Are Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest secretly pickleball ambassadors? This past fall, the two were promoting the sport regularly on their morning show, Live with Kelly and Ryan. As Ripa put it, “Ever notice how you have never heard of something… and then you hear [about] it constantly? Pickleball is the social media influencer of the sports world.”
NOT PETERING OUT
With one arm in a sling, actress, writer, and producer Amanda Peet still appeared happy on the morning show on September 9. When she gave one of the reasons for her injury, Ripa said to Peet, “Not our beloved pickleball!” That evening, Peet proclaimed on Late Night with Seth Meyers, “I started playing about three times a week. I became obsessed.”
PLAY IT AGAIN
The cohosts got an on-air pickleball lesson on October 8 from top-ranked players (and brothers) Collin and Ben Johns (for more on Ben Johns, see page 60). “We thought we would get in on the action,” said Ripa, who teamed up with Ben to challenge Seacrest and Collin on a makeshift court on a New York City street.
Oscar winner Jamie Foxx invited Ripa and Seacrest to Los Angeles to play his new favorite sport. “Pickleball is a thing….pickleball is a craze,” he said on the October 18th episode. “It’s like standing on top of a Ping-Pong table and it gets live.”
On September 10, Emmy Award winner Jeff Daniels shared with Ripa and Seacrest his curiosity about his wife’s new pastime. “In the middle of July this summer,” he said, “I’m shooting American Rust and I get a phone call from my wife going, ‘Pickleball.’ In 42 years, I have never heard her say that word and she’s saying, ‘I am playing pickleball and I’m getting lessons, and I’m doing dink drills at the pickleball place, and I have a coach.’ ”