On December 16, 2010, Larry King hosted the final episode of his CNN talk show with a serenade from Tony Bennett, a greeting from President Obama and a "Larry King Day" proclamation from California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Here are five things you didn’t know about Larry King...
A Liquor Store Made Him A King In 1957, Larry Zeiger moved to Miami from Brooklyn to find fame as a media personality. His first boss was insistent that his name was not memorable and far too ethnic, and the search was on for a new name. That would come in short order as the boss saw an ad for a liquor store called Kings Wholesale and dubbed the future T.V. royalty Larry King.
He Called Miami Dolphins Game Prior to becoming famous on CNN, Larry King spent 20 years working the local media market in Miami. One of his stints was an analyst for the Miami Dolphins games for WIOD-610. He spent a portion of the 1969-71 and 1977 seasons in the booth. The one game King would have enjoyed calling was the Super Bowl on January 16, 1972, but he did not get the chance. King was arrested in December of 1971 for grand larceny, a charge that was later dismissed.
He Hit John F. Kennedy In 1958, early in his media career, Larry King was involved in a fender-bender in Miami, Florida. Coincidentally, the other motorist just happened to be Senator John F. Kennedy. According to King, Kennedy angrily asked him, "Early Sunday morning, no traffic, not a cloud in the sky, I'm parked — how could you run into me?" After calming down, the future president told King he would forget the whole thing if King promised to vote for him when he ran for president.
Show Preparation Is Not King’s Thing
King is well-known for showing little interest in prepping before his shows because he feels it better to learn about the subject along with his audience. This has led to some funny interviews over the years including an interview with Jerry Seinfeld in 2007. They were discussing his television series “Seinfeld” when King innocently asked if the series was cancelled or if Jerry had just given it up. Seinfeld was obviously upset as he went on a tirade about it. He emphatically stated that he was the one that called it quits and the show was not ‘cancelled.’
Marlon Brando Kissed Him In a 1994 interview, Larry King spent the better part of 90 minutes flirting with a 70-year-old Marlon Brando, hitting him in the head with note cards and adorning him with flattery like, "Time goes so fast with you." Brando played right back, at one point dabbing the suspenders-donning host's head with a towel when he started to sweat up and leading him into a duet of "I Can't Get Started." As the hour-and-a-half love fest finished, Brando turned to King and said, "Darling, goodbye," and then kissed King on the mouth.