“We had wonderful laughs together. Regis made everybody laugh. You know, his career so enduring, so legendary,” said Rivera, who at one time shared an agent with Philbin. “I remember when, when the millionaire show, ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’ started and they asked Regis the host it, Arthel. He quoted the line from ‘Godfather III’ — ‘Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.’ He was always cracking jokes.”
Co-anchor Arthel Neville also reminisced about her experiences with Philbin, noting she had worked with the talk show icon on a few occasions, filling in for Kathy Lee Gifford on “Live with Regis and Kathy Lee” and appearing with him on an episode of the NBC sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”
“He is just so generous. He’s not that… egomaniacal person, you know, as you were saying, as well,” Neville said. “Because of that, he’s generous. He doesn’t mind sharing the spotlight. And what you see is what you get.”
Neville even shared a personal interaction with Philbin during her first marriage.
“Regis on my first wedding. He told me, ‘I had advice to you, Arthel. Don’t do it!'” Neville said, prompting her and Rivera to laugh. “I should have listened to Reg. The second [marriage] is all good.”
Co-anchor Eric Shawn asked Rivera what made Philbin iconic.
“I mean, he was about the Bronx. He was about Notre Dame University. He, you know, parochial school kid always making fun. The church loved him. He loved the church. But, you know, he was so quick with a quip. Always on,” Rivera said. “What a man. I don’t think anybody will put together that kind of career again.”