GMA’s Michael Strahan spends Thanksgiving on TV following ‘personal family matters’

gma star michael strahan at fox nfl sunday set
Michael Strahan during Fox NFL Sunday episode. Pic credit: Fox

Michael Strahan may be one of the hardest-working men on television, as he didn’t have Thanksgiving Day off.

The 52-year-old TV personality recently celebrated his birthday during an episode of Good Morning America that he co-hosted with Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos.

Strahan was back on TV just a few days later for one of his other jobs outside of GMA.

His return to television arrived over a week ago, as he’d been absent from his live TV appearances on ABC and Fox.

Initially, it was unknown why Strahan was missing, with his Fox NFL Sunday colleague Curt Menefee indicating he was away for “personal family matters.”

An ABC representative confirmed that and said Strahan would continue to miss some time.

He’s since returned to live TV, including working on Thanksgiving as he and his colleagues recognized family, friends, food, and football.

Strahan showed up for work on Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving morning, Strahan appeared on a special edition of Fox NFL Sunday that incorporated food, football, fun, and memories of family.

The Thursday episode featured Strahan with his colleagues, including Rob Gronkowski, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, and Jimmie Johnson.

Along with Menefee, the group appeared outside in chilly New York City. Their set featured a fake football field with a large screen nearby to show videos and images. A beautifully decorated Christmas tree and NYC buildings appeared behind them.

The crew discussed the upcoming Thanksgiving NFL games, including Fox’s Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions coverage.

An audience was also gathered outside, with some sporting different NFL team gear as they watched the show.

Strahan and his colleagues had several kids join them on set as they demonstrated a specific play that one of the NFL teams uses. During that segment, the former New York Giants star had some fun as he got on defense.

“Not taking it easy because they’re kids,” he said while getting set up on defense off-camera.

However, the kids successfully completed the play, with one running the ball to the fake endzone and dancing in celebration.

Strahan and his colleagues high-fived the kids after they completed the play.

Later on, a highlight was shown of Strahan picking up several kids, with Menefee joking that Strahan was out there “manhandling kids.”

With the episode presented from New York City, Strahan also spoke about the city’s “energy” and how he now considers himself a New Yorker after being born and raised in Texas.

Strahan spoke about the importance of family

At one point in the show, a Fox NFL highlight clip from years ago poked fun at Strahan as he didn’t realize they had to work on that particular Thanksgiving.

As they returned to the live set for the 2023 episode, Strahan joked it was good he learned that, or he might not have been there today.

“You’re still here all these years later,” Menefee said, with Strahan referred to as one of “the hardest working men” in television.

Part of the show included the crew and the kids on set as Gronk taught them how to do his trademark spike to celebrate a touchdown. Strahan and the other Fox NFL analysts gave the kids high-fives to commemorate the fun moment on Thanksgiving.

In a later segment during the two-hour special, the Fox NFL group talked about the impact of various family members in their lives, including brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and children. 

Strahan said during the segment that he was reminded of his father. He recalled how he started lifting weights at 13 due to his dad. At 16, he said his dad asked him, “Do you want to play football?” and was supportive. All these years later, Strahan has a Hall of Fame career.

“Thankful for my family and my kids and my mother and everyone. It’s a special time,” Strahan said before the show ended.

The “personal family matters” that kept Strahan from work for over two weeks remain unknown, but he appears to be in good spirits upon returning to TV.

ABC’s Good Morning America will air on Friday, November 24, a day which has become known as Black Friday. It’s unknown if Strahan, Roberts, and Stephonopolus will be hosting the show or if there will be replacements filling in for the regular hosts following Thanksgiving.

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