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Monday, May 20, 2024

It's the end of an era, folks.

No, I'm not talking about the different freedoms currently at risk in America.

I'm not talking about the NBA lockout being lifted, either. Perhaps, by the time you're reading this, the lockout will be reinstated - again.

I'm not even talking about the American staples of "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" being canceled this year.

It's the end of the Philbin era, ladies and gents.

Regis Philbin's last day as co-host of "Live With Regis and Kelly" was Nov. 18, and I think we all need to thank him.

He has been on television for 36 years, ever since hosting "AM Los Angeles" in 1975.

I would argue that Philbin has raised practically all of us. His morning talk shows have been there on any given weekday we happened to be home. We let him into our lives and our mornings as we heard about his life and his goings-on.

He retired from "Live" at 80 years old, and I think that's quite a career. Sure, he had a hard time keeping up with the current technology trends - perhaps that's part of the reason he chose not to renew his contract.

There's going to be a generation of kids that won't know who Regis is. Isn't that strange?

They'll never get to see this elderly man mess up the names of celebrities, be unable to use a phone or pretend to understand current events.

Thankfully, Kelly Ripa, Philbin's co-host since 2001, will take over as the person whose face we associate with the show. I think this transition represents the changing of the generations. No longer will the co-host struggle to keep up with outdated references. No one will have to explain, then re-explain, what Twitter is.

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Did Philbin leave because he felt, comparatively, like a dinosaur to everyone else around him? Maybe. Did he leave because at 80 years old there is basically nothing else to do but retire? Perhaps.

The gap between the current parents/grandparents and the "youth"/"young professionals" is kind of hilarious. We all have to answer questions about texting or using Facebook, but I think we hold our TV talk show hosts to a higher standard.

What's next for "the Reeg?" Nobody knows. He's written a memoir - published three days before his last "Live" show - so he'll be around to promote it on all of the late-night shows, I'm sure.

Not everyone who "retires" from TV stays away for long. I'm looking at you Rosie, Oprah and Brad Goreski.

But would Regis have a place on TV anywhere else besides the morning? I think he left "Live" very gracefully (if you watched his final episode, I hope you had a box of tissues on hand) and shouldn't try to rebrand himself to fit the needs of the current generation.

He had a good, long run. He currently holds the world record for spending the most hours on TV. By golly, I think he's earned his retirement many times over. I think he could have retired a few years earlier before the culture and generation gap became even more obvious.

We should all be so lucky to have such a long and rewarding career. While they may not break hard-hitting news stories, daytime talk shows should not be taken for granted. Everybody has his or her morning routine, and Regis has been a part of mine for nearly as long as I've been alive.

So thank you, Reeg, for being there when we all needed a laugh, whether it was with you or at your expense. You always knew which was needed, and you are a true master of television. We should all be as "outta control" as you are.

Sami Main is a journalism junior at UF. Her column appears on Tuesdays.

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