The Corner

Film & TV

Million-Dollar Guy

Regis Philbin waves goodbye during the final episode of Live with Regis and Kelly in 2011. (Brendan McDermid / Reuters)

I’ll get to Regis Philbin in a minute. On the homepage today, I don’t have an Impromptus column, but I do have a piece: “America in the World: On the burden of it all.” I poured a number of thoughts into this piece, for readers’ consideration. Let me quote the final paragraph:

In a tradition of many decades now, foreigners and Americans alike have complained about the U.S. role in the world (not always unjustly, far from it). I often quote something John Bolton once said, about the foreigners: “They’ll miss us when we’re gone.” I’m afraid that we might miss us, too, when we’re gone — if we’re gone.

Care for some music? Here’s a post on an extraordinary soprano, Latonia Moore, of Texas. She did some singing — “remotely” — last week, and some (impassioned) talking, too.

Okay, now Regis. The final item in my Impromptus last Friday went,

As you may have seen, Regis Philbin, the television host, has died at 88. For the New York Times’s obituary, go here. He worked in my neighborhood, and had a home in it too. I would see him on the street from time to time. He always seemed happy and friendly: the kind of happy person who wants everyone else to be happy too.

When I said this on Twitter, someone replied, “Yeah, anyone would be happy and friendly with all that money and success.” No. A look around at life will dispel that notion.

Anyway, I wish I’d known Regis. Of course, we all did, in a way, because we saw him on television for decades. . . .

I got a note from Don Gould, a veteran newsman and sportscaster. He wrote,

. . . you judged him correctly. He and I were friendly, starting in 1983 when we passed each other in the hallway leading to Studio 8-H at NBC. It was the 50th anniversary of the Rockefeller Center page program. As I was going back downstairs to prepare for the 11 o’clock news, I said, “Regis Philbin.” He said, “Don Gould.” I was surprised and pleased he recognized me. He was always kind and supportive — had me on his show twice and treated everyone the same way.

And here’s a note from my old friend and correspondent Dave Taggart:

In 2000 my wife was on Who Wants to Meet a Millionaire? and we got to meet Regis. Upbeat and happy covers it. He was on stage and mic’ed up for over two hours for the taping — all live and unscripted — and he was “on” the whole time. Funny, too.

Marvelous. Have a good one, everyone.


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