Friday, November 18, 2011

Why I am going to miss Regis Philbin

For the past few months, like most of America, I've been watching the tributes to Regis Philbin. We always have the TV on here in the studio, and every morning after we finished the show, it is tuned to "Live with Regis and Kelly". Since they announced his retirement earlier this year, they've played montages of clips from his many years on daytime TV, and it's brought back many memories for all of us.

As his final day approached, I've found myself getting really sad - which doesn't make a lot of sense, on the surface, considering I've never met the man. Why was it making it me so sad? I couldn't put my finger on it. This morning, while I was in the shower, I finally figured out why I am so sappy about Regis leaving the show after all of these years.

It's the end of an era. An era for TV, sure...but actually, it's the end of an era for me, personally, too. Regis represents an important part of my childhood to me. On sick days, when I stayed home school, my mom would let me what Regis and Kathie Lee, The Price is Right (with Bob Barker as the host), and Oprah in the afternoons. Regis was the last bastion of my childhood sick day routine. One more tether to my mom that is gone.

Better than chicken soup, Regis was part of "medicine" that made me feel better. Whether he were interviewing a celebrity, dressing up in one of their campy Halloween costumes, or just sharing about his adventures from the night before, Regis Philbin brought a sense of humor to my mornings. While I laid on the couch, my mom would walk over to the TV, and click on "Live!", and I knew that for, at least, the next hour, we'd be entertained, and I'd forget about feeling badly.

As I grew up, and entered into the broadcast media field myself, he also provided a template of how to be relatable, humorous and relevant, without being mean or blue. He showed how to be human and humble, funny and lighthearted, passionate and classy. Regis was someone to emulate and imitate, and many people have tried.

Regis, we'll miss you, buddy. Thank you for the laughs and for the memories. Thanks for being a part of my childhood, someone that made my mom and me laugh, someone that made all of our mornings a little bit lighter and brighter.

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