Called “the most remarkable talk-show host ever on TV” by TV Guide, Larry King is behind the mic again – this time online – as host of Larry King Now for Hulu and Ora.tv. The cable news pioneer sets up shop at the historic Egyptian Theatre during Social Media Week. He sits down with actor, comedian, rapper, and host of America’s Got Talent, Nick Cannon.
You left your daily show in 2010, why did you decide to take your show online?
“I thought I had retired and thought I would just do comedy shows and speaking engagements around the country and spend time with my kids. But the night Osama bin Laden was killed, I really wanted to be back on the air. Carlos Slim is a friend of mine and he proposed we do something together, something different. I talked it over with my wife and we all came up with Ora.tv. Online is the new tomorrow. It’s what’s happening. You can’t escape it.”
You interviewed more than 50,000 newsmakers hosting Larry King Live Is there a most “memorable” interview?
“I have been fortunate enough to interview so many major figures, world leaders, presidents, celebrities, newsmakers over the past 50 years. There are just too many interviews to pick a `most’ memorable. It’s impossible for me to say!”
How is social media impacting the way you tell stories?
“You know, I still tell stories the same way. I’m still an interviewer. I still talk to people. The only thing that has changed is the technology. I can still ask questions, the answers are just communicated in a new way. But it still is, and always will be, `who, what, where, when, why.’”
You started the Larry King Cardiac Foundation in 1987, what do you want Americans to know about heart disease?
“I want people to know that it is preventable. If you live a healthy life, you can have a healthy life. You can’t change your genes, that’s a given. But after I had a heart attack and heart surgery, I stopped smoking, changed a lot of my habits. We need people to make changes. We also need to make people aware that more women have heart disease than men. My foundation tries to help people who can’t afford the surgeries themselves.”
Have you always worn suspenders?
“I started wearing them after my heart surgery. My ex-wife, Sharon, told me at dinner that I needed a new look after I lost some weight. I had been wearing sweaters, but she suggested suspenders. I put them on one
night, people called to say they liked them. And that’s all I needed to hear. I’ve been wearing them ever since.”