I like Regis, but can't stand Kelly Ripa!

Published 8:56 pm Wednesday, January 8, 2003

By By Lloyd Albritton
Poor Regis! Why is his career so dependent upon teaming him with fruitcake women? Regis is a funny guy. He has been around the television entertainment business for a long time and is well liked by everyone, fans and television executives alike. Yet, Regis floundered around for years with one television show after another (I watch Biography!) before finally hitting it big with the Regis and Kathy Lee Show.
Yes, Kathy Lee was no less of a fruitcake than Kelly Ripa, but the play between she and Regis was a dynamic that worked. Regis did not fail to recognize, along with the viewing audience, that Kathy Lee was an eccentric, overly-pretentious, overly-dramatic, egomaniac. He played on that dynamic and Kathy Lee played along with it and the show was popular. I was fine with that and was a fan of the Regis and Kathy Lee Show too. Though Kathy Lee Gifford came across as a great big phony, she was a real phony. That's the way she really was.
When Kathy Lee left the show, television executives applied the age-old axiom, i.e., "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." They thought if they found a Kathy Lee clone and put her on with Regis, the show would continue to prosper. That seems to be the prevailing practice in the entertainment industry as a whole and is why we get such movies as The Mummy Returns, Part 16, Redux. These executives obviously think we are all stupid, and I suppose they are in a position to know.
So, you can see that I can see what is going on here. I see the logic. I understand. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just keep doing what works. Yes, I understand that. I understand all these things. But, here's the problem: The Regis and Kathy Lee Show was broke. Kathy Lee was unique and now she is gone. She can't be replaced. Ask Frank! Personally, I think Regis could have carried the show on fine by himself, but if the powers that be just had to replace Kathy Lee, wouldn't it have made more sense to change the whole dynamic with someone completely different from Kathy Lee? What about Regis' own wife, Joy, who often filled in for Kathy Lee and did a fine job of it. Regis can be funny without making fun of Kathy Lee or Kathy Lee clones.
Where did this ditzy Kelly Ripa character come from anyway? I have never been a fan of daytime soaps, but my daughter, Laura, who is a longtime fan of daytime soaps, has informed me that Kelly Ripa has been a main player on All My Children for many years. Laura liked Kelly Ripa on All My Children and she likes her on the Regis and Kelly Show too. And though Laura patiently indulges my disdain for Kelly Ripa everytime I see her on television with Regis, I'm sure she is getting tired of hearing me sneer, "Aw man, I can't stand that Kelly Ripa," everytime the show comes on.
Kelly Ripa is a soap opera actor, and like many soap opera actors, she is not even a good actor. Still, acting is what she does. The best talk show hosts project a sense of realness. They interview phony actors all the time, but they themselves must be real. Kelly Ripa does not know how to be real. She is trying to play the role of Kathy Lee Gifford and she is not doing a good job of it. I might even like Kelly Ripa if I could see her in her own skin. As she is, she bounces up and down and ogles and dotes on Regis so blatantly that she makes me sick. She is such a disgusting sycophant! Kelly thinks she is Barbie. Oh, she is cute alright, and cuteness and phoniness may work well on soap operas, but Kelly Ripa just doesn't cut it for me on the Regis and Kelly show.
So I'm getting this off my chest right now once and for all and I'm not going to say another word about it, but mark my words, when poor Regis loses another gig and eventually writes his book, he's going to tell us the real story on Kelly Ripa. He's going to tell us that she stunk as a co-host. It may be that I am in the minority on this issue, for I am a man and most of this show's fans are probably women who like Kelly Ripa. But, oh please tell me it is not so! Please send me some e-mail and tell me I am not alone.
Lloyd Albritton does not watch sports on television and he does not hunt and fish, but he does love television talk shows. Lloyd invites your comments at LloydAlbritton@aol.com.

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