Regis Philbin dishes with Katie Couric tonight before bowing out tomorrow

By Tom Comi

Almost every adult has seen Regis Philbin on morning TV at some time over the past 28 years — including stay-at-home parents, people on the nightshift and even those who are home sick from work or school.

And even if he wasn’t a part of your daily routine, there was something about the TV veteran that could make you feel welcomed simply by tuning in once or twice a year. It didn’t matter who the co-host was either — his show thrived with Kathie Lee Gifford and Kelly Ripa by his side — because he was always the star of the show.

Tomorrow marks Philbin’s last day on Live! With Regis and Kelly (syndicated; check local listings for time), and it truly will mark the end of a broadcasting era when you consider that he has logged more than 17,000 hours on the air.

It’s tough to picture morning TV without Reeg (as he is known to Kathie Lee, Kelly and countless others), but at least he is getting a well-deserved prime-time sendoff tonight. Regis Philbin: The Morning Maestro With Katie Couric airs tonight on ABC (8pm ET) as a special edition of 20/20 (Regis and Katie are pictured above).

There’s no word on what surprises are in store for Philbin’s last day, but it’s probably safe to say that there will be some celebrity visits (perhaps David Letterman?) and some trips down Memory Lane.

And while this marks the end of the road for one of the greatest talk show hosts ever, the Man of the Hour assures us he is not retiring. And whether you watched occasionally or faithfully, I think we can all agree that is a very good thing.


Photo credit: Ida Mae Astute/ABC