|Ripa with Jerry Seinfeld.|
You have to give Kelly Ripa credit. In 2001, she filled the shoes of Kathie Lee Gifford and moved into the co-host's seat on Live!, endearing herself both to the show's longtime host, Regis Philbin, and to audiences.
Through the years, the ratings have remained high. Ripa, 41, succeeded at doing the show with Regis and with numerous co-hosts who filled in for him at least every Friday, in addition to some Thursdays and many vacation weeks.
Now, she's in the main host's seat, doing the show with a revolving troupe of men as the show's parent company, Disney, searches for someone to replace Reege permanently.
Believe me, it's no small task to have to adapt to a new co-host every few days, to conform with different conversational styles and to be up on topics each new person is able to address, topics that also have to be entertaining to the audience. In fact, it must be exhausting.
In my opinion, Kelly Ripa should receive tremendous accolades, especially now that The New York Times is reporting the latest ratings show Live! has become even stronger since Regis Philbin's departure last month.
The numbers have been better than they were last year at this same time. In fact, Live is up 12% among all viewers and 14% among women, 25-54, the show's target audience.
True, some pretty high profile guest stars have filled in, like Jerry Seinfeld and Josh Groban, but through it all Kelly Ripa has been there carrying the ball.
This woman deserves an award for sure. She brings a level of enthusiasm and work ethic to her job and makes it look like child's play. Ripa is a consummate professional with just enough ego to be entertaining, but not so much as to usurp those around her. She allows others to shine.
Ripa, married to an actor with three children, has remained above the fray with regard to the gossip columns.
Finally, she's pretty funny and good off the cuff, which is what her job is all about.