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'Live' Pays Tribute to Regis Philbin

Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest discussing the death of Regis Philbin on 'Live with Kelly and Ryan'
(Image credit: Disney-ABC/Live with Kelly and Ryan)

Kelly Ripa got emotional talking with Ryan Seacrest about the passing of her former co-host, Regis Philbin, Monday on Live with Kelly and Ryan.

Philbin died of heart disease on Saturday at the age of 88.

Related: Regis Philbin Has Died

"I only got to work with him 11 years but I think of [executive producer Michael] Gelman and [show creator] Art Moore and so many staff members, a lot of our producers, who have been here all of those years. I think about them because they really from the ground floor built the show into what it is and into what you and I try to carry on," Ripa said to Seacrest.

She also compared Philbin to Seacrest: "They don’t make ‘em like Ryan Seacrest anymore but then Ryan Seacrest comes along and Regis said ‘that kid’s got it.’"

Seacrest shared that he admired Philbin as a child: "He was so many people’s best friend. I remember watching him as a child growing up and watching him on TV because I felt like I knew him. He had -- and we appreciate it so much because we do it every day -- this amazing ability to be so comfortable on TV."

Later in the episode, executive producer Michael Gelman got on camera to talk about what Philbin meant to him. 

"It was a relationship like a father-son relationship but I was the father and he was the son," Gelman gently joked.

Gelman started at WABC as a production assistant in the 1980s and then moved on to The Morning Show, which later became the nationally syndicated talk show Live with Regis and Kathie Lee. He was executive producer when Kathie Lee Gifford departed the show in 2000, and a search brought Ripa to the program in February 2001. 

Philbin left Live in 2011 and was replaced by Michael Strahan, who drove the show to strong ratings. Strahan went to Good Morning America full time in 2016 and was replaced by Ryan Seacrest in May 2017. 

Live wasn't the only show to pay tribute to the consummate television host. Gifford returned to her last gig, NBC's Today, to remember Philbin as well.