The year 2016 may very well go down in history as one of the wildest and weirdest years in recent history. This sentiment is no less true for Kelly Ripa, whose year has been dominated by workplace drama but luckily, not totally consumed by it. When she wasn't busy making surprise guest appearances (read: making great shows even greater), she was test-driving different co-hosts for Live! and doing it in style. If anything, Ripa has shown us all that even when the unexpected happens, there's no reason to wallow in it. Instead, the best thing to do is brush yourself off and keep moving forward.
Ripa's indomitable spirit and trademark wit have also defined her year. It's interesting to note that while Ripa is not a frequent social media poster, when she does post, she makes sure it's a moment that counts. That's pretty indicative of how Ripa has remained strong during what would appear to have been an otherwise unsettled year for the daytime talk show host. She has chosen to highlight the positive and focus on the good times, which I think we can all agree is the best course of action when it seems like there's nothing but drama surrounding you.
Perhaps the defining narrative in Ripa's public life was the drama surrounding Live! and co-host Michael Strahan's unexpected (and slightly messy) departure. After four years, Strahan announced he was leaving Live! in April 2016. The announcement reportedly blindsided Ripa and the production team behind Live!, all of whom had no clue that Strahan was departing for greener pastures over at Good Morning America.
Ripa was noticeably curt to Strahan in his final days as co-host and made headlines when she took a week off from Live! without notice. Ripa's public apology to her viewership was heartfelt and earnest. She expressed that she needed time to process the news.
At the time of the event, Ripa's close friend and, later, Live! co-host Andy Cohen noted Ripa's distress at not being told of Strahan's departure and cited their chemistry as one of the reasons the news was so shocking.
While she felt hurt that she wasn't immediately told of Strahan's departure, she was going to press onward and wished Strahan well in the transition process. There were recent rumors that Strahan was trying to return to Live!, although that should definitely be taken with a grain of salt. Strahan's made no public announcement as of yet.
Since April, Ripa has had a bevy of famous faces play co-host on Live!. Initially, many thought that this was simply an audition process, much like what had happened when Ripa's previous co-host Regis Philbin left and Strahan came aboard. It would appear that this is not the case, since Ripa is still co-hosting with a new guest each week. While there is no clear-cut consensus on whether Ripa will find a permanent co-host, it's been a ton of fun to see who sits in the chair next to Ripa each episode.
Notable co-hosts have included Alec Baldwin, Fred Savage, Carrie-Ann Inaba, Jim Parsons, Andy Cohen, and Ripa's best friend Anderson Cooper. Who knows what 2017 will hold for Ripa and the Live! team? But one thing's for certain: Ripa is ready to move on from the drama and keep the good times rolling. Can you blame her? I have my fingers crossed she keeps bringing on new co-hosts every week, if only because it proves that Ripa can get along with literally anyone and make great television at the same time.
Proof that she can work with anyone and have literally a metric ton of fun was her iconic Halloween episode with co-host Jerry O'Connell. Ripa and O'Connell had a whale of a time dressing up as 2016's most recognizable and beloved characters. While O'Connell donned Negan's leather jacket and baseball bat, Ripa repped Lemonade with Beyoncé's trademark yellow dress and the "Hot Sauce" bat. She also did a hilarious impression of Donald Trump — orange visage and all — as well as Suicide Squad's Harley Quinn.
When she wasn't busy rightfully ruling the roost at Live!, Ripa was documenting some major family milestones. Ripa's social media feeds were dominated by her family life this year, and it was so much fun to be able to share in Ripa's maternal joys. The most exciting milestone was definitely Ripa's 20-year anniversary with husband Mark Consuelos. For a celebrity marriage, 20 years is a ridiculously long time to stay married, but don't get it twisted: That's a good thing.
The duo has been delighting in one another's company for years and are arguably an example of a successful celebrity marriage. When Consuelos co-hosted Live! with Ripa in December 2016, the two were riffing off each other as they spoke to the audience about how they eloped. Now, two decades and three children later, the couple is just as lively and in love as they ever were — and it shows.
Ripa also documented the big milestones of her children, notably eldest son Michael. Ripa was a proud mom all through 2016 as she posted some of Michael's biggest moments. This included Michael graduating high school, going to the voting booth with his mom and eventually heading off to college.
Ripa was also there to document birthdays, an adorable father-daughter moment as her middle child Lola accompanied Consuelos to the premiere of Nine Lives, and youngest son Joaquin's wrestling matches. I mean, honestly, could it get any cuter? And through all of it, Ripa remained focused on documenting the good times because those are the moments worth remembering.
2016 was definitely a wild year for Ripa. Who knows what awaits her in 2017?
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