Larry King abdicates -

Larry King abdicates

After 25 years, CNN’s prime time interview king will retire


As soon as Larry King announced that he’s ending Larry King Live, I had to fight the urge to say nothing but nice things about him. You know how it is: you spend years being annoyed by someone’s questioning style and his influence… and then when he leaves, all you can think about is how he wasn’t as bad as some of the people who followed him. Also, how the basically light-entertainment style of the show was a bit easier to take than the cable news shows that try to pretend there’s something huge, world-shaking, incredibly important, in every single interview.

And I’ll say this: King at his hackiest was never as hacky as the comedians making jokes about his age. I mean, we get it: he’s over 70, and apparently old people don’t belong on TV or something.

Anyway, here’s the best-known (or at least most-Youtub’d) interview from King’s first year on CNN, with Frank Zappa.

Now the “who will replace Steve Carell” talk will coexist with “who will replace Larry King” talk, and it’s possible the two will get confused. So maybe we should just have one person replace both of them. Preferably not Ryan Seacrest, though.

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Larry King abdicates

  1. Larry when I lay my head on my pillow tonight I will be crying uncontrollably, for all the stories you broke, the comfort you offered me, the scandals your revealed, the kind words of wisdom you offered me through the Tv set and for one of the most memorable media debacles in recent memory staring you- God bless you Larry.

  2. I'll step up and say something fairly nice: King was much better as a radio host than he was on TV. When his radio show was it its peak he would have a single guest on for two hours, and though he had a tendency to lob softball questions even then, he tried to go a little more in-depth, and give his guests plenty of time to answer. And there was in impressive range of guests as well. He always seemed confused by the fast pace of the CNN show, while the more leisurely pace and eclectic style of his radio show fit him well. I get the sense he preferred radio too, but the Limbaugh-led conservative takeover of talk radio ended his show, and forced King to focus on TV.

    • Chris L……Larry King ended the Larry King radio show because he could not compete with the likes of Limbaugh. The fact is the audience determines the success or failure of a radio or TV show. King's ratings have been in the toilet for years and his insistence on interviewing the pop culture icons and other less serious celebrities etc caused the more serious TV watchers to move elsewhere i.e. Fox News.

      • You're saying exactly the same thing I was saying. Limbaugh's success attracted more ideologically-based listeners and copycat hosts to talk radio, and old-school hosts like King saw their ratings tumble.

  3. About forty years ago (while at university) I had a night job that allowed lots of free time for radio.
    Mostly I listened to a jazz program out of Rochester but when those radio waves were bounced
    out into the ozone I'd switch to King's program out of Washington (I think) and, at that time, it was
    often interesting. I found his TV programming to be unwatchable. It accorded with the general
    thickness of CNN.