The Academy Awards are almost upon us. And as excited as you might be, Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa might be more pumped. That’s because they’ll be celebrating the awards with their morning-after-the-Oscars® special, airing February 23. We asked the dynamic duo from LIVE with Kelly and Michael what surprises fans can expect, and the level of fandom exhibited by the fans who actually get to see the show.
What are you looking forward to most about the After Oscar Show?
Kelly Ripa: I think that the energy of the crowd is amazing. They start lining up at 2am and they come in so excited. It is just punchy and fun. And it’s thrilling to be in the theater where the Oscars just happened.
Michael Strahan: It gives us the energy to go out there and give an amazing show.
What makes it different from a typical LIVE show?
MS: The fact that we haven’t slept before we do it—that’s different!
KR: Yes, we really come in after a night of partying and we haven’t slept. The term “hot mess” was really made for us for when we shoot that show, as we are so tired—we have truly been up all night.
MS: Yeah, every year I think to myself “I should try and get some sleep and skip the next party,” but I never do. You are wide-awake and you are doing a live show.
KR: I know I am going to be up all night no matter what! I just have a cheeseburger, power through, and do this amazing show the next day.
What do you have planned for this year?
KR: Well, the good news is that we have Neil Patrick Harris. He is going to tell us about all the action that happened backstage. We are going to have an amazing dance number from the professional dancers from Dancing With the Stars. They will be doing a big spectacular number for us.
MS: And we will have a medley from Flo Rida, so it’s going to be an awesome show. Kelly will be backstage with the Oscar winners so we will have that to look forward to. And I am doing the red carpet. So we will have you covered!
What’s it like to spend every morning with each other?
MS: You know what I love about it? The energy is such a thrill. Our relationship is so strong, and every day is exciting. We come in, give each other a kiss on the cheek and give 100 percent. It’s organic and real. We know how fortunate we are, and it shows. I feel like I am the luckiest guy in the world to be able to come in and do this job, and have fun every morning.
KR: It’s great. We are not high-maintenance people. We come in, we do our jobs, there is no high drama. It’s just fun times.
What’s the best part about hosting LIVE?
KR: I just love the fact that our entire audience has changed. We never used to see little boys with hero worship in their eyes for Michael. My favorite part is messing with the kids and pretending that I will sign their football, and all they want is Michael and they are too polite to say no! I am so happy to have him as a partner in crime, and we just have a ball.
MS: But…she does have her own autograph number! I’m 92 and she is 92 and a half!
KR: Ha, yes, I wanted a number so badly that now I am number 92.5! I gave myself my own number.
MS: The best part of this job is just being able to get up and laugh and watch the audience have a blast. You are out there having a good time and laughing. And we hope that people enjoy watching the show as much as we enjoying doing it.
Who is your ultimate dream guest for the show?
KR: Jack Nicholson!
MS: Oh, yes, I would love to have him! I would love to have him here.
KR: I interviewed Jack Nicholson at the Oscars a few years ago and it left me wanting more. He was walking by us and we grabbed him—we actually kidnapped him! I really felt like I wanted to sit down and just interview him for an hour.
KR: We would also like to have Leonardo DiCaprio.
MS: Yes, Leo is like the elusive snow leopard you can only catch when you put a hidden camera out.
KR: Or a supermodel. What we need to do is replace us with two supermodels and lure him in!
MS: Ha, ha! That could work!
Growing up, who was your TV crush?
KR: Oh my gosh. I would have to say Erik Estrada. And naturally I grew up and married my husband, who looks like Erik Estrada.
MS: Well, Janet Jackson looked pretty good as Penny on Good Times. And while this is not a show, Elizabeth Shue from The Karate Kid.
LIVE’s After Oscar Show airs live from the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® on Monday, February 23. Check local listings for time and station. To prepare, watch Oscar nominated movies now on DIRECTTV CINEMA®.