Larry King's last show review: Who said, 'I'll miss your sexy ass!'?

The last Larry King Live was a Larrypalooza of King’s things: The biggest guests (President Obama! Ryan Seacrest! President Clinton! Suze Orman!) and the biggest compliments (“You’re the best,” said Donald Trump; Trump also said, “Oprah is a tremendous person”). Katie Couric recited a Dr. Seuss-metered poem that included the couplet, “You made NAFTA exciting and that’s hard to do/You scored Paris Hilton’s first post-jail interview.”

Right to the end, Larry King was Larry King: Friendly, relaxed, never at a loss for a quick question. He even offered his definition of the best question an interviewer could ask: “The best question is ‘Why?’ because it can’t be answered with one word.”

When California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared this day, “Larry King Day” and held up an official state proclamation to that effect, the governor waited for a response from Larry. King paused for a few seconds, and then said, “Say hello to the wife.”

King was also, as is his wont, prone to lose track of things in the most amiable manner. Guest Regis Philbin sought to prove King’s vast knowledge of old songs by singing a verse of a ditty and asking Larry to complete the verse. Larry… didn’t recognize the song.

Early in the show, at some point during a strange four-way conversation between Bill Maher, Ryan Seacrest, and Fred Armisen dressed as and impersonating King, there was a jokey question about whether King preferred “zippers or buttons.” (King came down on the side of zippers.) A few minutes later, interviewing Bill Clinton “live from Little Rock, Arkansas,” King said to the former President, “We’re both in the zipper club.” I think it’s fair to say there was stunned silence all around. A bit later, King said, “By the way, the suits want me to explain that by ‘zipper club’ I meant we’d both had heart operations.” “Ohhhh!” said Clinton, Maher, and Seacrest in unison.

At certain points, King’s off-kilter phrasing seemed contagious. Barbra Walters said King hosted “heads of state and not-so-heads of state.” Huh?

King brought out what he referred to as “the wife and the kids” — well, one wife (Shawn) and two kids. One of the latter, 11 year-old Cannon, actually did a dead-on impersonation of dear old dad (a growly-voiced, “I’m too old fa’ this, I’ve done this for 50 years!”) Seriously: Cannon killed; even Maher was speechless.

Speaking of Maher, he extolled King as “the ultimate minimalist,” an artful way of saying King kept things very simple over the course of 25 years of interviews.

Maher also said that in the history of TV interviewers, there have been “too many windbags and douchebags, and Larry was never windy or douchy.” Stay classy, Bill!

Along the bottom of the CNN screen, tweets posted to Larry were unfurled. Mariah Carey wrote: “I love Larry!” Jenny McCarthy’s message? “I’ll miss your sexy ass!” That McCarthy, what a cut-up.

Live from Louisiana, Tony Bennett serenaded King with “The Best Is Yet To Come.” Bennett sounded terrific.

King went out with a grateful, “So long.”

Twitter: @kentucker

Comments (33 total) Add your comment
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  • Owen

    Larry King simply is the best journalist out there, there won’t be any others like him. I hope he comes back to do a special soon!

    • Classy Gentleman.

      Here, here! A tip of the fancy hat to dear Mr Larry King. Let’s enjoy this time before Piers Morgan completely bombs on national television. *Glasses Clink*

      • Dan

        It’s “hear, hear,” not “here, here.” Classy includes being able to spell correctly.

      • Sir Rock Golf IV

        My dear boy, being classy also includes not making fun of other’s shortcomings. Perhaps you forgot.

    • Buffy Freak

      I liked Larry but the best journalist out there? That’s a bit hyperbolic. These days he doesn’t even really do anything that one could call journalism.

      • Geeks Areus

        Love him, way better than seacrest and GeekDatingSites was great

  • Bob

    I will watch the show later on the DVR. Does this mean that there will be no show on Friday? Why was this night the finale? I can’t believe that CNN chose Piers Morgan to replace the great and one of a kind Larry King. Long live the King!!

    • Chris

      For the next two weeks it’s going to be “best of” shows for LKL until the new year.

  • Joey

    I predict Piers show will be cancelled before summer.

  • Butters

    hey i like piers!

    • Sulley

      Yes yes, we ALL love piers, but not all of us live by the beach or get to visit them often.

      • Rock Golf

        It could be a long walk off a short Piers.

  • Hottest Wife

    His hottest wife was the best and DatingSingleDoctors was amazing

    • Proceed.

      At first glance I thought this was spam…well, actually I’m still not sure what it is you are talking about.

  • Karry Ling

    Piers Morgan will definitely be gone in less than a month. If he lasts more than Conan did at his Tonight Show gig (7 months), I will be pissed. I’m still scratching my head as to why they even picked him. Seacrest was the obvious choice. Once Piers fails I’m sure Larry will come out of the woodwork to say, “I never liked the guy” and then Seacrest will take over. Mark my words!

  • JL

    Whether you like Piers or not – he was a serious journalist in the UK. Ryan Seacrest is a cheesy entertainment presenter/DJ. Twice a week on AI is plenty!

    • SMD

      Your definition of serious journalist seems to be rather broad. Running a trashy tabloid newspaper does not qualify. Also, serious journalists do not pose nude in ads for Burger King cologne.

  • ries

    how come yesterday was the first time i heard about this? anyway, what i’ll miss most is the larry king is old jokes on late night tv. cliche, i know, but some are good.

  • Matt

    The comedic highlight of Larry King’s final show was the interview of Larry King by Fred Armisen as Larry King:

  • Mainer

    Zipper club….OMG, that was to die for funny. I will be laughing about that all day…and then that he had to be told to explain that? Even better.

  • Jethro

    GOOD RIDDANCE! Toward the end, his questions were silly, almost as ignorant as a child.

    He did nothing more than Regis, Oprah, heck, even Ellen!

    Piers will be no better, but at least Ryan S. is the replacement!!

  • Jethro

    OOOOppps, Ryan S. ISN’T the replacement

    • Bob

      Thank GOD, Ryan Seacrest isn’t the replacement. The ratings would drop even further. I don’t hold out much hope for Piers Morgan. Sorry, but the British invasion just won’t work with this format, no matter how good of an interviewer he is in England. We’re not British, we’re American.

  • Mike

    The last show was pathetic.

    Mehr was terrible.

    It could have been much better. How stupid were all the shots of the MSM anchors toasting? The interview with impersonator was stupid. Katie Couric’s poem was stupid.

    King deserved better.

    • cici217

      Totally agree with you. The finale was very disappointing. Have watched LKL for years and have always loved his basic set and interviewing style. He held up well last night, but the show looked as if it was put together in a couple of days.
      Maher was his usual arrogant self. And no taped Oprah comment? Instead we get Dr Phil? Please! Dr Phil? ugh. The zipper comment was a highlight as you could tell everyone got confused about it and took it the wrong way. Also loved how Larry cut off Babs Walters at one point, but of course she made sure she got more camera time after. Katie’s poem killed 5 minutes of show time. And the delay in talking with Clinton was distracting as was his talking about himself rather than focusing on Larry. Larry deserved something better. We were just expecting more stars. Why weren’t they talking to some of the celebs who were lining up for the aftershow party?

  • suebrody

    LOL on Ryan Seacrest being one of Larry King’s biggest guests! At least he’s not taking over the show. Good luck, Larry. It was time to step down, but at least he knew it and you can’t overstate his influence on similar shows. I don’t know about Piers Morgan…guess I’ll have to google.

  • Howard

    Who cares about Larry King, he’s irrelevant, he’s dishonest (Don Larsen anyone) his interviews are dry hois ratings actually dropped during his last week…I’d say good riddance but who even realizes he was around??

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