Michael Strahan co-hosted his final episode of Live with Kelly and Michael on Friday. Since Strahan announced last month that he would be leaving Live to step into a larger role on Good Morning America, and his co-host Kelly Ripa subsequently took a week off from the show, several reports have indicated that tensions between the colleagues have been high.
But they were all smiles for Strahan's final episode, with Ripa pointing out that it fell on Friday the 13th and joking that, "there's a run on discounted merchandise" bearing the Live with Kelly and Michael logo.
"It's bittersweet," Strahan told the audience about his exit. "I'm not dying. I'm still in the family, and I'm still available to come back if I'm ever called to co-host."
Initially, Strahan said he would be leaving the show in September; however, his exit was bumped up to May for reasons that were not explicitly made clear. Strahan made a vague reference to the change on Friday, noting that the moment had come, "sooner than I expected."
Though the show included flashbacks to Strahan's more memorable moments, it was otherwise a fairly understated departure, with Strahan dismissing any ceremony.
"I don't like a big to-do about it," he said during his and Ripa's opening chat. "We come out here every morning and we do our host chat, we make people laugh. I think that's what we need to do right now. Forget all these other formalities, and get on with our show."
At the end of the episode, Ripa presented Strahan with a few parting gifts, including a framed picture of them in their infamous "short shorts," a photo album, and a bronzed pair of size 16 heels that Strahan wore on the show. The two then shared a champagne toast.
"We couldn't be prouder of you," Ripa said. "You have given us so much joy in the morning, from your smile to your sense of humor to your horrible French accent. We really are so, so proud of you. We've achieved so much together, and I look forward to watching you every morning to see what else you achieve."
Added Strahan, addressing the audience: "I didn't know what to expect, coming from sports to daytime television. You guys opened up your hearts to me and opened up your homes to me, and it's been so overwhelming. ... It means the world that you give us an hour of your day, and what you don't realize, we get more from that hour than you really do."
He then told Ripa, "I love you, baby," and planted a kiss on her lips as the credits rolled.
Check out footage from Strahan's final episode in the video above. What did you think of his send-off?