Although he’s a TV icon, Regis Philbin’s appearance at L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge on Friday night will be all about music.
The man who could have easily fit in as the sixth member of Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack will croon his way through the likes of “Cheek to Cheek,” “It Had To Be You” and “You Make Me Feel So Young.”
And at 84, he seems to have found that fountain of youth, still living bicoastal (in New York and Los Angeles), traveling to several concerts a year, and popping up on television frequently since leaving “Live with Regis and Kelly” in 2011.
“It’s just some fun and singing, and I do a little game with the people in the audience, bring them up on stage, stuff like that,” Philbin said by phone from L.A. about his show.
American Standards form Philbin’s go-to repertoire.
“I like them, and I know them,” he said. “They just mean more to me than what I’m hearing today.”
Philbin laughed when asked if such a set list tends to attract a mostly older crowd.
“Well, you know, I’ve been around a long time, so some of those people were young at the time that I started at a young age, and they may still be around.”
The question of why, at his age, he would still want to hit the road playing gigs also elicited a chuckle.
“You know, I’m beginning to ask myself that,” he said. “Why, why am I even doing this? But I don’t know, it’s a nice change for me, and I guess everybody, and so it comes in handy at certain times.”
Philbin said he shares the show bill with veteran comedian Don Rickles, 89, occasionally, but no longer pairs up musically with former fellow “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee” host Kathie Lee Gifford.
“Those days with Kathie Lee, gee, I did about 15 years with her, and she left the show, and now she’s on TV,” he said. “She doesn’t want to sing anymore on stage.”
He has, however, joined Gifford on NBC’s “Today” a few times as a contributor.
“Yeah, I did it for a while there, once a month, and it was fun,” he said. “She’s still very, very funny, and she gets along great with her friend there (co-host Hoda Kotb). They’re a great team, I think.”
He said the same of his “Live” host successor Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa.
“You know I happened to see a little bit of them (the show) today. They look pretty good.”
Philbin, after 28 years on TV in New York, and 25 in Hollywood, holds the Guinness World Record for most hours on television — 17,000 and counting.
“If somebody calls, I’ll probably say yes,” Philbin said.
Follow Judy Bergeron on Twitter, @judybergeronbr.