End of an era: CNN's Larry King hangs up suspenders
December 17th, 2010
04:53 AM ET

End of an era: CNN's Larry King hangs up suspenders

 

It's hard to imagine, but Thursday, a legend hung up his suspenders for the last time.

On Thursday night, after a record-breaking 25 years on the air at CNN, Larry King signed off for the last time as host of "Larry King Live." Before doing so, he was joined by several surprise special guests and friends of the show, who helped bid a fond farewell to the man whose legendary career has transformed him into a media icon.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger joined Larry via satellite from Sacramento to thank him for his contributions to the state of California. The Governator even flexed a little muscle by using his gubernatorial powers to declare December 17  "Larry King Day" in his state.

Larry has interviewed and rubbed elbows with countless famous and powerful celebrities and political figures over the years, but even he was shocked when Ryan Seacrest told him that the president of the United States had a message for him. President Obama thanked him for "a truly amazing career" and his excellent interviews "from Kermit the Frog to Joe from Tacoma."

Over the course of his remarkable career, Larry King interviewed virtually everyone who was anyone except himself. On the night of his final show, he finally crossed his own name off the list. Sort of.

'SNL' funnyman Fred Armisen joined Larry as Larry (identical clothing and all) to ask himself a few questions.

At the same time every night, Anderson Cooper normally joins Larry for a quick preview of what's coming on next on "AC 360." This time, though, Anderson instead used the time to personally thank Larry for the impact that he had on his own career and share a touching personal moment with his friend and mentor.

And at the end of the night, when the final guests had expressed their thanks, shared their memories, and said their goodbyes, all that remained was for Larry King to sign off for the final time. He did so with all of the poise and poignancy that his viewers have come to expect from him.

So long, Larry. Thanks for the memories.

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  1. Tron

    Good Riddance Old Man!!!!

    December 17, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Robin

    I have only watched you the last 5 years, but you are an incredible man, interviewer, tv personality. Your kindness shines through along with your intelligence. I for one will miss you very much at 11:00 your 2nd timeslot on CNN. You are one of a kind, although your son may have a future like yours! Many blessings to you Larry. You will be missed by more than you know.

    December 17, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. John M. Cook

    Jim, I want to get this straight. Because you think Larry King was a lightweight, pushover interviewer / show host and married a young woman... YOU WISH HE WOULD DIE? You need counseling... seriously. You poor thing. If you want to see someone speak with God... just wait... I have afeeling he has a few questions for you!

    December 17, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sam

    Larry King is truly great, one of the last 'new' classic television personalities from the late 20th century.

    It's also interesting to examine the show's roots. Introduced in 1985 at founder Ted Turner's personal suggestion, a mere 5 years after the debut of CNN as a cable channel, the show was probably intended to put some yuppie-esque energy and color into an otherwise staid and solemn 24-hour news format.

    It worked.

    Sitting behind an instantly memorable set backdrop of what looks like a gaint litebrite map of the world, Larry, with his simple, direct, natural questioning approach and common sympethtic touch, was infinitely appealing to viewers; as were his subjects, who were more often than not at ease with King and opened up about their thoughts, opinions, and experiences. The show quickly became an iconic confessional stop for celebrities, politicians and newsmakers of the moment.

    In the 1990s, Larry's quick ascent to a-list status allowed for a number of politicians who were already comfortable with the format to use the show to break news and stage debates: Ross Perot announced his history-making third party bid for the 1992 U.S. presidential election, and then in 1993, after losing the election, he engaged then-new vice president Al Gore in a fresh and candid 1993 debate over NAFTA. Two years later in 1995, his tenth year on the air, Larry King hosted a historic hour on the Middle East Peace process with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, King Hussein of Jordan and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

    All of it thanks to Larry's unassuming presence and gift for truly listening – not always talking – to his guest across the table.

    December 17, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Gabriel K

    @Jim Brieske You are an angry man who feels they need to blame everyone else for your problems. Living with such anger is really not good for any person, I ask that you take a long vacation and try and get some of the hate out of you. Larry King is known throughout the world as an icon for news, and I strongly doubt that your parents are known throughout the world as icons for car companies.So that is why Obama sent his congratulations because this man is an Icon in American media. I was going to try and keep Politics out of this comment but i cant.... Why are so many of you Republicans/conservatives so filled with hate and anger?

    December 17, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. barry g

    It is amazing how many negative people are out there. Just think how negative they must be in real life and the people who they come in contact with them.

    December 17, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. william

    enjoy retirement, your a legend

    December 17, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Spendlove

    Good times Larry and thanks for some very entertaining and always interesting interviews.

    December 17, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Andrew Phelps

    I was very close to my grandparents growing up. We would watch Larry every night at 6 (I grew up on the West Coast). Both of my grandparents died recently, and it has been very tough. Cleaning out the house, giving everything away — a feeling that an era of my life once so vibrant had faded. Now I live on the East Coast, where Larry airs at 9, and even though I haven't watched in years, I'll miss Larry terribly.

    December 17, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ed rustad

    larry king looks like a praying mantist

    December 17, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. nk

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    December 17, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ed rustad

    larry king has been on cnn way to long cnn needs a new look.Maybe you all should think about hiring howard stern for a show

    December 17, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bob

    Thanks for the 25 years Larry. I've only been watching for maybe 5, but I always enjoyed your show when it came on.

    December 17, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. The Old Wolf

    Huge congratulations to Larry King on a stellar career. In my view, he's just as much a cultural icon as Walter Cronkite ever was. And CNN bites the wax tadpole for making me watch that horrid ad with each clip.

    December 17, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. The Old Wolf

    Congratulations to Larry King on a stellar career. In my view, he's just as much a cultural icon as Walter Cronkite ever wass

    December 17, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
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