I was heartsick when Kathie Lee left Live! With Regis & Kathie Lee in 2000, and now I don’t know what I’m going to do without my Regis fix. Could there be any better chemistry than Regis and Kelly for the last decade? Did you see them blowing up a balloon with one nostril? Whoa me. Am I watching thought leaders in my free time, or what?
Seriously, fans, I’m really sad that Regis is stepping down from the show after a 28-year gig that made him famous and wealthy… and us happy to have his tush in that chair for so long. He was an irrefutable fact of TV; an immoveable object that will now leave a stool open for Kelly’s next co-host.
Is he going away for good? He said no and my guess is that’s the truth. He’s got too big of a brand to not use it, And except for his memory going a bit (he can’t get any name straight anymore!), he’s a top-notch host, straight man and funny guy. He can do anything he wants – host another game show, be a PR spokesman for senior citizen products like life insurance or banks (oh, he does that already) or produce a series of podcasts like Alec Baldwin.
Who does Regis admire? A TV Guide interview says he’s over the moon for perma-stars like Perry Como and Dean Martin. He added that the reality stars of today might be celebs for a few minutes, but they aren’t anything like Dino and Perry, who earned their stripes over the years.
So whose hot buns will be seated next to Kelly’s for the next five years? I don’t think they’re Seinfeld’s. Though he’s a comic genius, I think viewers will tire of his whining. Neil Patrick Harris is better – a great talent who can do just about anything. But, for my money, the best co-host Kelly could ask for would be Hugh Jackman of all trades. He just has to give up some of his Broadway, movie and award show hosting to make the time.
Cheers, Regis. You sure deserve them!