A Really Big Shoe(-in) for ‘Live’
July 6, 2008 8:40 PM
What has 1,000 legs, wears 3-inch spike heels and tiptoes at high speed through Central Park? The first of what may become an annual “High Heel-a-Thon” benefit on “Live With Regis and Kelly.” The event, which will be run, or teetered, live during Wednesday’s “Live,” will have 500 entrants—the maximum allowed under the permits the show obtained—from 40 states.
One of them will be co-host Kelly Ripa, who has been weighing which of her beloved trademark heels she could best—and most safely—run in without fear of ruining them. “You know how she falls in love with her shoes,” said “Live” Executive Producer Michael Gelman. Eleven of the competitors are men, although their ranks do not include Regis Philbin, who once proved on-air he could squeeze his feet into Ms. Ripa’s shoes. “I can convince Regis to do a lot of things, but that’s not happening,” said Mr. Gelman, who is taking an Olympics-like approach to the male entrants: They can run but they can’t hijack the $25,000 prize that goes to the first female entrant to finish the 150-yard competition.
The “High-Heel-a-Thon” will raise a minimum of $50,000 for the March of Dimes; online contributions will add to the donation. Although there will be a handful of TV cameras on the ground and the Goodyear blimp will provide aerial coverage—“just like any great sporting event,” said Mr. Gelman—this is no mere made-for-TV event.
There will be booths at the Central Park location dispensing everything from sponsors’ freebies and shoeshines to massages and pedicures. There also will be a representative of the Guinness Book of World Records on hand, since it appears an international milestone for a high-heeled run will be set. Mr. Philbin already holds one Guinness record for most hours on TV. An event of this size, which appears to have become a veritable tourist destination, sometimes occasions an appearance from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but Mr. Gelman said the “High Heel-a-Thon” will be strictly “apolitical. We want to leave some room for growth next year.”