TV talk-show legend Philbin reminisces about some of the important people who have impacted his impressive 50-year run.
“Rege” is not the most insightful author. Palling around with Jack Nicholson was a hoot; meeting Joe DiMaggio was a thrill; dining at home with George Clooney was a delight; etc. A few dozen strong personalities comprise the author’s pantheon of friends and heroes, but none of them, including wife and frequent TV co-host Joy, receive anything other than superficial attention. For example, Philbin’s description of his life partner: “Great face. Great figure. Wonderful personality. Charming conversationalist. All the things you want in a woman.” Chapters devoted to other potentially fascinating personalities—e.g., George Steinbrenner, Jerry Seinfeld, Steven Spielberg—run just a scant few pages, and each chapter ends with a few painfully obvious observations about “What I Took Away From It All.” Philbin, whose broadcasting career started in the late ’50s and continues today despite his recent departure from his daily morning show with Kelly Ripa, got to know hundreds of interesting people during his unparalleled tenure in TV. He apparently just didn’t know any of them that well. And perhaps that has been the secret to his enduring success. He doesn’t probe. He doesn’t pry. He’s the guy you can continually goof on and still get away with it. Others have come and gone, but the breezy Philbin is still here.
What you see on TV is what you get in this book. Fans will love it; others won’t have much to contemplate.