Larry King might have been a star before he joined CNN in 1985, but it was at the global network where King had became a household name. His secret sauce laid in the fact that he let no one under his skin. “He treated every guest the same. It didn’t matter if it was a president or… somebody off the street,” his former executive producer, Wendy Walker said (via Twitter). The style made the show watchable — so much so that Larry King Live drew the biggest number of eyeballs for the network, and it make King a valuable commodity for the network (via CNN). Some of the biggest names King interviewed include Nancy Reagan (1989), The Dalai Lama (1997), Prince (1999), Tiger Woods (1998), Madonna (1999), and newlywed couple Donald and Melania Trump (2005) (via CNN).
Larry King loved his job. He famously once said, “I just love what I do. I love asking questions, I love doing the interviews.” But a dip in the ratings (along with reported marital troubles) led King to announce in June 2010 that he would be stepping back to spend more time with his wife Shawn and their children. There was the promise, though, that he would be back from time to time (via Los Angeles Times).
Larry King: 'Instead of goodbye, how about so long…'
But goodbyes always seem easy until they need to be done, and on King’s last day at Larry King Live, he closed his final show by telling his audiences in a visibly emotional monologue, saying, “It’s not very often in my life I’ve been without words, but I want to thank everybody associated with this program… When I started 25 years ago at a little studio in Washington D.C. I never thought it would ever last this long or come to this… So I’m going to go on and do a lot of other things…”
He ended with a promise, explaining, “You’re not going to see me go away. But you’re not going to see me on this set anymore… I don’t know what to say, except to you, my audience, thank you.” Choking up, he concluded, “And instead of good bye, how about so long” (via YouTube).
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