By: Nathan Brandwein
As CNN host Larry King announced recently that he would be hanging up his suspenders before the end of this year after 25 years on the air, the only person frowning would be Larry himself. Not only has his ratings shown a dramatic drop in numbers over the course of last year, but King has collectively lost the heart and soul which was once the essential foundation of the entire network.
With all fairness to Larry, he will certainly not be missed by many; most likely due to his flustered persona and incoherent, babbling detours he imposes on all of his interviewees, as well as the audience. One would think that through all his past experiences interviewing almost every political figure and celebrity out there, he still confused George Harrison with Ringo Starr and has even had a person walk off his show in the middle of an interview! Excuse me for sounding so naive, but keeping in mind that he has interviewed thousands of guests over the course of his career, why is it that the majority of his interviews always seem to go wrong? For instance, remember the time Jerry Seinfeld mocked him in front of his face for not knowing Seinfeld was still a hit show even after it stopped airing? That’s the kind of incoherency viewers try to avoid the most.
Additionally, Syracuse University professor Robert Thompson says watching Larry King is like “watching Paula Abdul when she was still a judge on American Idol.”
King’s lack of knowledge in guests is not the only problem with his (not so newsy) show, but also his awkward pauses we, as viewers, have to sit and endure as we clinch our eyes and change the channel to Fox’s most politically opinionated program, The O’Reilly Factor. If only King listened to the guests instead of lecturing them about some irrelevant nonsense, then maybe, just maybe, he could attempt to make a sagacious conversation with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who has a news show that succeeds Larry’s.
And King is not the only crotchety on television that makes viewers want to run towards the bomb shelter. CBS 60 Minutes’ Andy Rooney (91 year old writer who has a small segment at the end of the program), also ranks up there with Larry King as one of the oldest, most cantankerous news personalities whom should have already retired just as High Definition Televisions became popular (talk about using a whole lot of makeup!). Besides, younger, keener anchors usually appeal towards vast audiences, which would drive network ratings up and not only keep the audience awake, but also the anchor! Former CNN anchor Lou Dobbs is a fine example of what I mean. Sliding ratings occurred to the belligerent Dobbs, as he allegedly criticized President Obama’s citizenship, calling him an illegal alien. As a result, he became an instant fixture in homes across North America for his unusual left-winged politics and was soon fired by the unbiased network just as Dobbs haters began chucking rocks at his house. If King suddenly decides not to retire, don’t be surprised to also see rocks lodged through his windows. And through all the divorces he’s been through, I would imagine that his windows have already been damaged quite significantly.
And his pending successor, British journalist and judge of America’s Got Talent Piers Morgan, definitely has what it takes to fill Larry’s shoes – and trust me; his shoes are quite hollow. So far, Mr. Morgan has been doing a great job meeting Larry’s requirements. He already married twice, divorced his first wife, has interviewed balloon boy Falcon Heene, and he’s only 45 years old!
Furthermore, it is note mentioning that just like Sarah Palin, late night talk shows such as David Letterman and Jay Leno are thriving on Larry’s mishaps. At least he is of use to someone on television. And as for Larry himself, let’s just hope he doesn’t forget to stay at home following his final taping.
According to CNN, British TV host Piers Morgan will take over Larry King’s show beginning in January.