Wednesday morning Kelly Ripa didn’t show up for work, and Wednesday night Michael Strahan didn’t show up at an event raising money for hunger. The new “Good Morning America” anchor was scheduled to co-host the Can-Do Awards Dinner benefiting the New York City Food Bank with chef Mario Batali, but instead sent a taped message.
“I wish I could be there as originally planned for this fantastic evening,” Strahan said in the message. “Hopefully I’ll see you soon.”
As Batali took the stage he joked, “I’ve been to a lot of events and I have never seen it open like that. Big week for Strahan for statistics wouldn’t you say?”
In fact, it’s been a tough week for Ripa and Strahan. On Wednesday, ABC announced Kelly’s absence from “Live with Kelly and Michael” would continue until at least the following Tuesday.
Throughout the event held at Cipriani Wall Street, organizers insisted Strahan was on his way, but had been delayed by his production schedule. Eventually, when it was clear he wasn’t planning to appear, organizers explained he just couldn’t make it.
Strahan’s empty seat was a source of amusement for other guests. At the last minute, Aziz Ansari, Jim Gaffigan, Mike Myers and Mario Batali auctioned themselves off for dinner, and joked about Strahan’s absence.
“Michael Strahan is going to be there,” Gaffigan deadpanned.
“And Kelly Ripa,” Anzari quipped. “It’s going to be their first encounter. Very awkward dinner.”
When a confused party-goer asked what was actually up for auction, Batali clarified: “Three magical comics, Kelly Ripa, Michael Strahan, [who] may or may not show up, and Mark Consuelos is going to do the wine.”
The dinner sold for $100,000.