There was something very different about this week’s episodes of Live with Kelly and Ryan. Something the hosts pointed out before the show. And it was a welcomed sight 15 months into the pandemic. They sat next to each other. They didn’t socially distance. They were able to sit at the same desk and touch if they wanted to.
It was a reminder that we’re slowly getting back to normalcy. Vaccination rates are on the rise and we’re moving in the right direction. New infections in the United States have continued to fall for weeks, Axios reported last week. But after a year of quarantines, lockdowns, masks, and social distancing, losing some of your personal space feels odd.
Even Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest couldn’t comprehend the new setup. In a behind-the-scenes video, the show posted to Instagram, the hosts marvel at how close their chairs are to one another.
Seacrest seems genuinely freaked out.
“Wow, I totally forget we used to sit this close to each other,” Seacrest noted. “We’re a little nervous about it.”
But Ripa eased tensions with a joke as they made their way to their familiar seats.
“This seems awfully close,” Ripa quipped. “This is a level of intimacy that one of us should be wearing protection.”
They captioned the post “reunited and it feels so good!”
The producer assured the hosts they are “good to go” since both were vaccinated.
Kelly Ripa Talks About Why She Likes Her Job
Kelly Ripa has been hosting Live since 2000. She replaced Kathy Lee Gifford. And she’s had a revolving door of co-hosts since. And even though she contemplated retirement for years, she believes she found a partner in crime in Ryan Seacrest.
“I talk about this with Ryan [Seacrest] all the time because I was really looking to retire like by now, but Ryan Seacrest is so fabulous to work with and he is such a good friend,” Ripa said in an interview with Parade in 2017. “We’ve been friends for two decades, and I’ve got to tell you he is really such a draw to me there. I just love working with him so much. He makes every day feel like I’m not working and that’s when you know you have a great working relationship.”
And it’s paid off. The show has been No. 1 with women for 52 weeks straight in the ratings, ABC reported.