Jimmy Fallon tried mightily to get Kelly Ripa to spill the beans about who will eventually wind up co-hosting her morning show.
But she evaded his questions by adopting a “How should I know?” attitude.
OK, our editorial opinion about that: She should know, and probably does know, despite her protestations to the contrary.
In fact, that’s what makes the conversations between celebrities and talk-show hosts on TV so interesting to us. This particular exchange Tuesday night on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” about who has the inside track to get the coveted job of co-hosting “Live with Kelly” seemed particularly insincere as Kelly and Jimmy yukked it up while he asked her questions for which she, essentially, gave no answers.
Here’s how their conversation started:
“Now the big thing is, who’s going to be the new co-host?” Jimmy asked excitedly. “Who’s the new Regis?”
To which Kelly answered, “I mean, that’s the question! It’s so funny because everybody assumes that I have the inside track to this thing and I am just a hired employee of the company and so …”
“You don’t know at all?” Fallon asked her incredulously (echoing how viewers at home must have been reacting).
“No!” she replied. “I mean … there’s a lot of people who are contenders and we have been …”
“I’m gonna study your face here,” Jimmy said, peering intently at Kelly.
“We’ve been very, very …” Kelly said, and Jimmy interrupted and said, “You’re lying.”
“No, I’m not – I swear!” Kelly said.
Actually, leveling an accusation of lying at his guest struck us as an ill-considered move on Jimmy’s part. Kelly, though — true talk-show professional that she is — defused the momentary awkwardness by saying, “I was hoping that you’d throw your hat in the ring!”
Then Jimmy got into some questions about co-host candidates who have been mentioned as frontrunners lately — Seth Meyers of “Saturday Night Live” and retired football player Michael Strahan.
Instead of answering his questions about them, Kelly merely sidestepped them by praising Meyers and Strahan, and professing her love for them.
“You have like 20 dudes begging for this job!” Jimmy insisted.
“No, nobody’s begging,” Kelly said.
“You know who’s good?” Jimmy asked. “Seth Meyers has been doing it this week …”
“Yeah, he’s great,” said Kelly, who then told a story about Seth but remained mum on his chances of taking over the co-host’s spot on “Live.”
As for Strahan, Kelly said, “He’s the best. We love him so much.”
Whether all that love will be enough to earn Strahan this coveted TV job is anybody’s guess.