Rickles tickles the Regis funny bone

Longtime Philbin friend gives his appreciation

I never liked Regis Philbin. Regis, my God. What can I say? I’ve known him for about 45 years. I met him down in San Diego. He was doing a radio show and I got to know him. Then he did “The Joey Bishop Show.” Regis and I would walk up and down Hollywood Boulevard hoping Joey would like us.

He hasn’t changed much. He maintains a great energy level that’s wonderful. He’s always been a fun kind of guy. He has his moments, of course, like anybody in life, but he’s a joy to be around because he’s happy-go-lucky. Even after his heart surgery he had a little down time, but I have always found him to be a happy guy.

Before he went into the hospital for the heart thing, I told him, ‘Don’t worry Regis, you don’t have a chance. It’ll be amazing if you pull through.’ Then when he came out I said, ‘Geez, I didn’t think you were going to live.’ I’d do that kind of thing with him. He’d break up laughing. I love the guy and he knows that.

I’ve watched his show many times. I never did it live in the studio with Kelly until recently. I always did a remote with

Regis in the park or somewhere else in New York because who wants to get up at the crack of dawn to try to be funny? But the last time I was in New York I did it live with Kelly for the first time and it was great fun.

Regis has that charisma with the ladies and they enjoy him. When the light goes on, he’s pure Regis. He really comes alive. What can I say … He’s The Man!!!

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