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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

A Toast To Larry King's 50 Years In Broadcasting

Aired May 4, 2007 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
LARRY KING: This is your WILD man on the street interview.

This is Larry King and we're up in the hills of Inueri (ph) at the lovely home of Jackie Gleason.

ANNOUNCER: Live from Ducksieburg's Restaurant (ph) in Washington, D.C.

KING: My name is Larry King and this is the premier edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

Every night at this time...

Now, police radio is saying that Simpson has a gun at his head.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

BILL MAHER, HOST: Larry!

KING: Yes, no Larry.

I'm a little ticked.

MAHER: Whoa! Whoa! Larry...

KING: I come here to do my show and they tell me you're doing the show.

MAHER: I've never seen you like this.

KING: What's the show about?

MAHER: Look, Larry...

KING: I don't get mad much.

MAHER: ... there was no easy way to let you go.

KING: Bill, I'm -- I...

MAHER: It just...

KING: They don't have to let me go, Bill. That's it. I get a good message, Bill. I came in loud and clear.

MAHER: Larry...

KING: All those years I helped you, Bill. What a way to give it to me. What a way to give it to me.

MAHER: You've had 50 years, Larry. Don't be greedy.

(LAUGHTER)

MAHER: Hello.

I'm Bill Maher and you have tuned in on a very special evening here on CNN.

Wolf Blitzer had puppies.

Well, that and we're also here to toast and pay tribute to a man who's celebrating 50 years in broadcasting, Mr. Larry King.

He has covered all the big stories -- the assassination of JFK, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Marie Osmond's battle with depression.

Larry has interviewed all the great statesmen of our times, and also President Bush.

And you know what I love about Larry is he always lets me do jokes like that on his otherwise dignified show.

Larry has always been so supportive and always has such kind and complimentary words for me, which is very encouraging, considering the fact that Larry is effusive in his praise for -- well, really anything.

No one has experienced more pleasure in a movie theater with the possible exception of Peewee Herman.

You know how some people say I love my job so much, I'd do it for free?

Well, that's not Larry. He wants the money. But in an age when journalism is too often about the reporter and not about the story, Larry has -- Larry King has been what a reporter should be -- you, if you could be there asking the questions.

With Larry, it's always been about the guests. Larry is a minimalist genius, the same way in the art world -- well, I don't really know anything about the art world. But I'm sure there's somebody in the art world who's a minimalist just like him, and they compare that guy to Larry King, because Larry never wastes your time.

In making it about us, he became a star among stars, alone in his own category of hip and reliable. You know you're an icon when you can single-handedly bring an item of clothing back. And Larry King made suspenders hip. Which is why you see them -- well, actually, you don't see them anywhere -- except on Larry. Larry wears them.

What can I say? He's one of a kind.

So please welcome someone who, in the world of broadcasting, is a certain hall of famer.

Larry King.

Larry, where are you?

KING: Oh my gosh.

Whoa.

MAHER: Listen to the applause, Larry.

KING: Oh, look at this set. This is all -- this is all a shock to me.

MAHER: We have a wonderful show.

You know nothing about what's going on here.

KING: Absolutely nothing.

MAHER: All right.

KING: I came here today and they told me just come...

MAHER: I know.

KING: ... and be ready.

MAHER: But before I bring everybody out and we do all this, what does it feel like? How do you feel?

KING: I -- I pinch myself a lot and I still can't believe, Bill, that it's 50 years. I -- I can't believe it, because I remember my first day like yesterday, May 1st, 1957, on a little radio station in Miami Beach. And who'd ever thunk it?

I get -- I can't.

MAHER: And you look like you're ready for another 50.

KING: Yes.

MAHER: I mean...

KING: Your lips to god.

MAHER: ... nothing has changed.

OK, your friends here at CNN have put together a little something in the film department, so take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The word is about, there's something evolving.

KING: O.J. Simpson is in that car.

Do you forgive your abductors?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was the fact that he was president part of that chemistry?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's difficult for me to say why me when I knew I was going to live.

ROSS PEROT: You can let me finish.

AL GORE: What...

PEROT: This is not "CROSSFIRE," is it, Larry?

KING: No.

Two unsuccessful movies in a row.

What happens if this one tanks?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hate Larry King.

KING: This guy is on a roll. He's gorgeous. He has a face that looks like it was carved by angels.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "CRAZY PEOPLE")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't believe that jerk.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like Larry King.

KING: That sounded like me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was you, Larry.

Men are pigs. They're frightened, repulsive little rodents.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) habitual (UNINTELLIGIBLE) choke him to death. Those stupid suspenders.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And those glasses.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who wears frames that big anymore?

He looks like a bug.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ah!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Grrrr. KING: Who knew it would come to this?

(END VIDEO TAPE)

KING: That's me.

MAHER: That's you, yes.

KING: I did that.

MAHER: And what I was saying in the beginning about a minimalist...

KING: Oh...

MAHER: That's you, Larry. Five words, don't waste people's time.

KING: If there is a secret, Bill, it's short questions. If I -- if I ask a question that takes over two sentences, I'm not doing my job.

MAHER: You need to teach a school of journalism.

All right, turnabout is fair play. You hosted her roast in Atlanta. She's a dear friend and a multiple Oscar and Golden Globe winner and a beauty for the ages, Jane Fonda.

JANE FONDA: Hey, Larry!

MAHER: Say hello.

FONDA: I thought I'd just stop by and say 50 years?

You've got to be kidding?

KING: Oh.

FONDA: You -- you've -- you've been in this for 50 years?

He doesn't look a day over 50.

(LAUGHTER)

FONDA: No, you've always been a real good friend, Larry. You're one of my favorite people to have as a guest in my ranch.

KING: Wow!

FONDA: For those of you watching from home, you haven't lived until you've seen Larry on a horse. Larry on a horse -- Larry on a horse. It's a little bit like George W. Bush in a flight suit. It's just wrong.

(LAUGHTER)

FONDA: You know why I'm here, Larry.

I'm honoring your talent.

KING: Yes.

FONDA: You're the best at what you do. Being interviewed by him is like sitting in a living room with a friend, a friend who's smart, who's kind, a little bit flirtatious, huh?

I love you, Larry. You're the best. And like you say, 40,000 interviews and you're just getting started. So congratulations.

(JANE FONDA HUGS LARRY KING)

MAHER: Hey, look at this!

FONDA: Hey!

Oh, man.

KING: Boy, I tell you...

FONDA: Back at you.

KING: I tell you...

MAHER: Hi, Jane.

Bill.

FONDA: Yes.

MAHER: I don't blame you.

It's Larry's night.

KING: If she had looks, she'd have made it big in this business.

MAHER: I -- this is like open mike night for superstar good looking people, I have a feeling.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Oh, Jane, thank you.

MAHER: Anything you want to...

KING: I'm really (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

FONDA: I'm so happy to see you.

MAHER: ... Jane Fonda?

Did you know she -- you didn't know anybody was coming here tonight. So this is a complete surprise.

KING: I didn't know who was coming.

MAHER: And you didn't know...

FONDA: Let me just sit here.

MAHER: And you didn't know that she'd be dressed as the new Bond girl.

KING: Yes...

FONDA: I did this all for him.

MAHER: And she could pull it off, couldn't she?

KING: She...

MAHER: She really could.

KING: She -- she...

MAHER: All right, we have got more guests and great surprises when we return, so stay where you are.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Larry, look, congratulations. Fifty years in journalism, most of it TV. I'm not sure all of it was.

But, anyway, you're a good man. Barbara and I love you and think the world of you. You've always been extremely fair to me and to my family. And I just want to wish you all the best in the next 50. I don't believe you can make 50 more, but hang in there, kid, and do your best. You're a good man.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUGH HEFNER: You and I go back a lot of years, Larry. You first interviewed me in Miami half a century ago. We've come a long way, baby.

On this occasion, my girls and I would like to congratulate you on 50 years of broadcasting.

HEFNER AND GIRLS: Happy anniversary, Larry.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MAHER: And we are back toasting Mr. Larry King.

Larry, I have just received word that we've got a surprise guest coming in live via satellite. He's the guy who's got the only other job on Earth you would want. Let's please go to San Francisco for one of your favorite baseball players -- and, by the way, mine. I think this guy is amazing.

Barry Bonds.

How you doing, Barry?

BARRY BONDS: I'm doing great.

Hey, Larry, how you doing?

KING: Barry, Barry, Barry.

BONDS: I want to congratulate you, Larry, on 50 years of broadcasting, my friend. It's wonderful. It's a great accomplishment and you've always been a good friend. And I look forward to getting back home so we can do breakfast at 9:00 in the morning.

KING: Nate 'n Al's, you and me, baby.

BONDS: You and me. Yes, and I guess you're going to be here on Saturday, too, so hopefully I get to see you and your lovely wife Shawn here on Saturday (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

KING: We'll be there down on the field with the two little boys.

BONDS: All right.

Well, congratulations, Larry.

You're a great friend and a great person and I love you to death.

KING: Thank you, Barry.

Go get 'em.

MAHER: Yes, go hit one tonight, Barry.

Remember what he said once when they were giving him some guff?

He said can't I just be good?

KING: (LAUGHTER).

Yes.

MAHER: He's a little more than good, right?

KING: Yes, you're not kidding.

MAHER: Probably one of the...

FONDA: He has a good life (ph).

MAHER: Yes.

FONDA: Yes.

MAHER: Right, probably the best ever.

All right, we have a doctor standing by. He is a Texan The Dixie Chicks are not ashamed of.

Dr. Phil.

Look at this, Larry, Dr. Phil has come by to open (UNINTELLIGIBLE) you.

DR. PHIL MCGRAW: Hi, Larry.

KING: My man!

MCGRAW: What do you know?

Congratulations.

(CROSSTALK)

MCGRAW: Fifty years, right?

KING: You bet you.

MCGRAW: Now, I actually hosted your 70th birthday party. And I told your staff then I get worried about surprising you at your age.

(LAUGHTER)

MCGRAW: I mean you could just fall out, right?

KING: (LAUGHTER).

MCGRAW: I've also suggested that now, behind LARRY KING LIVE, they start putting a question mark.

(LAUGHTER)

MCGRAW: That way everybody can tune in every night and see if he actually made it.

(LAUGHTER)

MCGRAW: No, I'm just kidding you.

Can you believe it's been 50 years?

KING: May 1st, 1957 I started at a little radio station in Miami Beach and I couldn't believe it. I thought I'd be a disk jockey or a sportscaster.

MCGRAW: But, you know...

KING: I had no idea any of this would happen. MCGRAW: ... you always say you started in radio like there was a choice. I mean you were there with Marconi for god's sakes. I mean come on.

(LAUGHTER).

MCGRAW: I mean, come on.

KING: Good point.

MCGRAW: Yes, a good point, right?

But no kidding. We're kidding you. You've got a heart of gold and titanium and nylon and whatever else the doctors have put in there.

(LAUGHTER).

KING: Did you write all this for him?

MCGRAW: So...

MAHER: I avoided all this.

MCGRAW: No, no, no. We are a disparate group tonight. You're going to see a lot of people that you don't know. The only thing we have in common is none of us were born when you started.

(LAUGHTER)

MCGRAW: So, right, Jane?

FONDA: Yes.

MCGRAW: I mean seriously, we really are so glad that you do what you do. As Bill said at the top, you do it with class, you do it with integrity and you've been a great friend to me over the years. I really appreciated it. And just congratulations on doing everything that you do so well.

KING: Thank you.

MAHER: Dr. Phil, everybody.

Dr. Phil.

Come on, sit down and join us.

MCGRAW: All right, I'll come sit.

MAHER: And may I be the first to say keep your day job.

(LAUGHTER)

MAHER: All right, this next guest is someone I've been trying to get on my own show for years, but so far he has ignored all my subpoenas.

Please welcome the chief himself, George W. Bush, ladies and gentlemen.

(HUMS "HAIL TO THE CHIEF")

STEVE BRIDGES AS PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you.

Thank you.

Hey, Larry.

MAHER: All right, it's an honor to have you here, sir.

BRIDGES: Well, it is. It's an honor to be here and happy 50th birthday. It's just amazing.

(LAUGHTER)

BRIDGES: I want to tell you something, I like Larry King. I like Larry because he -- because he asks a lot of questions.

(LAUGHTER)

BRIDGES: I'll tell you what, my whole family has been on the Larry King show -- Laura. Laura and I; mom and dad; my sister; my dad's favorite son, Bill Clinton.

(LAUGHTER)

BRIDGES: I -- and I love my family. I do. I've known many of them for a long time.

(LAUGHTER)

BRIDGES: And I'll tell you something, we love Larry, because he always -- he always emphasizes his guests' accomplishments. He talks about things like my Medicare initiative that helps treat every disorder, from eczema and psoriasis to habeas corpus.

(LAUGHTER)

BRIDGES: He's also talked about the fact that by 2010, we will end America's dependency on oil from foreign countries where people wear funny hats.

(LAUGHTER)

BRIDGES: So congratulations to you, Larry.

You've been good to me, you've been good to my family and I thank you for all your support throughout the years.

You're the greatest. God bless you. God bless America.

MAHER: President George Bush. KING: Thank you, Mr. President.

MAHER: Please come over here. That is...

KING: Thanks, Mr. Bush.

BRIDGES: Good to see you.

MAHER: ... an uncanny...

KING: That's nice.

Thank you.

BRIDGES: Yes.

MAHER: Please, sit down.

BRIDGES: Yes.

MAHER: That is an uncanny impersonation of yourself.

BRIDGES: Thank you.

Well, I appreciate it.

MAHER: Is that...

(LAUGHTER)

KING: He's unbelievable.

MAHER: Is that amazing?

FONDA: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

BRIDGES: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

MAHER: I mentioned the Congress. You're working with them, or you're trying to work with them, and Nancy Pelosi?

BRIDGES: Well, first, thanks for having me, Bill.

It's a -- it's an honor to be here.

And you're right. The Democrats have been pretty contentious lately.

(LAUGHTER).

BRIDGES: You know, I look at the Democratic Party and I see people who are just as committed as I am to appearing to get things done. And...

(LAUGHTER)

MAHER: Are you bothered at all by your low approval ratings?

BRIDGES: No. No I'm not bothered. I'm not bothered, at least but -- I'm three points ahead of Congress.

(LAUGHTER)

BRIDGES: I've still got 384 friends on MySpace.

(LAUGHTER).

BRIDGES: That's four more than Dick Cheney.

(LAUGHTER)

MAHER: But you have to be a little nervous about what's going to happen in 2008?

BRIDGES: I'll tell you what, I am willing to accept that Hillary Clinton might become our next president, if -- if she's the right man for the job, then so be it.

MAHER: But she's a woman.

BRIDGES: That's good (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

(LAUGHTER)

MAHER: All right, enough politics.

Do you have anything you want to say to the man we're honoring tonight, Mr. Larry King?

BRIDGES: Well, that's a good point, because you know here -- we're here tonight to calibrate Larry and...

(LAUGHTER)

BRIDGES: And I want to say that I appreciate...

KING: Norm Crosby, right?

BRIDGES: I appreciate your hard work and I hope to be on the show again soon to talk about my memoirs.

MAHER: Memoirs?

You have memoirs?

I'm going to look forward to that.

BRIDGES: Well, we don't have -- we're working on them. We don't have a title or anything like that. I can assure you this much, it's going to be better than -- than Woodward's book, "State of Denial."

(LAUGHTER)

BRIDGES: Denial is not a state.

(LAUGHTER)

BRIDGES: No, it's a river in Africa.

(LAUGHTER)

MAHER: Oh, I see.

All right.

BRIDGES: Thank you.

MAHER: President Charles and George...

BRIDGES: Thank you.

(INAUDIBLE).

MAHER: ... George Bush.

Well, thanks for joining us, Mr. President.

We have more surprises ahead, so please, stay tuned.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Who is this for?

DAVID SPADE: Lookout Mountain, you're on the air.

Just kidding, Larry.

David Spade taking over your job.

DON RICKLES: Larry, I love you dearly, but I'm not gay and I don't want you around me, OK?

GOLDBERG: Who is it?

Who am I doing this for?

CHRIS ROCK: Here's to you, Larry. May you have seven more wives and no more heart attacks.

GOLDBERG: I mean he didn't roast me. He didn't call me to tell me happy anniversary or happy 50th birthday or nothing. You know, it wasn't like we was close, you know?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROSEANNE BARR: I just want to say congratulations for 50 years in show business. Larry, that is fantastic. Congratulations.

ASHTON KUTCHER: What am I supposed to say?

Happy 50th anniversary.

RYAN SEACREST: What do you want him to say?

Happy 50th?

KUTCHER: All right, fine, sir.

Hey, Larry.

Am we ready?

Am I going here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Larry...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Happy 50th.

SEACREST: Happy 50th.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Larry, happy 50th.

Congratulations on 50 great years of being in front of these -- these pretty lights.

GOLDBERG: Happy roast thing.

Is that good?

Look, I've got gas. I've got to go, man.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MAHER: All right, welcome back.

We're celebrating 50 years in broadcasting with Mr. Larry King.

He, of course, was a child star.

KING: (LAUGHTER).

MAHER: And now, Larry, here is a woman who is much like Halliburton. She's bold, she's dynamic and she's serviced hundreds of thousands of U.S. soldiers.

(LAUGHTER)

MAHER: Please welcome the very funny Kathy Griffin.

KING: Hey, Kathy?

KATHY GRIFFIN: Larry!

KING: Hey!

Hello.

GRIFFIN: Kathy Griffin.

Lar -- Kathy Griffin.

Yes?

See, don't even act like you know who I am, all right?

Every time I'm on the show I walk in five minutes before show time to say hi. He looks at the makeup girl -- who is she?

Get her out of here.

(LAUGHTER)

GRIFFIN: Just once I'd like to be on the show and not be called Kathie Lee Gifford.

(LAUGHTER)

GRIFFIN: Now, the commercial breaks, I'm going to be honest. They're a little scary, all right?

Larry has those fits where he just yells at everyone. He fires the staff, right here.

I've had it with the suits! The suits put too many clips on the show! Enough with the suits!

Larry, there's no one here in a suit. There's a lesbian in cargo pants with an earpiece.

(LAUGHTER)

GRIFFIN: Maybe two camera guys nodding off.

(LAUGHTER)

GRIFFIN: If you're getting so upset all the time, maybe you should call your good friend Liza and get some of her nervous pills.

(LAUGHTER)

GRIFFIN: Now, you know all the callers we hear about?

There's no callers, all right?

It's one guy in the next room in sweatpants who does voices.

(LAUGHTER)

GRIFFIN: And let's talk about the stories you're covering, all right? Even your heart isn't in the Anna Nicole story anymore. I know it. You can't even get the names right. I'm watching last week and I hear you say, "Larry K. Stern wants the baby. And so does Howard K. Birkhead.

Who is going to take care of little Abby Lou?"

(LAUGHTER)

GRIFFIN: And what is this set, Larry?

Honestly, it looks like a light bright board, all right?

My 4-year-old cousin has this light bright board, too.

Where is his show?

(LAUGHTER)

GRIFFIN: Then, I don't know, maybe you should spruce things up, get a band, maybe, you know, for when Marie Osmond comes on and drones on and on about her doll collection.

(LAUGHTER)

GRIFFIN: Again. You know, when Marie is going -- "good job, Marie, two, three, four."

(LAUGHTER)

GRIFFIN: And, finally, who fills in for you when you're not available?

Ryan Seacrest?

Seacrest fills in for you when you're not available?

I think I speak for all of America when I say for god's sake, Larry, be available.

(LAUGHTER)

GRIFFIN: And, seriously, I just want to thank you for having me on. It's such an honor. You're an icon. You know most of the other shows won't have me. But I really, really appreciate it. You're the best.

Thank you so much.

KING: Thanks, Kathy.

MAHER: Kathy Griffin.

Hey.

GRIFFIN: Ewww! MAHER: That was so funny.

GRIFFIN: Thanks, Larry.

(KISSES LARRY KING)

GRIFFIN: Muhhh!

MAHER: And you hit upon a very good point. I have seen Larry interview some people and I thought that's beneath his dignity. But I never saw you lose yours.

GRIFFIN: That's right.

MAHER: Larry, here is a special message from a very big fan of yours.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEC BALDWIN: Larry, like everyone else taking part tonight, I want you to know that I love being interviewed by you.

So I thought I would give your viewers a little glimpse into what goes on inside the mind of a LARRY KING LIVE guest.

KING: Thanks for coming, Alec.

BALDWIN: Thanks for having me.

KING: Always good to see you.

Let's -- we've got so many bases to cover.

A couple of things that are in...

BALDWIN: You know, the weirdest thing about doing an interview with Larry is that there used to be a big difference between the way Larry looked and the way I looked. I mean there was a time that I was young and beautiful. And Larry was never young and beautiful. But now, as the years have gone by, the difference in the way that Larry looks and the way that I look is not that great.

You know, another odd thing about Larry is only Larry King would have me on his show -- and he hasn't had me on since I was married and divorced. So he's talking about my divorce like it was yesterday.

KING: Would you agree, someone said that divorce is worse than death?

BALDWIN: Hey, Larry, news flash -- I got divorced six years ago.

Another thing that also comes to mind that you're thinking when you're on the set is Larry leans on that left hand of his. And people don't realize Larry lost his arm in an accident when he was a child. That's a false arm.

Right now, they're not showing you this off camera, but Larry is asleep right now. And they have a buzzer that they hit him with.

Ready?

And...

(VIDEO OF LARRY KING BEING STARTLED)

BALDWIN: ... they just hit him with the buzzer right there.

Congratulations, Larry, on 50 years of thought provoking broadcasting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MAHER: If you didn't recognize him, you live under a rock. That was Alec Baldwin.

And we have found out in the last few years what a funny gay Alec Baldwin is.

GRIFFIN: Right.

MAHER: I mean...

KING: Hip. Funny.

MAHER: ... it's so rare...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

MAHER: ... when a leading man, a dreamy looking leading man -- but how he kids himself -- is that funny and can make fun of himself like that.

FONDA: Yes.

KING: You're not kidding.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

MAHER: So while I have a minute here, I do want to ask you, of all the shows you've done, did you ever wish you were doing some other kind of show or is this always what you wanted to do?

KING: I think this pretty much fits the bill.

MAHER: Yes?

KING: Yes. I love doing it. I like -- I like making people laugh. I like doing standup. When I speak...

MAHER: You are a very funny guy. And I have seen you...

KING: When I speak at conventions...

MAHER: I was just going to say, when I see you speak, you kill...

KING: Thank you.

MAHER: ... like in comedians' terms kill.

KING: I love it. I'd like to do some Broadway. I'd like...

MAHER: Broadway?

KING: Yes. I'd like to do an evening with Larry King.

GRIFFIN: "Les Mis?"

KING: You know, like an evening...

(LAUGHTER)

GRIFFIN: What show?

I'm just saying...

KING: What are you laughing at?

(LAUGHTER)

GRIFFIN: ... what show?

(LAUGHTER)

KING: No, it is.

GRIFFIN: I see you as a young Javert.

KING: An evening with myself, not a play.

GRIFFIN: Oh, all right.

MAHER: Oh, oh...

GRIFFIN: Oh, I'm sorry.

MAHER: I'm sorry.

We thought you wanted to be in "Cats."

GRIFFIN: In "Two Gentlemen of Verona."

MAHER: Right.

When we come back, we'll be live from Las Vegas, so don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: Hi, Larry. I'd like to congratulate you from afar on 50 years of stellar work in broadcasting. You've come a long way since that first day on the air on May 1, 1957.

KING: This is your WILD man on the street interviewer, where it's been reliably reported that...

RICE: You have always been fair, Larry, and I can speak firsthand to that special knack you have for putting guests at ease.

KING: If Mr. Right comes along?

RICE: It's no wonder that you've been dubbed "the master of the night."

So congratulations, Larry, on 50 years of achievement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN WALSH: Larry, congratulations on 50 incredible years.

On "America's Most Wanted" every week, I say you can make a difference.

Well, let me tell you, you have made an incredible difference in so many people's lives, including mine.

Congratulations for a great 50 years. Fifty more to come.

JUDGE JUDY: What do you say to somebody who has had five decades on television?

My god. You say that that is somebody who is smart, knows how to be intuitive, and has been very, very fortunate, both personally and professionally.

Congratulations to you, Larry, from one grateful gal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN WALSH, HOST, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": Larry, congratulations on 50 incredible years. On "America's Most Wanted" every week, I say you can make a difference. Well, let me tell you, you have made an incredible difference in so many people's lives, including mine. Congratulations for a great 50 years, and 50 more to come.

JUDGE JUDY, TV HOST: What do you say to somebody who has had five decades on television? My God. You say that that is somebody who is smart, knows how to be in intuitive, and has been very, very fortunate, both personally and professionally. Congratulations to you, Larry, from one grateful gal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MAHER: Well, we're back. You know, I'm in Las Vegas a lot, and this lady's show is really all that people are talking about. She is coming to us live from the Ritz-Carlton Lake, Las Vegas. Please welcome Celine Dion.

Celine, how are you doing today?

CELINE DION, SINGER: Hi, everybody.

MAHER: Hello.

DION: How wonderful. Hi, Bill. Hi, Larry. I'm feeling wonderful. Very proud to be part of this show, to be able to wish Larry a happy 50th anniversary. MAHER: Well, we're very happy to you have here. I saw your show recently. I found myself literally crying, emotional throughout the whole thing. I had no idea why. And that doesn't happen to me often. I found it was an amazing and moving show.

DION: Thank you.

MAHER: And do you remember the first time you were on with Larry?

DION: I can never forget that moment. First of all, it was in 1998. It was right after the Oscar, after the song has won the best song. And it was "My Heart Will Go On," obviously. And I was very scared. It was going to be my first appearance on Larry King's show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DION: So right now...

KING: This is your height and thrill?

DION: I can retire.

KING: It's a thrill for us, too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DION: I was very scared. And, Rene, my manager, my husband, was even more nervous than me. And I remember him telling me, Renee was telling me, he said, "Celine, we cannot believe you're going to do Larry King tonight. It's just amazing. If you do Larry King" -- I remember him telling me, eight years before that, he said, because when I started to sing in English, it was about in 1990, and Renee said to me, "One day, if you do Larry King, it means that you have made it or you're going to be known, you're going to be popular, you're going to be a star." And eight years after, in 1998, after the Oscars, I did the Larry King show. I was very nervous. It went very well.

And I have to say an amazing thank you to Larry, because not only I was scared, not only one of the biggest moments in my career and my life, I was very, very impressed the way that Larry did interview me. He knew I was scared. He's so respectful, he's so generous, he's so true, he's so accurate, and he always asks the right questions. He always asks the questions that people want to hear. And...

MAHER: Sounds like you lost your virginity to him.

DION: We all love him, and that's why he's been there for 50 years.

KING: Celine, I want to tell you, I am so honored to know you as a friend and as a performer and as a person who's been on this show. And I couldn't be more pleased that you're with me for this 50th anniversary.

MAHER: And let me ask -- I know I shouldn't do this, because I know you take great measures to keep your voice in form for your own show -- I know there are times you don't even talk because you have to keep your vocal chords in pristine form -- but would you do a little something, because it's Larry's 50th?

DION: Absolutely, I would be more than honored to. Well, the song that comes to me right now would be "Because You Loved Me," so -- for all the times you stood by me, for all the truth that you made me see, for all of the joy you brought to my life, for all the wrong that you made right, for every dream you made come true, for all of the love I found in you, I'll be -- I love you, Larry -- because I love you.

I could sing forever. I could sing for all of the songs. And, you know, I love you so much, Larry. Thank you so much for everything that you've done for me.

KING: Thank you, Celine. Same become to you.

DION: Say hi to Shawn and Cannon and Chance. And it's wonderful to know you.

KING: Thanks.

MAHER: Thank you. Celine Dion...

DION: And lots of health to you.

KING: Thanks a lot.

MAHER: I guess she didn't have to save her voice tonight.

MCGRAW: That's just not fair for somebody just to be able to just go into song and it just sound like concert hall. MAHER: And I'm not kidding. I saw her show -- have you seen that show, with the people up in the sky, moving pianos? I swear to God, tears are coming down your face, and you have no idea why you're so emotional. She's very powerful.

All right, we've got a message right now from -- to say this guy is an icon is an understatement. He needs no introduction, so I'm just going to say, here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL COSBY, COMEDIAN: Many, many years have passed since Larry and I have sat across from each other. And I remember how -- when he used to do his radio program, he was the rudest person to the people who called in, because a person would call in, and they would say, "I would like to say" -- "Never mind," and he would hit and get the person. I'd say, "Wait a minute, Larry, you never heard what the" -- "oh, go ahead." So he ignored me. He ignored the person who called in. And so, from all of this, he became famous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good delivery.

MAHER: Yes, that, of course, was Famu. What's Famu?

MCGRAW: He needs no introduction.

MAHER: It's Famu. You see him down at SeaWorld. Bill Cosby, of course.

All right, more laughs, more ladies, and more Larry when we return.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DON RICKLES, COMEDIAN: Larry, I know you're lonesome, and I never liked you. Never.

SARAH FERGUSON, DUCHESS OF YORK: Hi, Larry. I was just doing my hair, but you know that then, don't you? You've done an extraordinary, extraordinary -- how many years? Like five years on the job. And, you know, I taught you well, basically. I taught you well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations Larry.

SHARON STONE, ACTRESS: Happy anniversary, baby.

EMILIO ESTEVEZ, ACTOR: Happy anniversary, Larry. Thank you for all that you do.

CHRISTIAN SLATER, ACTOR: Way to go on 50 years.

RICKLES: God bless, have 50 more years. I doubt it. Maybe, the way you look, another hour, tops. (END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MAHER: All right, welcome back to our toasting of Larry King. Larry, a dear friend of yours wanted to say hello. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTHA STEWART, TELEVISION HOST: Hi, Larry, it's me, Martha. And I want to congratulate you on 50 fabulous years of broadcasting. In honor of your 50th anniversary, I'd like to share a couple of our special moments together, if you don't mind. This is from my first appearance on your show, on December 14 in 1989.

KING: Can I eat this cookie?

STEWART: Yes.

KING: This icing is all right, too?

STEWART: Yes.

KING: Wow. Made my night!

STEWART: I think you asked me out after that program, and we went to Elio's to dinner. Do you remember? And was it because you were interested in me or those cookies? You really seemed to like them.

And here we are, almost 17 years later, to the day, during my most recent appearance on your show last December.

STEWART: I brought you a president.

KING: A hat.

STEWART: Yes, well, it's a hat, of sorts. This is for you so that you can have a merry Christmas with your boys. You can play Santa Claus.

KING: Oh, I love this.

STEWART: Oh, good and it fits. Perfect. Oh, you look great, Larry.

KING: Am I Santa?

STEWART: You are Santa. You're Santa to lots of us.

Well, don't we look exactly the same, Larry? Here's to five decades of being entertained by the incomparable Larry King. And, Larry, if you ever get a night off, come by my home with your wife, and I'll give you a truly memorable roast, a delicious crown roast with wild rice dressing. And having reviewed that 1989 broadcast, I promise to serve gingerbread cooking with royal icing for dessert. Good luck.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MAHER: Hey, I never knew you went out with Martha Stewart.

KING: We did. We had one date.

MAHER: How did it go?

KING: It was nice.

MAHER: Couldn't have been that nice. It was one date.

KING: Well, because I was really starting to forge head, and she was driven. And it was like -- it wouldn't have worked, because it was two ambitions colliding. It was like...

MAHER: That sounded hot. Forging ahead and driven? I started to get excited.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You got her cookies and set her up?

MAHER: He gets all the hotties, this Larry. Well, this woman has appeared on your show for over two decades, and she's a true television icon. Please put your thighs together for a friend of all of ours, Suzanne Somers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUZANNE SOMERS, ACTRESS: Good evening, America. This is Suzanne Somers from LARRY KING LIVE with a shocking report. I'm standing here in what appears to be a broom closet, and there's this massive selection of shirts and ties. But if you look really close, there are about 200 pairs of suspenders.

Yes, Larry King, the most influential talk show host, changes in a broom closet every night. The most important talk show host in all of the world, and he changes in a broom closet every single night. I mean, you couldn't even put Paula Zahn's shoe collection in there. Anyway, CNN, come on. You got a King. You've got to give a throne.

I remember, I started doing Larry's show about 20 years ago, when we met in Washington, D.C. And I've talked to a lot of women about this, but I don't know, I find him strangely sexy. Well, think about it. I mean, he's successful. He's a great listener, a great listener. And he's got, you know, that voice!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MAHER: There she is!

SOMERS: Strangely sexy. I like you. You know...

KING: Perfect timing.

SOMERS: Yes, well, that's my thing. My thing. But I was surprised that you change in a broom closet. It's not a joke. It's not a joke at all.

But I like you. And everybody knows that I like you. They can tell that I like you when I'm on your show, and I love doing your show, and it's a privilege. It's always been a privilege for me to do your show.

And I was thinking about all of the questions you've asked me over the years. And Celine Dion just said that you always asked the right question. And when I was going through my head of, what is my favorite question that Larry King ever asked me? It was this: "What does your husband think of your breasts?"

Congratulations, Larry. Do you remember that?

(LAUGHTER)

Do you remember saying that?

KING: Next to the president.

SOMERS: Next to the president. It's my luck.

MAHER: She's rocking the cleavage for you, Larry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could we get a shot of this right here, please?

SOMERS: Oh, god. Oh, god.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the river is flying.

MAHER: All right, when you hear the phrase fake news, what do you think of? Well, FOX, of course. But also this guy. He is the brilliant host of "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central, Jon Stewart.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW": Hey, this is Jon Stewart. From everybody here at "The Daily Show," Larry, we're all wishing you a speedy recovery. Get well soon, my friend. We -- sorry? Fifty years in show business? No, he's sick. No, he's dying. He has no blood flow to the brain. They fixed that? What about the -- oh, they fixed that? What about the flesh-eating -- doesn't seem to bother him? Well, happy 50 years in show business!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MAHER: All right, next up, a big musical tribute from someone almost as cool as Larry, when's this toast to Larry King continues.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JACK HANNA, ZOO DIRECTOR: Larry, happy 50th anniversary. I don't know what all we've done in the last 15 years, but I'll guarantee you, it's been the greatest 15 years of my life, and may you have 50 more, because I still want to come back with all my animals. There's only about 5 billion animals on the Earth, so we have about another 100 years to work together.

BETH CHAPMAN, HUSBAND OF DOG CHAPMAN: Congratulations, Larry, on your 50th year.

DOG CHAPMAN, TV SHOW HOST: Congratulations, Larry King. You are the king, 50 years of being the king. Aloha from Beth and Dog. Congratulations, sir.

EMMITT SMITH, FOOTBALL PLAYER: Larry, this is Emmitt Smith. I want to thank you for having me on your show, and I also want to wish you a happy 50th anniversary.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MAHER: Welcome back. This next message is from a guy who's been called everything from the inventor of the Internet to Ozone Man to Mr. Vice President. He's the best friend this planet has, and he should have been president, Al Gore.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Good evening, Larry. Al Gore here, and I'd like to congratulate you on your big night, and thank you for being such a great friend to Tipper and me all these years.

Larry, do you realize that, when I appeared on your show in 1993 and debated NAFTA with Ross Perot...

ROSS PEROT, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You guys never doing anything but propaganda.

GORE: Isn't it your business, also?

PEROT: Would you even the truth if you saw it?

GORE: Well, can we talk about NAFTA?

PEROT: I don't interrupt. May I finish?

KING: But he did -- he brought up a specific...

PEROT: Could I finish?

GORE: Can I say something about this?

PEROT: I didn't interrupt you. I don't interrupt him, and if I could finish...

GORE: I mean, humor me, if you would...

PEROT: No, I won't. I don't think I can.

GORE: That is still the highest-rated program in the history of CNN, 16.3 million viewers. Think about it. That was for a NAFTA debate. Just imagine the kind of ratings you might get if you let me give my brand-new, two-hour slide show on your program. We can blow that record wide open!

Seriously, thank you, because, night after night, you bring so much to the show and so much to the people who watch your program, all across this country and all across the world. I've heard it said that you have enough energy to power a major city. And it's got to be renewable energy, because you're an American institution, Larry. Here is to the next 50 years. Congratulations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MAHER: Boy, Al Gore may have had his flaws, but that Ross Perot was a huge -- am I right? That sort of brings it all back to us.

You know, Larry, in our business, the great ones stick around for a long, long time. You did it, and so has this guy. From our studio in New York, please welcome Jon Bon Jovi!

JON BON JOVI, MUSICIAN (singing): I dug up this old photograph. Look at all that hair we had. It's bittersweet to hear you laugh. Your phone is ringing, I don't want to ask. If you go now, I'll understand. If you stay, hey, I've got a plan.

You want to make a memory. You want to steal a piece of time. You can sing a melody to me, and I can write a couple lines. You want to make a memory.

If you don't know if you should stay, if you don't say what's on your mind, baby, just breathe. There's nowhere tonight we should be, we should be. You want to make a memory. You want to steal a piece of time. You can sing the melody to me, and I can write a couple lines. You want to make a memory. You want to make a memory.

MAHER: That was something, and Jon Bon Jovi brought in his whole band to sing to you?

KING: I've honored. I'm touched and honored, and I can't...

MAHER: And that is one hot fiddle player he has there.

KING: Oh, I knew you were going to say that.

MAHER: Good. All right, when we will come back, it's time to pop the champagne and have the big toast, when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MAHER: All right, we're back, as promised, if I may make a toast. Here's champagne to our real friends and real pain to our sham friends.

(LAUGHTER)

SOMERS: Congratulations, Larry. MAHER: Can you drink? You know, there was a time when you couldn't drink real liquor on TV. Has that day passed? Let's test it.

SOMERS: Let's test it.

MCGRAW: We'll see.

SOMERS: Oh, god!

MAHER: Well, I guess that's what happens -- oh, my God, it's time for the cake. And what would a party be without a couple of gorgeous babes? Larry, I got as much -- if you don't know Larry King, he eats at Nate 'n Al's everyday, the deli in the valley. Here are your two favorite witnesses who serve it up to hot every morning, Gloria and Arlene. Come on, Gloria and Arlene. Look at that. It's a King cake.

KING: It is cake. It don't look like cake!

MAHER: Now, Larry...

KING: That's a Jewish cake.

MAHER: Do you want it? Take your shot. Down that. Do a cannonball like Bill Murray in "Caddyshack" and then tell us your thoughts on this momentous day that you have reached. Come on, all the way down. Come on.

KING: I couldn't do it all the way down. I want to thank everybody, all the career in one night? He was just sitting in, and he blew a career. What did I do?

Thank you, Bill Maher, and thanks to everyone at CNN associated with this. Thanks to Wendy, and thanks to Carrie, and everybody associated with the crew here in L.A. and in Washington and in New York, and certainly all the people here and the rest of who participated.

It's been a hell of a 50 years. I don't know how much longer I can go, but as long as I feel it, I'm going to keep going.

(APPLAUSE)

SOMERS: Yes!

KING: So thank you all, and may you enjoy as much out of life as I have. May you have as much friends as I have and as much warmth as I have. Count your blessings. You don't get it over again. Thanks. Good night.

MAHER: For the whole country, I want to say, there is no diminution of your skills. So please keep going on and on. Larry King, for all of America, we thank you.

And a thing I've always wanted to say that you've said every time I've been here: Good night, everybody. "ANDERSON COOPER 360" is next.

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