Sad to read today of the passing of Regis Philbin, a real TV icon. I liked Regis in general, but specifically I liked him because one night in 1986, he and his then-broadcast partner, Kathie Lee Gifford, came to see our show at Madison Square Garden in New York. After the show, he sent word that he wanted to invite me to be on their show the next day. Specifically me he wanted to invite. That was not a request I was accustomed to receiving.
Mind you, mornings after a show night historically tended to be quite fuzzy for me. Show nights tend to run late, and that one did so. Regis and Kathy Lee's show, some may recall, was quite an early one. My wife and I had to drag ourselves out of bed before 6 am to be transported to the ABC studios, and I can't say that it was anywhere close to being easy to do so. When I look at the clips from that morning, I'm amazed that I appear to be wide awake, even though I know that I wasn't anywhere near to consciousness. Judge for yourself.
In those days, I wrote a song about every town we played in, and they wanted me to perform the song I had written about New York, and that was fun and all, but hardly the stuff of television history. But then, after I finished it, Regis had a little surprise in store. Here is the clip of Regis and I doing his number, and I dedicate it to his memory.