Kelly Ripa is the smartest woman on TV for picking the smartest man on TV, Ryan Seacrest as her new co-host. If a show makes you smile to yourself during the full hour, then you know it works. It did. It works.

Seacrest has always been able to do that. He’s got that thing, the ability to make fun of someone and empathize with them at the same time. He can make people who are making fools of themselves feel good about themselves, which makes us viewers feel good about feeling bad for laughing at them.

Got it? Good.

Somehow, Seacrest seems like one of us even though he isn’t. Ditto Ripa, no matter how much bad press she got for mouthing off about being blindsided by Michael Strahan.

By the way? She was right. She refused to play the good TV wife, and stand by her cheatin’ man.

Anyway, Seacrest is a great new TV husband. He even managed on his first day at work — on the newly named, “Live with Kelly and Ryan” — to make it seem like getting the gig as Ripa’s co-host was the biggest opportunity of his life-even though he’s one of the most successful and richest men in show business.

Hell, he must be one of the richest guys on the planet.

Seacrest, remember, was host of “American Idol,” which at its height had nearly 30 million viewers. He was then -and the record still holds -the highest paid gameshow host in TV history. At one point he even had a $45 million three year deal.

AP PROVIDES ACCESS TO THIS UNDATED HANDOUT FILE PHOTO TO BE USED SOLELY TO ILLUSTRATE NEWS REPORTING OR COMMENTARY ON THE FACTS OR EVENTS DEPICTED IN THIS IMAGE. THIS IMAGE MAY ONLY BE USED FOR 14 DAYS FROM TIME OF TRANSMISSION; NO ARCHIVING; NO LICENSING

ABC’s Kelly Ripa is suddenly is well positioned to wipe the floor with Megyn Kelly when the ex-Fox News star launches her new hour of “Today” on NBC.

(Pawel Kaminski/AP)

In other words, the guy was paid as much as a baseball player who gets injured five minutes later.

Why did he score so big? Because unlike other hosts of other competition shows, Seacrest managed to make viewers laugh so hard that the nation collectively squirted Diet Coke out of our noses. (Maybe that’s why Coke was their sponsor.)

Mr. Big Bucks went on to exec produce, “E! News,” too many red carpet shows to count and now JLo’s show, “Shades of Blue.” He also hosts a hugely popular radio show, (which airs at the same time as “Live with Kelly and Ryan”).

Of course one of his biggest successes was creating and producing the mind-numbingly awful and yet inexplicably addictive “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.”

Which is why Kelly Ripa just outfoxed ex Foxer, Megyn Kelly. Kelly is joining the “Today” show on NBC and is slated to host the hour opposite “Kelly and Ryan,” (unless Kathie Lee and Hoda keep the spot because of the Seacrest development). But she will reportedly have Kim Kardashian as her first guest on her hour-long Sunday show. Kim Kardashian, seriously? That robbery again? Seriously?

A woman who survived the sex wars at Fox and won an epic war of words with Donald Trump shouldn’t stoop to the Kardashian robbery under any circumstance. But she most certainly shouldn’t be opening up her new platform to Kardashian, especially since Kim’s exec producer Ryan Seacrest is now co-hosting her weekday rival. (Unless the new circumstances means that NBC wisely keeps Kathie Lee and Hoda in that spot).

Like I said, Ripa’s the smartest woman on television. You don’t have to be the smartest legal mind (Megyn Kelly) to make the smartest entertainment decisions, (Kelly Ripa).

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