In 2000, the Hottest Thing on TV (and PlayStation) Was... Regis Philbin?

Video games have always been about fantasy. In 2000, my fantasy involved Regis Philbin reminding me about debt.

Who Wants To Be a Millionaire was, as I recall, the only thing people watched on TV in 2000. The one-liners were usable in so many situations. Is that your final answer? Do you want to phone a friend? How did we say these things before this show began? We must have had a really good system of grunts and gestures.

Regis Philbin, man. What a hot piece of manmeat. Yum. But you know what really used to get me off? The fact that, after shelling out thousands of pennies for the PS1 version of the game, Reege had no qualms about reminding me that I was not a REAL millionaire.


"We have it in the company vault, but that's as far as it goes," he says. Do you think that ABC still has a million dollars in the company vault? It'd be worth what $300,000? Philbie continues: "You're only a pretend millionaire. Do you see the difference?" Ooh baby. A man putting me down? I'm getting all sweaty just thinking about it. I mean, I was all, "I won! I'm rich!" and then Regis was all, "No you're not! " and I was all, "Oh right, I have two maxed-out credit cards and have had nothing but Annie's Mac and Cheese for the last week. And I am living at my dad's and fighting with my brother about bathroom time. But please, Regis: Tell me a bit more about how pathetic I am. Hold on—wait, first let me get a drink. Waiter? Tap water, please. Neat. Now Regis, please go on. I'm glad we had this talk."

Anna Jane Grossman will be with us for the next few weeks, documenting life in the early aughts, and how it differs from today. The author of Obsolete: An Encyclopedia of Once-Common Things Passing Us By (Abrams Image) and the creator of, she has also written for dozens of publications, including the New York Times,, the Associated Press, Elle and the Huffington Post, as well as Gizmodo. She has a complicated relationship with technology, but she does have an eponymous website: Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaJane.

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Cosmo hears it

Regis and Kelly are still the hottest thing in NYC. They're all over the place