"I feel like I'm nearing the end, and I should really just try something else. I'm doing talk shows 50 years now," he said.
Michael Gelman, the executive producer of "/*LIVE! with Regis & Kelly*/," said Philbin's departure from the show will be hard.
"At this point, I think he wants to have a good time and do some work. Believe me, it's going to be a hard change for him, for all of us, and he knows that. So he's conflicted, but I think he realizes he's made the right decision," said Gelman.
I asked Philbin why he's leaving if he has all this love from fans, and he replied, "I'm tired of doing this. I'm tired of doing it - 29 years. Sorry!" The studio audience in New York laughed.
Fans are also sorry to see Philbin leave the post he's held for almost three decades.
"He's just part of your life. He does normal things that everybody else does and then exotic things that you would love to do," said Ellie Rosenberg of Harrison, N.Y.
"I love Regis. I grew up with Regis. How dare he leave? No one can replace him," said Brenda Jossen of Stanford, Conn.
One couple flew more than 10 hours from Hawaii to be in the studio audience.
Eva Longoria, a guest on Thursday's show, will also miss Philbin and what he brought to daytime TV.
"He just brings this amazing light and humor and wit to the mornings. He can say and do things that a lot of people can't say and do. He has a lot of freedom, so it's going to be hard to trust somebody like that again," said Longoria.
Philbin said he would like a small goodbye, but it's out of his hands.
We'll be able to see how big his farewell is on Nov. 18.