When the news came in yesterday that the legendary Regis Philbin was dead at the age of 88, it was hard not to think about David Letterman. In addition to being a co-host alongside Kathie Lee Gifford and then Kelly Ripa — and also being the host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? — Regis was well known for his appearances on Dave’s late-night shows. He was a frequent guest, and the two would have wonderful back-and-forth conversations. Letterman would always act annoyed by Regis, but then when the two actually sat down to have a conversation, you could tell how much the two loved each other.
For another reminder of their relationship, just check out the video below from Regis’ last appearance on The Late Show prior to Dave’s retirement.
In a statement on Twitter Saturday afternoon, the publicity-shy Letterman had the following to say about the loss of his friend:
Regis is in the same category as Carson. Superlative. He was on our show a million times, always the best guest we ever had, charming, lovable and could take a punch. When he retired I lost interest in television. I love him.
Given how fondly Letterman spoke about Johnny Carson over the years, you know how important this statement is to him. We know how important both Dave and Regis were to viewers; a lot of people grew up on their interviews, and there are always going to be other late-night hosts that take some cues from what they have. We think personally there are some elements here that are similar to what Jimmy Kimmel has now with Matt Damon. (Kimmel himself is a noted disciple of Letterman’s, as he was a childhood hero to him for many years.)
There will never be another Regis Philbin, just like there is also never going to be another David Letterman.
You can read more news when it comes to Philbin’s passing over at the link here. Our thoughts continue to go to his friends and loved ones in the midst of such an unbelievably sad time.