“I can’t stand looking at me,” he said.
Philbin said, “I’m kind of an unknown quantity. I’ve never had a press officer.”
It was his press agent.
After graduating from the University of Notre Dame and joining the military, Philbin began his television career as an NBC page.
Six months later, he saw his future. “I went to a Gypsy fortune teller, who said, ‘You’re going on a trip,'” said Philbin. He was hired as a stage man at a Los Angeles station.
“I wanted to work on the camera, although I never thought I had enough talent or courage,” he said.
He became a radio and television journalist in San Diego and signed on to make his first in a dizzying number of talk shows. He was working on a similar show in Los Angeles when he was hired as a second banana by Joey Bishop for an ABC talk show late at night from 1967 to 1969.
“I went to see it reluctantly,” said Philbin. “I’ve always been my landlord. We canceled him and I said to myself, ‘Look what happened to Ed McMahon and Hugh Downs.’ “
Philbin eventually broke the Downs record for being on television for most hours.
After a period of three years, Philbin has returned to host other local daytime shows in Los Angeles. When Grant Tinker became the head of NBC, he asked Philbin to return to the national team for the second time in 1981.