"I'm not dying," he said. "I'm still in the family, and I'm still available to come back if I'm ever asked to co-host. So, you know what? I'm not going anywhere. I'm not gone, so there you are."
It was September 2012 when Strahan won a lengthy audition to sit opposite co-host Kelly Ripa.
His departure for "Good Morning America" comes after a series of career milestones, such as his co-starring role in "Magic Mike XXL."
It was fitting then, that his "XXL" co-star Matt Bomer was there Friday to pay him tribute.
"And, whether you're here looking all dapper or in a gold lame thong on a Saturday Night with Mike, you always conduct yourself with intelligence and grace," he said.
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony showed up to pay his respects, too, and there was plenty of time for flashbacks.
"We've made a lot of memories, and we've even learned a thing or two about Michael Strahan," Ripa said. "Michael, this is your life."
There were some parting gifts for Strahan and a toast from Ripa.
"We really are so, so proud of you," she said. "We've achieved so much together, and I look forward to watching you every morning and seeing what else you achieve over at 'Good Morning America.'"
The final words on "Live" Friday came from Strahan who spoke directly to the viewers:
"It means the world that you give us an hour of your day, and what you don't realize is that we get more from that hour than you really do," he said. "You guys opened up your hearts to me, and it's just been
so overwhelming with the response we've had over the last four years that you guys have loved this show."
I am humbled by the support of all the great fans, friends, staff, producers & crew. Unbelievable 4 years. Unbelievable morning. Thank you.— Michael Strahan (@michaelstrahan) May 13, 2016
After the show went off the air, the mood in the studio got even more emotional.
There were salutes to the studio audience, the crew of the show and some final words to each other.
"I loved watching you evolve, and I really think you're so terrific," Ripa said. "And there's nothing you can't do."
Strahan was full of gratitude as well.
"I really have to thank Kelly," he said. "You've changed my life. You really have...To come here every day and to be new to this type of format of TV and learn from someone who had done it for 13 years before I got here, it was amazing."
Strahan begins full time at "GMA" in the fall, and come Monday "Live" will begin looking for a new co-host. Jimmy Kimmel will be in the chair next to Ripa on Monday, and David Muir from ABC News will be helping out. But they already have jobs, so they will be followed by the likes of Andy Cohen and Cedric the Entertainer.