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Regis Riffs on Live's 20th Anniversary

Unwinding to some Dean Martin after a taping of Live with Regis and Kelly (ABC, 9 am/ET; check local listings), 76-year-old Regis Philbin is feeling nostalgic about the show's 20th anniversary. Live's two-week celebration closes out tomorrow morning when former spitfire cohost Kathie Lee Gifford returns as a guest. TV Guide: It's been 20 years. How's it feel? Regis Philbin: Twenty years, where did they go? My dream was to go national with the kind of show I'm doing now. I'm glad I finally achieved it. TV Guide: Say you had to spend an eternity with Kathie Lee, Kelly [Ripa] or Joey Bishop [to whom Regis

Erica Silberstein

Unwinding to some Dean Martin after a taping of Live with Regis and Kelly (ABC, 9 am/ET; check local listings), 76-year-old Regis Philbin is feeling nostalgic about the show's 20th anniversary. Live's two-week celebration closes out tomorrow morning when former spitfire cohost Kathie Lee Gifford returns as a guest.

TV Guide: It's been 20 years. How's it feel?
Regis Philbin: Twenty years, where did they go? My dream was to go national with the kind of show I'm doing now. I'm glad I finally achieved it.

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TV Guide: Say you had to spend an eternity with Kathie Lee, Kelly [Ripa] or Joey Bishop [to whom Regis was late-night sidekick in the '60s]. Who would it be?
Philbin: My god! [Laughs] Whydo I just have those choices?! If I say Kathie Lee, Kelly'sgoing to be offended and vice versa. If I say Joey Bishop,nobody's going to be offended, so... Joey Bishop!

TV Guide: What's one of your favorite show memories?
Philbin: When I returned from heart surgery earlier this year. You have a different perspective on what life is all about when you go through one of those things, and then to have Dave [Letterman] come over and join me [on the show].

TV Guide: So he'll come on your show, but he won't go out with you?
Philbin: My relationship with Dave exists from the time I walk out to the time I leave the seat. That's it! If I call him, he's very cordial, “How've you been?” And then when I say, “Why don't we see a movie together?...”

TV Guide: ... He hangs up?
Philbin: Pretty close to it!

TVGuide: How long do you plan to stay on Live?
Philbin: It's time, really, to hang it up. I've got a contract that ends in August of 2009, and then I don't know beyond that....

TV Guide: Do you still hold the Guinness record for most time spent on TV?
Philbin: Absolutely! Who's going to catch me? These littleJimmy-come-lately, Jimmy Kimmels? I'm the record holder!So why do I want to continue? Get me out right now!

Ah, the memories! Check out some of Regis' finer — and wackier — moments in our Online Video Guide.

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