Cincinnati Enquirer

The late Regis Philbin was the greatest talk show host of all time. He was also a lifelong New Yorker and a diehard Yankees and sports fan. And he had a gig on FS1 back in the day. So we are cleared to write about him when needed. And we certainly must do that here.

The cliff notes if you didn’t watch the video from Dan Le Betard’s radio show featuring acclaimed television writer Michael Schur, who is married to Philbin’s daughter:

Philbin got a gold McDonald’s card entitling him to free food for life after doing some commercial work in the 1990s. For the rest of his life, he would get excited when he saw the golden arches and race to cash in. And most of the time the cashiers had no idea the gold card existed and did not know what to do when he presented the card.

Philbin, being the prince he was, would eventually just pay for the food rather than harass the employees further.


“’Why is Regis Philbin in this random McDonald’s demanding free $3 hamburgers?’” Schur said he imagines many 17-year-old cashiers wondered. “It never worked.”

What a king. There have been very few people as consistently entertaining as Philbin. The guy was just an electric factory in everything he did. Kids these days have no idea how monumental “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” was. It was like the moon landing. And I kept waiting for him to make some sort of appearance during the 2016 presidential election cycle given his long-documented friendship with Donald Trump. But he was probably smart to stay away.

More on ESNY:
WATCH: Mets fans still got some Timmy Trumpet action
Should Giants have kept Tom Coughlin? Mike Francesa weighs in
• Darius Slayton jokes about trade rumor with Giants future in doubt
Stephen A. Smith says Knicks’ ‘soft’ Leon Rose is ‘scared’ of media
Mike Francesa has well-timed thoughts on ‘guy talk’ vs. ‘sports talk’

James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.