NEW YORK -- Michael Strahan has tackled something few football stars have attempted -- Broadway.

The gap-toothed co-host of "Live with Kelly and Michael" made three short appearances at Wednesday's matinee of "Elf" and said he has new respect for Broadway performers.

"I was surprised at how nervous you get and the adrenaline and that feedback from the audience -- it really was an amazing thing," the former football player said after the show. "To see these performers who do it every day -- eight or nine times a week -- is really amazing. I take my hat off to them."

Strahan thought making his Broadway debut would be fun and represented a new experience for a guy who holds the single season sack record. He found himself more nervous than he has been for high-stakes football games or live TV.

Strahan, 41, played both a police officer and a Salvation Army Santa in the first act and later came on as himself in a scene with the real Santa in the second act.

Strahan rehearsed for an hour in the morning with stage managers and associate director Casey Hushion. At 1 p.m., some in the cast came in early to work with him.

Strahan would not rule out a return to the stage. "I will take it off my bucket list, but if the opportunity came across again, I might just take it up and do it again," he said. "I had a great time."


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