Regis Philbin has lost the "Best Regis" award yet again. And this time, it's personal: The winner is Philbin's infant grandson, William Xavier.
The 7-month-old bested Philbin for the honor at the announcement Thursday of the sixth annual Relly Awards — Philbin's version of the Emmys.
"He is cute, but does he REALLY deserve the Relly?" spouted the 77-year-old talk-show host, a loser for the fifth straight year, on "Live With Regis and Kelly." The "Best Regis" category was introduced in 2004.
William Xavier — affectionately called "Willy X" by Philbin's co-host Kelly Ripa — is the son of the Philbin's daughter J.J. and her husband Michael Schur, a writer for the NBC comedy "The Office." The baby recently made his TV debut on "Live" when Philbin proudly showed him off to the audience. Producers used a split screen to highlight the similarities between Philbin and his tiny doppelganger.
In a video clip on Thursday's show, little William — his inner voice narrated in a deadpan adult voice — accepted his award on behalf of Philbin, his parents, "other babies and Regis Philbin impersonators everywhere."
"I was very surprised at William Xavier! I don't remember him being on the show and talking that much," Philbin, who hadn't yet spoken to his family, said after the show.
The Rellys, which include categories such as "Best Host Chat" and "Best Wild & Wacky," were created as a response to the show's failure to win a Daytime Emmy award. Winners receive "Golden Stools," a trophy-sized version of the show's seats for the co-hosts and their guests. The awards — decided by viewer votes — were announced in clusters throughout the week on "Live."
Philbin's other competition for "Best Regis" included Ben Affleck, Ted Koppel, Kyle MacLachlan and Ripa, who chewed her nail in suspense before the winner was announced.
Philbin — who has previously been beaten by Darrell Hammond, Jimmy Fallon and Mark Consuelos, who is Ripa's husband — said he wasn't upset at all.
"It's all DNA," he said. "He has Regis' blood in him, I guess. I think this was a stunt, don't you? ... We've talked a lot about him on the show and I've been holding up the picture of him as he progresses in life. And so I guess (producer Michael) Gelman threw his name in."
Does Philbin ever stand a chance of winning?
"It's turned into a fun thing," he said. "I may never win. ... Once I win, it's going to be terminated! ... I think it's tradition now: `Don't vote for Regis.' Word has spread around America. It's a hostile conspiracy."
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