Behind the scenes of "Live with Regis and Kelly"

By: Joel Schipper Email
By: Joel Schipper Email

It is one of the hottest daytime talk shows ever and one of the hosts is a Notre Dame alum, but what does it take to put on a live, national show for the last 20 years?

I traveled to New York to go behind the scenes of “Live with Regis and Kelly” to find out.

It is ten seconds before air backstage at “Live with Regis and Kelly” and after a mad dash down the hall, it is into the studio and show time.

For years, “Live with Regis and Kelly” has been entertaining audiences with their quick wit and chatty banter, but what are the two really like? Is it all for television, or does this dynamic morning duo really have that perfect chemistry?

I asked them about their daily routines, and whether they really just work an hour a day and then go home.

Regis jokingly responded, “yes” and Kelly said, “I actually work two hours a day, what with hair and make-up and all, because I’m a homely girl without it.”

It is only then, after that hair and make-up, that the two see each other for the first time in the morning, which is literally seconds before the show starts.

“We get up early and call each other, and say ‘what are you wearing?’… It’s better that way, really, because if we know what we are going to talk about, then, the whole show it has to be spontaneous discussion,” explained Kelly. “Occasionally [Regis] will come in and say, ‘Time to put your pants on, we’ve got a show to do,’ but that’s only when I am running really late.”

Not only do these two have their number one show to attend to, both are currently working on side projects. Regis is hosting the Academy Awards pre-show later this month, while Kelly and her husband Mark are focusing on sports.

“We’re producing a documentary for ESPN about the longest winning streak in this town in Florida,” said Kelly.

Regis quickly chimed in, laughingly saying, “That’s a high school wrestling team that has the longest winning streak, wow, and I am doing the Academy Awards.”

During the commercials, these two get some last-minute wardrobe touch-ups, chat with the audience and take photos.

But despite being a world-class interviewer, Regis can’t help but reverse roles when asking about my job.

Kelly adds just as much fun to the show as Regis does. According to Regis, when Kelly took Kathie Lee’s place in 2001 she was looking for some guidance.

“It didn’t take her long, believe me. The first week she was here, ‘Regis, ohh teach me, help me, I want to learn.’ Second week, ‘Here’s how we are going to do it, big boy. I’m coming out, you sit over here and be quiet,’ and that’s the way it’s been,” explained Regis.

It is clear that these two have an on and off-air chemistry that is tough to beat, and the viewers would not have it any other way.

Part two of the interview with Regis and Kelly, where Regis gives a rare tour of his office showcasing his Notre Dame memorabilia, airs Friday on 16 Morning News as well as NewsCenter 16 at 5.

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