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Inspirational Reads

Me and the King

January 18, 2011

Earlier today, hyperactive terrier and noted ND alumnus Regis Philbin announced he was retiring from his show. While I've never watched a single episode of Regis' show, I am familiar with his body of work. And the body of co-host. *rimshot*

I am, however, a fan of his interactions with David Letterman. I've always trended more toward being a Letterman fan, mostly because of the slacker Indiana doofus connection we share. I like Jim Gaffigan for much the same reason. Anyway, back when I watched Letterman faithfully, I always enjoyed the nights when Regis was a guest because Regis and Dave made for some wonderfully goofy interactions.

And I told Monsieur Philbin this once, while shaking his hand.

Unfamiliar with this tale? Let me fill you in (that's what I said to her...hmmm...doesn't hold the same amusement, does it?).

When I started my illustrious career at Notre Dame, I joked with anyone who would listen that I would really enjoy it when I finally got to meet Regis. Once there, I upped the ante to proclaiming that I wasn't graduating from Notre Dame until I met Regis.

As an aside, I also boasted that I was going to steal a bike and ride it through the main corridor of the library...which I didn't do. Epic. Failure. On my behalf.

My time was winding down at ND, and in the spring before would eventually graduate (I left in the fall and graduated the follow May), the opportunity presented itself. At the time, my daughter was about nine months old, and I would go home for two hours at lunch to watch her until my wife came home from teaching Latin at the local Catholic high school.

It just so happened that Regis has donated a large sum of money to ND to open a media center for students wishing to get communications and theater arts majors and the like, and he showed up for the groundbreaking ceremony. The campus was abuzz--"Holy shit, Regis is here and we're getting a new building! Huzzah!"--but I didn't think too much of it. I was wandering through the main corridor of the library when I looked up and saw a bunch of people decked out in their fanciest clothes standing near the exit.

"Oh shit, it's Regis!" I said to myself. And then I wondered if I was man enough to celebustalk him. And then I decided I had nothing to lose.


They were all gathered outside the exit and I kind of hovered on the periphery until Regis noticed me. We made eye contact and I kind of dove in, hand extend. "Mr. Philbin, I'm a big fan. Especially when I see you on Letterman."

He took my hand enthusiastically, pumped it a couple of times, grinned in his big, dopey Regis grin and said, "Oh, then you're in for a treat in a couple of weeks, young man! I'll be on Dave's show!" And then he gave the date, but I forget now. It's been nine years.

After shaking hands, I smiled, thanked him for speaking to me, wished him safe travels, and left. In all, he was very friendly and very congenial. I then passed his limo on the way home (I lived close to the airport). Instead of honking and waving or some stupid shit like that, I smiled. I had actually met the man I had joked about meeting for the previous four years. For some strange reason, I felt a sense of accomplishment.

I watched him the night he was on Letterman. It was funny--his typical antics--but there was no mention of the gangly, goofy fucker at Notre Dame that shook his hand and talked about how great it would be to watch him on the show again. I should probably also point out that Regis is on the short side--he only came up to about my nipples. A nipple-high guy, we called them in college.

So, here's to you, Reej. May your retirement be filled with good sleep and dreams of large women.

5 comments:

SkylersDad said...

It sounds like he was really pretty cool for being a big celeb!

MJenks said...

He wasn't a big celeb! He was a nipple-high-guy! *rimshot*

DEZMOND said...

uhhh, Kelly Ripa, me likey!

Just dropping by to tell ya that during your visit today your forgot to read one of the recent posts which mentions you as well ;)

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

Considering that you have excellent taste in hooters, I'm surprised that you're a Ripa guy. This is the first time I'll leave your blog without having just stared, mouth agape, at some lady's perky tits for 5 minutes.

*kicks dirt*

Scope said...

I never made it past the picture of the lovely Ms Ripa to read the rest of the post, but it was still one of my favorites.

(Kelly looks a lot like a friend I had a crush on used to look... which may be why I had a crush on her.)