So, Larry King has announced that he’s giving up the desk job, saying that stepping away from his nightly show will result in:
” … giving me more time for my wife and I to get to the kids’ little league games”.
Being that the man has been doing this for more than twenty-five years, there are few in the CNN-soaked world who won’t have some opinion on his retirement, his career, his suspenders.
Being virtually CNNless for a long time, not having him on the air daily won’t impact my life one bit, but I’m sure there are those who will miss regular doses of the King and his lineup.
I would, however, like to take the announcement of his departure as a chance to write a bit about that particular brush with fame, or the time I met Larry King.
Yes, I’ve met many a celeb, and although some consider an encounter of the “This person is on TV a lot” variety an experience worth wetting themselves over, I tend not to get all that jazzed. In fact, the only person I’ve come in contact with who inspired stuttering star-struckness in me was Jane Goodall, and Larry King is so NOT Jane Goodall.
One night I’m at this celeb-filled fundraiser in L.A. hosted by Jay Leno with Sting as the entertainment and the Douglas clan at the next table … no, not Fred MacMurry and his Three Sons, but Kirk and Michael and wives … and a host of faces recognizable by a huge percentage of the global population.
Just behind me, Larry King and a bevy of blond beauties. They’d come in after I’d been seated, and I couldn’t help but notice that in motion Larry looks very much like a six-foot-something insect … a cross between a praying mantis and a daddy longlegs. (And, yes, I do know that a spider isn’t an insect … my brother is an entomologist, after all … but if crossed with a pm it might qualify as an arachnesect … close enough.) He moved almost predatorily as he made his way around the room, meeting and greeting, then folded his limbs much like a skinny spider settling as he eventually took his seat.
At some point in the evening, we had a brief conversation in which it came up that I live in Seychelles. He’d never heard of the place. When I explained enough geography to get the Indian Ocean placed in his head, then mentioned that we only have one TV channel here, he appeared to understand exactly why the country had never made it to his radar.
A few pleasantries, and was I moved along to Mrs. Michael Douglas who actually knew where Africa is …