If Larry King chose his successor it would be... Ryan Seacrest?

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 5th 2007 3:22PM
Larry King and Ryan SeacrestIf you think that entertainment journalists have it easy compared to their war correspondent colleagues, think again. Jacques Steinberg of The New York Times, in the process of following around Larry King for an interview, actually witnessed the ancient talk show host standing half-naked in his office, waiting to receive the dress shirt he was to wear on the air that night. So, imagine the image of King, suspenders draped over his bare chicken-wing shoulders, waiting for his shirt. I'm not sure the Times could pay me enough to witness that.

Anyway, while Steinberg was watching King dress at work and kibitz with his pals over a "healthy" breakfast (he recently had surgery to clear plaque out of an artery in his neck), he also asked King questions about retirement and who might replace him. While King feels that he'll go at least another ten years, if he were to pick someone to replace him it would be Ryan Seacrest. Yes, that Ryan Seacrest.

"He's the classic generalist," is what King told Steinberg. See, to King, that's a compliment; he later told Steinberg that he doesn't do much preparation before interviewing a guest, making the excuse that he'd rather hear his guests' opinions than prattle on about what he knows. But to me it shows that Seacrest has the same potential to be an empty slate as an interviewer, lobbing the same softball questions that Larry does. I mean, not everyone has to be as much of a bulldog as Mike Wallace, but doesn't Larry realize that his lack of preparation is why people hate his interviews?

Anyway, his opinion on who should replace him doesn't really matter much, as the brass at CNN has already said that King likely won't be replaced after he retires. But I don't know what makes me more violently ill: the prospect of Seacrest doing a marshmallow-fest like Larry's show or those bony shoulders. Let's just say it's a tie.

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Mark Rabinowitz

What happened to Bob Costas being the heir apparant?

April 05 2007 at 9:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

I have fond memories of Larry King doing his old radio show. When he moved to TV from radio he lowered the quality of talk shows on both media.

April 05 2007 at 6:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Minnie Nance

I would not like to see Seacrest take over for Larry King. He is arrogant, know it all, and not polished. He could never ask the hard questions and be taken serious!! Please NO!

April 05 2007 at 4:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


Meant to write "come up WITH his next question"

April 05 2007 at 4:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The author's being a bit too hard on Mr. Suspenders. If most people truly "hated" his interviews, he wouldn't have become so popular. The author wants a host with a harder edge, but fewer people would welcome an abrasive personality into their living room each night.

I never loved nor hated Larry King, but I think he does a competent job. The worst he does is cut people off sometimes which may seem a bit rude, but it's his responsibility to keep the show moving. On the plus side, he always keeps the focus on the guest rather than himself; he doesn't hurt people's feelings with sarcasm or insults; he manages to find questions that prompt less talkative people to open up; and although he says he doesn't prepare much, he never fails to come up his next question, even when the guest rifles yes or no answers at him.

Ryan Seacrest has a fanbase and would bring in some new viewers, although he'd lose some others coz there are lots of Ryan-bashers who think he's obnoxious. He's a bit slick, but all in all, he'd be a witty, likable host.

April 05 2007 at 4:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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