Thursday, June 3, 2010

When The Suspenders Don't Do The Trick Anymore.


I’ll start this post by saying how much I actually like Larry King. I think he’s authentic and his personal ascension into pop cultural history is quite impressive. He’s worked hard all his life, which hasn’t always been an easy one, and he deserves all the success that comes along with being late-night royalty.

The New York Times has chronicled in the past few weeks, the decrease of Larry King Live’s viewership. Larry’s popularity came at a time when newsmakers had very few primetime TV outlets to promote their work or to spill their guts. Nowadays, there are too many outlets & Larry is swimming with flashier sharks that are willing to do anything to outshine the celebrities they are interviewing. Some will say Larry is too old. He isn’t: he has gravitas and that’s different. TV’s best journalists in the United States remain 60 Minutes’ octogenarians, in my opinion. The problem is that Larry is not believable when he interviews a Lady Gaga and asks questions he got from Twitter. He needs to interview his contemporaries, heads of states and unsung heroes. That is his forte. If his producers don’t understand that then he needs to leave CNN, in style, before they show him the door. Larry King has helped shape modern television and in a time when we side-swap all that is not new, we need to not forget that. Sunday night, CNN will air a Larry King Live 25th anniversary special with some of the show’s best moments. Must see TV, without a doubt.

My favourite interviews were always those with heads of states but this one with Johnny Cash in 2002 was quite telling.


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