If you thought Regis Philbin called it quits when he left "Live! With Kelly" in November, think again. The longtime talk show host has quite a bit on his plate.
Philbin has guest hosted on "The View," "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," "Late Show With David Letterman" and a handful of other talk shows. He's also been hanging out with Betty White in a guest starring role on TV Land's "Hot In Cleveland." He appeared in the season finale and, he told HuffPost TV via phone, he will be back for more next season. Plus, he's appearing with his wife and former co-host Kathie Lee Gifford on "Today" on Wednesday and he will host the "Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular" on Wednesday, July 4 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
HuffPost TV caught up with Philbin on Wednesday to discuss life after "Live," his reunion with Kathie Lee and more "Hot in Cleveland." Plus, he wants to make it clear: He hasn't retired yet.
What's the one thing you want to do in your TV reunion with Kathie Lee Gifford?
Well, it's not have a drink with her. I'm trying to avoid that. This is the new Kathie Lee! Well, I hope we have some laughs. I'd like to reminisce a little bit about our 15 years together. I think that might be fun. And talk about the good days and some of the bad days and get a few laughs out of it.
Have you been watching "Live! With Kelly?"
You know, honest to God, I wake up at about a quarter to ten now. I watched a little bit today, I get to see the last 10 minutes. The set looks nice -- they spent a lot of money on it. I do get to see a little bit of it from time to time.
Waking up that late sounds like the good life.
That's one of the reasons I moved on. I hate to say I retired. In fact, I never said that, but everywhere I go everyone says, "How do you like retirement, Regis?" Well, I've moved on! But nobody believes that.
Out of Kelly's co-hosts, do you have any favorites?
There was a gal on cooking today. You know what? I think there's too much cooking on these daytime shows. Have you noticed that? It gets on your nerves after a while! They were cooking something [today] and I said, "Jeez, I guess we must have done that a couple of times a week too when I was there." She's had a wide variety of co-hosts. The kid on today was pretty good, Nick Lachey. He was nice. I like it when they have really unusual people.
Who would you pick for Kelly's permanent co-host?
Now wait a minute! I know what you're up to at The Huffington Post.
You can't answer that question?!
There would be a screaming headline! "Regis Wants So-And-So!" I better not get involved. I'm out of it, safe and sound. It's all up to Kelly and ABC.
If you could guest host on any TV show, which one would you choose?
You know the show I like and I've always liked? "Morning Joe." I think it's a great show, and I love the way they interact together. But the fact that they do three hours a day, 6 to 9 ... I think it's unbelievable! But they pull it off, they're fresh as a daisy at 9 o'clock when they finish.
What about game shows?
Of course, my favorite game show is "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire". I pitch in for Meredith [Vieria] from time to time, and I enjoy doing that very much.
Any upcoming TV projects?
"Hot In Cleveland" with Betty White. It's on TV Land. I play Pierre, a hairdresser who they think is gay, but they're not sure. He falls in love with Betty White, we close out the season with Betty and I going out on a date. So we're opening the new season of TV Land ... I'm going back to film two more shows at the end of August or beginning of September, which I presume will be the first two shows on TV Land. I don't know anything about it, but that's what I'm going to be doing this summer.
What was it like working with Betty White?
She's a wonderful woman. Years and years ago, when I started my career in Hollywood, Betty White was the most popular woman in town. She had her own talk show. Nevermind the movie stars out there -- and they really had movie stars in those days -- Betty White was the person everybody loved. And they still do. She's just got a wonderful sense about it her. She's a wonderful actress and very funny too.
Tune in to NBC on Wednesday, July 4 at 9 p.m. ET to watch Philbin host the "Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular," with performances from Katy Perry and Kenny Chesney.
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