Regis Philbin is leaving
Fifty years is a long time to do, well, anything. Being on TV for five decades is not only a feat worthy of the Guinness Book of World Records, but it gives people a sense of security, that every day they could look forward to that personality, no matter what is going on in their lives. Regis Philbin was accepted into millions of people’s lives as the result of his longtime service of being the jovial, informal, storyteller that he is on daytime TV. After a long career, Regis is hanging up his hat and saying goodbye to “Live!” But he’s not going out without a few last words—he is taking a long look back at his career in How I Got This Way, a new book filled with affectionate portraits of celebrities like David Letterman, Jack Nicholson and Howard Stern.
What will Regis Philbin do now?
When asked this question by interviewers, he replies that he doesn’t know, but that he may do more TV “down the line” which implies that TV, which has pretty much been his life, is not done with him. I think Regis will be like one of these rock stars that have a farewell tour, but then a few years later they are out again doing more shows, like they never said goodbye at all. It makes sense, everyone wants closure, and a celebration of a career is sure to make one feel like what they did was important and meaningful.
How old is Regis Philbin?
He is 80. Isn’t that hard to believe? I hope I am that alert and coherent when I am 80. At least when you are that age, it’s ok to retire. You see some people these days—they retire the day they turn 65 (or whenever their social security or 401K plans kick in) and it is as if they were working their whole life yearning for the time when they wouldn’t be working anymore. It is nice to see some people actually doing what they love to do. Yes of course Regis isn’t or wasn’t hurting for cash at all, being a big celebrity, but you certainly can be on TV or in movies and not like what you do.
What makes Regis Philbin, Regis?
What makes Regis such a great TV personality? Most will agree it is spontaneity and ability to work without a script. Anyone who has watched the show knows that Regis is a master of talking as though he isn’t on national television and others who know him in ‘real’ life will praise Regis for being the same type of person off-camera—a great storyteller and all-around nice guy. Entertainment Weekly noted how the last episode of “Live!” was heavily scripted and loaded with pre-taped segments (“Regis Reflects” moments?) that contained little of Regis’ off-the-cuff wit. Well, the producers need to earn their paychecks somehow, right?
We at the BQB will miss Regis. As a writer that often covers entertainment, I will miss his style and unrelenting New York attitude that only Regis could get away with before a smile to the audience. Hopefully this won’t end the fantastic impressions from comedians such as Dana Carvey, who has likely used Regis in his act for many years. If you haven’t seen Carvey do Regis, Google it, or better yet, watch the short clip below! Carvey is doing what he does best.
We at the BQB thank Regis for being Regis and doing his thing—TV won’t be the same without him.