Farewell, Larry King

The CNN host's 25-year reign ends tonight

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After 25 years, the Larry King Live show is coming to an end. King will cap off his final week tonight, which so far has included such celebrity guests as Conan O'Brien, Wynonna and Naomi Judd and Barbra Streisand. Fans are commemorating the CNN host's long career by remembering his notable interviews and some of his most famous gaffes.

  • 'Long Live Larry King'  Reflecting on his many appearances on the Larry King show, Ben Stein bids his friend a farewell from television. "I am going to miss him, as interlocutor and friend. I hope he is back on the air right away. The nation--and the world--need him. Come to think of it, Larry, Richard Nixon had the words for this situation. 'This isn't good-bye. The French have a word for it. 'Au revoir.' We'll see you again,'" he writes.
  • An Institution  Over the years, King has been mocked and criticized for his interview style and low ratings. In announcing the end of the LKL era, Deadline Hollywood's Nellie Andreeva excuses some of the host's flaws. She admits, "he may have gotten out of touch, he may have been famously unprepared for his interviews, and he may have been responsible for his show hemorrhaging viewers to average underwhelming 700,000 a night, but Larry King is still an institution."
  • Larry King's Greatest Hits  With almost 7,000 episodes, it's hard to keep track of Larry King's most memorable interviews. In honor of the Larry King Live finale, Sujay Kumar at The Daily Beast offers a compilation of classic king moments, complete with videos, "from a miffed Jerry Seinfeld to Julian Assange's WikiLeaks walkoff."
  • 'Hanging Up His Suspenders'  Erika Niedowski at Washington City Paper anticipated overuse of this phrase yesterday but Los Angeles Times blogger Andrew Malcom made special tribute to King's career as well his trademark style by digging up a video from 1982 that features the host pre-CNN and pre-suspenders. 
  • But Seriously  Mediaite's Mark Joyella makes a sincere bid for everyone to watch King's last show, saying "say what you will about Larry King and his celebrity-friendly though rarely hard-hitting interviews on CNN, but he's an actual television icon, and the passing of Larry King Live into history is a moment worth watching."
  • Let's Not Forget ...  Meghan Daum at the Los Angeles Times respectfully acknowledges the quarter of a decade Larry King devoted to long interviews with high profile guests, but argues against glorifying King's tenure at CNN and instead remembering it for what it was. She writes: 
It's only appropriate to pay homage to folks when they retire (not that King's officially retiring; he's slated to host four CNN specials a year), but let's be honest: Although Larry King and his show had some endearing and admirable qualities (not least his dedication to long interviews), "thoroughgoing" he was not. His gaffes were legendary (top among them: confusing Roman Polanski with Charles Manson), he did plenty of interrupting, and even if seasoned media personalities appeared comfortable on their side of the table, regular folks were often left floundering amid pregnant pauses and awkward crosstalk.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.