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'Larry King Live' Tribute: The Show's 11 Greatest Moments

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 15th 2010 5:00PM
Larry King LiveThursday, Dec. 16, marks the final episode of CNN's 'Larry King Live.' It's been easy to say funny things about King over the show's 25-year-run -- he's out of touch, he should have left years ago, he's been married a lot, etc. -- but the list of guests he's hosted is truly amazing.

King has interviewed celebrities, sure, but because 'Larry King Live' is also a news show, he has hosted more newsmakers and politicians than anyone else you can think of (including Oprah).

We took a look back at the long, stories history of 'Larry King Live' and chose 11 greatest moments, plus a bonus selection that featured a memorable appearance by a certain late night talk show host while filling in for King.

Bonus honorable mention: Jimmy Kimmel guest hosting (2007). Kimmel sat in the host chair a few years ago and had as a guest the then-editor of the website Gawker, Emily Gould. Kimmel went after Gawker for stalking celebs and the inaccuracies on their site, and the result was pure bliss.

11. Michael Moore/Sanjay Gupta debate (2007). This was one of those weird TV moments when you don't even think there's going to be any controversy, and then there is. Moore and Gupta's debate started on Wolf Blitzer's show and then continued on King's. They didn't agree on the state of healthcare in America or the statistics in Moore's movie 'Sicko.'

10. Jerry Seinfeld (2007). A lot of people thought it was funny when Seinfeld had a mock-outrage moment when King seemed to imply that 'Seinfeld' might have been canceled. But some people lost respect for Seinfeld after this moment, thinking that Seinfeld really was ticked off in spite of the smiling.

For the record, It really doesn't seem like King was actually trying to say that 'Seinfeld' was canceled. He was just trying to casually get Seinfeld to confirm a fact that Seinfeld decided to end the show. It was a quick, trivial moment that somehow became the moment that everyone remembers from the interview.

9. Tammy Faye Messner (2007). Everyone knew that Messner (Jim Bakker's ex-wife) was ill, but it was truly shocking to see how frail and sickly she looked when she did this interview with King.

8. Larry and Michael Jackson's ghost (2009). King did many shows -- way, way too many shows -- about the death of Michael Jackson. He interviewed friends, bodyguards, co-workers, lawyers, and had a couple of really odd interviews with family members. One of those interviews included an appearance by...Jackson's ghost! Incredibly, it turned out to be not a ghost, but a, um, CNN cameraman.

7. Paris Hilton (2009). This was the interview that Hilton gave after being released from jail and...well, let's just say she came across as a bit clueless and probably didn't learn a thing in jail.

6. Carrie Prejean (2009).
The controversial beauty pageant contestant provided King with one of his most bizarre moments, as she walked off the show because she didn't like one of his questions. She came back, but it's really funny to watch her fumble with the earpiece, look offstage for help, and then decide to leave.

5. 9/11 coverage (2001).
Some readers might be wondering why such an incredible day like 9/11 isn't No. 1, and the reason for that is because everyone was covering that day, 24/7, so it's not worth putting King's show from that night at number one. But it's still worthy enough to have in the top 5.

4.Frank Sinatra (1988).
The great singer was another guy who never gave interviews, especially on television, but he sat down with Larry in 1988.

3. Gore/Perot NAFTA debate (1993).
Looking back at this 1993 debate, it still seems pretty remarkable -- in fact, more now than it did then. Can you imagine a discussion like this today, with the two opponents sitting at a table a few inches from each other, answering open-ended questions, being able to confront each other, pulling out more charts and graphs than they have at NASA? Incredibly entertaining. (The clip below is actually part 2 of the YouTube clips and gives a good mix of what the debate was like.)

2. O.J. Simpson slow chase (1994).
One of the most infamous and iconic moments in pop culture/legal history happened live on King's show and they followed it to the end. What a bizarre night that was.

1. Marlon Brando (1994).
Brando has to be No. 1, right? He rarely gave interviews and this one ended with him kissing King on the mouth.

What are you favorite 'Larry King Live' moments?

[Follow Bob on Twitter.]

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So since Larry is gone can we anticipate more News Anchors with more charisma? http://www.lynnaluvers.com

December 16 2010 at 7:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

He said George and Kramer were the funny people on the show. Seinfeld was boring, STILL IS BORING.

December 16 2010 at 5:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I sorry, but could you explain what you just wrote?

December 16 2010 at 5:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

so many clowns not enough circus's and to answer jerry the tard.. yes we know who u were...... u were george and kramer, cause u had nothing fool.

December 16 2010 at 5:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Larry King looks like a Praying Mantis

December 16 2010 at 3:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My favorite moment will be tomorrow night when he's off the air. King never asked a tough question in his LIFE. Kimmels' one clip showed what this show COULD'VE been. So long, Larry.

December 16 2010 at 3:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It really does'nt matter if you like Larry King or not but, people have to admit that he got some of the biggest interviews pre-Oprah than anyone else.
He got interviews that no one else could.
Kudos to him for that!

December 16 2010 at 2:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why do you people continue to watch the suspender guy then critize him?

December 16 2010 at 2:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Spellfreak's comment

Why do you assume that his critics watch him? I critisize the Red Sox, that that mean I watch them? I decided a LONG time ago that Larry's show was lightweight and have'nt watched it since.

December 16 2010 at 3:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kimi Peck

I am both amazed and amused by people, who have accomplished little or nothing in their own lives, so eagerly attack great and brilliant people like Larry King. While Larry King has been interviewing the most important people in the world, what have these attackers been doing? They couldn't get an interview with a moth. Chalk it up to envy and jealousy. Get off your computers, losers, and get a life! Larry King is one of the "bright lights" and he will be missed!

December 16 2010 at 2:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MS Belle

I watch Larry King almost every night. It is wrong to have posted the picture of Tammy Faye Messner the day before she died. I know you have better pictures of her. You exploit people. Please take that picture off!! Would you like your death picture online?????
I like Larry King. I think Morgan Pierce is a mistake. I think he will give his opinions like "Idol" Larry King only asked questions.

December 16 2010 at 2:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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