Regis Philbin has found a formula that works for daytime talk shows, and he's stuck to it — no chatting with his cohost before they go on the air. That way, it really will be a freewheeling, shoot-from-the-hip conversation.
“People probably think Regis turns it on for TV,” executive producer Michael Gelman told The Times in 2004. “They think they are seeing TV Regis. Regis on TV is Regis off TV.”
The practice, along with Philbin's quips, one-liners and ability to relate to a live studio audience, has worked for decades, earning consistently high ratings with cohosts such as Kathie Lee Gifford and Kelly Ripa.
The author of two autobiographies, “I'm Only One Man!” and “Who Wants to Be Me?”, Philbin holds the Guinness World Record for the most time spent in front of a television camera. (That was in 2004, when he'd logged about 15,600 hours. The time has been accumulating ever since.) Philbin, a three-time Emmy winner, has been on TV since the late '50s, getting his big break as the sidekick on “The Joey Bishop Show.” He was the face of the massively successful “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” and spent one season on “America's Got Talent.”
A huge Dean Martin fan and a Rat Pack-style crooner, Philbin has recorded several albums of pop standards and holiday classics.