The set of Live With Kelly and Mark has looked a little different lately. For the second day in a row, Kelly Ripa missed the talk show and was replaced by guest cohost Maria Menounos. Her absence came just days after making a shocking comment about her future on TV.
Kelly, 52, ditched the talk show on Friday, July 21. In addition to stepping in on Friday’s broadcast, Maria, 45, also served as the guest cohost on Thursday, July 20. At the time, Mark Consuelos, 52, told the audience that Kelly was “out on assignment” but did not elaborate any further on his wife’s absence at the top of the show.
Mark and Maria chatted about the arrival of her first child, daughter Athena, whom she recently welcomed via surrogate with her husband, Keven Undergaro. Backstage, Maria received a sweet baby gift from Kelly and Mark that she showed off in her Instagram Stories and gushed over how generous the couple has been.
During a segment on Live With Kelly and Mark earlier this week, Kelly and Mark got into a discussion about what they would do if they won the lottery.
“Listen, just so you know, I probably won’t be here tomorrow or forever because I’m going to hit the $900 million Powerball,” Kelly shared. “Nobody will even notice I’m gone. They’ll just think I’ve had work done.”
Coincidentally, Kelly did not return to work on Live after Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing. Instead, Mark and Maria discussed their disappointment about not winning the whopping fortune with their unlucky tickets.
“You know what Kelly said yesterday?” Mark, who shares kids Michael, Lola and Joaquin with Kelly, recalled. “Kelly said, ‘I won’t be seeing you guys tomorrow, because if I win, I’m not showing up.'”
Maria questioned whether or not Kelly would ever “ditch” her husband if she won the lotto.
“Well, she wasn’t going to show up to work,” Mark quipped. “She was in bed when I left. She was there. She was going off to do stuff, but wait … what if she’s not home when I get back?”
The playful exchange was all in good fun as Kelly has been focusing on another project outside of her work on Live With Kelly and Mark — hosting the game show Generation Gap. She took to her Instagram Stories to promote a new episode of the competition series on Thursday night. Luckily for fans of Live, Kelly has not made any official announcement about leaving her successful talk show.