Over the Labor Day weekend I flew out to California to stay with some close friends from my old Hollywood Days. My dear/close friends Aldo Obarhagen and his wife Dolly, were top consultants for the I Love Lucy Show and years later, they worked on The Joey Bishop Show from 1967 – 1969. On Joey’s talk show, is where they met his sidekick Regis Philbin. I can remember when Aldo took me on the set when Joey had on Dean Martin and he had me in stitches calling me Pally. The likes of Martin’s talent will never be seen again. I have always felt he was much more talented and funnier than Jerry Lewis .
As Aldo and I sat talking over breakfast we got on the topic of Regis and his leaving LIVE! WITH REGIS AND KELLY.
He informed me of something that is a known fact by the insiders of Hollywood that Philbin’s ego was in the early days and still is very big. Regis always felt he was bigger than his Co-hosts though you would never know it by the façade he puts on in front of the camera. I will give him this; he is a pro at putting on a great illusion. Years ago, I was at a poker game with Joey Bishop, the late Jan Murray, Aldo and Rose Marie (a great Poker player) where Joey let it be known that though he liked Regis very much, he had to put his ego in check many times on his TV show. So when Aldo told me about Regis’ ego, I reminded him of our Poker Game where Joey said that years before. The look on Aldo’s face said it all.
At the age of 80, Regis can have his huge ego and really has no reason to be involved in the daily grind of a hit TV Show. Honestly, I am surprised he ever allowed anyone to be a Co-host to take any of the camera time from him. With that said, it’s apparent that he is tired of letting anyone grab the lens from him, so he is calling it quits on November 18th.
Sidenote: Sadly, today Joey Bishop and Jan Murray are gone. RIP old friends….