accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Regis Philbin: this isn’t the last you’ve seen of me!

regis-philbin-ap-250

When Regis Philbin earlier this year announced he was leaving his talk show “Live With Regis & Kelly” talk show, many observers thought he was retiring, perhaps disappearing from the public eye the way Johnny Carson did.

But the emphatically upbeat 80-year-old (who could pass for 60) said his career is not ending, even if Friday is his final day on the show. ABC, he said, simply didn’t offer him a good contract.

“Rather than get involved with another year-deal or whatever they wanted, I made up my mind to leave ABC,” Philbin said in an interview Tuesday by phone on his way from Manhattan to a New Jersey book signing for “How I Got This Way,” his latest memoir. “I didn’t walk away. They offered me something. The contract wasn’t that alluring.”

Speculation is now rife that another network or syndicator might pick him up and give him another show.

“I’m sure we’ll see Regis somewhere else,” said Bill Carroll, vice president of programming at Katz Television Group, a media buying and consulting group. He thinks Philbin was insulted by Disney/ABC’s offer, considering how much money he has made for the network during his 23 years in syndication. “I understood that ABC felt like it needed to move on but this was not a classy way to do it,” he said. (A spokeswoman for the show declined to comment.)

Ratings for “Live” have continued to be strong, averaging about 3.5 million viewers a day.

Phibin’s book is shaped through the lens of 31 people he admired. They range from early talk show legends Steve Allen and Jack Paar to co-hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Kelly Ripa to celebrity buddies such as David Letterman and George Clooney.

On Sunday, Philbin He will be at the annual Book Festival of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA) to talk about his book, his career and whatever comes to his mind. He touted the appearance on his show Wednesday morning. “Everyone raves about this book festival,” he told Ripa. “Regis is talking!”

Here’s what he discussed with me Tuesday:

AJC: How are you feeling today?

Philbin: I’m trying to get out of my office I’ve lived in for 28 years. It’s more than I thought it would be with all the pictures and books and things people have sent me I don’t want to throw out. It’s incredible.”

AJC: And now you’re jumping straight into a book tour.

Philbin. We went to Barnes & Noble on Fifth Avenue earlier today. We had a wonderful turnout. It’s kind of sad to come face to face with people who told me how much they’re going to miss me.

AJC: You’ve written two books about yourself before. Why a third?

Philbin: It wasn’t meant to be a book. I started to write little memoirs to myself of people I’ve met along the way. I didn’t want to forget as I entered my elderly years. One day, I went to HarperCollins to welcome Susan Lucci, an old pal of mine… Someone asked whether I had any books up my sleeve. I mentioned that I was writing about people in my life that meant something to me. We pursued it. It became a book. That’s how it happened!

AJC: You had that infamous walk-off from “The Joey Bishop Show” [in 1968.] This book finally lays out the truth that it was all an act. Why did you fake people out for so long?

Philbin: For years, I told the story the way it came across on television. It was all Joey Bishop’s idea and I didn’t want to mar his name. But everybody involved is gone. What difference does it make now?

AJC: You thrive on spontaneous conversation. Have you considered going into acting?

Philbin: I’ve done a little here and there over the years. My first acting assignment was on ‘The Big Valley,” a western in the 1960s with Barbara Stanwyck. I was a reporter talking to her about the ranch… I probably would take a crack at it. But don’t hold your breath. Hollywood is filled with far younger and more attractive people.

AJC: How about another game show? [Philbin was host of "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" from 1999 to 2002.]

Philbin: Game shows have come up. But nothing has really excited me the way ‘Millionaire” did.

AJC: In your book, you said the last time you were unemployed in the early 1980s, you became addicted to Pac-Man. What hobbies will you pursue now if you take some time off?

Philbin: I exercise three or four times a week. I love playing tennis. I love going to Florida in the winter to play the game. I’m looking forward to relaxing.

AJC: Are you going to cry the last day?

Philbin: Regis will not cry. He’s a grown-up adult! I’ve never cried on TV. Choked up sometimes. Never cried!

Book signing

Regis Philbin signs “How I Got This Way”

3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20, Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. 678-812-4005, www.atlantajcc.org.

On TV

“Live With Regis & Kelly”

(Regis Philbin’s final day on the show.)

9 a.m., Friday, ABC.

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

28 comments Add your comment

BG

November 16th, 2011
2:19 pm

Regis is the man!

Good Riddance

November 16th, 2011
2:35 pm

Good Riddance Regis….don’t let the door hit you where the Good Lord Split You!

Mo Schreibman

November 16th, 2011
2:35 pm

If only Joey Bishop were here today to see it.

[...] more Regis Philbin: this isn’t the last you’ve seen of me! at Radio & TV Talk… You Might Also Like…TV best bets with American Music [...]

Earl

November 16th, 2011
2:40 pm

@ Rodney Ho, Do you proof read? “to a New Jersey to a book signing” what the hell….nice hat

Mo Schreibman

November 16th, 2011
2:47 pm

You should have a hat so nice yourself or you would not be making critical remarks of others or you have no manners.

SR OLIVIER

November 16th, 2011
2:54 pm

Why doesn’t Regis do a chronicles of sort? He is like a living legend. He has encountered so many people of by gone days on TV, movies and sports. I hope he chronologues all these people into a Regis Encyclopedia of sorts or even a combo with video and interviews. He is mentor to younger people today to help remember the Greats!

Earl

November 16th, 2011
3:05 pm

Mo Shmo, mind your own business

Earl

November 16th, 2011
3:07 pm

But Shmo since you didn’t I have 2 hats like that. one to crap in and one to cover it up with.hahaha lmao

Reeeeeeeeeg

November 16th, 2011
3:31 pm

I’m amazed that he can still speak so eloquently for a 120 years old. His only flaw is being a Notre Lame fan.

Fred

November 16th, 2011
3:54 pm

Just DAMN Rodney. You nailed him with two “uncomfortable” questions. The third book and the walk off thing. Good job.

On a side note……….. is rectal headgear acceptable? :D

Fred

November 16th, 2011
4:00 pm

As in Earl is rectal headgear? Can I say that lol?

Earl: I stand in awe of you, a man who has NEVER made a typo. You are my hero, my guru. he rest of us are not worthy to bask in your presence. Come on man, the FIRST thing the AJC did in the cutbacks is ditch the editors. Unless you have actually HAD to write a blog every day, you can’t even imagine how difficult it is NOT to make a typo here and there. In the old days, that is why Editors looked over the stuff. One is prone to read something the way they MEANT it, not the way they wrote it. As such, typo’s can and do happen.

You could just as easily pointed it out in either a kind or a jocular manner rather than choosing to be rectal headgear………

DanJ

November 16th, 2011
4:24 pm

Is Regis wearing pink lipstick in the photo? Sure looks like it! I know actors have to wear make-up but lipstick?Regardless I do give him props for being so active at 80, most folks that age have long since retired or died.

PR

November 16th, 2011
4:43 pm

Here’s hoping that the shows ratings tank after Regis leaves. ABC/Disney is obviously run by clowns and idiots. Good luck Reg…we’ll be watching for you.

Neal Boortz

November 16th, 2011
4:46 pm

Isn’t this ass clown retired yet ! I’ve been hearing about his “retirement” for over a year and it still hasn’t happened yet !

What will his bimbo sidekick do, join The View ? She could demonstrate her deep intellect and love for everything Obama.

Mo Schreibman

November 16th, 2011
5:11 pm

As someone once said home is where you hang your hat.

Fred

November 16th, 2011
5:54 pm

Neal Boortz

November 16th, 2011
4:46 pm

Isn’t this ass clown retired yet ! I’ve been hearing about his “retirement” for over a year and it still hasn’t happened yet !

What will his bimbo sidekick do, join The View ? She could demonstrate her deep intellect and love for everything Obama.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

now wait a second. If I can’t say asshat, you shouldn’t be allowed to say ass clown. It’s only fair.

oh and Neal? You were much better before you prostituted yourself to the Republicans. I liked you when you used your own mind, not just repeated ad nauseum the republican talking points for the day (which haven’t changed for 3 years. Obama sucks has gotten PRETTY boring except to your sheeple.)

ab

November 16th, 2011
7:12 pm

People can’t be respectful, it is such a shame. I will miss him dearly! Bimbo sidekick Neal? Jerk.

John C.

November 16th, 2011
7:19 pm

If I had to work with Kelly, I’d leave, too!

tamaratattles

November 16th, 2011
8:16 pm

He’s eighty and he is beginning to collect memories for his elderly years? I hope I have his health and energy at 80.

http://www.tamaratattles.com

tim

November 16th, 2011
8:30 pm

Man, too many people are brainwashed by conservative propaganda heard and seen locally on WSB radio and WSB TV. Stop drinking the Kool Aid.

brk

November 16th, 2011
9:11 pm

please Regis go away & take Kelly with you what a bimbo she is

Bo u

November 16th, 2011
9:14 pm

Leave TV for good and take Kathie Lee with you….80,time was up long ago, I and many more what fresh new talent all the oldies have had their day in the sun go home lets some one else shine.Betty White too and all the old journalists from CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC….let someone else work!!

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]

carla roqs

November 17th, 2011
9:30 am

honestly people.

Positivity

November 17th, 2011
12:40 pm

long time expert

November 17th, 2011
1:11 pm

DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOUR OVERPAID *$$ ON THE WAY OUT.

[...] Regis Philbin: this isn’t the last you’ve seen of me! [...]