Seth Meyers Eyed as Leading Choice to Co-host with Kelly: Report

by | July 5, 2012 at 12:08 PM | TV News

Seth Meyers and Kelly Ripa (Photos: Getty Images, NBC)

“Live with Kelly and Seth“?

It could happen if “Saturday Night Live” funnyman Seth Meyers gets named as Kelly Ripa’s long-term co-host on “Live.”

That’s the scenario that’s suddenly being rumored as Meyers gets set for a five-day guest-hosting stint on “Live with Kelly” beginning Monday (July 9 — check local listings).

The possibility that the five-day gig means Meyers has emerged as a finalist in the long list of candidates who have guest-hosted the show is being floated in this story on the Showbiz411 Web site.

The story notes that a five-day run as guest-host is exceedingly rare for “Live with Kelly,” which has featured a long list of guest hosts ever since Regis Philbin left the show last November.

It has long been believed that the eventual co-host of the show would be chosen from the guest hosts who have been seen on the show, although that scenario has never been publicly confirmed by officials at the show. Indeed, while reporting that Meyers, 38, is emerging as the frontrunner for the co-host’s job, the Showbiz411 report also says former NFL great Michael Strahan and singer Josh Groban are also still very much in the running.

The story cites no sources — at least none who would be named. And to the writer’s credit, he at least expresses some skepticism about his own story.

Really?! Seth Meyers co-hosting with Kelly Ripa? Watch him in action on “SNL”:

Like him, we believe anything is possible — which means we would never bet our bottom dollar that Seth Meyers won’t take up the job as Kelly Ripa’s co-host on a morning talk show. And yet …

Here’s our take:

1) The scenario is intriguing yet highly speculative. For one thing, on the subject of this five-day gig: Yes, it’s unusual, but it’s also summer, and the pool of possible guest hosts hanging around New York in July has likely dried up to some extent. Moreover, we suspect Meyers has the requisite time on his hands because “SNL” is dormant until the fall.

2) And it’s that latter point that has us intrigued the most. Here’s the usual career trajectory for “SNL” stars: In between original episodes during the season, and certainly during the summer months, the most visible of the show’s performers generally line up other work — especially movies. For the lucky ones, these extracurricular jobs lead to lucrative careers in Hollywood — and these stars leave. That’s what happened to Andy Samberg and Kristen Wiig, who left this past season. And Jason Sudeikis is another one for whom full-time work in Hollywood is beckoning.

You would think Meyers would be in similar demand because he’s the head writer on “SNL” and anchorman on the show’s storied “Weekend Update.” But it’s also true that you don’t really see him in movies or TV shows other than “SNL.” So maybe a gig on a syndicated talk show would interest him for at least two basic reasons: It’s comparatively easy work and it pays very well.

3) But because “SNL” is losing some of its best players, it can’t afford to lose Meyers. Of course, this Showbiz411 story says he might continue as “Weekend Update” anchor, but relinquish his job as “SNL” head writer if he takes a job on “Live with Kelly.” That seems like a long shot to us. We suspect Lorne Michaels will try and keep Seth at “SNL.”

As for Michael Strahan and Josh Groban, we don’t know what to make of them, or their chances of grabbing this job. All we know is, if the show intends to name a permanent co-host who would begin next fall, then this is the month to do it. The show goes on hiatus in August.

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