You need someone to break the ice after an awkward departure? Call Jimmy Kimmel. The king of mean tweets co-hosted the newly re-branded "Live with Kelly" on Monday, in the first show since Michael Strahan's "bittersweet" departure. It was clear from the jump that Strahan's absence was not going to be ignored or quickly glossed-over -- instead, it became a main focus of the episode.

Kimmel delved right in after he and Kelly Ripa sat down, joking, "Where's Michael?" Ripa and the audience laughed, and Ripa replied, "That's right you don't read newspapers." Kimmel pretended to have no idea what was going on, asking if everything was all right. Ripa said it was great, and added that it was a tradition that whenever they re-launch the show, Jimmy Kimmel is her first co-host.

Check out this clip from Us Weekly:

As the New York Daily News noted, Kimmel had just come from an appearance on "The Howard Stern Show" and had some questions from Stern to Ripa and executive producer Michael Gelman. "Gelman, will you ever talk to Strahan again?" Kimmel asked. Gelman laughed and said yes. But it was a maybe on Strahan returning to guest host.

Although the show is now "Live with Kelly," Ripa joked to Kimmel they still have photos of Strahan backstage because "We haven't gotten around to" taking them down yet.

They continued to poke fun at the situation in a game called "Wheel of Co-hosts," which featured the names of potential show co-stars, including Derek Jeter, Kylie Jenner, and a "party-sized summer sausage." When the wheel landed on the sausage, Kimmel quipped that he just got a call and was told "The sausage is leaving to go to 'Good Morning America.'"

What do you think -- well played, or too soon?

Want more stuff like this? Like us on Facebook.

Live! With Kelly and Michael

After spending a decade sitting next to talk show legend Regis Philbin on the "Live" set, co-host Kelly Ripa now sits next to a football legend, Michael Strahan, followin... Read More

categories Tv News