On Friday, Regis Philbin leaves devoted Live! with Regis and Kelly viewers with 28 years' worth of memories... and a hole in their hearts. Mornings just won't be the same without Reege. Who could possibly fill the chair next to Kelly Ripa once the parade of temporary co-hosts (starting with Jerry Seinfeld) have eased the transition? Already really busy guys Jeff Probst, Neil Patrick Harris, Anderson Cooper and Ryan Seacrest couldn't possibly have time for the gig, could they? So who's it going to be? Let's take a look at eight possible contenders:
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1. Andy Cohen
For Him: The Watch What Happens: Live host had good chemistry with Ripa during a guest-hosting gig, he knows all about working with sassy women and can cut through the yammer to make his point under pressure. He's also based in New York.
Against Him: He's not as recognized a name outside the Bravo universe.
2. Mark Consuelos
For Him: The soap star has filled in for Philbin, hosted his own show (Age of Love) and presumably has chemistry to spare with Kelly, his wife.
Against Him: That chemistry might be cute in small doses, but after a while, will it go all Eyes Wide Shut on us? Or worse, could our familiarity with their picture-perfect marriage breed contempt?
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3. Carson Kressley
For Him: The Dancing with the Stars alum and former Queer Eye fashion maven has warmed Philbin's seat before and is a natural improviser.
Against Him: Kressley is certainly charismatic, but every day? We see him adding intermittent spice to the conversation, but not necessarily leading it.
4. Mario Lopez
For Him: The Extra correspondent is a whiz at on-the-fly interviews and has hosted several seasons of America's Best Dance Crew. (Hey, it's still hosting!)
Against Him: If producers want a Latin guy with dimples sitting next to Kelly, they're just going to hire Consuelos.
5. Ralph Macchio
For Him: Daniel-san has proven to be quick-witted and charming in past fill-in stints. He also amassed a multigenerational new fan base as the darling of Dancing last season. Plus: He's a New Yorker, so there's no need to relocate.
Against Him: Frankly, we don't see much of a downside.
6. Cameron Mathison
For Him: He's pals with Ripa, has hosting experience, is part of the ABC family and is at loose ends now that the future of All My Children online has gone south.
Against Him: Two former soap stars might be crowding the daytime demo. Ripa needs a broadcaster at her side.
7. Jerry O'Connell
For Him: The genial actor (everything from Kangaroo Jack to TV's The Defenders) has co-hosted with Ripa and did himself proud. Plus: The guy is kind of a riot.
Against Him: He and wife Rebecca Romijn are working actors based in Los Angeles.
8. Betty White
For Her: Hilarious, irreverent and beloved? Check, check and check. Longevity-wise, White is probably the only candidate who can come close to Philbin's bona fides.
Against Her: How to put this? She's almost 90.
Who do you think should get the job?