VIDEO: Howard Says Goodbye to Neighbor and Broadcasting Legend Regis Philbin

“A world with Regis just seemed better,” he says of the longtime morning show and “Millionaire” host

July 27, 2020

Broadcasting legend Regis Philbin – who helped millions of Americans wake up every weekday morning on ABC and broke records as host of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” – has died at the age of 88.

Despite not having a working relationship, Howard remembered Regis fondly Monday morning as a kind and thoughtful neighbor. “I loved Regis,” he said to co-host Robin Quivers. “It’s not like we had some deep relationship but I don’t know, a world with Regis just seemed better.”

Regis, who started as a page on “The Tonight Show” before becoming entertainer Joey Bishop’s sidekick on his talk show, later in life found success as co-host of ABC’s “The Morning Show,” which morphed into long-term partnerships with Kathie Lee Gifford and Kelly Ripa. “Regis was really quite good,” Howard said of his hosting abilities. “He was funny and he was light. I mean he wasn’t doing the crazy crap I was doing, but that was his lane and he was quite good at it.”

After recalling how difficult it was to find an apartment building when he moved to Manhattan many years, ago, Howard remembered fondly of how welcoming Regis was when they eventually became neighbors. “My entire life I’ve lived where I wasn’t wanted,” Howard said before revealing he once got a personal tour of Regis’ newly-renovated home. “Finally, somebody wanted me and it was Regis … he treated me like a human being.”

According to Howard, the broadcaster was always on, even when he was off-camera. “Sometimes he would stand out in front of the building and whoever walked by [and] wanted a picture … Regis would stand there and pose for pictures with people,” he recounted. “The guy was very likable and generous and in a good mood all the time.”

“He loved show business, he loved being famous, he loved everything about it,” Robin added.

Howard also touched on Regis’ duties as the original host of ABC’s smash game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” which he said was the highest-rated primetime game show in history. “I think Regis had a lot to do with the success of that show,” he said. “Regis had a very calming effect, he also stuck to the game.”

“He was so sympathetic to the players,” Robin, a contestant herself, noted. “That also worked.”

“What an energy on this guy, what a life force,” Howard observed before giving a final farewell to his “elevator and lobby” friend. “You rest in peace Regis … thank you for welcoming me into my building and being such a nice guy … I am going to miss him.”