From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Larry King Live is an American talk
show hosted by Larry
King on CNN. The show debuted in
1985, and is CNN's most watched (and currently longest running)
program, with over one million viewers nightly.
The show broadcasts from CNN's Los Angeles studios.
Sometimes, the show broadcasts from CNN's studios in New York and
sometimes from Washington, D.C., the city where King
gained national prominence during his years as a radio interviewer
for the Mutual Broadcasting System.
Every night, King interviews one or more prominent individuals,
mainly celebrities, politicians, and businesspeople.
The one-hour show is broadcast three times a day in some areas,
and can be seen all over the world on CNN International. Larry King is
currently expected to stay with CNN
Larry King mainly conducts interviews from the studio, but he
has also interviewed people on-site in the White House, their prison cells, their homes, and other unique
locations. Critics have claimed that Larry King asks "soft"
questions in comparison to other interviewers, which allows him to
reach guests who would be averse to interviewing on "tough" talk
shows. When interviewed on Late Night with Conan
O'Brien, King said that the secret to a good interview is
to get the guest to talk about him- or herself, and to put oneself
in the background.
A 1996 interview in the Washington
Post had King note that he sometimes slips hard questions
in between softballs. King prefers one sentence questions. In the
Post interview, King also proclaimed that he prepares as
little as possible for each program, does not read the books of the
authors he interviews, and admitted that the show was not
journalism but "infotainment." He said that he tries to
project an image of earnestness and sincerity in each interview,
and the format of the show (King in suspenders instead of suit and
tie, sitting directly next to the guest) reinforces that.
In response to "'softball' questions" accusations, King says,
"I've never understood that. All I've tried to do is ask the best
questions I could think of, listen to the answers, and then follow
up. I've never not followed up. I don't attack anybody — that's not
my style — but I follow up. I've asked people who say this, 'What's
a softball question?' They'll say, 'You say to some movie star,
what's your next project?' To me, that's not a softball. To me,
that's interesting — what are you doing next?"
Furthermore, King is no fan of the current generation of
talk-show hosts, who he says use their guests as props or punching
bags. He describes them as "I" hosts; he states they are more
interested in lecturing their guests than in listening to them. "I
hope I never do that," he says, "I'm not saying it's bad. If you
O'Reilly, that is Bill O'Reilly. It's not my cup of tea, I
don't care for it, but I can understand why a lot of viewers
King accepts call-in questions on some nights, Callers
are identified only by city and state/province, and generally not
by name. Occasionally, surprise guests telephone the show and comment, like Governors, royalty, and celebrities. At times,
prank calls come in.
The phone number for call-ins is 1-800-676-2100.
During major election coverage, the program may center on
political analysis and commentary, as the show's airing generally
coincides with the closing of polls in many states.
One of King's recurring topics is the paranormal. A frequent guest is John Edward of the
popular television show Crossing Over with John Edward.
Edward comes on the show and gives callers a free chance to
supposedly communicate, via him, with their dead loved ones. King
also had alleged psychics such as Sylvia Browne and James Van
Praagh on from time to time to do readings and discuss the
future. King sometimes allows skeptics such as James Randi to debate
the psychics. In an April 2005 episode, King hosted a panel
discussion regarding Evangelical, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, and atheist views on the afterlife. King has also had topics about
UFO's and Extraterrestrials where he pits experts against
King is also frequently accused of pandering to sensationalist
news stories; for instance, the death of Anna Nicole
Smith took up much of King's shows after the event, causing the
cancellation of numerous guests and interviews that were already
scheduled, most notably Christopher Hitchens, who had
intended to discuss the Iraq situation.
After the death of a prominent celebrity, King will either
replay a recent program featuring said celebrity (for instance,
after actor Don
Knotts' death in 2006 King replayed the interview with Knotts
Griffith taken several months before) or will bring on family
members and close confidantes to the deceased to reminisce on the
Each studio set features an identical colored-dot map of the
world in the background and one of King's trademarks, a vintage RCA microphone, on the desk. The
microphone is a prop, as King
and his guests use lapel
- The November 9, 1993 debate between Ross Perot and Al Gore on the North American Free
Trade Agreement was watched in 11.174 million households - the
largest audience ever for a program on an ad-supported cable
network until the October 23, 2006 New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys game on ESPN's Monday
- On September 25, 2006, Oprah Winfrey made her first
endorsement of Barack Obama 2008 presidential campaign
for president on Larry King Live. Once Obama became a candidate,
Winfrey made her first endorsement of candidate Obama on Larry King
Live in May 2007. Two economists estimate that Winfrey’s
endorsement was worth over a million votes in the Democratic
primary race and
that without it, Obama would have lost the nomination.
- To mark the 20th anniversary of the show, ABC's Barbara Walters
was a guest host and interviewed King on his reflections of his
- To mark 50 years in broadcasting, Larry King Live had
a week long celebration that included a two hour CNN presents
special and an hour of celebrity toast. The broadcast of this
special week long event was postponed due to the tragedy at Virginia Tech. XM Satellite
Radio also featured a micro channel called "Larry!" that
featured replays of The Larry King
Show along with interviews and the new material from the
CNN anniversary shows.
- On July 19, 2007, a frail Tammy Faye Messner made her final
appearance on Larry King Live to talk about her battle
with lung and colon cancer. She died the following day.
- On September 7, 2009, the first episode in high definition was
The episode that did not
- Al Gore was supposed to host on May 6, 1999 with Oprah Winfrey
as a guest and the topic was supposed to be the aftermath of the Columbine High School
massacre. However, with Gore's candidiacy for Presidency
pending, CNN decided not to let him host as a result of the
In recent years when King has been absent other interviewers
have substituted for him.
Seacrest has substituted for King many times.
- CNN Headline News host Nancy Grace has
substituted for King many times including October 31, 2003,
regarding the Scott
- On April 1, 1994 and
2002 Kermit the Frog
hosted the show, as an April Fool's
- On February 16, 1998, Dan Rather hosted a show regarding the
then-ongoing Iraq crisis. He also
hosted on October 19, 2000 with Jay Leno as a guest.
- On March 29, 1996, Newt Gingrich, then-Speaker
of the House hosted with Jack Hanna serving as the guest.
- On October 16, 1998 Wolf Blitzer hosted the show with the
subject matter being the Matthew Shepard case. He also hosted
the March 18 and March 19, 2008 episodes.
- On May 22, 2000, Kathie Lee Gifford hosted while Diane Sawyer and Joan Rivers were the
- On November 30, 2000, Roger Cossack interviewed John Ashcroft, who
had just been defeated by Mel Carnahan. Carnahan, who died, was
replaced by his wife, Jean
- On January 22, 2001, Bob Schieffer hosted a show about campaign finance
reform with John
McCain as a guest.
- On June 8, 2005, sportscaster Bob Costas was named as the regular
substitute anchor for the show,
filling in roughly 20 times a year and not on a set schedule.
- On August 18, 2005, Chris Pixley hosted the program instead of
then-regular guest host Bob Costas, who did not feel comfortable
with the subject matter, the Natalee
- On September 12, 2005, Dr.Phil hosted with the subject matter
being the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He
again sat as guest host on February 27, 2009, interviewing various
people concerning the Suleman octuplets.
- Comedian Bill
Maher has taken up the duties of guest host.
- On March 2007, Mike Shiver sat in as guest host for a couple of
- On April 2007, Star
- On April 6, 2007, Jimmy Kimmel hosted
- On July 24, 2007, former attorney and TMZ.com managing editor Harvey Levin guest hosted the show, the
topic of discussion being Lindsay Lohan's arrest of that
- On March 11, 2008, John King hosted 2008,, July
November 21, 2008, and January 28, 2009.
- On March 17, 2008, Dr. Drew hosted
- On July 21, 2008, Glenn Beck hosted.
- Joy Behar has hosted
the show many times in the past including October 19, 2007 and
November 14, 2008.
- On July 26, 2008, Kathy Griffin hosted for an episode
- On March 12, 2009, Jeanine Pirro hosted
- On March 11, 2009, Sanjay Gupta hosted
- On March 9, 2009, Ali
- On March 27, 2009, Tavis Smiley hosted
- Larry King appeared as himself during two fictionalized airings
of his show in the book and movie Primary Colors.
First, he was part of a presidential campaign's effort to discredit
an embarrassing audio tape, and later he interviewed another
Democratic candidate (played in the film by Larry Hagman).
- Larry King is also featured in the film The
Long Kiss Goodnight interviewing a main character, and in
the film Dave in which he interviews Oliver Stone who
claims that the man claiming to be the President of the United
States is an impostor.
- Larry King's voice was heard in Ghostbusters questioning the
credibility of the Ghostbusters.
- Larry King most recently appeared in Jerry Seinfeld's Bee Movie acting as
the voice over for an animated bee named "Bee Larry King" who ran
his own talk show.
- Larry King Live was often seen on the White House televisions
in the NBC drama series The West Wing
- Larry King Live was featured in the 1997 movie Contact directed
by Robert Zemeckis. The Larry King Live show is featured in two
- Larry King has appeared in a Marvel The Ultimates issue,
interviewing Tony Stark
while on a space trip with Shannon Elizabeth.
- Larry King has also appeared as himself on a number of
television shows, including Murder One, The Practice, Boston Legal,
Shark, and Law & Order:
- Larry King has appeared in the movie Enemy of the State.
- Larry King was parodied in a season 1 episode of Adult Swim show Metalocalypse.
- Larry King is also frequently parodied in the Comedy Central
show South Park.
- Larry King has been parodied on Saturday Night Live and has been
played by Kevin
Ferrell, Norm Macdonald, Jimmy Fallon, and Fred Armisen.
- Tom Hanks' character
in the movie The
Terminal looks at the television screen at the airport and sees
Larry King reporting on the crisis in Krachozia.
- Larry King appeared as himself in episode 12 of the third
season of 30 Rock.
- Larry King appeared in two episodes of The Simpsons,
entitled One Fish, Two Fish,
Blowfish, Blue Fish and Sideshow Bob Roberts.