EW Staff
June 25, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

AGES 72, 33; as a team: 3
MUSTWORTHINESS Toward the end of the long national nightmare that was Kathie Lee, Regis Philbin used to explode with pent-up frustration during the show’s opening host chat. Since Kelly Ripa arrived, those first 15 minutes — in which Regis vents about his precious Notre Dame football and tells you what premiere he and wife Joy attended the previous night — have become an exhilarating free-for-all.
DADDY DEAREST Kelly has perfected some mojo combo of spunky, sexy, and maternal: ”Hold still, Big Daddy,” she cooed while removing a nasty splinter from Regis’ thumb. It was, no kidding, electrifying TV.
ONE FOR THE AGES Ripa is impudent, unafraid; Regis is a broadcasting master: ”When you were in high school, I was here ‘inventing’ [morning talk shows]!” he has bellowed. Together, they are the invincible team Regis wishes Notre Dame were.

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