Actor Jerry O’Connell is making history at CBS as the first male co-host of its daytime talk show The Talk.
The Stand By Me actor was announced by way of a fun and cheeky Rocky parody on the show’s episode Tuesday. Current host Sheryl Underwood announced that a longtime friend of the series and frequent guest-host had been tapped to become a permanent resident on the panel before kicking things over to a training montage that had Jerry O’Connell doing various workouts dressed in the iconic gray sweatsuit and black Converse that Rocky Balboa wore in his movies. You can see the video below.
Jerry O’Connell even worked out to Rocky’s famous training montage song Eye of the Tiger by Survivor. The track first appeared in the third film when Balboa needed to reinvent himself as a fighter in order to take down Mr. T as Clubber Lang. As the song played, O’Connell jogged his way onto the CBS lot before being warmly greeted by employees there. After failing to avoid the temptation a table of donuts presented, he finally ran into the studio where his sweatsuit was removed revealing a white shirt and navy blue dress slacks. He kept the black Converse sneakers, though.
As the crowd cheered, Jerry O’Connell took his place in the seat formerly occupied by Sharon Osbourne. The wife of musician Ozzy Osbourne appeared on the show beginning in its first season but exited in a dramatic fashion in Season 11. After being the subject of controversy for defending her longtime friend Piers Morgan, Osbourne got into a heated on-air argument with Underwood that the network would later describe as “upsetting to everyone involved” (per Variety).
The Piers Morgan controversy surrounded his own on-air drama. During what would be one of his last appearances on Good Morning Britain, Morgan discussed Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s March interview with Oprah Winfrey in which they renewed allegations of bullying and racism at the British Royal Family. Morgan said he didn’t believe many of Markle’s claims, prompting his very explosive on-air exit from Good Morning Britain. The move stirred up controversy both at home and abroad and it seems his backlash quickly ricocheted at Osbourne. Despite her issuing an apology for her on-air bout with Underwood, it was announced soon after that she was leaving her seat on The Talk vacant for Jerry O’Connell to eventually fill.
Deadline reports that Jerry O’Connell will continue to appear on The Talk for the rest of the week before leaving for the remainder of the season to fulfill a previous film commitment. However, he’s expected to join the hosting panel as its first permanent male panelist in full swing for Season 12, which will mark the first one without Osbourne.
In addition to Underwood, Jerry O’Connell will join Carrie Ann Inaba, Amanda Kloots and Elaine Welteroth on the hour-long show’s panel. While he marks the first man to take on the job, the show is hardly a stranger to having its regular cast of characters change. Julie Chen Moonves, Sara Gilbert, Leah Remini, Aisha Tyler and Marie Osmond are just some of the panelists who have come and gone over the show’s 11 seasons.