“What’s up? Who’s talking? Why am I here?"
-- Regis Philbin when he first sat down with reporters
Regis Philbin was kind and more than generous with his time late Friday afternoon when he met with a team of local and area reporters for an exclusive question-and-answer session at Trine University. He will deliver the commencement address at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Television icon exudes warmth, honesty
Television icon Regis Philbin illuminated the room when he met with a team of reporters Friday afternoon at Trine University.
On campus to deliver the commencement address on Saturday, Philbin made time in his busy schedule for a question-and-answer session with a few lucky reporters.
“What’s up? Who’s talking? Why am I here,” Phibin joked when he sat down with reporters`.
Philbin, who holds the Guinness World Record for Most Hours on Camera on U.S. Television, was just as charming and delightful as he is during his many television appearances. He was most warm and sincere when he fielded questions about his life, the plight of television and his plans for the future.
At Trine for the exclusive session were Virginia Alvino with WBOI, the NPR radio station in Fort Wayne; Nicholas Ferreri, chief meteorologist with WANE-TV, Fort Wayne; Jim Measle, with WLKI radio Angola; Amy Oberlin with the Herald Republican in Angola and Catherine Porter, Trine marketing major and intern at Trine.
Here’s a sampling of Philbin’s remarks:
- On Indiana -- “I never got over this far. Indiana looks so great to me … it was eye opening for me. Everything looks so good. I’m happy and I’m lucky to be here.”
- On finding his way in life -- “There was a war going on when I graduated from Notre
Dame.” He was asked by a major, “What are you going to do with the rest of your life?”
He was told “Don’t you know you can have anything you want in this life? You just have to want it bad enough.” With that, he went to Hollywood and got a job in prop house carrying furniture.
“I was afraid of it. I didn’t want to make a fool of myself,” he said of his thoughts before making the journey to Hollywood.
- “There’s Betty White … they establish a romance between me and Betty White … It was time for me to kiss Betty White. My god, can that woman kiss. I couldn’t sleep for three nights.”
- On his friendship with David Letterman – Letterman gave him a bike for his birthday. “Gave me a bike that was like riding a motorcycle. I did stay on the bike for about seven seconds before I was thrown into the street.”
- Biggest universal truth he’s learned -- “Try not to be so funny, but to tell the truth. I don’t like to make up things.”
- On Letterman ending his run on “Late Night with David Letterman” – “I hated to see him go. …I know him quite well; he’s different off stage, very quiet. I don’t see any reason for him to leave.”
- Why he accepted invitation to speak at Trine -- “I was talking to Lou Holtz … great guy … So I decided to come.” Legendary coach Holtz is a Trine University trustee.
Philbin is sure to wow the audience Saturday when he delivers the address during the 130th commencement at Trine University. The event is at 10 a.m. Saturday in Keith E. Busse/Steel Dynamics, Inc. Athletic and Recreation Center. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Regis Philbin kids with WBOI's Virginia Alvino, to his right, as he talks with reporters Friday afternoon. Also shown Amy Oberlin, from left, Jim Measle, Nicholas Ferreri and Katherine Tsakkos.