Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers Honor Regis Philbin in Moving Tributes

Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers paid tribute to the late Regis Philbin during Monday's episodes of their late-night programs.

By Elyse Dupre Jul 28, 2020 2:04 PMTags
Watch: Legendary Television Host Regis Philbin Dead at 88

TV stars are mourning the death of Regis Philbin.

Several late-night hosts paid tribute to the talk and game show legend just days after Philbin passed away.

Jimmy Fallon, for instance, honored Philbin on Monday's episode of The Tonight Show. He spoke about how Philbin got his start in the entertainment industry by working as an NBC page for The Tonight Show in 1955. He then said Philbin got his "big break" in 1967 when he "became famous as the sidekick on The Joey Bishop Show."

"He could do everything," Fallon said. "He could sing. He was funny—he was really funny. He was an entertainer. He always was game to do a bit or dress up. He would do anything for a laugh. I loved him. My grandparents loved him. They introduced me. My mom and dad loved him." 

He also looked back at how Philbin went on to star on Live With Regis and Kathie Lee with Kathie Lee Gifford and Live With Regis and Kelly with Kelly Ripa and how he became "part of all of our lives."

"He would tell funny stories about his night out in Manhattan the night before and then tell them with such humor and class and grace," Fallon said. "And personally, I loved that he never forgot his Irish roots. And as someone who grew up in an Irish family, I could relate to all those stories."

Regis Philbin's Legendary TV Career in Pictures

In addition, Fallon spoke about how he looked up to Philbin as his own career started to take off.

"When I started to become famous on Saturday Night Live and people would ask, 'What's it like when people recognize you on the street?' I would be like, 'I feel like Regis.' And everyone understood that," Fallon said. "There was no need for explanation because he was the king of New York."

Fallon remembered being a guest on Philbin's talk shows and having him on as a Tonight Show guest, too.

"We got to know each other pretty well," he said. "He'll be remembered as a genuinely nice person, a funny human, a good husband, father and grandfather. And he always had that smile. And when Irish eyes are smiling, well, they'll steal your heart away. Regis, we'll miss you."

Seth Meyers paid tribute to Philbin during Monday's episode of Late Night, as well.

"Regis Philbin passed away this weekend—as great a TV host as we're ever likely to see," he said. "I was lucky enough to meet Regis a few times, and it was a delight how he was exactly the same in person as he was on television. The most amazing thing about Regis wasn't his contagious enthusiasm. It was how many years he maintained that contagious enthusiasm."

Meyers then expressed his condolences to Philbin's wife Joy and to the rest of Philbin's family. "Regis will be missed," he concluded.

Philbin died of natural causes on Friday, July 24. He was 88 years old.

Like Fallon and Meyers, many celebrities paid tribute to Philbin shortly after hearing the news. For instance, Ripa and Gifford remembered him on Monday's episodes of Live! and Today. Gifford described Philbin as the "most grateful person" and said they "never had one crossed word" throughout their career and friendship together.

To see Fallon's and Meyer's tributes, watch the videos above. 

(E! and NBC are both part of NBCUniversal).