Michael Strahan Debuts on Good Morning America: Good Riddance, Ripa!

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Michael Strahan is ready to tackle a new challenge.

Michael Strahan Debuts

A few months after his very awkward and contentious exit from Live! with Kelly and Michael, the former New York Giants defensive star made his debut Tuesday as a full-time anchor on Good Morning America.

And while Strahan was basically shown the door in angry fashion by Kelly Ripa back in May, he was welcomed warmly to the morning desk by colleagues George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts this morning.

You can see the opening few moments for yourself below.

They included a few cheers from those on set, behind the scenes:

"This is GMA with RobinRoberts, George Stephanopoulos and Michael Strahan," said the voiceover, while Roberts joked that this feels like "the first day of school."

For many kids around the country, of course, today is the first day of school.

"The only thing I'm missing is my Spider-Man lunchbox," Strahan joked.

Strahan has appeared numerous times before as a GMA correspondent, but he announced this spring that he was leaving Live to pursue that gig full-time.

Ripa, according to many sources, was not informed of this decision before the public was made aware of the move.

She responded in understandable anger, not showing up for a work for a couple of days out of protest.

When she did finally come back, she and Strahan tried to joke around about the career change, but their interactions were nothing but forced and tense until Strahan's departure on May 13.

To wit:

In response to this awkward set-up, Strahan moved his exit date way up.

When he originally announced he was leaving Live, Strahan said it would make the switch in September.

But producers couldn't possibly continue with Ripa and Strahan as co-hosts for much longer, resulting in the latter getting the heck out of there four months earlier than initially planned.

I'm not dying! I'm still in the family!" he said on air upon making the GMA announcement, adding:

"And I'm still available to come back if I'm ever called to co-host so I'm not going anywhere. I'm not gone."

Yeah. We somehow doubt he'll ever be called upon for that.

Michael Strahan on Good Morning America

Ripa is yet to announce a permanent replacement for Strahan, following rumors that the two hated each other away from set.

But Strahan is clearly keeping his eyes on the future, not the past.

He will co-anchor the ABC morning show each weekday and he recently told People Magazine of accepting the new position:

"Can't wait to be there full-time. Great, great family to work with over there, I'm looking forward to it."

Fair enough.

With our eyes also affixed to the future, above is a look at stars we'd love to see take over Strahan's old seat alongside Kelly.

Who would your ideal co-host be?

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