Regis Philbin: One in a million, or perhaps billion. Who could ever hope to replace the grand master of morning schmooze?
Consider the qualifications: You must be very likeable; able to talk about anything; tell stories about shopping for milk and make it sound like the most fascinating shopping expedition in the world; be lighthearted even when you feel like hell; get along well with Kelly, even when you don't feel like getting along with Kelly; be a real New Yorker, and not someone from say Dubuque...
There are more qualifications and I'm sure they'll come to me. But in the meantime: Who?
Some possible names:
Mark Consuelos: Logical choice; attractive guy; good talker; knows Kelly very well; has an ability to quip...drawback: Knows Kelly maybe too well, but the idea is still kind of interesting. (No, the show would not be re-named "Pillow Talk.")
Jeff Probst: Of course "Survivor" isn't forever, and he has mused about leaving, even if he did sign a new contract (fairly recently). Lots of positives with this choice. Drawbacks: As likeable as Jeff is, he can be just the teensiest bit bland. He's not an ironically detached guy, which I think it kind of important when matched with someone like Kelly who is ironic in her own Kellyesque way.
Bryant Gumbel: I like this idea, and like Gumbel, but alas may be the only one. Most people find Bry a large ice cube. I see what they mean - but, he is very bright, excellent at live TV, knows lot of stuff, appears to get along with Kell.