Ryan Seacrest has been the face of American Idol since time immemorial. He’s also a great TV producer and talk show host. We all know that Kelly Ripa and Ryan are bffs but what about his other, ex- co-hosts? Brian Dunkelman opened up about his terrible relationship with Ryan.

Brian and Ryan kicked-off the first season of American Idol together. The comedian and actor quit just after co-hosting one season. Naturally, people saw this as a bad career move given the show’s massive success in later seasons. After all, it is what made Ryan Seacrest so rich. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Seacrest is worth 450 million dollars.

Brian Dunkelman discussed what he liked best / least working alongside Seacrest on the Behind the velvet rope podcast on November 17. Apparently Ryan Seacrest had a very attention seeking personality “[Ryan would do] Anything he could do to draw focus and attention. It was really weird” Dunkelman noted.

After one particular live show shoot of American Idol, the rift between the two hosts was so great that things almost got physical. According to Dunkelman, Ryan intentionally tried to make him be prone to mistakes while reading from the teleprompter so he could look bad on live television.


“Look, how would you feel if somebody who’s intentionally trying to f*** you up and make it look like you’re screwing up on live television?” Dunkleman said. He then recounted a particular interaction after which he wanted to fight Seacrest.

“At one point, I just looked at [Ryan] and he said, ‘say something Dunk.’ And I said, ‘what do you want me to say, Ryan?’ He said ‘how about we’ll be right back with more American Idol. Cut. Are you going to say one f***ing thing that’s on the teleprompter tonight?’”

“...they had to hold me back from going after him,” “They threw me in an elevator just to get me away from him and away from everybody.”

That seems a bit harsh. However, it seems like it wasn’t all bad. Dunkelman reminisced fun-filled morning city strolling with Seacrest. “Me and Ryan Seacrest would just go out into the city and find funny stuff to do. Of course, they hardly used any of it,”. In his 2019 GQ interview, Dunkleman also admitted that he found the American Idol audition process jarring and unfair. Brian Dunkelman lives quite a humble life now. When things got hard for him he even started hustling as a part time Uber driver in 2019.

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Shifa Jahan

Shifa Jahan is a freelance writer with a passion for pop culture and entertainment news. With a background in copywriting and academic writing, she brings a unique perspective to her work. Currently pursuing her Masters in Comparative Literature, Shifa also has a love for theatre, teaching, and exploring different cultures and languages.

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