Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford reunited on Wednesday's "Today" for their first co-hosting act in twelve years.
Gifford announced Monday that her former "Live!" co-host would be filling in for Hoda Kotb. Philbin arrived to a hero's welcome at Studio 1A on Wednesday morning. He was greeted by Gifford and a throng of fans at the curb, and was immediately whisked away for a sit-down with Matt Lauer.
Later, Philbin and Gifford opened the fourth hour of "Today" — which had a studio audience for the first time ever — to the tune of their old theme song. "It's Winesday Wednesday, June 20," Gifford told viewers.
"It's always Winesday around here!" Philbin quipped.
Looking back on some old clips, the pair reflected on their on-screen chemistry and routine. Their exchange was just like old times. Philbin recounted his previous night, and the two went through the day's headlines — yes, complete with the newspapers!
Philbin talked about spending time with Joy and playing opposite Betty White on "It's Always Hot In Cleveland" since his departure from "Live!" last year. Later, Gifford thought Philbin slipped and called her "Kelly." He balked at the allegation. "She's always on your mind!" he told Gifford.
It has been twelve years since she left "Live" in July 2000. Earlier in the show, Lauer jokingly asked her if the reunion would be like "riding a bike" again "even though you haven't ridden [Philbin] twelve years." On a more serious note, he wanted to know if they felt like they were "just picking up where [they] left off."
"Of course," Philbin replied. Gifford noted that it has been twelve years "almost to the day" since they were behind the desk together.
"I always thought if I could find someone who could ad lib with me, that's what I wanted to do," Philbin said, explaining that they never prepared for the show. He said that he hated meetings, and that the duo never had one in fifteen years.
"I had in mind where I was the night before," he continued. "I didn't tell her, of course. She didn't tell me before the show and she didn't either. We did it then and there."
Philbin will be hosting NBC's coverage of Macy's July 4th fireworks in New York City. Gifford joked that she got him to appear on "Today" by getting him "drunk over the weekend."
TV Hosts Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford
053374 01: UNDATED FILE PHOTO: TV hosts Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford kid around for the camera during a studio session. (Photo by Liaison)
Regis Phibin Talks About His New Show on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" -- 1981
Regis Philbin talked about his new morning show on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" in 1981. This was before Regis' long reign, back when the world was unsure of how the show would do. He even called Johnny Carson "the king" for his nineteen years hosting "The Tonight Show."
Joey Bishop, Regis Philbin, and Sammy Davis
Catch Regis from his days as Joey Bishop's sidekick. He banters with Bishop and guest Sammy Davis Jr. about their threads and beads.
Regis Philbin Going Bonkers For Crackers
Regis Philbin in an 80's commercial goes bonkers over some Harvest Crisp crackers.
Regis Philbin - My Personal Workout
Regis works out all over New York City in the introduction to his workout video. He looks svelte in a black workout suit as he talks about his cardio routine -- he says he needs it to get the energy to handle Kathie Lee! See what she has to say about that.
Regis Philbin and Marco
Regis introduces Marco, a hairstylist from San Francisco, to the show.
Regis With The Ramones
The Ramones -- Joey, Dee Dee, Johnny and Marky -- talk to Regis and Kathy Lee back in 1988.
The Wonder Years- Behind the Scenes
Join Regis Philbin of during a taping of "Live!- with Regis and Kathie Lee." Regis goes backstage of that seminal 80s dramedy, "The Wonder Years." He tours the real life RFK Jr. Middle School with Fred Savage and interviews Fred on his future plans (Fred hints at Directing someday). Regis then chats with Fred's mother, Joanne and his little brother, Ben (who would go on to star in his own ABC sitcom. Regis then raps with Josh Saviano ("Paul") about geekdom in real life. Before finishing his tour in the costume department, Regis joins 'Winnie' during her geometry class. It seems prophetic that Danica Mckellar herself would become a math wiz. All this was shot during the filming of "The St. Valentine's Day massacre" episode. In which Ben cameos as Cupid gone wrong. This classic series won't be available on DVD for the foreseeable future, so please enjoy this Bonus feature. "Wonder Years" -courtesy of New World Television and created by Neal Marlens & Carol Black. "Live- with Regis and Kathie Lee"- property of Buena Vista TV and WABC. Episode recorded off KVVU Fox 5 Winter 1990
Regis Terrifies Meryl Streep
Regis terrified Meryl Streep in this classic moment on "Live!" He read the cue card wrong -- and the result was like a "shot to my heart!" Meryl said.
Regis Faces Off With Justin Timberlake
Two show biz greats went head to head when Regis and Justin faced off in a game of ping-pong. Regis did not let Justin's Mickey Mouse past go unmentioned -- and there were more than a few gasps let out during the friendly match.
Regis Smacks Nicki Minaj's Butt
Regis certainly left an impression on Nicki Minaj when the singer joined the set of the show on its Las Vegas trip. He surprised her with a smack on her butt -- and then proceeded to shock her with an off-color joke.
Regis Strips At Snooki's Request
Regis ripped a hole in the time-space continuum when he stripped at Snooki's request. That's right -- the Reege let it all hang out on his upper half.
Regis Reads Sex for Dummies
Regis' reading of "Sex for Dummies" starts off with, "There's one page in here that Dr. Ruth specifically wrote for me." That page starts off with "I'm too old to have sex." Listen to the Reege utter the phrase "sexual apparatus."
Kramer coffee table book on "Regis & Kathie Lee"
TV Show: Seinfeld Title: "The Opposite" Season 5 Episode 86 Original Airdate: May 19, 1994 Summary: Kramer (Michael Richards) appears on "Live! with Regis & Kathie Lee" to promote his coffee table book about coffee tables.
Regis Philbin Hangs Out with Phineas and Ferb
Phineas and Ferb seek advice from Regis Philbin. In this clip, Regis demonstrates his love of hip hop, singing out "Squirrels in my pants!"
Brian Williams Does His Impression of Regis Philbin for David Letterman
Brian Williams tells Dave about flying in a private jet with Regis Philbin -- and does a killer impression along the way.
This advertisement provided by PepsiCo Inc., shows Regis Philbin after issuing a "Free Pepsi For Life" check to a Coca-Cola delivery driver, in a Pepsi Max cola war ad scheduled to air during Super Bowl XLVI, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/PepsiCo Inc.)
Bill Murray; Regis Philbin; David Letterman
In this photo provided by CBS, retired daytime talk show host Regis Philbin, left, joins host Dave Letterman, center, and actor Bill Murray on New York's 53rd Street during taping of the Late Show with David Letterman, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012. Murray kick some filed goals with Letterman holding the football. Philbin dressed as an official. (AP Photo/CBS, John Paul Filo)
TONY BENNETT, REGIS PHILBIN
In this Nov. 15, 2011 image released by Disney-ABC Domestic Television, singer Tony Bennett, left, is shown with host Regis Philbin on "Live! with Regis and Kelly," in New York. The segment aired Tuesday as part of Regis' last week as host of the popular morning show. (AP Photo/Disney-ABC Domestic TV, David Russell)
In this Oct. 28, 2011 Regis Philbin reads a newspaper in his office before a broadcast of "Live! with Regis and Kelly", in New York. After ruling morning television for 28 years as New York's Everyman-about-town, the co-host who made performance art of TV gab is exiting what for a decade has been known as "Live! With Regis and Kelly." His last day is Nov. 18. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
Television host Regis Philbin throws out a ceremonial pitch before the baseball game between the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins on Monday, Sept. 19, 2011, at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
Regis Philbin, Kelly Ripa
In this image from video released by Disney-ABC Domestic Television, co-hosts Regis Philbin, left, and Kelly Ripa are shown during the broadcast of "Live with Regis and Kelly," Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011, in New York. Philbin announced Tuesday that he will be retiring from the show this year. Philbin has hosted the morning talk show for more than a quarter-century, most recently sharing hosting duties with Kelly Ripa. (AP Photo/Disney-ABC Domestic Television)
FILE - In this June 27, 2010 photo, host Regis Philbin arrives at the 37th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, in Las Vegas. Philbin says he'll retire from his talk show on Nov. 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)
Regis Philbin, Kelly Ripa
Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa appear on Regis' farewell episode of "Live! with Regis and Kelly", in New York, Friday, Nov. 18, 2011. After more then 28 years, Philbin signed off U.S. morning television on Friday, long after setting a world record for the most time on TV. Philbin, 80, has logged more than 17,000 hours on television in a career that dates back to the 1960s. He gained prime-time fame as host of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" a decade ago. But his enduring impact was as a morning show host, turning stories about something as simple as a dinner out on the town into compelling viewing. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
Novak Djokovic, Regis Philbin, Kelly Ripa
In a photo provided by Disney-ABC Domestic Television, U.S. Open tennis tournament men's champion Novak Djokovic, left, of Serbia, appears with Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin, right, on "Live with Regis and Kelly" on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011, in New York. (AP Photo/Disney-ABC Domestic Television, Heidi Gutman) TABLOIDS OUT ARCHIVE OUT
In this image released by NBC, host Kathie Lee Gifford, left, poses with guest Regis Philbin during the "Today" show broadcast on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 in New York. (AP Photo/NBC, Peter Kramer)
Regis Philbin, Michael Bloomberg
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left, and Regis Philbin appear on Philbin's farewell episode of "Live! with Regis and Kelly", in New York, Friday, Nov. 18, 2011. After more then 28 years, Philbin signed off U.S. morning television on Friday, long after setting a world record for the most time on TV. Philbin, 80, has logged more than 17,000 hours on television in a career that dates back to the 1960s. He gained prime-time fame as host of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" a decade ago. But his enduring impact was as a morning show host, turning stories about something as simple as a dinner out on the town into compelling viewing. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
David Letterman, Regis Philbin
In this photo provided by CBS, morning talk show host Regis Philbin, Left, joins fellow host David Letterman on the set of the Late Show with David Letterman, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011 in New York. Philbin explained how host David Letterman kissed him on the lips when Letterman made a guest appearance on his show earlier in the week. Philbin does his last show as host of Live with Regis and Kelly, Friday, Nov. 18, 2011. (AP Photo/CBS, John Paul Filo) MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES; NO ARCHIVE; NORTH AMERICAN USE ONLY
Tony Bennett And Susan Benedetto Host 6Th Annual Exploring The Arts Gala
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 04: Regis Philbin attends the 6Th Annual Exploring the Arts Gala hosted by Tony Bennett and Susan Benedetto at Cipriani 42nd Street on October 4, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Exploring The Arts)
New York Giants Super Bowl Pep Rally Luncheon
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 01: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Regis Philbin and Kathy Lee Gifford attend the New York Giants Super Bowl Pep Rally Luncheon at Michael's on February 1, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for New York Giants)
2012 International Emmy Awards
This Nov. 19, 2012 photo released by Starpix shows event host Regis Philbin at the 40th International Emmy Awards in New York. (AP Photo/Starpix, Andrew Toth)