Regis Philbin reunites with Kathie Lee as contributor to ‘Today’s’ fourth hour

Regis Philbin ttends the "The Imitation Game" premiere party in New York on Nov. 17, 2014.

Regis Philbin ttends the “The Imitation Game” premiere party in New York on Nov. 17, 2014.

(Evan Agostini / Invision / Associated Press)

Welcome back, Reg! Regis Philbin is joining the fourth hour of the “Today” show, reuniting the semi-retired talk-show host with his longtime cohost Kathie Lee Gifford.

The veteran TV personality will be joining the morning show as a contributor, not an anchor, NBC said in a statement Thursday, following an on-air announcement by Philbin and Gifford.

Gifford, who cohosted “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee” alongside Philbin from 1985 to 2000, will still be paired with Hoda Kotb during the famously boozy segment of the show.


“Reg, what are you doing here?” Gifford exclaimed when Philbin tended bar during Thursday’s segment. “I’ve got a job here!” he replied.

“We thought [he] would be the perfect person to join our motley crew: Regis Philbin is joining the fourth hour,” Kotb said.

“I wish we could have him every day, but he’s very busy,” Gifford added.

The 83-year-old got his start as an NBC page and went on to play Joey Bishop’s sidekick on “The Joey Bishop Show.” He departed “Live!” in 2011 after racking up 28 years on the various iterations of the show.

Not quite retired, Philbin has returned to television frequently, hosting and contributing to a bevy of projects. He’s also a familiar face on “Today,” appearing on the program several times in recent months, notably taking on a starring role in “Today the Musical” in December.

Philbin has 24 Daytime Emmy nominations, six wins and a lifetime achievement award. He has also broken the Guinness World Record for most hours on camera.

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