The Hollywood Reporter has a delightful interview with Larry King on the eve of his 80th birthday. “I can’t believe I’m 80,” King says, despite the fact that he is the most plausible octogenarian on the face of the earth. King stepped down from his post as host of CNN’s Larry King Live in 2010, after a 25-year stint in which he grilled newsmakers with incisive questions such as “Ryan Seacrest, what do you make of your success?” He now broadcasts on Ora.tv, which appears to be a thing that exists.
For the Reporter to grant King such a glowing profile would seem to be a little birthday gift to the venerated broadcaster, but in fact it’s King who gives a gift to us. While it may be years since he wrote his stream-of-consciousness USA Today column (brilliantly parodied by Norm Macdonald on Saturday Night Live), King still has a talent for the bizarre non-sequitur, and the interview is full of ineffably splendid King-isms. Including:
- “When I was a kid, nobody was 80.”
- “At Ebbets Field, other kids would get autographs from the players. I would ask the bus driver why he likes to drive a bus.”
- “I had no trouble going from radio to TV—I just thought of TV as radio with pictures.”
- “When I’m 90, I’ll be the first one to broadcast from the moon. I love the immediacy.”
- “[Arthur] Godfrey said, ‘Remember, in this business, there’s no secret. The only secret is, be yourself.’”
- “I love the whole ball of wax of comedy.”
Here’s to 80 more years for Larry King, the king of being Larry King.