Michael Schur, the creator of “The Good Place” and co-creator of “Parks and Recreation” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” took to Twitter on Friday to pay tribute to television host and his father-in-law Regis Philbin, who died on July 24 at 88.
Not only did the two work in the same industry, but Schur has been married to Philbin’s daughter, J.J. Philbin, since 2005. In a lengthy thread, Schur — who goes by Ken Tremendous on Twitter — detailed the effect his father-in-law has had on his life.
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“I’ve never really been able to articulate what his life and career meant. It’s too huge. You can’t wrap your arms around it. He literally holds the Guinness Book Record for most hours on TV. (Like 17,000, or something equally absurd),” Schur wrote. “Luckily, I’ve never really *had* to articulate it, because most people just kind of get it. For decades, Regis was always there, on TV, chatting and complaining and making people laugh. He needed no explanation.”
Schur then explained that when sorting through old documents after Philbin’s death, he came across his first script from a television sports broadcast in 1956. Produced using a typewriter, the documents mention sports stars of the era like Mickey Mantle and Harvey Haddix.
“Regis is 25, and he’s on TV talking about Mickey Mantle (who won the MVP that year, at 24), Ted Williams, and Duke Snider,” Schur tweeted. “It was so long ago, the Cleveland Browns led the news. Harvey Haddix, he of the 12-inning perfect game, got a save.”
For Schur, finding the old script put into perspective just how long-lasting and impactful Philbin’s career was.
“You want to see a career no one will ever duplicate? Here it is. A guy who was on TV when Harvey Haddix struck out Duke Snider, and also handed million-dollar checks on a futuristic game show set. A guy who reported on both Lou Groza and Eli Manning, Yogi Berra and Gary Sanchez,” Schur wrote. “Regis hated ‘memory lane,’ so I hope he forgives me for this one last trip. No one will ever be what he was, in the medium he dedicated his life to. What a run.”
Schur ended his thread by encouraging his followers to donate to the Food Bank For New York City or the Center For The Homeless in South Bend, Ind., where Philbin attended the University of Notre Dame. On Wednesday, Philbin was buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery on the university’s campus.
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