How ironic that Regis Philbin, the king of spontaneity and stories, had to stand virtually silent as a parade of people and video clips saluted him on his final show this morning. He did get a couple of minutes at the end to say goodbye, but the rest of the hour was hokey and over-produced. Even co-host Kelly Ripa only got a couple of minutes to speak about how important Regis had been to her, and how he comforted her on the first show they did together 11 years ago.
Regis always insisted (and was right) that he was best in a live, unscripted setting — yet most of his finale was pre-recorded and below him. Judging by the look on his face through most of the proceedings, he knew it.