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Philbin's charm resonates

He's given away a million dollars. He's co-hosted the Miss America Pageant. Heck, he's even made his own workout video.

At 76, Regis Philbin has covered all avenues -- including going where no man wants to go: next to Kathy Lee Gifford.

Luckily, the only person joining him onstage Friday night in Fallsview Casino Avalon Theater was his wife, Joy. So what do you expect from a man with such an extensive resume?

Singing, for one. Despite being held up for an hour and 45 minutes at the airport for weather delays, Philbin was still up for serenading the crowd, whether it was during his solo efforts, including "The Very Thought of You," or when he was dueting with Joy on "They Can't Take That Away From Me."

Though these oldies proved suitable for Philbin's deep voice, it was the more creative, original numbers that stole the show. During "I Can Almost Read Your Mind," Philbin combined wisecracks with wit.

"You think life would be easier with out Kathy Lee," he sang. "Now I've got Kelly interrupting me."

Another duet with Joy later on in the evening allowed the TV host and his wife to detail each others idiosyncrasies, including Regis' snoring and Joy's apparent spending habits.

"We don't have to go to therapy sessions," Joy told the crowd. "We just have to sing that song."

Though Philbin's voice wasn't hard on the ears, it certainly wasn't anything extraordinary, either. The highlight of the night came when he did what he does best: interact with his audience.

When he announced he was conducting interviews for a new co-host, several raised their hands to be considered. After selecting a handful of women from the audience, Philbin proceeded to conduct onstage interviews, and this was where the night's laughs were found.

While talking with the women, he met an identical twin, a casino dealer from Michigan and a sarcastic woman he affectionately nicknamed Bling-Bling because of her excessive diamond accessories.

At the end of the segment, Philbin reminded Bling that he had hosted Miss America, and presented her with a bouquet of roses.

He then sang "Miss Canada" to her while she waved and made her way across the stage, beaming.

By night's end, it wasn't so much the songs that resonated with the audience. It was Philbin's humorous charm that left the crowd walking away satisfied.


Regis and Joy Philbin

Friday night in Avalon Theatre of Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort.

Another performance at 9 tonight.

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