This morning, Regis Philbin officially signs off from “Live! With Regis and (fill in the blank)” after 28 years on air.
We’re live blogging his very last day starting at 9 a.m.
9:58: And with that, Regis signs off for good, surrounded by his family in a giant group hug.
9:57: Tears in his eyes, Regis bids farewell, thanking his staff and Kelly. “This is the last chance I had in this business to make in here in New York. I came back a little late in my life to make it all work...28 and a half years, and we’ve had a great time.”
Rege keeps it concise: “I’ll never be able to answer all the cards and messages, especially in the last few weeks...Thank you very much for these years together. God bless you all, and I hope I see you again real soon.”
9:54: Coming up...Regis’s final words.
9:53: Disney CEO Bob Iger appears to give Regis a gift, though it’s something he can’t take home. And it is...a plaque. On the side of the building, with an image of Regis’s face, so no one will ever forget him.
9:46: A choir takes the stage to do a slightly changed version of “Seasons of Love” from “Rent,” and change the words to “995,600 minutes — how do you measure a man and his career?” followed by “Regis we love” as the chorus. We can’t promise anything, but Rege is looking pretty choked up in the corner.
9:42: Kelly talks about her first day, and how terrified she was when they walked on stage to a screaming audience, until Regis leaned over to her and said, ”You see that? That’s all for you. All those people are here for you.” She goes on about how wonderful Regis is, and as the camera cuts away to a commercial break, we see many people in the audience dabbing their eyes with tissues.
9:40: “I’ve had the privilege of walking 43 steps with you from my dressing room to the studio floor, five days a week...except when you have off on Fridays, and Fridays and Mondays in the summer,” Kelly says as she tears up, and talks about Regis yelling at various people as they walk down the hallway together every morning. Out of love, of course.
9:37: Kelly gets choked up as she introduces a segment of scenes together, and thank him for taking her from soap opera actress to his co-host. Spliced between pictures of random people holding signs that just say “Regis,” we see all sorts of Regis-Kelly scenes: laughing, crying, trapped in a glass box together, dressed up in trench coats and masks, etc.
9:33: Regis claims he had reservations at Pebble Beach, but they didn’t work out. “I hope that story lived up,” Joy starts to say. Kelly looks disappointed, perhaps because it was pretty boring. “We’ll talk during commercial break,” she says to Joy. “I thought it was going to be...” but we don’t get to hear the end of Kelly’s sentence because the show cuts to a montage of Regis reflections about his life.
9:32: Story continued — So, Joy and Rege drove aimlessly down the Pacific Coast Highway until they found a random restaurant and sat by the fireplace.
9:31: Joy sets the scene: After their wedding, it was dark and raining outside, but Regis said he had a surprise for her and wouldn’t tell her where they were going. It turns out, Regis...didn’t have any reservations! Gasp! Is that it?
9:30 At long last, it’s time for the Honeymoon Story. Regis has refused to tell it for years, so Joy takes the reins.
9:24: After some more adorable family photos, Joy said that when Regis announced his retirement, she asked him, “What are you going to do?” His response: he would spend more time with her. “He will definitely drive my mom nuts,” Joanna and JJ say simultaneously.
9:22: Michael Schur, “Office”/”Parks and Rec” producer and JJ’s husband, says that Regis told him that he should play exec producer Michael Gelman in the movie of Regis’s life. That is the biggest compliment Regis can bestow upon anyone.
9:21: New montage: Regis’s wife, Joy, and daughters, Joanna and JJ, talk about how the show changed their lives over the years. For Joanna and JJ, that meant moving to New York, which caused trauma when they could only bring one pet with them.
9:18: Time to show that young people love Rege: Justin Timberlake, Selena Gomez, Shia LaBeouf, Emma Stone and Anne Hathaway all share their Regis memories.
9:15: Regis gets the key to the city! Coming up next: Regis’s family to share embarrassing stories.
9:13: Bloomberg has some job offers for Regis. Taxi driver. Gray’s Papaya. Member of the New York Yankees. Shirtless billboard star. Next mayor of New York?
9:11: And the first special guest is...New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg! “You have been New York City’s biggest fan, and New York feels the same way about you,” Bloomberg says. “Whatever you do, I hope you do it in New York City.
9:06: The first preview is “Being Regis,” otehrwise known as people impersonating Regis over the years. (For the record, Regis thought Dana Carvey’s impression was “too shrill.”) Ben Affleck. Martin Short, Ted Koppel and Neil Patrick Harris do excellent impressions, as does Barney the Purple Dinosaur. Kelly Ripa dressed as Regis, however, is terrifying.
9:05: A preview: We’ll hear from Regis’s family, and even the infamous “honeymoon” story.
9:04: “How do you feel?” Kelly asks “I feel ok, I feel pretty good...the somberness of it all,” Regis says, somberly. He reiterates that he still doesn’t know what he’s doing after the show.
9:03: “We love you Regis!” a man yells. We get a shot of the audience filled with Regis’s fans, including Donald Trump, Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer and president of Disney-ABC Television Group Anne Sweeney, Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger.
9:00: To kick things off we get Regis Cam, following him backstage as he goes to knock on Kelly Ripa’s dressing room door — “for the last time,” he muses. He and Kelly walk down the hallway together and share one last hug before they step on the stage to wild cheering.