Kelly Ripa Responded Back After Kathie Lee Gifford Made It Clear How She Felt About The Live! Host’s Book

Kelly Ripa in yellow dress on Live with Kelly and Ryan
(Image credit: Live! with Kelly and Ryan)

Currently boasting one of the most recognizable faces and bubbly personalities in daytime TV, Kelly Ripa has certainly dealt with her fair share of detractors over the many years since she first joined Live! as co-host opposite the late legend Regis Philbin. The entertainer knocked the dust off of some of her past ups and downs in her memoir Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories, and has opened up quite a bit about the difficult experiences she faced when transitioning from acting to hosting, while also lightly addressing the cold shoulder she’s received from Philbin’s previous co-host Kathie Lee Gifford. And after the former Today host revealed she wouldn’t be reading the aforementioned book, Ripa responded with some surprisingly gracious words.

While appearing on the Not Skinny but Not Fat podcast (opens in new tab) with host Amanda Hirsch, Ripa was asked about the recent interview Kathie Lee Gifford gave to Fox News where she declared she wouldn’t be reading the memoir after claiming she saw headlines that spoke ill of Philbin. With a laugh, Ripa responded with:

It's really hard to sell a book, right? And this is like Week 3 of the book, right? And I mean honestly, I'm not gonna lie, I was not reading any headlines anywhere. And suddenly all of these headlines pop up and there's all of this attention on my book. So I am a person that tends to take a negative and turn it into a positive. And so my ultimate comment is, thank you. It's really hard to get attention on a book that's been out for a couple of weeks and now it's week two, second week on The New York Times Best Sellers list. It's like, thank you, because I think that people that read the book will have a very different take on the book.

As the old saying goes, even bad press is good press if it manages to draw enough attention to something that wasn’t earning it beforehand. Granted, Kelly Ripa’s memoir was already a big deal without anyone speaking out against it, but any and all Live! drama tends to draw the spotlight even more so, so it’s certainly reasonable to assume that Kathie Lee Gifford’s negative stances brought additional eyeballs to Live Wire beyond those who were already interested.

Wisely enough, Ripa didn’t dig her heels in with any kind of aggressive retorts, and instead took the high road with a message of thanks. One can assume that losing out on Gifford’s readership stings a lot less when there are hundreds of thousands of other people buying up copies in droves. 

When asked if she truly thought Kathie Lee Gifford would change her tune upon actually reading through the memoir, Ripa doubled down, saying:

I think anybody that reads the book will have a completely different take.

Ripa and Hirsch discussed the general lack of negative-skewing headlines about Philbin in the aftermath of Live Wire’s publishing, questioning what stories Gifford would have even seen that inspired her to vow she wouldn’t be reading the book. The Live! host also addressed the weird irony of these topics being covered in her memoir via a chapter that also focused on how to handle situations like this, as far as leaning into an argumentative “media narrative,” or just leaving it by the wayside. I think her “thank you” is a good sign that she’s not pushing for heightened confrontations. 

For what it’s worth, Kelly Ripa has been fairly transparent about still not being completely comfortable as a talk show host opposite Ryan Seacrest. And when it comes to reading headlines about herself, she’s more used to ones hyping up her and hubby Mark Consuelos’ sexual energy. (And is apparently aware when fans engage in ridiculous theorizing, as it went when viewers suspected she was missing a foot.

After picking up a copy of Live Wire, don’t forget that Live! with Kelly and Ryan airs weekday mornings in syndication. Head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see everything else that’s hitting the small screen soon.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.