Photo Credit: Disney-ABC Domestic TV/David Russell
On Friday, Regis Philbin, 80, will sign off for the last time as host of Live! With Regis and Kelly. Naturally, his 28-and-a-half years of live television have produced a goldmine of unplanned and memorable moments, both with his current costar Kelly Ripa and his original costar Kathie Lee Gifford. No doubt viewers will get treated to some of them during tonight's ABC profile, Regis Philbin: The Morning Maestro with Katie Couric, a special edition of 20/20 that will air at 8 p.m. ET. In the meantime, here are a few funny highlights worth sharing:
Regis and Kelly dress up as Jersey Shore's Snooki and The Situation for Halloween 2010. Regis stumbles over the catchphrase "GTL," but otherwise manages to capture the MTV star's essence and even survives a backstage hair-pulling catfight
Regis continues his long-running tradition of calling viewers at home. The spontaneity of these segments never get old, especially when he gets hung up on.
During an interview with Meryl Streep in Nov. 2009, Regis misreads a cue card. Instead of saying that her "daughter Grace just got her big break," he informs the actress that her daughter just broke her leg. "What?!" exclaims Streep, with a priceless look of horror on her face. "Oh my god, that's like a shot to my heart!"
Regis gets an iPad in Aug. 2010, but that doesn't mean he knows how to use it. With his best know-it-all tone in his voice, Philbin exclaims to Kelly, "Guess who joined the internet?" Hmmm...is that like joining a gym?
Regis gets touchy over Kelly's "Regasm" joke during Feb. 2005. He especially got riled up after Ripa dragged his wife into the joke and explained her new term as, "Something Joy (Philbin) has never had."
And last but not least...during one particularly trying episode, Regis has to deal with two divas during an episode in 1996: Kathie Lee Gifford and Miss Piggy. Let's just say, the stage wasn't big enough for the two of them.
Even though Regis is signing off from Live!, we haven't seen the last of him on TV. He told Huffington Post that he would like to be back on the air waves in the future. "I thought one day it was all going to come to an end and I decided one and a half years ago that this was the end," he said. "It doesn't mean I'm not going to go back to work. I just don't know what I'm going to be doing after I leave here. I think I'll do some more TV down the line. I just haven't heard the right thing yet."
As for a replacement? One hasn't been announced yet, but the search seems to be on and the media speculation about who it will be continues. A few things are for sure: Philbin's early-morning seat will be a difficult one to fill and he will be sorely missed!