NEW YORK – Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa went at it like an old, married couple Tuesday.
After more than four years together, the honeymoon between the two morning show hosts seems to have come to an end.
"More or less today, we have reached a bit of realistic crossroads," Philbin told Ripa during their traditional exchange that opens "Live! With Regis and Kelly" each morning.
The problem? Both hosts think the other one rambles on too long.
"Have you ever heard one of your seven-minute rants?" shouted Regis.
"No. I try and squeeze it in between your 11-minute rants," countered Kelly.
As the show unfolded, Philbin appeared increasingly annoyed at Ripa when she interrupted him — as she usually does — before he could finish his thoughts.
Every day the pair banter about current events for about 20 minutes. But Tuesday, during a discussion of Tom Cruise's appearance Monday on "Oprah," their friendly chat briefly turned into a what appeared to be a bickering match.
"I'm trying to kill 20 minutes here if you want to know the truth, but it gets harder every day," said Regis. "It's a stop here, a thing there . . ."
Kelly seemed to realize that maybe something was out of the ordinary and cozied up to her co-host immediately.
Then, just as things had smoothed out, the conversation went south again when Regis brought up a dirty look Kelly had allegedly given him backstage before the show.
"All I did was look at you!" Kelly shot back.
This time, executive producer Michael Gelman got involved.
"Why don't you guys just hug and move on with the show," said Gelman. "Come on, enough. We have a show to do."
"It's part of the fun banter," Gelman told The Post. "It's a faux husband-and-wife relationship, they spend an hour a day together and they mix it up. That's what banter is about. It's not about everything smiling and happy. It's about them jibbing and jabbing each other.
"There's a lot of love between them," says Gelman. "You probably saw some overcaffeinated moments, and that's what makes this show so great. It's like any other relationship. This is a fun, happy relationship and it's also very real. They're both expressing themselves, it's real emotions and all part of the normal family interaction."