Michael Strahan's journey from football star to Kelly Ripa's co-host
Live!” co-star on September 4, she will be saying the name “Michael Strahan.” Yep, the gap-toothed former NFL star will reportedly be the new Regis Philbin.If the buzz is to be believed, when Kelly Ripa makes the big announcement about her new “
Strahan, 40, has certainly been well-received by the morning show’s audience, who hooted and hollered when he ripped off his pants and performed a “Magic Mike”-inspired strip tease on the show late last month. And there has long been buzz that out of the 59 guest hosts who “auditioned” for the role with Ripa since Philbin retired in November 2011, Strahan was at the front of the pack. Stephen Battaglio, who is the business editor for TV Guide, explains the reasoning behind the pick to Yahoo! TV. “She is comfortable with him," Battaglio says. "He's filled in on the show many times, so Disney ABC Television was probably able to do a lot of research on how the audience feels about them as a team. The ratings are up among younger viewers since Regis left the show, which tells you that Kelly is who they're tuning in for. So if she's happy, the viewers should be happy.”
So who is Strahan – other than the guy who bested Seth Meyers and Nick Lachey for the job? He was a pro football player for the New York Giants before retiring in 2007. He ended his 15-year NFL career with a Super Bowl win against the previously undefeated New England Patriots. He immediately transitioned to TV as a commentator on “Fox NFL Sunday,” and he took on guest roles on shows including “Entourage,” “Chuck,” and “Are We There Yet?” He has also appeared in countless commercials – from Campbell’s Chunky Soup to Sports Authority.
However, there have been some bumps in the road, so much so that a 2006 New York Times article noted that Strahan “will need to spend time repairing his image.” The comment stemmed from his bitter 2005 divorce from his wife, Jean, which played out in the New York City tabloids. For three years, the Strahans waged a nasty court battle against each other during which she accused him of abusing her, secretly videotaping her sister undressing, and having affairs with multiple women – including one who went by the name Cupcake. (Yes, Cupcake.) For his part, Strahan said she was guilty of overspending his fortune, dropping $27,000 on clothes for their then 20-month-old twin daughters in a just one year. "They like to be accessorized," Jean testified in court.
A judge later awarded Jean a whopping $15.3 million, which was a huge win for her as court records showed his net worth was about $22 million. Jean later held a tag sale at their $3.6 million mansion in Montclair, N.J., selling the family’s intimate possessions on the front yard.