Who Can Fill Regis Philbin's Seat?

On Tuesday, Regis Philbin announced that he would retire from his highly rated daily talk show at the end of the year.  Live survived after his original co-host, Kathy Lee Gifford, left the program, replaced by Kelly Ripa, but can the show go on without Regis? 

Regis is a great personality and will be tough to replace.  He is a class act, a great improviser, a true show man, a hard worker, and a likable guy.  How does ABC find someone to fill those shoes?  Well, they have a year to do it, and discussions have already begun about who his replacement should be.  Here are my thoughts.

Al Roker - Yes, he currently works for another network, but he's the type of bubbly character that might be a good fit for the Live gig.  He can think on his feet, he's funny, and I think audiences have already proven that they would watch him.

Conan O'Brien - His TBS talk show is doing okay, but it's not as high profile as the Live gig would be.  I think he can nicely transition from a late night to a weekday morning schedule, and I also think he'd be fine sharing the stage with someone like Kelly.

Billy Crystal - He could use another comeback and what better vehicle than a regular morning show on TV.  This would be a chance to see him shine again, and he can still do a movie or host an award show once in a while.

Rosie O'Donnell - She's a morning talk show veteran and I think she would love the chance to be in the spotlight again.  If they decide to select a woman as Philbin's replacement, I think Rosie would be fine.

Anderson Cooper - He's the frontrunner for the job, having already filled in for Regis, and he's an audience favorite.  He can be serious and he can be witty.  He's always charming.  Out of all the other names that are being tossed around, he's my favorite choice.

There you have it.  Whom would you like to see?  Until then, farewell, Regis.  From one Bronx boy to another, you will be missed.

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