Last month, we mentioned that buzz is building regarding the possibility that former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan could replace Regis Philbin on the morning show he hosts with Kelly Ripa. Philbin is scheduled to retire in November.
Strahan has addressed the chatter, and it’s pretty clear that he wants the job.
“Regis [Philbin] is irreplaceable,” Strahan tells the New York Post, “but I feel that his easy nature and natural ability to make people comfortable is something that I would be able to bring to the show. I also know that I have the ability to laugh at myself and not take myself too seriously.”
(It’s hard not to wonder that last line was a slap at Strahan’s former teammate, Tiki Barber, whose media career collapsed under the perception, if not the reality, of self-importance.)
“I naturally appreciate and respect Kelly and how she has taken over that role and made it seem effortless,” Strahan said, who co-hosted the show on a one-shot basis in October 2010. “I think our chemistry is great and natural. It’s a fun show that doesn’t feel like work but feels more like a conversation. The opportunity to co-host was one of the great experiences of my career so far.”
But can Strahan, a fixture on FOX’s NFL coverage and the star of a failed sitcom, pull off a morning gig?
“I do think I could succeed at daytime television,” Strahan said. “It is definitely an adjustment but one that I think I can slide into without a lot of adjustment. What I do more is opinion-based and spontaneous and personality-driven, which is exactly what Regis and Kelly is about.”
Earlier in the week, Strahan characterized the assignment as a “dream job” and a “natural fit,” according to NBC New York.
The bigger question is whether the show would fit with his FOX duties. “The schedules don’t conflict, and if you love something and really want to do it you will make it happen,” Strahan told the Post.
The schedules don’t conflict, but the travel could be an issue. Strahan would have to hop a flight from New York to L.A. once the Friday show ends, and he’d need to then get on a plane as soon as the FOX coverage ends on Sunday night for the Monday morning show. But, like Strahan said, it he loves it and he really wants to do it, he’ll make it happen.