My suspenders are attached directly to my genitals... Los Osos, California!
June 29, 2010 8:19 PM   Subscribe

The King Is NOT Dead, he's just retiring from his nightly show you didn't realize was still on in order to spend more time with his family and less with Hannity and Maddow. The NYT's David Carr wins the prize for perfectly-timed speculation. So what will happen to Kevin Pollak's "Larry King Game" now?!?

And who will fill his timeslot if not his shoes? Piers Morgan? Katie Couric? Ryan Seacrest? Space Ghost?
posted by oneswellfoop (33 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
For me, his spacey (and deeply erroneous) implication that Roman Polanski killed Sharon Tate was the moment when I thought King should hang up the suspenders.

Personally, I'm fine with no one being able to really replace Larry King. His presence lent too much gravitas to silly tabloid stuff. I'd be happier with a serious-issue Rachel Maddow type or even an openly fluffy type like Ryan Seacrest. For me, King was never a good compromise between the two extremes.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:33 PM on June 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


I thought 'Larry King Live' was kind of like that Abe Vigoda meme.
posted by mazola at 8:41 PM on June 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


We'll always have the Larry-King simulator
posted by hellojed at 8:42 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


On his better days, surprisingly lifelike.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:44 PM on June 29, 2010


I've never got the big deal about Larry King, is it just that he's been around forever like Parky? For interviews I much prefer Charlie Rose, but I know nothing about Rose so I'm watching him completely context free which might help.

Both of them are easier to watch than Letterman, Leno and Conan O'Brien though.
posted by shinybaum at 9:00 PM on June 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


What was the supposed appeal of Larry King? I never understood why he occupied such a prime spot on CNN.

I mainly remember him for the Larry King Live/CNN segment (can't find online, thank god) where he interviewed the UK's Noel Edmonds and his truly horrific creation Mr. Blobby (also interviewed by Larry alongside Noel) as the new representative of modern British culture.
This was excruciating for all concerned except for the remorselessly cheery Noel Edmonds who made millions off his shameless and ruthless wanton degradation of UK TV audiences and soiling of Britain's image abroad.
posted by Bwithh at 9:03 PM on June 29, 2010


For me, his spacey (and deeply erroneous) implication that Roman Polanski killed Sharon Tate was the moment when I thought King should hang up the suspenders.

For me, I thought when he kept calling Ringo Starr "George" was maybe a bit of a sign. Teensy one.
posted by bobo123 at 9:06 PM on June 29, 2010


To be entirely accurate, he'll be spending more time with his 7th family.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:09 PM on June 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ever since I saw that Snoop Dogg interview, I thought he was a huge embarrassment to CNN and news in general.
posted by SirOmega at 9:13 PM on June 29, 2010


Nobody tosses a softball question gently over the line quite like him...
posted by Artw at 9:15 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Eh, you guys are way off base. Larry is a really fucking good interviewer. Sure he lobs softballs -- that's his method. But he also follows his nose and when he smells something he goes after it like a rat up a drainpipe. His great virtue is that he actually listens to what his guests are saying. No notes, no teleprompter, just listening.

I'm not saying there aren't some age-related issues creeping in, and I could do without a lot of his celebrity stuff, but Larry really is king of a certain kind of under-the-skin interviewing. You know how you cringe at the shite that people say on his show sometimes? Larry is cringing too but HE GOT THEM TO SAY IT. He trusts the viewer to make their own judgements.

It has been interesting watching other people sitting in, auditioning for the show. Most of them are truly dreadful, simply because they don't listen. I though Ryan Seacrest was surprisingly good but the poor boy doesn't have the faintest idea about current affairs.

The point about Larry King is that the guests get their say without him jumping down their throats. It may not be wish-fulfillment TV, in that he doesn't pull Anne Coulter's head off and stick it down her throat, but you get a certain kind of access to personality on Larry King which is absent elsewhere. You just can't lie that well for an hour. The truth comes out eventually.
posted by unSane at 9:30 PM on June 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


Why does Larry King wear suspenders? His pants can't stay hitched either. I dedicate this joke to netbros
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:32 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow. The "Larry King Game" is fabulous.
posted by .kobayashi. at 9:33 PM on June 29, 2010


For me, his spacey (and deeply erroneous) implication that Roman Polanski killed Sharon Tate was the moment when I thought King should hang up the suspenders.

Christ!
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 10:00 PM on June 29, 2010


...like a rat up a drainpipe.

Best. Larry King description. Ever.

Now with both he and Paul Harvey gone the dynamic duo of apologist pomp will be out of the way forever. Muwahahah!
posted by clarknova at 10:04 PM on June 29, 2010


Not that I'll notice, but I'm glad he's off the air all the same.
posted by camcgee at 10:32 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I watched most of the try-outs for the slot and the only one who has anything like Larry's ease is Seacrest. He is really good at listening, and much sharper than he appears. However, he's just not that smart when it comes to politics.

Kathy Griffin is also very, very good and -- personally -- I would hire her. Incredibly smart, very confrontational, but also charming in her own way. She's a real bomb-lobber, though, which would make guests wary of her -- and the virtue of the Larry King slot is that you get all the guests.

Total bombs included Anderson Cooper, Trump, Christiane Armanpour (probably the worst of them all) and, I dunno, pretty much everyone else.

I think Seacrest will get it. He has had that radio show for years which has made him very comfortable with just going with the flow, plus he kind of has something to prove after American Idol, plus he is BY FAR the biggest ratings pull. His agents will ream CNN for it, but it will probably be the right decision. And he's smart (and insecure) enough to educate himself.

Plus, it will be a great show when he comes out.
posted by unSane at 10:45 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


And we can have a running bet on which 9PM host comes out first, Seacrest or Hannity.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:00 PM on June 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


GATES: The big thing is the computer is going to be able to talk and listen and see. When you walk up to your TV set, it will say, hey, Larry, here are the shows that you usually like to watch. It will know if it's you or somebody else coming in.

KING: It will know. That's scary.
posted by benzenedream at 1:30 AM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Finally.
posted by pyrex at 2:53 AM on June 30, 2010


Woohoo! I made it through his umpteen-zillion-year career without ever seeing or hearing his show even once. Yay for me!
posted by telstar at 2:59 AM on June 30, 2010


And we can have a running bet on which 9PM host comes out first, Seacrest or Hannity.


And let's not get into the 10pm hosts *COUGH* Anderson Cooper , *COUGH *
posted by unSane at 4:00 AM on June 30, 2010


First I was like, "Larry King Game? What's that?"* then I was like, "oh God no, Kevin Pollak!"** then I was like, "Hmmm, this might be good"*** and oh my goodness they were!**** All hail Kevin Pollak!*****

*It's true, sometimes I read FPPs backwards just to see if they make more sense that way.
**Seriously, seeing him at the DC Improv a couple of years ago was probably the most excruciating "comedy" experience I've seen in my 30-year love affair with stand up and its relations--he's so bad.
***The videos don't feature him!
****Go directly to the Weird Al one and try not to fall in love with him all over again. You'll fail.
*****Not really. His Jack Nicholson impression is fucking lame and it's a cornerstone of his act. Still. But hugs for everyone else!

posted by kittyprecious at 4:48 AM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I never understood why he occupied such a prime spot on CNN.

The answer to that is easy: Larry King's midnight AM radio show back in the day was a total treat - smart, friendly, funny, engaging and one of the best talk radio experiences you could hear in the early 80s. I couldn't disagree more with unSane's opinion of King's interview skills over the last 10 years, but King *was* a great interviewer back then. Even better was the way he handled open phones - just the perfect mix of bemused, fascinated and skeptical of what folks would send his way. It's no surprise CNN was interested in offering him a prime spot, even after King moved to the afternoons at the end of his radio run and painfully failed to adjust to the much less interesting afternoon audience. His show took a major nose-dive during that last year, which the move to television completely cemented. Knowing what he was capable of and watching what he became was just sad.

And that was way before the senility issues.
posted by mediareport at 6:31 AM on June 30, 2010


Ever since I saw that Snoop Dogg interview, I thought he was a huge embarrassment to CNN and news in general.

The interview where they ride in a convertible together, and Snoop Dogg says "I want to open up a chain of low cost Snoopermarkets?" 'Cause that hour pretty much justified television's existence as a medium forever.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:49 AM on June 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


[Seacrest] is really good at listening, and much sharper than he appears. However, he's just not that smart when it comes to politics.

It's probably easier to take someone who has a natural talent for King-style interviewing and give them a crash course on current events of the past 30-odd years, or assign them a team of interns whose job it is to keep them up to date, than to teach a newshound with a confrontational style (or no style at all) how to interview politely.

I think it's important that whoever replaces King retains the deceptively 'softball' style. As others have pointed out, that's how he gets all the guests. There are a lot of people who wouldn't think about talking on-camera to Rachel Maddow, or any of the other talking-head programs, who don't hesitate to go on LKL. It's because they know they're going to get a chance to speak. There are a lot of confrontational interview shows where the hosts revel in "gotcha" questions, and I'm not sure that we need one more. Regardless of what you think about King's personal life, his show definitely filled a niche.

Would have been better if they had eliminated most of the celebrities, though, but I assume they must have propped up ratings, or filled holes when they couldn't get anyone more interesting.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:22 AM on June 30, 2010




"I told them I would like to end Larry King Live, the nightly show, this fall and CNN has graciously accepted, giving me more time for my wife and I to get to the kids’ little league games."


Given the fact that his kids' little league coach said he was sleeping with King's wife, this is either a sly joke or the stupidest example of family time ever. Either way, I laughed.
posted by girl scientist at 8:17 AM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


does this makes WOLF BLITZER the only founding CNNer left standing?
posted by liza at 8:28 AM on June 30, 2010


The longest night of my life was spent in an Emergency waiting room, where I was subjected to King interviewing OJ Simpson's victims' families three times. Although I was not the one with the ailment, it's pretty clear who suffered the most that night.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:19 AM on June 30, 2010


Nope, just his beard, it regenerates a new Blitzer every five years.
posted by maus at 9:40 AM on June 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


...which explains the Three Wolf Moon.

unSane, AC has been halfway out for years, but Hannity will have to be dragged out, most likely by one of the boy toys he shares with Glenn Beck.

The reason I originally mentioned Space Ghost was because CNN shares ownership with CN (formerly Cartoon Network), and it'd just be a matter of adding another N. Then again, TBS is in the same division, so maybe even Conan's in play... or at least George Lopez. But seriously, there are people talking up HLN's Joy Behar so I just took it a step further.

At least we know they're NOT considering Kevin Pollak (who's as bad a softball pitcher as King, but he has to be to get any guests for his podcast).

Years ago, there was a successful L.A. radio talk host who was using the name Michael Jackson before the OTHER MJ was born (he actually petitioned AFTRA, the TV & Radio union, to force Jacko to change his name for TV appearances; they actually have the power to do that - no two members with the same professional name - but they laughed him out of the office) He was one of several radio people who subbed for King in the early years (since King came from talk radio) and I watched to see how he did. He was distinguished looking, had a subdued British accent... but when he talked, he barely moved his lips! It was never an issue on radio, but it was like he was a ventriloquist without his dummy! Weird. Just another 'great face for radio' story.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:29 PM on June 30, 2010


Space Ghost might make CNN watchable for me.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:37 PM on June 30, 2010


« Older Jack Abramoff: Pizza Lobbyist   |   Christ, what a Masshole Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments