Regis Philbin is indestructible. He's the "Terminator" of TV. He's had heart surgery, hip surgery, cataract surgery, blood clot surgery. From every gurney, Reege hops up and springs back to TV.
Last year, when Reege, 79, and Kelly Ripa taped a week's worth of shows at Encore, he announced he had to go get a new hip. No big deal, right?
This weekend, Regis and Kelly return to Encore to tape four more shows. So I got him on the phone to assure us he's still immortal.
"I just got some cataracts taken out of my eye last month. I think I'm all set to go, at least for the week in Vegas."
I asked him to describe the internal engine that drives him. Is he hyper? Or is his ethic the product of his generation?
It could be a generational thing, he says.
"When you get something going like I have for the last 30 years, you appreciate it more, I think. You get up, and you feel like you've got a goal to set.
"Even if it's just for one day, get out there, do it again, and do it the best you know how. It's a feeling that you have. And hopefully, I will continue to have it and live up to it for as many years as I can."
He does try to uphold his reputation, he says.
"I feel like I've done it all. And I'm lucky to have had the shot at doing it. It's just that you want to keep doing it well."
Regis' favorite Vegas memory happened 30 years ago. He and wife Joy came to do a piece on Tom Jones at Caesars Palace for Regis' show at the time, "A.M. Los Angeles" on KABC-TV.
While interviewing Jones backstage, Regis told the performer it would be "really cute" if he kissed Joy, since he kissed other fans.
"Old Jones went over there and grabbed her!" Reege recalls.
"She knew what I was doing, and so she hung onto the kiss," Reege says. "And so the camera is going around and around. And I'm there yelling, 'Joy, Joy, please!' It was very, very funny, but it was a joke that backfired on me, because that's all people talked about.
"I'm not gonna do that again, I'll tell ya that."
Chef Kerry Simon flew all the way to Miami to party and cook with Aerosmith's Joe Perry last week, tailgating at Thursday's Miami-Chicago game. They ate bratwurst. And Simon (right there in the parking lot, naturally) cooked a meal for 20 people using Perry's hot sauces. It was on ESPN. Simon believes video shot of the event may get wrapped into an upcoming NFL promotion.
At Lavo on Sunday, the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team took over half of the table floors, drank a six-liter bottle of Dom Perignon and gently hazed new players. Team captain Jonathan Toews made newbies dress in Lavo outfits and walk around in Iron Man, Superman and Tony Montana costumes. The man in the Iron Man outfit kept his costume on by choice. ... A Perfect Circle's Maynard James Keenan and Kiss' Paul Stanley ate Sunday brunch (separately) at Simon's at Palms Place. Stanley hung at George Maloof's table. ... Singer Robert Schwartzman of Rooney ate at Tao on Sunday. ... Ed "Too Tall" Jones partied with a bunch of women at Vanity on Saturday night. ... And Brittany Daniel got a naked massage at Reliquary at Hard Rock on Saturday.
Doug Elfman's column appears on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. E-mail delfman@ reviewjournal.com. He also blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.