Regis Philbin

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Regis Philbin

Regis Francis Xavier Philbin (born August 25, 1931), is an experienced American talk show host whose career has included stints as a game show host and all-purpose television personality.

He was named after his father's alma mater, a Manhattan Jesuit high school, and grew up in the South Bronx. He graduated from Notre Dame in 1953, served in the Navy, then went through a few behind-the-scenes jobs in television and radio before moving into broadcasting. His first talk show was The Regis Philbin Show, on KGTV in San Diego, California. For budgetary reasons he had no writing staff, leading him to begin each show with what has become his hallmark, the "host chat" segment, where he engages his audience (and later on, his cohost) in discussions about his life and the events of the day.

Philbin gained his first national exposure in 1967 as Joey Bishop's sidekick on The Joey Bishop Show (1967-1969). Bishop liked to tease Philbin, but the teasing stopped after Philbin walked off the set during a live broadcast, and stayed away for several days.

He continued in several hosting and other television roles; by 1983 he joined Cyndy Garvey on The Morning Show on WABC-TV in New York City. The show became a hit after Garvey was replaced by Kathie Lee Gifford in 1985; it became nationally syndicated three years later, as Live with Regis and Kathie Lee. That show became Live with Regis and Kelly when Gifford departed in 2000 and was replaced by Kelly Ripa.

Philbin was also host of the U.S. network version of the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and the special Super Millionaire series. During the successful first run of the first U.S. version of the Millionaire show, Philbin started a fashion fad when he wore dark shirts with dark ties (both in the same color) and dark suits (in a darker color, usually black). He even had a short-lived clothing line based on this look (called Regis).

Philbin also makes regular guest appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman where he gives David Letterman no great help in controlling the show, being at the same time his usual urbane self and the "guest from hell" (being a fellow TV host), as they show a heartfelt respect for each other.

Philbin set a Guinness World Record on his August 20 2004 show, which gave him a total of 15,188 hours on television. The previous record holder for Most Hours on Camera was Hugh Downs.

Philbin added to his long resume on December 31 2004 by filling in for Dick Clark on ABC's Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin Eve.


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