Kathie Lee Gifford Says This Celeb Was Her Worst "Live" Interview Ever
Despite being "a really lovely guy," this actor didn't give her or Regis Philbin anything to work with.
From sitting next to the late Regis Philbin for 15 years on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee to co-anchoring Today for over a decade, Kathie Lee Gifford is a daytime talk show icon. And she's interviewed a ton of stars in her time in the business. Not all of those interviews were memorable in the good way, however. Fortunately, Gifford has been willing to spill about the chats that went wrong for one reason or another, and she even named the worst celebrity interview from her years on Live. To see who threw the hosts for a loop, read on, and for more on mortifying discussions, check out Savannah Guthrie Says This Celeb Was Her Most Embarrassing Today Interview.
The Live interview Gifford wishes she could forget was with a beloved actor.
During a Today taping in 2015, Hoda Kotb and Gifford laughed about their recent interview with Frank Sinatra Jr., dubbing it "the worst one ever." Gifford then called back to a celebrity guest that she had on Live back in the mid-'80s, who she liked as a person, but not as an interviewee.
"The worst interview ever was with a guy named Craig T. Nelson, who's a really lovely guy," Gifford remembered. She said that the actor was promoting one of the Poltergeist movies at the time; he's now also known for Coach, Parenthood, and The Incredibles franchise.
"He never said a word to me and Regis," Gifford explained. She also indicated that she and Philbin mainly spoke to each other during the interview.
And for another daytime talk show appearance gone wrong, check out This Was the Worst Guest The View Ever Had, Former Host Says.
Philbin did his best to salvage the interview.
Speaking to The New York Times in 2011, executive producer Michael Gelman said that, throughout the interview, Nelson's "attention wandered so much" that he ended up "speaking his answers to the ceiling." But Philbin still found a way to go along with it and to make a joke about it for the people watching.
"Regis just turned his own stool the other way and kept on asking questions," Gelman said. "The audience loved it."
And for another celebrity guest who didn't say much, check out Jimmy Fallon Says This Celebrity Was His "Most Awkward" Interview Ever.
Philbin loved to "go with the flow" on his show.
Looking back at his 23 years on Live, Philbin told The New York Times that one of the best parts of his show was that it was unscripted. Gelman added that Philbin was the kind of host who just liked to "go with the flow," and he prided himself on always being prepared for the unexpected.
"Spontaneous conversation," Philbin said. "Spontaneity is everything to me, working without a net."
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Gifford and Philbin worked well together for that reason, she's said.
When Gifford came onto Today as a guest in July 2020, three days after Philbin's death, she looked back on their treasured working relationship. She described her late colleague as an "entertainer to his guts," just like her.
"When we came together, although we didn't have a friendship yet, we had a mutual respect for what we had accomplished already in our careers," Gifford said. "We had the same sense of humor…and we just took off like a rocket."
And for talk show hosts who didn't get along with each other, check out Meghan McCain Never Wants to Work With This The View Host Again.