MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. – A collection of television history crosses the block at The Benefit Shop Foundation, Inc. in its Red Carpet auction Wednesday, March 24, at 10 am, when it offers items donated by the family of the late Regis Philbin. The longtime TV host was once dubbed the hardest working man in show business and given the “outregis” nickname by longtime colleague Kathie Lee Gifford.
After graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 1953 and serving in the U.S. Navy, Philbin (1931-2020) began an illustrious career in television. He started out as a page for the Tonight Show before getting his big break as Joey Bishop’s sidekick on The Joey Bishop Show. It was here working with Bishop that Philbin said he learned how to interview people and set him on his path as a TV show host. Holding a Guinness world record for the most hours on U.S. television, he is best known for co-hosting a syndicated morning talk show, Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee, which started in 1983 in New York and syndicated nationally five years later. Philbin retired from the show in 2011, which continued with other co-hosts. He died in July 2020 and the items in this auction came from his Greenwich, Conn. estate.
“His family donated much of Regis’s cherished memorabilia and objects, ranging from awards, posters, books and photographs to Letterman jackets. The collection of nearly 200 items really shares the story of his life and career,” said Pam Stone, owner and founder of The Benefit Shop Foundation, Inc. “Regis was raised in the Bronx and spent most of his career in New York so it’s absolutely fitting that these items are being sold to benefit the Bronx Food Bank.”
In his career, Philbin met and worked with a slew of well known personalities and owned several signed items relating to them. An auction highlight is a lot of three items relating to Jerry Seinfeld ($200-$1,500) including a candid photo of the two, a Seinfeld-signed copy of Seinfeld The Coffee Table Book along with a coffee book table in the shape of a book.
Other celebrity memorabilia includes a poster depicting Philbin with comic Don Rickles ($100-300) when the two did a show together and a Burt Reynolds-signed Golden Gloves poster ($100-500) inscribed “Regis / So I told you I was a contender…”
Several of Philbin’s many awards are on offer, including an elegant blue glass award made in Poland ($200-600), inscribed “A Giant Of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts, Regis Philbin” presented by the Library of American Broadcasting in 2014 and an American Veterans Disabled For Life Memorial Award ($300-600).
Jackets, especially Letterman style ones, relating to his TV career or his years at Notre Dame are on offer, including a 2002 Golden Bear Letterman jacket ($100-300) for Worldwide Pants Incorporated, the production company founded by David Letterman. Also represented in the sale are his Adidas Letterman jacket, marked ND Irish ($100-300) and a 1953 Notre Dame Champion windbreaker ($100-300).
Graduating Notre Dame was a source of pride and Philbin’s mementos here range from a signed Notre Dame digital print by Kathleen Keifer ($100-300) and a signed piece of wood art of the Fighting Irish mascot, by Erik Warren ($50-200) to a Notre Dame vs Navy football ($50-100) inscribed with his name from Oct. 31, 1992 along with other sporting items, a commemorative dish and desktop accessories.
Philbin was a big fan of sports entertainment, especially WWE wrestling and often had wrestlers on his show like The Destroyer and Hulk Hogan. In 2012, WWE chairman Vince McMahon presented Regis with a WWE champion belt to commemorate Monday Night Raw’s 1,000th episode ($100-500).
The monthly Red Carpet sales feature collections of antique, Midcentury Modern, brand furnishings, sterling, china, crystal, jewelry and fine art. With a mission of “to donate, to discover and to do good,” the foundation is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit and auction proceeds support community organizations. Consignors get a tax deduction, the buyer gets a great deal and local non-profits get much needed funds.
The auction gallery is at 185 Kisco Ave, Suite 201. For more information, https://www.thebenefitshop.org or 914-864-0707.
News courtesy of the Benefit Shop Foundation.