Nobody does entertainment like Regis Philbin. He’s as Mr. Showbiz as any one guy can be. He sings, he dances, he acts (as himself, but still) and he does schtick like he invented it. He has counted such legends as Rat Packer Joey Bishop among his friends — and contemporaries.
Um, Joey who? Yeah, I know the name, but can’t actually name anything he’s done. He’s a little before my time, which I have no doubt is my loss. And while I think Regis is, as David Letterman says, “the best there is,” the landscape of morning television has changed, or is ripe for some change. Which is why hearing that Regis is leaving “Live with Regis and Kelly” this summer is sad, although not tragic. I think the show could fill a void in morning television, or at least one that I feel as a mom.
The addition of Kelly Ripa as Regis’ co-host nearly 10 years ago was brilliant. At the time, she was just pregnant with the middle of her three children, and was a fun, bubbly and fresh change of pace from the ultimate stage mom that was Kathie Lee Gifford. Kelly brought some much-needed vitality to the show. Her self-deprecation wasn’t as hokey as Katie Lee, and watching her humor and relative innocence in front of the camera was a nice way to start the day. She is an actual relatable TV personality, if there is such a thing.
Kelly’s banter with Regis has always been cute, but more often than not it seems like she’s graciously and patiently waiting for him to catch up when the chat topics gravitate towards pop culture, and kid stuff, which they do quite often. It’s adorable when he talks about his grandkids, but I feel like he has a harder time keeping up about Kelly’s kids.
I have very little — if any — time to watch TV during the day. I’ve long since given up on the morning “news” shows, since there’s less than 30 minutes of actual news over the course of 2-4 hours. I also have no interest in taking on a show full of yenta-wannabes, like “The Talk,” and I feel like I need to nurse a stiff drink when watching “The View.” But I know what I’m going to get with “Live with Regis and Kelly,” and I’m always left wanting more of it, but in a good way. It can just be better, I think.
When Regis is away and Kelly has guest co-hosts, I feel like the pace of the show is more in line with the pace of my days faster and with a rhythm to which I can relate. I hate to say the relationship between Regis and Kelly has devolved into more of a father (or grandfather) and daughter, but I feel like it kind of has. The show has the potential to speak to me more as a mom and understand the cadence of my life. And while Regis will be sorely missed, I think it’ll be better for everyone in the long run that he’s going out on top.
Will you miss Regis in the morning once he’s gone?
Image: Wikimedia Commons