Friend of the program Michael Schur joined The Dan Le Batard Show on Wednesday to offer an important story about late TV host Regis Philbin.
Schur, a TV producer who’s a former writer for SNL and The Office, is the creator of The Good Place, and co-creator of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Parks and Recreation, Rutherford Falls, and more. He now co-hosts a podcast for Le Batard’s Meadowlark Media, and he’s been married to Philbin’s daughter since 2005. That makes him a gatekeeper for some interesting facts about Philbin, the Guinness World Record holder for the most hours spent on U.S. television.
"The cashier would stare at it, confused…Why is Regis Philbin in this random McDonalds demanding free $3 hamburgers?" – @KenTremendous told us a wonderful story about the legend Regis Philbin once trying to use a 'Free McDonalds For Life' card ??
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— Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (@LeBatardShow) August 31, 2022
“He did an ad for McDonalds sometime in the early ‘90s,” Schur told The Le Batard Show about his late father-in-law. “And as part of the thanks for this, he was given a gold-colored credit card thing that said, ‘this card entitles Regis Philbin to free McDonald’s for life’ and he loved this.”
Philbin’s McDonald’s commercial is not available on YouTube, but there is this 1994 Hardee’s ad featuring the former FS1 host, so his affinity for fast food appears to be real.
Numerous fast-food restaurants offer a “Black Card,” or apparently a “Gold Card” in the case of McDonald’s, a rare item sought after by fast food junkies entitling the cardholder to free food and drinks. WFAN’s Craig Carton recently boasted about having a Dunkin Donuts Black Card, also securing one for his former co-host Boomer Esiason. Unfortunately for Philbin, his McDonald’s card was so rare that it was rarely recognized by the staff, creating awkward encounters between the famous TV star and the cashier.
“When my wife was a child, they would be on a car trip somewhere and [Regis] would see a McDonald’s and he would get really excited,” Schur continued. “He would rush up to the counter and order a bunch of Big Macs and then he would go ‘look! I get free McDonald’s for life,’ and the cashier would just stare at it confused, going ‘what is this? Why is Regis in this random McDonald’s demanding free three-dollar hamburgers?’”
With most cashiers unaware of how to handle Philbin’s McDonald’s Gold Card, the TV icon would ultimately just say “Forget it” and use his own dime to pay for the fast food.
While it’s unfortunate that Philbin struggled to take full advantage of his unique McDonald’s status, at least it didn’t end as poorly as the Carvel Black Card did for Lindsay Lohan and her family. After the actress’s mother was accused of abusing the card with too many large orders of ice cream, Carvel released a statement announcing they were revoking the Lohan family’s status.
Philbin appeared to be much more admirable than the Lohans in his struggles with the McDonald’s card. But what an incredible story for those die-hard Regis Philbin and McDonald’s fans everywhere.