The man who once replaced Steve Allen, asked the masses “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” and has kept daytime kicking with “Live With Regis and Kelly” adds a new gig to his 50-year TV resume Sunday as a first-time host of the Daytime Emmy Awards.
The Hollywood Reporter: Are the Daytime Emmys underappreciated?
Regis Philbin: I think so. But it has a long line of faithful fans. The old joke is that daytime shows make up for primetime’s mistakes.
THR: You were a sidekick on “The Joey Bishop Show” in 1967. What’s the difference between being a good sidekick and a good host?
Philbin: A good sidekick has to offer himself up to the host in terms of being supportive, giving him leads and being a straight man. A good host knows his guests, so he can help them shine. The opening is all you; the rest of the show is all them.
THR: Speaking of hosts, David Letterman loves to joke that people often confuse the two of you. Do you see a likeness?
Philbin: I swear, I’m in that monologue more than anyone else. He always gets a laugh with (that joke) and I have no idea why! I think the world of him. He’s the tops when it comes to late night hosts.
THR: A good host appreciates probing questions, so here’s one: You’re shipwrecked on a desert island. What two things would you bring?
Philbin: The stock market is my vice, so I’d need to stay in touch with CNBC. Can I bring my lovely wife, too? That’ll look really good in print.
THR: Is that your final answer?
Philbin: I thought I’d get through one interview without being asked that!