It sounds sappy, but Regis Philbin actually meant a lot to me. Growing up my mother would routinely plop me down in front of the TV while she was working and Regis would be the guy talking to me. There were no iPads or computer games to keep me occupied, there was Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford every day from 9 to 10 AM. So when I ran into him at the gym a few years back I was star struck. He was standing in front of the mirror curling five pound weights and I was shocked no one had gone up to him. You always try and give celebrities their space, but I would've regretted it if I didn't say anything. I eventually mustered up the courage to go say hi. Once he put his weights down I walked over to him and asked, "are you who I think you are?" "Why yes, I think I am" he replied as a smile came across his face. From there we chatted for twenty-five minutes about absolutely nothing. Towards the end of our conversation he walked me over to his wife, Joy, on the elliptical where he proceeded to introduce me as "his new friend Patrick." It was by far the coolest celebrity interaction I've ever had and one that I'll never forget.
Here's a photo from that day:
But enough about me. The New York Daily News tweeted out this story about Howard Stern's relationship with Regis "the neighbor" that I wanted to share. It just goes to show you the kind of person Regis was and how he treated those around him.
Source - Regis Philbin wasn’t just a colleague to radio star Howard Stern, he was also a longtime neighbor who made riding the elevator and walking through the lobby a lot more fun.
Stern started his Monday show by expressing sadness over the death of the 88-year-old TV mainstay, who lived in his Upper West Side apartment building. He also remembered the good times and the odd times, including a run-in after one of Philbin’s workouts at the gym next door.
“I see Regis walking into the building and he’s got on short-shorts, like Richard Simmons short-shorts and a tank-top… you know with the hairy chest, and he goes ‘‘Look at me!’ and I say, ‘I’m looking — it’s unbelievable Regis!‘”
“And he goes ‘Can you believe what shape I’m in?' ” Philbin said, flexing his muscles. “The guy was always in a good mood,” Stern said.
It seemed the famous neighbors may not have been on the same page.
According to the long-haired shock jock, when he first started looking for apartments after his 2001 divorce, no co-op board wanted anything to do with him. Philbin was thrilled to have him as a neighbor, which made Stern feel great.
Stern said he could always tell when the contagiously vibrant Philbin was in the lobby holding court with doormen and passersby.
“Regis would stop whatever he was dong and when I say whatever he was doing sometimes he’d stand out in front of the building and (if) whoever walked by wanted a picture with Regis, Regis would stand there and pose for pictures with people,” Stern recalled. “The guy was very likable and generous and in a good mood all the time.”
^^I used to walk by The Millenium every day and I would see Regis sitting there chatting it up with the door men. The building was across the street from ABC where he worked for the majority of his career.
Stern said Philbin once invited him to see the apartment he and his wife Joy had recently renovated. The radio host told the longtime TV star he should have given himself a bigger bathroom.
“Howard said you got screwed,” Philbin later said on ABC’s “Live with Regis and Kelly.” “Every time I go in that bathroom I think, he’s right!”
Because Stern has been broadcasting from his home in the Hamptons for the past four months, he hadn’t seen Philbin in a while, but said his former neighbor had slowed a bit in his older age. Still, he thought his energetic former neighbor would live to be 104.
“A world with Regis just seemed better,” Stern said.
Awesome. I know Hubbs wrote a blog on Regis a few days ago but I wanted to share my own story. Letterman was also quoted in the news today as saying Regis was "the best guest he ever had." There's not one person on earth who didn't love Regis Philbin. RIP to a legend. Gone but never forgotten.