Regis Philbin Leaving Live!: Who Should Replace Him?

Regis Philbin announced on Tuesday morning that he will be leaving Live! With Regis and Kelly sometime this summer.

“It’s been a long time — 28 years since I’ve been here — and it was the biggest thrill of my life,” Reege, 79, said toward the end of Tuesday’s broadcast. “Everything must come to an end for certain people on camera. Especially certain old people.”

Philbin’s daytime run began in 1983 with The Morning Show, a New York City-area ABC talker. (I totally remember watching this during summers home from school.) Come 1985, Kathie Lee Gifford replaced Cyndy “Ex-Wife of Steve” Garvey as Philbin’s cohost, and not long after that the show went into national syndication.

A semi-polarizing personality prone to prattling on about her husband and kids, Gifford famously exited stage left in 2000, and a year later Kelly Ripa was called in from the soap opera ranks to partner with Philbin. For a short spell, “Pipa” juggled both All My Children (which taped down the street) and the daytime talker.

A three-time Emmy winner for his work, Philbin stressed that he won’t vanish into the ether once his Live! run ends. “I’m not retiring,” he said. “I am just moving on.”

During times when Regis went on breaks, Ripa shared the stage with such fellas as Anderson Cooper, Bryant Gumbel, Howie Mandel, Survivor host Jeff Probst, Mario Lopez, Pat Sajak and, of course, her hubby Mark Consuelos.

Who would you like to see claim Philbin’s chair this summer?