'Live's Kelly Ripa & Ryan Seacrest on Their 'Terrific' Chemistry & Pre-Show Rituals

Ryan Seacrest Kelly Ripa Paley Live Red Carpet Interview
Kristina Bumphrey/StarPix

Having co-hosted Live with Kelly and Ryan for nearly three years, Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest have a lot to celebrate. On March 4, they joined long-time executive producer Michael Gelman and host David Muir on stage at The Paley Center for “PaleyLive: An Evening with Kelly and Ryan” to look back at some of their best moments over the years.

The pair’s unique chemistry, which earned them a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host in 2019, fills the room no matter where they go. Whether they’re on the red carpet or on the air, the duo never fails to bring the laughs. But what is it that makes the magic happen?

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“Kelly and Ryan are both terrific broadcasters who actually have real chemistry between them, in real life and on the air, and so we produce the show in a way that they get to interact spontaneously,” Gelman told TV Insider. “It’s kind of a faux husband and wife, where a lot of their celebrity friends come over and visit, and it just makes for terrific chemistry in a live show where we’re acting off of what happens every day.”

In between making each other laugh on the red carpet, Seacrest and Ripa could not sing each other’s praises enough.

“My favorite thing is coming to work with somebody that is remarkable at what they do, a good person, someone I look up to, and someone who makes me better at what I’m doing every day,” he said.

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(Kristina Bumphrey/StarPix)

And what is working with Seacrest like? According to Ripa, it’s “like checking into a great hotel,” where you know you’re in for a great experience.

“Ryan is always kind to everyone, whether the cameras are rolling or not," she said. "He’s kind, he’s a good person, he treats everyone with equal dignity and respect, and he smells good. He’s not offensive in any way.”

Because the show airs live each morning, the ever-present potential for mishaps is something the pair has naturally learned how to embrace and laugh off. According to Ripa, however, Seacrest doesn’t always learn from his silly mistakes. After leaning too far back in his chair and falling over live on the air, he has not gotten away from his penchant to topple over.

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“Now I would have learned from that experience,” Ripa said. “No, not Ryan! The other day, we were doing a toy segment and he fell out of the car backwards.”

“So, like a child, sometimes I don’t learn,” Seacrest said with a laugh.

While the American public relies on the duo to wake them up each morning, what gets them ready to start their day? According to Seacrest, it’s a combination of matcha, coffee, and not seeing each other until moments before they walk out to do the show.

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(Kristina Bumphrey/StarPix)

“We’re very ritualistic in our behaviors,” Ripa said. “I think that’s part of what makes us good at what we do.”

Their final moment of reassurance before the cameras start rolling? “We grab each other’s hand one second before we go on the air as a ritual, and we start,” Seacrest said.

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Although Gelman has been the executive producer of Live for over 30 years, there’s never a dull moment for him, because he can never be totally sure of what will happen each day.

“What keeps it fun for me is being live and the fact that we’re in the epicenter of pop culture in the United States and possibly the world,” Gelman said. “We’re reacting off of these great guests who are really whatever is happening in pop culture, so that’s what keeps it fresh for me.”

With a hardworking and hilarious team like this one, there’s bound to be many more years of waking up to Live with Kelly and Ryan to come.

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