Ryan Seacrest Admits Seeing Rebranded 'Live With Kelly and Mark' Is 'Strange' (Exclusive)

The former host returned to his old stomping grounds as a guest just one month after exiting the program.

Ryan Seacrest had some feelings about being back on the Live set.

The former Live With Kelly and Ryan Host returned as a guest on the recently rebranded program on Thursday, just one month after exiting the series. Since his departure, host Kelly Ripa has been joined at the desk by her real-life husband, Mark Consuelos, with the show now appropriately called Live With Kelly and Mark

"You know, guests never told me how great it is to be a guest," Seacrest joked in an interview with ET later that day during a visit to Children's Hospital of Orange County, where he was catching up with patients and families in honor of the 10th anniversary of his Ryan Seacrest Foundation Studios location there. 

"It was so much fun to be back," he told ET's Matt Cohen of his Live appearance. "Mark and Kelly are phenomenal, as you know. We're very, very close." 

Still, Seacrest admitted that it's been "weird" to keep up with the series as an at-home viewer. 

"When the commercial comes on TV, it's so strange to me," he shared. "It's also weird when I say I'm going on Live With Kelly and Mark and drinking from my Live With Kelly and Mark mug. ... But the coffee tastes better from it!"

His coffee also tastes better, apparently, now that he's able to enjoy it at a later hour. During his guest appearance on Thursday's episode, Seacrest joked about having "all kinds of time" since dropping his early morning job.

"There's this fascinating thing I've been experiencing called 'time,'" he quipped to Ripa and Consuelos. "I don't know if you guys know about it. The alarm chimes in the morning, it's a soft nudge."

He described his morning routine, saying that his alarm goes off around "11 a.m. or 12 p.m., something like that" before he enjoys his morning coffee. "I walk through the forest," he continued, "and I look for the beans of coffee. I take them, I harvest them, I take them back, I roast them, I milk some almonds and I make a latte." 

Elsewhere in the broadcast, he even got down on all fours and crawled around the studio during a round of The Truth Game. While prompting Ripa and Consuelos to guess whether he's "started an animal movement class" or if he's "been studying dendrology, the study of trees" in his newfound abundance of free time, Seacrest took to the floor and walked on his hands and knees before turning around to hop like a frog. 

(The answer, as it turned out, was that he's been studying trees.) 

The 48-year-old media mogul is still managing to keep plenty busy with his other day jobs, including hosting American Idol, with a star-studded three-hour season finale set to air live coast-to-coast on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. 

But his most rewarding job is with his foundation. 

"This is a place where tough stuff can happen," he said of the numerous children's hospitals where he's built broadcasting studios. "You know, there are a lot of different things happening with patients all the time. Some are here for a little while, some are here for a long time, some keep coming back, and this room is where none of that matters. This room is where they can really forget about what's happening."

In a few month's time, there will be a total of 14 Ryan Seacrest Foundation Studios in children's hospitals across the country. Seacrest says he hopes to create a network between them all so that patients can broadcast to each other in different parts of the U.S. 

"This is a place where the patients come and they smile, they laugh, they entertain each other," he shared. "They meet celebrities, they get to program content, they get to broadcast it to the other patients that can't come down. They play games, they win prizes. It's the heartbeat of the hospital. This is a destination, it's a place they want to hang out, and that was the goal."