Category: Regis Philbin

Regis Philbin returns to TV as Piers Morgan's guest host

Regis Philbin
Regis Philbin just can't stay away from TV. The once ubiquitous host, who's logged more hours on TV than any other broadcaster, will be back chatting up guests as a guest host on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" next Tuesday.

Morgan's executive producer, Jonathan Wald, tweeted the announcement on Tuesday and even revealed who Regis' guest would be: none other than David Letterman. Letterman is widely acknowledged to be a difficult "get" for an interview, but Philbin has a long history with Letterman, including appearing on the "Late Show" host's first show after the 9/11 attacks.

Philbin has popped up in fill-in roles a couple of times since stepping down from his "Live! With Regis and Kelly" show last November. He appeared alongside the ladies of "The View" as a guest host in April, where he engaged in an awkward conversation about bikini waxing (during which he said he'd be willing to decorate his penis with a small rhinestone).

At the time of his departure from "Live!" Philbin talked about wanting to host a family variety show in prime time as his return to TV, but there have been no further announcements about that possibility.

Letterman has only done a handful of interviews outside of his own show in recent years. He appeared on "The View" when Barbara Walters returned from her bypass surgery and he was a guest on Oprah Winfrey's daily talk show.

RELATED:

Kelly Ripa rules out her husband as co-host for 'Live!'

Regis Philbin says goodbye on 'Live! With Regis & Kelly'

Regis Philbin looks to return to TV with a family variety show

— Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Regis Philbin. Credit: Associated Press.

Regis Philbin looks to return to TV with a family variety show

Regis Philbin
Regis Philbin has been off the air for just over a week, and already he's making noises about coming back. The former "Live!" co-host retired from his decades-long gig on that morning talk show on Nov. 18, but the 80-year-old Philbin is now telling the New York Post's Page Six that he's looking to come back to TV in prime time as host of a family variety show.

"[An] entertainment type of show would appeal to me," Philbin told Page Six. "Almost a variety show. In our business you don't want to say 'variety' because it's frowned upon now, but something with people who are performing."

Philbin was reportedly contacted by "Gangland" producer Michael Manshel about several TV concepts.

Philbin's "Live!" job was not his only TV gig. Philbin hosted the prime-time "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" on ABC from 1999 to 2002, returning for "Who Wants to Be a Super Millionaire" in 2004 and a 10th anniversary show in 2009. He hosted a short-lived prime-time revamp of "Million Dollar Password" in 2008, and the first season of "America's Got Talent" in 2006.

If nothing else, Philbin's return to TV would further solidify his status as the Guinness World Record holder for the most hours on TV (about 16,500 currently). He's on a book tour for his memoir, "How I Got This Way," and seems unsentimental about his daytime departure.

"It wasn't that ABC didn’t try to negotiate with me," Philbin told the paper. “As it happens in this business, sometimes you don't really like the terms, so you just walk away with that in mind."

RELATED:

Regis Philbin says goodbye on 'Live! With Regis & Kelly'

Regis Philbin's own version of 'Rent's' 'Seasons of Love'

Regis Philbin retiring from 'Live! With Regis & Kelly'

— Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Regis Philbin appears on his final episode of "Live! With Regis & Kelly." Credit: Charles Sykes / Associated Press

Regis Philbin says goodbye on 'Live! With Regis & Kelly'

Regis Philbin
Regis Philbin said goodbye to his "Live!" fans on Friday after co-hosting the program since 1985.

Philbin was greeted with a standing ovation as he walked on stage, holding hands with co-host Kelly Ripa. "It's all about you today," she informed Philbin.

What followed was an hour of clips and special guests stopping by to pay tribute to the ubiquitous TV host, who is capping off a career of roughly 16,500 hours on the air. (In 2004, he broke the Guinness World Record of most hours on camera with 15,188 hours.)

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg came on to present Philbin with the key to the city, while Disney President Bob Iger brought a plaque commemorating Philbin's career that would be placed in the studio where the show taped. "It has been a true pleasure to consider you a colleague and a friend," Iger said. "I have a gift for you, but it's a gift you can't take with you. Sorry, we're a little cheap here."

Other guests on the show included Philbin's former co-host (and current "Today" co-host) Kathie Lee Gifford, Donald Trump and Tony Danza. A younger generation of stars, including Anne Hathaway, Justin Timberlake, Kevin Connolly and Emma Stone, shared their own memories of what appearing with Philbin meant to them.

Philbin's wife and fill-in co-host, Joy, joined him on stage to share her memories of the show, with their children watching from the audience. Joy finally told Ripa the story of the couple's honeymoon, when Philbin neglected to make a reservation at a motel for them after the wedding and they ended up drinking wine at a Du-Par's restaurant in a rainstorm.

The cast of the Broadway musical "Rent" came on to sing the anthem "Seasons of Love" with lyrics specially rewritten for Philbin, commemorating his many hours and minutes on the air. Philbin watched from the sidelines and appeared to become truly misty-eyed for the first time during the broadcast.

Ripa read a prepared and emotional speech from a sheet of paper. "How many steps does it take to change the course of a person's day?" she read. "I happen to know it takes exactly 43 steps." That's the number of steps from her dressing room to the stage. Ripa gave thanks to Philbin for taking a "soap actress" and changing the course of her life.

Philbin had just a few minutes at the end of the broadcast to give his own goodbye to his audience. "Why has the show stayed on so long?" he said. "It’s answered to me every time people tell me why they watch it. They watch it, they say, because it makes them feel better. And it can’t get better than that.

"I’ll never be able to answer all the cards and letters and messages," he continued. "Especially in the last few weeks. Thank you for all the great years together. God bless you all, and I hope I see you again real soon."

Then he was joined on stage by his family as the credits rolled.

RELATED:

Who should replace Regis Philbin? [Poll]

Regis Philbin retiring from 'Live! With Regis & Kelly'

Regis Philbin's own version of 'Rent's' 'Seasons of Love'

-- Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Regis Philbin waves goodbye during the taping of his final episode of "Live!" Friday. Credit: Brendan McDermid / Reuters

Who should replace Regis Philbin? [Poll]

Regis-philbin1

When we look back on the summer of 2011, scientists, sociologists and wise men everywhere will no doubt label it the end of the Regis Era. After 40 years on TV and 28 on "Live With Regis and Kathie Lee/Kelly," Regis Philbin is planning to pack it in. But he claims the show will live on with out him, which means a replacement must be found.

Who will fill Regis' bar chair? The search is probably only just beginning behind the scenes, but it's never too early to start campaigning for your favorite TV personality. So make your voice heard. Whom do you want to see co-hosting the show every morning with Kelly Ripa?

 

— Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Bill O'Reilly, left, talks to Regis and Kelly during a 2004 appearance on "Live With Regis and Kelly." Photo credit: Associated Press.

Advertisement
Connect

Recommended on Facebook



In Case You Missed It...

Video





Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.

Categories

Shows


Archives
 



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: