- The Washington Times - Friday, September 14, 2007

Reege celebrates 20

Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa laugh a lot when they talk about their morning show, “Live With Regis and Kelly.”

“Live” has been on, in one incarnation or another, for the past two decades, and that’s a lot of fun and funny memories to recall.

This morning, the pair will be joined for a retrospective by Kathie Lee Gifford (9 a.m. on WJLA-ABC7), who was replaced by Miss Ripa six years ago after 15 years on the show.

Earlier this week, Mr. Philbin and Miss Ripa spoke to reporters by telephone about one of the country’s most popular daytime shows.

Still energetic at 76, Mr. Philbin finds live television just as exciting as it was when he first started doing it decades ago. “I couldn’t conceive doing the show on tape,” he says. “I’d rather do it live and take the chances and have fun with the chances.”

Miss Ripa says she may be a relative newcomer to the show, but she was a “faithful viewer” for years, watching it while having her morning coffee and breakfast. “I really enjoyed the faithful camaraderie between Regis and Kathie Lee. It was very relevant and very relatable,” she says.

“It really is the greatest job on the planet,” Miss Ripa gushes. She gets to the studio at 8 a.m. for an hour of hair, makeup, wardrobe and preparation and usually leaves by 10:05 a.m.

The pair were also asked how they felt about the “Saturday Night Live” impersonations of themselves.

Mr. Philbin says he considers it a “tribute,” while Miss Ripa laughs, “I now find myself doing a version of Amy Poehler doing a version of me because it’s much more entertaining.”

Going for the gold

The stars will be out on Sunday night when Hollywood gathers for the 59th annual Emmy Awards to recognize the best in prime time television.

Forgoing an earlier stint as a celebrity interviewer as stars walked the red carpet outdoors, “American Idol’s” Ryan Seacrest has this time been invited inside the Shrine Auditorium to host the event, airing at 8 p.m. on Fox. Major awards will be presented in 29 categories.

Among the program highlights: The San Francisco cast of Broadway’s Tony-winning “Jersey Boys” will perform a tribute to “The Sopranos,” HBO’s acclaimed mob drama that ended its eight-year run in June.

In another Emmy development, perpetual whiner Kanye West — who complained loudly after being shut out of the winner’s circle at last Sunday’s Video Music Awards on MTV — has been invited to appear on the program, despite having no discernible ties to the TV world.

According to E! Online, the hip-hop star will perform as part of a skit inspired by some of the current music competition shows and will be joined onstage by “The Office’s” co-star Rainn Wilson, who’s also a nominee for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series.

The weekend’s other highlights:

Tonight, funnyman George Lopez performs in his first stand-up special, “George Lopez: America’s Mexican,” at 8 on HBO Latino and at 9:45 on HBO2 East.

On Sunday, Emmy-winning producer Beverly Lindsay Johnson (“Dance Party: The Teenarama Story”) takes viewers for a ride on “The 70 Bus Line,” at 8 p.m. on WHUT-Channel 32. The documentary will examine the bus route — the city’s oldest and longest line, which runs along Georgia Avenue from Montgomery County to the Southwest waterfront — from its beginnings as a horse-and-carriage transport route to its connection to local businesses and its diverse ridership.

Also on Sunday, at 9 p.m. on HGTV, we’ll know who viewers have voted the cable network’s next “Design Star” — landscape architect Todd Davis, 35, of San Francisco or hairstylist Kim Myles, 34, of New York City.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse and Kelly Jane Torrance from staff, wire and Web reports

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