The late Philbin was AGT's first host in the summer of 2006. "What I learned about him was that he was an absolute total gentleman," said AGT creator Cowell. "Off-camera or on-camera, he always made you feel welcome. He really looked after you as a guest on his show. He was so fun and such a professional...When we had the opportunity to work with when we launched AGT, he was a big reason why we managed to get the show off the ground in the first place. The fact that he took a chance on something brand new, I said to him afterward, 'I'll always remember what you did for us.'"