After 25 years on CNN, Larry King – the iconic suspender wearing cable news “king” will be turning out the map’s dotted lights that have been aglow behind him for nearly two and a half decades on December 16.
“Larry King Live” has been a weeknight fixture airing at 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time since June 1, 1985. However last June, Larry unexpectedly announced he was retiring from his show. He told his viewers, “It’s time to hang up my nightly suspenders.” As you would imagine, Thursday’s last show is going to give those suspenders one hell of a final snap. As of yet, the projected farewell hour has not released any names, though it’s sure to be an emotional ride that may even result in Larry shedding a tear behind those thick pains of glass he’s confused for glasses.
Now some argue that the 77 year old everyman should have taken his hunched over interviews off the air years ago. But it’s Larry’s non-intrusive style that has kept people watching. A few years back, King explained his style stating, “I ask short questions. I have no pretense at intellectuality. I don’t pretend to know it all.” And if you’ve seen his interviews, not knowing it all? Well, mission accomplished Larry! According to the Associated Press, “in his peak year, 1998, ‘Larry King Live’ drew 1.64 million viewers. As recently as 2003, he was averaging 1.54 million.” Ratings for his show are currently at a ten year low estimating approximately 700,000 viewers – a little less than half compared to the show’s heyday. Even so, do you have any idea how much of an institution you must be in order to conduct interviews with millions tuning in and not even have your facts straight? (See Seinfeld video below – classic Larry!)
After almost 7,000 shows and close to 50,000 interviews, the focus – at least for CNN – has shifted to Piers Morgan, whom they named as Larry’s replacement launching in September 2011. AP goes on to report that, “Morgan, a 45-year-old British journalist and TV personality known mainly in the U.S. as a judge on NBC’s ‘America’s Got Talent,’ promises that ‘Piers Morgan Tonight’ will be ‘exciting and slightly dangerous.’ He is the future — or so CNN hopes.”
I’m sure that CNN is confident with their new replacement choice, yet I’m still surprised they didn’t take my suggestion to stick to tradition and go with the tootsie pop owl. Hooo knows?
(Image from WireImage)Tags: AP, CNN, final show, Larry King, Live, Piers Morgan, suspenders, TV