By Jon Konjoyan
“I wanted to be Bing,” exclaimed TV personality Regis Philbin about his idol Bing Crosby during a lecture at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley on Oct. 29. The folksy Philbin discussed his life and career at the event, signing copies of his recently completed memoirs entitled How I Got This Way.
In the book, Philbin looks back at his storied show business career and notable interactions with such luminaries as Ronald Reagan, David Letterman, George Clooney, Jack Nicholson, and many more.
He also discussed his colorful Irish father and Italian mother, breaking into the medium of television, and Notre Dame’s upcoming game with USC. (In case you didn’t know, Philbin is a proud Notre Dame alumnus and supporter.)
Philbin holds the Guinness record for the most hours on television — 17,000 — in more than 50 years of entertaining audiences. After local stints at California TV stations, he gained national exposure as Joey Bishop’s sidekick on Bishop’s late night talk show in the 1960s. Later he hosted Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee and its subsequent incarnation Live! With Regis and Kelly, as well as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Million Dollar Password, and the first season of America’s Got Talent.
The lecture event also included a catered buffet dinner. For more information on future events at the Reagan Library, including a Christmas extravaganza featuring 25 decorated trees on Nov. 17, please call (805) 522-2977 or go to reaganfoundation.org.