Live With Kelly and Ryan dedicates Monday hour to remembering Regis Philbin
The morning talk show that Regis Philbin built spent its Monday episode paying tribute to him. Following the iconic TV personality's death on Friday at the age of 88, Live With Kelly and Ryan co-hosts Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest honored Philbin and spoke about his impact on the people he worked with.
"What I love to remember about him is his relationship with my kids," Ripa said during her and Seacrest's discussion of Philbin that opened the show. "He would talk to them like they were adults no matter how old they were, and my kids responded to that. They worshiped him."
Ripa credited Philbin as the source of her son Michael's enduring love for Dean Martin. When Live With Kelly and Ryan executive producer Michael Gelman stopped by to share his own memories, he noted Philbin had a lot of love for his showbiz idols like Martin and Don Rickles.
"Don came on the show, we all became friends and he became a regular on the show," Gelman recalled. "I'm sad Regis is gone, but he's with Rickles and many of his idols now."
As a testament to how much of his life Philbin dedicated to TV, he later lived right across the street from the ABC studio where Live is filmed. Even after his retirement, that meant he was never far away from his successors.
"I remember one morning after the show when we first started, he came down to the radio studio and gave me a hug," Seacrest told Ripa. "It was like a seal of approval. I cry a lot anyway, but I was really emotional about it. When I started, I wanted to be there for you, and I wanted him to approve the idea. I felt that when he came down."
The show even set a bunch of Philbin career highlights to a cover of "Seasons of Love" from Rent. Instead of 525,600 minutes, this song was about 995,600 minutes — the amount of time that Philbin spent live on air.
Live With Kelly and Ryan