters hit when they walk off stage, trophy in hand.

It's another key element to Live's After Oscar Show and something Ripa has long done before, though Sunday night will be Seacrest's first time there after tight COVID-19 pandemic protocols forced Live to film the show remotely the past few years.

"Ryan's done the red carpet for years, but I've been telling him, 'You think you're crowded there? Just wait until you're backstage,' " says Ripa. "Because it's literally the two of us crammed into the smallest space you've ever seen in your life, with a table and a camera in front of you. And then somehow, just when you think it can't get any tighter, they put a celebrity there."

"You become super concerned about breath, fragrances — you notice everything," she adds. "It's very intimate."

In this handout photo provided by A.M.P.A.S. Kelly Ripa and Best Actress in a Supporting Role winner Laura Dern speak backstage during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards
Kelly Ripa and Laura Dern filming Live's After Oscar Show in 2020. Matt Petit - Handout/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images

Still, if past shows have proven anything, it's that the location serves as the perfect spot for some of the best celebrity interactions of the night.

"You get the first interview," Seacrest says. "They walk right off the stage, and they talk to you. And it's that guttural reaction."

"These are people at the pinnacle of their career. They're actors, directors, producers, writers, creative craft people — and they've they've just won the highest form of honor that you can in their industry. And 8 seconds later, they are talking to us. And they're not quite in their bodies yet," says Ripa, remembering some of the things celebs have said to her in the past.

She adds, "I've been offered jobs, vacations. People are like, 'I'm leaving for Marbella tomorrow on vacation, you should come.' And I just joke, 'Sure, I'll meet you at the airport,' knowing fully well they have no idea what they're saying to me."

Part of the appeal is the tequila, which the Live team happily offers to guests in addition to their champagne bar.

"We're the only place you can get tequila in that theater!" says Ripa. "And it's funny, but 100 percent of the people who come backstage — if they drink, they come specifically for the tequila. They don't even care if they have to sit through an interview to do it! They will do it. They take extras and take back to the seat!"

One year, Ripa was joined backstage by Samuel L. Jackson for a bulk of the show.

"He wasn't hosting or anything; he just came and stood next to me and watched the show on the TV," she explains. "When a celebrity would come back to interview, he would just move to the side. When they'd leave, he'd sneak back in. He just enjoyed watching it backstage better. He just felt like it was a more comfortable fit."

LIVE WITH KELLY AND RYAN - “Live with Kelly and Ryan” airs weekday mornings in national syndication
Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest. ABC Entertainment

Another standout celeb encounter? Jack Nicholson.

"I still don't know how we got him," wonders Ripa. "He wasn't nominated, I don't even think he was presenting, and we certainly didn't know he was supposed to be there. But all of a sudden, there was Jack, coming to speak to me."

She continues, "It was a moment where — even though I'm always starstruck because I'm fascinated by movie stars, I was speechless. My socks were knocked off. I couldn't believe it. And somehow I pulled myself together enough to get through it."

"But it was one of my favorite memories," Ripa raves. "He was charming and funny and every bit the Jack Nicholson we know about."

Monday's show will also feature Jason Mraz performing his new single, "I Feel Like Dancing," for the first time on TV.

The show itself will a full-circle moment for Ripa and Seacrest. "It's literally how we started working together," she says, recalling how Seacrest guest-hosted the 2017 telecast before he was officially hired as a co-host months later. "After it was over they were like, 'You guys work really well together!' "

"We had known each other socially for years," Seacrest explains. "And we would always see each other at the Oscars. I was outside every year on the carpet working for another network, and Kelly was always on the inside. So it was just this natural fit."

There's also a sentimental element to it all this time around, as it'll likely be the last time the two host the special together, with Seacrest revealing in February that he'd be leaving Live after six years on the show.

RYAN SEACREST - THE OSCARS® - The 92nd Oscars® broadcasts live on Sunday, Feb. 9,2020 at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood
Ryan Seacrest filming Live's After Oscar Show in 2020. Eric McCandless via Getty Images

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Despite Seacrest calling his exit "bittersweet," he tells PEOPLE hosting the show day-to-day doesn't feel any different.

"We were in each other's lives before the show and we'll be in each other's lives after the show," he explains of himself and Ripa.

"It doesn't feel like anything's really changed," she adds. "We won't see each other every morning, but we are so ensconced in each other's lives. I'm such a busybody in his life, so I don't really see our relationship changing."

"I'll just be getting more sleep on Oscar night next year," Seacrest jokes.

Live with Kelly and Ryan's After Oscar Show airs Monday on ABC (check local listings).

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