The world of television recently lost one of its most recognizable personalities, as longtime talk show host and game show host Regis Philbin passed away over the weekend. To be expected, tons of celebs offered up touching messages and memories online about Philbin after his death, with some of the most notable tributes coming from the colleagues who knew him best, such as former co-hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Kelly Ripa, as well as late night legend David Letterman.
For those unaware, Regis Philbin was a beloved guest on The Late Show during David Letterman's tenure, having made over 120 appearances during Letterman's 22-year run that ended in 2015. (Not to mention the dozen or so appearances he made on NBC's Late Night with David Letterman prior to the CBS switch.) After the former's death, Letterman released a touching statement (via Variety) that held Philbin up in high regard.
Regis Philbin officially retired from his morning show career back in 2011, and it's not hard to imagine that David Letterman chunked his TV into a dumpster after that. Of course, he wouldn't have been able to catch Philbin's guest appearances on a variety of shows such as Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Rachel Ray, Snoop Dogg Presents The Joker's Wild and others.
Of course, Regis Philbin spent many of those pre-retirement years sitting alongside Kathie Lee Gifford for Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, which went by that distinction from 1988-2000, when the latter left the show to transition to NBC's Today. While there was allegedly a communication gap for a while, two remained close in more recent years, however, with Philbin even sending Gifford a farewell video when she vacated Today. Gifford had in fact just had lunch with Philbin and his wife Joy just two weeks prior to his death. To be expected, she shared a lovingly emotional post about her longtime friend.
There most certainly will never be another entertainer (or otherwise) quite like Regis Philbin, not that people haven't put forth the effort to be a proper substitute. For example, the rebooted Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? is fine enough, but new host Jimmy Kimmel has a completely different vibe from Philbin's optimistically nervous energy and conversational tone. That said, Kimmel did offer up his own condolences on Twitter.
In fact, the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? took to its Instagram page to also offer up some kind words about the former host.
Somewhat strangely – or perhaps not, depending on how you feel about the way Regis' retirement went down – his former co-host Kelly Ripa offered up a joint statement with her current co-host Ryan Seacrest, rather than penning an exclusively personal tribute.
Considering so much of Regis Philbin's TV career happened on ABC, even Disney's Executive Chairman Bob Iger took a moment to mourn on Twitter.
And while there are obviously many more messages being shared across social media celebrating Regis Philbin's life and accomplishments, it seems fitting to end on a message that, much like David Letterman and Kathie Lee Gifford's words at the top of this article, is unmistakably personal and heartfelt. In the words of Karate Kid and Cobra Kai star Ralph Macchio:
We at CinemaBlend send our thoughts and condolences to Regis Philbin's family and friends during their time of mourning.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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