Who should replace Regis Philbin? We have six ideas. We're not claiming they're good ideas.
Crestfallen fans of Regis Philbin have now had 24 hours to process the news that he plans to retire, at least from "Live with Regis and Kelly," by the end of the year. And so it is that we must move on, or risk coming apart at the seams as old-format TV talk continues to deteriorate.
But can the show, which Philbin originated 28 years ago, survive without Reeg? It's doubtful that another 79-year-old with his moxie and ability to mix-it-up with everyone on lists A through D exists. But, in the spirit of keeping the show alive, we offer six candidates who could reinvigorate the format and make it must-watch morning viewing.
Ricky Gervais: We know he won't be hosting the Globes again, but maybe we'd welcome him in a less glitzy setting? One in which his acidic humor would temper the bubbly sprite that is Kelly Ripa? His first guests could include pals Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr. and the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Kathie Lee Gifford: Sure, she's got the whole fourth hour of "Today" thing going for her, but you know she'd drop Hoda in a hot minute if she happened to be asked back to "Live." And, like it or not, the woman is a spitfire with pop culture cred to spare (pop culture cred meaning she's a frequent target of derision on "SNL").
Jay Leno: The genius of "Regis and Kelly" (and "Regis and ____," for that matter) is the show's ability to appeal to a wide swath of daytime viewers, especially the blue-haired set -- who looked to Philbin to translate this tweet-crazy "Jersey Shore" world for them. Leno, who has practically zero appeal for the 18-35 set, would be a good bet to keep that audience sated. And it would take him out of the late night talk equation. Finally.
Neil Patrick Harris: NPH topped our online poll results yesterday when we asked readers to weigh in with suggestions. But would the gig be too limiting for NPH and too off-putting for the blue-hair set? Maybe not.
Larry King: What morning TV needs is more suspenders and someone familiar with lobbing softball questions at guests. And, really, we've been waiting for years to see this guy not sitting behind a table. What are those suspenders holding up?
Betty White: Let's turn the show's formula upside down. Get rid of Ripa. Bring in the 89-year-old 2010 "It" gal and pair her with some young, hot dude. Perhaps Ripa's husband, Mark Consuelos? That way, the family won't be losing any significant income.
| January 19, 2011; 10:57 AM ET
Categories: Celebrities, TV | Tags: Regis Philbin
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