As Regis Philbin prepares to tape his last episode of “Live! With Regis and Kelly” on Nov. 18, he’s not the only one getting ready to adjust to more time at home.
“It sends chills down Joy’s spine to even think about it,” Philbin laughs of his soon-to-be-leisure time with his wife.
“Regis is not going to retire,” pipes in Joy, who was with Regis to promote Pfizer’s True Advil Stories campaign. “He’s just moving on to do something else and free him up because a live show every day is quite a commitment. This will give him a chance for us to do a bit of traveling — all of our family are still in Los Angles but we always have to be back Sunday night. This is going to be a big change for us.”
It is indeed a big change for Joy and her 80-year-old husband, who holds the Guinness World Record for the most hours on television — 16,540 and a half!
“I know it’s impending,” Regis says of his final episode. “So many people are coming up and saying whatever they want to say to me, and it’s touching. In a way I can say that I am not looking forward to it, but in another way it has to happen. It is bittersweet.”
The decision to end his run, Regis says, came after “talking about it with Joy over the years.” And when it was time to make the announcement, which he did on-air in January, he was careful to inform his co-workers — even co-host Kelly Ripa — only a half-hour before taping started, so that the news wouldn’t leak and rumors wouldn’t start.
As for the final show, “Regis is in for a lot of surprises,” according to Joy. “I don’t know specifically, but I know they have requested tapes and anything going back, so I know this is going to go back a long time.”
“I am sure [‘Live!’s producer Michael] Gelman is going to build it into an extravaganza,” Regis adds.
Follow Meredith Engel on Twitter @MeredithatMetro.