The gracious Regis Philbin showed up with the missus at Desmond’s last night to support his pal Peter Bart, who was being feted by Harvey Weinstein in honor of his new book, Infamous Players: A Tale of Movies, the Mob (and Sex). “I’m here for the free copy,” Philbin joked. Then we got to chatting:
I read a report that you’re interested in launching your own daytime talk show, sans Kelly. Is that true?
I’m not really interested in anything until I find something that comes my way that I really want to do.
Well, what’s your ten-year plan?
To stay alive! I want to be alive in ten years.
Me too. But would you want to stay on television after you leave Regis & Kelly?
I’d like to stay on TV. I’ve been on there all my life.
What are you going to miss the most about Kelly?
Hmmm. Oh my God, the spontaneity of her! You could bring up a topic — any topic — and Kelly will have a story about it from her own life and career, and it comes out funny and great.
Do you think she got that from you?
No, I think she always had it. I had been intrigued by that, and I said to people who worked with her, “What was she like?” And they said: “She tells stories.” So she turned out to be a perfect host.
Who would you like to see replace you?
Oh, I don’t know. That’s up to them. Kelly’s going to have some say in the decision, and [Michael] Gelman, our producer, will have a say in it. But I don’t want to get involved. Whoever they want!