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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Interview with Jon Stewart

Aired February 20, 2008 - 21:00   ET

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


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, he is Oscar's main man. He's the overseer of indecision. He's nobody's monkey but mine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JON STEWART: I will be your monkey.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: And he's host of one of the funniest shows ever.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART, " COURTESY COMEDY CENTRAL)

STEWART: It is no longer a daily show. It is once again "The Daily Show". We're back, baby! Oh, (INAUDIBLE), how I missed you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: He's Jon Stewart and he's next on the LARRY KING LIVE with Larry King.

Jon Stewart is back on LARRY KING LIVE. The Emmy-winning host of "The Daily Show" is host of the 80th annual Academy Awards this Sunday night. He came here right from rehearsal right now down the street.

STEWART: Yes, sir.

KING: How is it going?

STEWART: Not well.

KING: Not well?

STEWART: No. They're -- it's going great. We've got four days, I guess -- three days. Everybody is excited. We're all -- it's a hive of activity.

KING: Could you go on tomorrow night?

STEWART: We're putting up the Oscars, painting them gold.

KING: Could you go on tomorrow night?

STEWART: No, we could not.

(LAUGHTER) STEWART: My guess is we won't be able to go on until about Sunday around 6:00, 6:30.

KING: All right, when you were first did it and you were on this show...

STEWART: Yes?

KING: You had some little nervousness.

STEWART: Yes.

KING: How do you feel now?

STEWART: I feel tremendous. I'm excited by the challenge. I really enjoyed it, because it is -- you're in the epicenter of show business for a night. You are the ringmaster at the show business' biggest night. It's our Super Bowl. It's exciting.

KING: And a lot of pressure?

STEWART: Well, I -- not until you brought it up, actually, no.

KING: Well, think about it, Jon.

STEWART: Well, no, I am now.

KING: Millions around the world...

STEWART: I was actually fine until I came over here. You know, we were working on it and then I saw you.

KING: Millions around the world...

STEWART: The look of concern on your face says...

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: ...it says to me either, you know, the Oscars could be trouble or I have pleurisy. I mean you're looking at me like...

KING: There's so much to discuss, the political races and the like, and the rest of it.

STEWART: There's a lot going on, Larry.

KING: A couple of things about the writers strike.

STEWART: Yes, sir.

KING: How difficult was that for you?

STEWART: Very difficult. I was shocked that it even happened. The fact that it came to a strike -- I think we all thought at some point it was going to be averted because the general core of the dispute seemed so obvious... KING: Yes.

STEWART: ...that it was hard to believe that it was even coming to this. The writers had suggested -- impotent fools -- that they should be paid when things are sold over the Internet that are also sold over TV. And I just thought well, that seems obvious. I mean I was just stunned that it was even a dispute, I guess.

It's sort of like, imagine if you went to McDonald's. And then the guys at McDonald's said we're going to pay our purveyors whenever you order a meal in our restaurant. But if you order out of the drive- through, yes, you're not getting any money tonight.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: Let's just say, you know, we don't know about the drive- through. It could turn out to be big, turn out to be, you know...

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: ...even though they clearly have made an investment in the drive-through. They put up the sandwich board. They think it's going to be worth something.

So I was just -- I think I was stunned that the town was brought to a place of such great strife and hardship based on something that seems so incredibly obvious.

KING: What was it like doing your own material?

Oh, I mean you've done your own material.

STEWART: Yes. It's -- well, it was -- you had to change the mechanics of the entire show. I mean, the Writers Guild is in a difficult position because the constituency that they have is very varied. You know, this is a group that has to -- they're looking to make a deal for film writers, for TV drama, for TV sitcom, for late night guys, for soap guys.

KING: Varied.

STEWART: And all those shows are put together differently and the writers that are on those shows play different roles within those organizations. So it was -- I think it was a difficult situation for them to be put in, in terms of wrangling and getting a deal that would work for everybody and also for the shows that were affected.

KING: Five weeks you did without scripts.

STEWART: That's right.

KING: What a welcome though, huh, when they came back?

STEWART: You, you're probably thinking to yourself, well, I've doing that for 30 years, 40 years.

KING: Never had...

STEWART: And, by the way, if I may?

KING: Yes.

STEWART: It shows.

KING: What did you say?

STEWART: Nothing.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: No. But you've doing it, you know, you're flying -- I don't want to say blind -- but you're flying -- all I'm saying is you're flying.

KING: Say it. Go ahead, say it.

STEWART: No, but you're going without a script for 40, 50, maybe even 80 -- how many have you done this?

KING: Fifty.

STEWART: Fifty years and you haven't used a script yet. I don't know...

KING: Just to break and the open has a script.

STEWART: People don't realize this, but when you're looking into the camera here, there's no script. It's just your picture.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: They just -- you just like to look up and go look at me.

KING: How do you like our new gig -- our new digs?

STEWART: Yes, it's very different than the old studio. I definitely...

KING: No. No. The public doesn't see it. It looks the same.

STEWART: No.

KING: But you're inside the control room. Did you see how (INAUDIBLE)...

STEWART: Oh.

KING: The first floor...

STEWART: I was shocked. I couldn't wait until we went to warp speed and took the whole building to Pluto.

KING: It's nicer than Comedy Central. STEWART: You know, I thought that was actually an unnecessary swipe, quite frankly.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: I thought were having a lovely conversation. You and I were sharing intimate thoughts about a town torn apart by strife. And then for a guy to take a swing like that.

KING: By the way...

STEWART: (INAUDIBLE).

KING: ...it was mentioned the other day by someone.

STEWART: I can see it by the Light Brite (ph) thing. They replaced some of the bulbs. A really nice job.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: If Letterman leaves...

STEWART: Right?

KING: Would you take that gig?

STEWART: First of all, we haven't called it a gig since, actually, '54.

KING: I'm bringing it back.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: Larry, I don't know. I'm just getting back to doing my show. I've got the Oscars on Sunday. You know, I'm -- I'm really kind of reinvigorated...

KING: But you're not saying -- you wouldn't say no?

STEWART: Would I say no right now?

KING: Well, he's not leaving right now.

STEWART: Right.

KING: But when the contract ends, if David were to retire...

STEWART: Right.

KING: Do they still say retire?

STEWART: All you want is news to happen, isn't it?

Is that what it is with you?

You just want the (INAUDIBLE)... KING: I just want (INAUDIBLE) I would take that job. Yes.

STEWART: I cannot say that. It would be incredibly presumptuous of me to even suggest that it would be offered and -- or whether or not I would do it. And I can't even...

KING: So you won't even think...

STEWART: I can't think -- I don't even entertain...

KING: No hypothetical?

STEWART: No hypotheticals. I am -- like treat me like a member of the administration -- ask me whatever you want...

KING: And don't answer.

STEWART: ...and just assume that you will get nothing in return and somehow it will all be blamed on you.

KING: All right.

I'm going to take a break and when we come back, we're going to get into actual issues.

STEWART: Can we talk more about the new studio?

It's really something.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Last Wednesday, "The Daily Show" had its first scripted program.

Let's take a look at what happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART, " COURTESY COMEDY CENTRAL)

STEWART: Greetings. I bid you the fondest of welcomes and have prepared for your pleasure an evening of levity and mirth. Tonight's journey, whilst admittedly brief, will yet encompass that most elusive of human foibles -- what the (OBSCENE WORD OMITTED) is this?

What am I -- wait a minute. Words in the prompter, script on my desk, vending machine upstairs out of funyons.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: The writers are back!

(APPLAUSE)

STEWART: Whoo!

(END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Jon Stewart.

And a lot of this show will be devoted to you.

But this isn't funny. It's a major story. It's going to break tomorrow morning in "The New York Times". And it deals with the possibility of a relationship between John McCain some years back and a female lobbyist who he apparently traveled with. It was done by a bunch of reporters, include Jim Rutenberg, a very respected reporter for "The New York Times".

And also that apparently favors were done of a kind dealing with favors for a lobbyist.

A statement has just been released from the McCain campaign. I guess we're just in the embryonic stages here, so we're touching on it, because there's a lot more that's going to happen with this.

The statement says: "It's a shame that 'The New York Times' has lowered its standards to engage in a hit and run smear campaign. John McCain has a 24-year record of serving our country with honor and integrity. He's never violated the public trust, never done favors for special interests or lobbyists, and he will not allow a smear campaign to distract from the issues at stake in this election. Americans are sick and tired of gutter politics and there's nothing in this story to suggest that John McCain has ever violated the principles that have guided his career."

Your thoughts?

STEWART: Well, me?

You point to me?

KING: We now turn it to you.

Well, what do you think?

You've had John on. We've had John on. I've known him for years.

STEWART: I think John McCain is someone who I have great respect for. And I think it's just sad that that kind of boilerplate response even has to be drawn up to something. And this is a strange time to be injecting it into the race. I mean I haven't read "The New York Times" story...

KING: It will be in tomorrow morning.

STEWART: But if it's concerning his relationship with a woman, it's -- it's very unfortunate. I'm not suggesting that public figures don't have to be held to certain standards of behavior and things. But this has an awfully tired and dusty feel to it, in terms of the way that political reporting has been going. If this is about lobbying and things like that, certainly that's very much in the public interest. And it's certainly very much -- but I think the general parasitic nature of lobbying to government is pretty out there for everyone to see and there should be no shocking revelation. The appearance of impropriety in terms of lobbying and government is...

KING: What's new?

STEWART: ...is out there in spades. And I think this sounds like a pretty hurtful personal thing.

KING: And both parties deny a romantic relationship, by the way.

STEWART: Right.

KING: Both parties did.

STEWART: Well, I'm glad, then, that he had to answer to something that both he and the woman deny and that that gets injected into the campaign. It's just -- it's a shame and I feel badly for him and I feel badly for his family, because they're lovely people.

KING: One other thing on it. The thing that makes it -- sets it apart is "The New York Times". I mean...

STEWART: And that sets it apart how?

KING: It's not "The Globe."

STEWART: Yes. You know, I think it's all -- there has been a certain blending. You know, "The New York Times" does some pretty amazing reporting and "The New York Times" puts stuff out there that is as sort of spurious at times. You know, Judy Miller's reports in "The New York Times" were about as fictional as James Frye's, you know, "Million Little Pieces."

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: So, you know, I think you -- at this point, unfortunately, you have to judge each piece of material. There are very few organizations left that have a credibility savings account that they can draw on anymore -- except, of course, for CNN, that has the best political team on television.

KING: Do you think we have the best political team on television?

STEWART: No, I was told I have to say, that every seven minutes...

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Good (INAUDIBLE)...

STEWART: ...or Wolf Blitzer would come in here and beard me.

KING: That's right.

You can always be on this program, as long as...

STEWART: Oh, that's very kind.

KING: ...you (INAUDIBLE).

STEWART: No, I just -- that type of thing is upsetting and it's also, you know, I'm assuming they're talking about a relationship from years ago.

KING: Yes.

STEWART: And I'm assuming they're talking about it now and it's -- he's at a thousand delegates. I'm sure Mitt Romney is sitting at home right now going well, that's very nice. I'm glad I dropped out of the race and...

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: Yes.

KING: That is a good point.

Now discussing the race, what do you make of, first, Hillary?

What...

STEWART: Hillary?

KING: What happened?

STEWART: What do you mean what happened?

KING: She was the presumptive winner.

STEWART: It's as though people within the know -- the media anointed her in a manner, but you know what happened?

People started to vote...

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: And that seemed to change the dynamic slightly.

KING: Oh.

STEWART: I just think it's interesting, within the Democratic race -- it's interesting that in the primaries, the Republicans and the Democrats, even in the primaries, function with such different rules.

KING: Yes.

STEWART: The Republicans are mostly winner-take-all states and the Democrats are proportioning and but don't worry about the proportions, you'll get a delegate.

Do you feel -- are you sad?

Oh, you only got 7 percent of the vote?

Have a delegate.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: Feel better. Have a delegate and a trophy saying you're number one.

And, you know, it's just interesting how the Democrats continue to -- and then even within that, they've got this system of well, it's going to be more populist. And you think well, that's a really interesting, straightforward -- nice integrity to it. And then they create this other group of people. It's about 33 percent...

KING: The super.

STEWART: ...that are super-delegates.

What are those, delegates that got bit by a radioactive spider?

Nobody even knows what the hell they are.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: And they're anybody that they choose them to be. And they actually end up ultimately making the decision.

So, once again, they've created a convoluted system, supposedly playing to the, you know, progressive nature of the populace, you know.

KING: Is Comedy Central -- is Don -- is Jon Stewart at Comedy Central going to the conventions?

STEWART: Absolutely.

KING: You and your team of crack reporters?

STEWART: What, are you kidding me?

And my brother -- expense account.

Where are we eating?

Where are we eating?

Come on.

KING: You're going?

STEWART: I'm going to be rocking the conventions in Minnesota and Denver and... KING: That's it. Those two.

STEWART: All right.

KING: Did Hillary go wrong or did Obama go right?

You know, you're a sports fan, I'm a sports fan...

STEWART: Well, why is it...

KING: You never know the analogy.

STEWART: I don't understand this idea of did they go wrong, did they go right.

KING: So far.

STEWART: More people right now appear to be voting for Obama. But now teams of people are going to parse. Here's her problem. Her message to Hispanics has gotten garbled. She was at a rest stop in Texas and you could see on her face, she ate a taco but didn't really devour it. And the Hispanic vote won't have -- but if you look at it from 65-year-old Hispanics and up, they love the fact that she has hair.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: And the other people -- you know, and you're parsing it in a way -- not as many people are voting for her. When, you know, the idea that it is a recipe and you can add -- if she just would add just a little bit more sincerity and with just a dash of humor, that would be it. It's just, right now, she's not -- you know, Obama has the momentum.

KING: In a minute, we'll get Jon Stewart's take on Obama -- this man who has come out of nowhere.

STEWART: He healed my leprosy.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: We'll be right back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART, " COURTESY COMEDY CENTRAL)

STEWART: And I'm curious, is there anybody on the stage that does not agree and believe in evolution?

OK. That's -- that's Mike Huckabee raising his hand.

(APPLAUSE)

STEWART: Mike Huckabee is raising his hand because he doesn't believe in evolution. Well, look, Chuck Norris says he's good people.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: And if it's good enough for Charles, let's say P. Norris, it's good enough for me. Chuck hasn't steered me wrong on my fitness regimen. Before I knew Chuck...

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: Before I knew Chuck, I only had a partial gym in my house.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Jon Stewart. He's back with writers and everything and he's going to host the Academy Awards again this coming Sunday night.

OK, give me your analysis of Barack Obama.

STEWART: My analysis?

KING: Your read.

STEWART: I don't have much of an -- I mean, he's clearly an inspirational figure. I think my favorite part of the Obama candidacy and Hillary candidacy, to the same extent, is the hand-wringing over whether America is ready.

Is America ready for in this?

I don't -- are they ready for a black president?

Do we think they think they might freak out?

Are they worried maybe he'll...

KING: He'll do what?

STEWART: ...let the black people do whatever they want.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: You know, are they ready?

What about a woman president?

And are guys not going to get to be able to drive?

What's going to happen?

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: You know, there's this very strange feeling of, you know, is America -- you know, I could understand them saying is America ready for a moron or is America ready for... (LAUGHTER)

STEWART: But the idea that somehow, you know, are we ready?

Will people flee, as though Godzilla was attacking the cities?

KING: Is Obama, though -- there's no one quite -- I mean I can't ever remember anyone quite like him on the American scene.

STEWART: Really?

You don't remember any other black candidates that almost got the nomination?

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: Wasn't there a -- I believe Jefferson was up against a guy, wasn't he?

KING: Black or white. I mean he is...

STEWART: Well, he's clearly -- it's -- I think so much of what it is, is a moment in time. You can see -- I do think that the country -- a part of the country at least -- has felt, as though they were not heard. And I think the administration readily admits it. You know, you get Cheney on the show sometimes, or Bush, and they'll say like, you know, it's a 51 percent country. That's all you had to do. The strategy has been to basically govern for only your constituency -- just to get things done.

KING: (INAUDIBLE).

STEWART: And this is a guy coming on and saying hey...

KING: (INAUDIBLE).

STEWART: And I actually think McCain is not a guy who -- I think, the biggest difference with these two guys, and Hillary to a lesser extent, I think, is that they are not partisan animals. They almost seem to have a disdain for that purely partisan mentality. And I think that's wonderful. I -- do you remember, in the -- how did they turn the steroid hearings into a partisan affair?

Did you watch it?

KING: Yes, how did that happen?

Republicans were for -- for Roger.

STEWART: Right.

KING: And the Democrats were for (INAUDIBLE)...

STEWART: You had Dan Burton waving his thing.

KING: He went nuts. STEWART: Lies. Lies. They're all lies, sir. You know, and he's treating it like it's, you know, he's Scarlett O'Hara and McNamee.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: You know, they're lies! I don't like this spectacle. He's the guy who used a shotgun on a watermelon to prove that Vince Foster couldn't have killed himself, but he doesn't like spectacle.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: He's a guy who literally would hold up, you know, Clinton's underpants in impeachment hearings, but he chooses to make a stand at the Clemens hearing.

KING: What do you make of the right-wing's argument against McCain?

STEWART: The right-wing's argument against McCain?

KING: Yes. They don't trust him. They don't like him.

STEWART: Who do they trust?

Again, it's the old idea of you have to be lock step. We have to know that you'll do exactly what we say. And I think that -- and I'm sure the left has that same sort of dogma. These are candidates -- I think Obama and McCain mostly -- that are running outside of traditional dogma. And if you're a person that -- you know, the Republicans apparently hate governmental power, except when they're in charge of the government, and then it's like you know what would be great?

The unitary executive.

Don't you think that would be great?

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: You know what would be great?

I'm just throwing this out there. A monarchy.

Am I right?

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: So you have two guys that -- they're just not quite sure if they're going to go party line. I think that's exciting.

KING: Before we go to a break, earlier this month, while the strike was still on, you, Stephen Colbert and Conan O'Brien...

STEWART: Yes.

KING: All of you have been guests on this program -- squared off in a...

STEWART: You had to sneak in a plug in there, Larry, for you?

KING: Well, it's...

STEWART: No, no, no, I understand. I understand.

KING: We're part of the best political team ever.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Squared off in a feud over Mike Huckabee.

Let's take a look at what happened.

STEWART: Let's do it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART, " COURTESY COMEDY CENTRAL)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A couple -- a month or so ago, I took credit for the success of Mike Huckabee. I said it was all due to me. It's a long story, but I said I did it.

Stephen Colbert also took credit for Huckabee's success. We quarreled a little bit and then I thought we had let it go.

Then, Colbert got a friend of his in on the action -- one of his cable cronies.

And I just want to say I've had it. Enough already. Enough.

If I see either one of these guys, I'm going to sick some serious Comedy Central ass, right, everybody?

And that's just what's going to happen.

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is someone owed an ass kicking?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want me to push him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go. Let's go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right out here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yow!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're through. You're through.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: All right, who came up with this?

The truth, who came up with it?

STEWART: I honestly don't remember. Someone who probably -- I think the three of us had spent a lot of time talking on the phone trying to figure out ways to waste time. And I think we're all very proud of being part of what could have been the stupidest eight minutes in television in the history of television.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: That was a funny thing.

STEWART: It was wonderful. And the most fun I had during the entire thing -- you know, so much of the strike was the emotional sturm and drang of trying to balance what was best for your writers and what was best for the rest of your staff and what you thought was your obligation to the Guild and all those things.

And those moments with Conan or Stephen were just moments of pure -- three guys who very much enjoy being silly and get a kick out of each other and just goofing off. And it was the perfect tonic to all that had gone on and very enjoyable.

KING: Conan is going to be a great host of "The Tonight Show."

STEWART: He's going to be great. He's a really talented guy.

KING: Very talented.

STEWART: And his mind works, I think, in a really special way. Stephen, as well. Like it's -- the sad thing will be Conan -- you know, we almost feel like we're all friends now and he's going out to California and there's going to be one of those scenes at the train station where he's like his face pressed up against the back and Stephen and I in our big Easter hats.

KING: Colbert is warped. I mean he's perfectly warped.

STEWART: He has some issues. I'm not going to deny it.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Yes, I mean he...

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: But then...

KING: We don't have to get into it.

STEWART: No, no, no. I understand.

KING: We don't have to discuss it.

STEWART: No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

KING: All right.

STEWART: You've led a life, too, my friend. Don't cast aspersions.

KING: I'm not...

STEWART: What is this?

KING: A clock. We don't need a clock. I've got (INAUDIBLE)...

STEWART: What have you got a date?

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: What do you have a clock here for?

KING: Jerry Seinfeld takes the clock every time he's here.

STEWART: Does he, really?

KING: Yes. And never gives it back.

STEWART: And then you have to get a new one?

KING: Yes. I think it's $6.

STEWART: The clock?

KING: The clock.

STEWART: What do you just go back and you've got a drawer filled with clocks?

(LAUGHTER)

KING: We'll take a break and we'll be right back. We'll include some phone calls if you wish to talk to him.

STEWART: That would be delightful.

KING: Yes.

Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART, " COURTESY COMEDY CENTRAL)

STEWART: Well, let's just -- let's just go but, actually here.

Do we waterboard?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM NOVEMBER 11, 2007)

MICHAEL MUKASEY, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Given that waterboarding is not part of the current program and may never be added to the current program, I don't think it would be appropriate for me to pass definitive judgment on the technique's legality.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: Oh, I guess that's true. If we don't do it and we've never done it, it's not going to be...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM FEBRUARY 5, 2008, COURTESY C-SPAN)

GENERAL MICHAEL HAYDEN, CIA DIRECTOR: Let me make it very clear and to say so officially in front of this committee, that waterboarding has been used on only three detainees.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: Way to (OBSCENE WORD OMITTED) things up, buddy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This country doesn't torture.

STEWART: That's our show for tonight. Thank you very much! We don't torture. Good night, everybody. Hey, I thought it went really well tonight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're back with Jon Stewart, host of the Oscars. We have a little thing we do with special guests. We call it King Cam. We send some people out into the street.

STEWART: King Cam.

KING: King cam like King camera.

STEWART: No, I think I understood the origin.

KING: Ask the questions of the guests. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jon, are you jealous that Stephen Colbert has a painting of him in the Smithsonian and you don't?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you could cast Stephen Colbert in any Oscar-nominated role, what would it be?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Jon, it's Lee-Ann from Canada. I was just wondering who would win in a wrestling fight between you and John Colbert? Steve. Oh, I messed it up. Sorry. I'm nervous. I'm on TV.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: All Colbert questions. Would you cast --

STEWART: My first question is why do you force them to hold up my two dimensional head?

KING: That is new.

STEWART: That's a real wrinkle to King Cam.

KING: That is right.

STEWART: I like the old King Cam. I think King Cam has really changed.

KING: This is --

STEWART: I like the traditional King Cam. You with the King Cam now with the -- do you think that King Cam had gotten stale?

KING: It wasn't my say, but the producers thought it had.

STEWART: We have to spice up King Cam. The people, they're not responding --

KING: You're ducking the questions.

STEWART: What is the question?

KING: I don't remember.

STEWART: I think the question was, who would win in a fight? I can say this without any sort of equivocation, he would destroy me. He is physically stronger than I am. He is younger than I am. I am decrepit. I don't mind saying that. I have -- an exo-skeleton is really the only thing keeping me from imploding.

KING: And I think they asked about what current movie you might cast him in.

STEWART: What current movie would I -- "There Will Be Blood."

KING: Yes.

STEWART: I don't know why.

KING: Did you see that movie?

STEWART: Did I see it? I'm hosting the Oscars, Larry.

KING: You don't have to see any movie, do you?

STEWART: I would think I would have to see the ones nominated for best picture. I don't have to see everything.

KING: No time in the show --

STEWART: I don't have to see "The Hottie or The Nottie."

KING: There is no time in the show that you have to comment about the movie.

STEWART: You don't know what we're planning for this year's show. Remember, we didn't have much time to write it. What if that were the show? I just go, did you guys see "There Will Be Blood?" Don't you think Daniel Day-Lewis is awesome.

KING: Never mind.

STEWART: All right.

KING: E-mail question from Mark in Playa Del Ray (ph), California.

STEWART: Yes.

KING: "Are you under pressure to keep your own political views under wraps during the Oscar show? Is there anything political you would consider off limits?"

STEWART: I don't think so. I mean, I think -- I think what you try and do is -- I mean, I understand that people don't want to be subjected to diatribes or those type of things, but I think what you're hopefully doing is bringing something funny and interesting to it.

KING: In the old days, Hope always brought politics to it. Carson brought politics to it.

STEWART: Oh yes, Carson did that great Reagan joke. You know, he's done some brilliant stuff on the show politically. You know, peoples' ideology always gets in the way of -- you'll never satisfy that. Some people will say, you should have gone after the Republicans. Other people say, Hollywood liberals wearing their hearts on their sleeves. I don't want to hear that stuff.

You can't worry about -- peoples' sense of humor only usually goes as far as their ideology. We get a lot of people at the show, we love your show, until you made a joke about that thing I care about. Now, you're not funny. I think you don't worry about.

KING: One candidate we haven't discussed, who is still in the race, is Mike Huckabee.

STEWART: Love him. So entertaining, and then every now and again, you will hear him give a speech and you go, oh. It's literally like you meet him, he's a charming guy and then you'll be watching him talk to the base and he's like, then Jesus removed the ketchup stain from my shirt. And you are like -- oh. Ugh. You know? he is -- you know, it is always interesting. I imagine when candidates used to talk to their base, they didn't record it, so that people weren't in their base wouldn't see it. So I find it now, you know, when you go to the primaries, people are appalling to the base and they're saying things that you literally go, the rest of the country -- I don't know if you saw Mitt Romney's concession speech to CPAC.

KING: Yes.

STEWART: I've never heard anything like it. This is Mitt Romney, who by the way, is that guy a Pixar character? He looks like an alien pod created him to be a president. Like, somehow it found a handsome guy and stuck an ear wig in to his ear and it ate away his brain and then they just moved it with a remote control on his --

KING: What did he say again?

STEWART: I mean no offense by that.

KING: I know. No.

STEWART: He said that he was getting out of his campaign because in a time of war, he just couldn't tear his party apart, because he felt that that would help Obama or Clinton. And by doing that, he would be helping surrender to terrorism. And you want to sit back there and go, this is being televised. This is being televised to people who are not necessarily in that room, who may think that's kind of offensive. You are an idiot.

It was like when he said, you know, my five sons are not fighting in Iraq. They're fighting to make this country great by riding around in a Winnebago with Mitt on the side of it. No offense to Mitt Romney.

KING: No, I know.

STEWART: What did he say about religion? There is no religion without freedom but there is no freedom without religion.

KING: What does that mean?

STEWART: Who the hell knows? But I'll tell you this; sure as hell isn't true.

KING: We'll be back with Jon Stewart. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONAN O'BRIEN, "THE LATE SHOW": After John McCain swept yesterday's primaries, he purposely stole a line Barack Obama's been using, I'm fired up and ready to go. Yes, yes. When Obama heard this, he stole a line McCain's been using. I'm old and not sure where I am.

STEWART: So, one needs a miracle, the other a fire wall. Mike Huckabee, basically, very close to McCain, needs the second coming of Jesus and Hillary Clinton gets blown out three times in a row and all she needs is an I.T. guy.

JAY LENO, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": This has not been a good week for Hillary. I guess Bill bought her a dozen roses for Valentine's Day. It turns out seven of the rose have committed to Michelle Obama, yes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Larry. This is Bob. I just really want to know, who's Jon Stewart?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who are you and where's the rest of your body?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jon, I was wondering if you would like to join us in a moment of Zen?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jon, do you actually like this representation of yourself on this cardboard figure?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now that the writers are back, how's it feel to be funny again? That's what I wanted to say.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Great. That was a great King Cam.

STEWART: They are truly destroying my craven image that they are holding on a stick. It is as though people won't respect you when they're holding you on a popsicle stick.

KING: Other people to ask about, Jon?

STEWART: Yes.

KING: What happened to Rudy Giuliani?

STEWART: Turned out --

KING: Your former mayor.

STEWART: Yes, well, not mine personally. Turns out people in America were not impressed by the fact that he removed the people from the squeegy people from the streets of New York. I think he got a little 9/11 happy. We used to call it 9/11 Tourette's, where he would drop it into -- you would ask him a question, we'll play the game.

KING: OK, you'll be Rudy.

STEWART: I'll be Rudy. You ask.

KING: What is your health care plan?

STEWART: Larry, it is funny, since 9/11 I've been very concerned about health, because on 9/11 peoples' health changed. You know? He really -- I thought he began to run on it in a way -- you know, talk about quiet heroism and they talk about other things. He would literally just -- you almost expected him to paint 9/11 on a van and just drive it around and remind people he was the mayor on that day.

And I do think it opened him up to -- listen, I lived there. He did a lot of things in those first weeks in terms of leadership I thought were really positive. But the truth is, it was his decision to put the command center in the World Trade Center and that was -- would have been attacked previously -- not greatest judgment, and there's a lot of fire fighters there and a lot of policemen that feel he let them down, that they didn't make the changes that could have saved a lot of their lives during the time.

It's unfortunate, but it's surprising that a -- you know, what else was he going to run on? He's running in the Republican primary. What's he going to run on? Hey, I have only had three wives. Come on, everybody. Sometimes I say Jesus when I'm at the ballpark, and the game doesn't go my way. You know? He is the exact wrong candidate for the Republican base.

KING: And what do you make of the acumen of Bill Clinton?

STEWART: The acumen?

KING: Yes. Here is one of the great politicians ever, who seemed to go off course here attacking Obama.

STEWART: It is as though he might, I don't know, subliminally be trying to subvert his wife's run for president. It's as though somehow they might have a destructive relationship.

KING: What are you --

STEWART: I love when he defends her vehemently like, how dare you humiliate my wife? That's my job. Don't take that from me. That has not been outsourced. It's just a very strange thing. You know, look, they have a bond, but he is -- unfortunately he is fighting for his legacy, too. I mean, the one thing you find, it seems, that's universal about ex-presidents is they spend their remaining years on Earth, except for Gerald Ford, who seemed to be un-neurotic about it, they spend their remaining years like Colonel Kurtz, in a shadowed room going, they were wrong about me, the things they said. I was a great president. I was in the top quintile.

You know? It is all about the ranking. You're constantly hearing Bush going -- everything has gone wrong in his presidency. He's like, history will be the judge. It is a great way of saying, look, when we're dead, you will see.

KING: All right. Let's -- let's check with Anderson Cooper, the host of --

STEWART: Oh, does he have his flying pie chart?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Not tonight, unfortunately.

STEWART: I love the --

COOPER: I know. Yes.

STEWART: That thing was awesome. I haven't seen it again since that first night.

COOPER: I don't know why. It worked so well in rehearsal too. Live TV.

KING: Ask him -- Jon?

STEWART: Yes.

KING: Ask him what's coming up tonight on his show. Look into the camera. Play host a little. Go.

STEWART: What am I an illegal immigrant? You tell me what to do and I do it? I have rights.

KING: All right. I'll ask him.

STEWART: Thank you.

KING: What are you going to do tonight, Anderson?

COOPER: Larry, we're following this developing story you talked about at the top of your program from the campaign trail. The "New York Times" reporting about an alleged relationship Senator John McCain once had with a female lobbyists. The story details the concerns some in the McCain camp had about the relationship, and reviewed Senator McCain's history going as far back as the Keating Five case.

The senator's campaign has issued a statement to us, strongly criticizing the article. It is a fast-moving story. We'll bring you everything we know at the top of the hour.

We're also, of course, going to be following the Democratic race. After Obama's wins last night, making it ten in a row for him. Texas and Ohio are the next important races. It is an understatement to say that Hillary Clinton needs wins there.

All that plus the efforts to shoot down that stray satellite sometime within the next hour. That's 360 at the top of the hour, Larry.

KING: Thanks, Anderson. "AC 360" at 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. When we come back, we'll see a different Jon Stewart, a very animated Jon Stewart. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's Jon Stewart, everyone's favorite political funny man.

STEWART: Hey, Crusty. Haven't seen you since you bailed on that benefit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, well, I really didn't believe in the cause.

STEWART: Well, Crusty's Kids sure missed you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. They're great. A little clingy, but anyway, this Springfield primary election, pretty crazy, huh?

STEWART: It sure is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's many comic elements, such as --

STEWART: You know, if you ask me, there's more hot air here than there is at --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes?

STEWART: Are you writing this down?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, this is something else.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: That's fun to do, cartoons.

STEWART: Dream come true, man. "Simpsons," one of my favorite shows of all time, that and "Seinfeld."

KING: Let's take a call. Charlotte, North Carolina for Jon Stewart. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry, hi Jon. I love both of your shows. Jon, I just wanted to ask you; how do you still personally feel about Tucker Carlson? And have you talked to him since your argument on "Crossfire" a couple of years ago?

STEWART: No. I haven't. Thank you. it was funny. It was such an odd moment, because I think it became this idea that it was personal between the two of us, and it wasn't. And if there's one thing I regretted about that it was probably the idea that it was personal, that it was something I was saying about Tucker to Tucker. And it was really about the show.

KING: Do you think you led to the demise of "Crossfire?"

STEWART: No. You've been at CNN for a while. You know if the Hitler/Mussolini show got ratings, they would be put like, let's put it on after Larry. You know? I think that that show -- if anything, it just gave it sort of -- sometimes things need a peg to make the final note and it might have something to do with that, but it was absolutely not that.

KING: We have an e-mail question from David in Merced, California.

STEWART: Look at you with the e-mail and the thing. Did you get an I.M. with an emoticon? I like what you're doing.

KING: "Jon, it seems to me the media is a lot more negative about Clinton than about Obama? Do you think the press is more afraid to be seen as racist than sexist?

STEWART: Wow, that's a mouthful. I think they're afraid to be beaten by Fox, so they're just creating conflict. But I think in general -- I mean, you're around the media. It is not -- I don't think -- first of all, it is not a media. It's not like a giant organism, you know, like a big blob that moves around. It is more like -- I've said this before, like, you ever watch six-year-olds play soccer?

KING: Yes.

STEWART: There's just -- and then the ball pops out and they go, ball. It's like that. But I think, in general, the bias of the media, except for Fox, is towards conflict and sensationalism.

KING: Fox is fair and balanced?

STEWART: No. They'll have the toughest time adjusting because --

KING: Fox?

STEWART: Yes, if a Democrat becomes president, they will have to flip their entire mindset on executive power. Right now, executive power is an excellent thing, and being well used with signing statements. And with a Democrat in power, it is obviously going to require checks and balances. So they're going to have to change their entire approach.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments.

STEWART: I hope that didn't upset you. Are you looking to move to that network?

KING: No, what are you talking about?

STEWART: I'm just curious. You seem like you're very happy here.

KING: I'm -- we'll be right back.

STEWART: Are you going to get a flying pie chart?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DAVID LETTERMAN, LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW: Experts believe that now that Fidel has resigned, he will either be succeeded by his brother Raul or by his idiot son Fidel W. Castro.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: That's funny. KING: Here's the final King Cam of the night. It will make King Cam history. Watch.

STEWART: King Cam!

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Jon. I just wanted to know, man, who do your hair? I love -- I want to know who's your hair stylist, man? You're always looking great, man.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: You know, that's a great point. Who does your hair?

STEWART: A little thing called grease and --

KING: You do your own hair?

STEWART: Do my own hair?

KING: Yes, hair.

STEWART: Yes, absolutely.

KING: You don't have a hair stylist? A big television star, nightly show, seen across the country doesn't have a hair stylist?

STEWART: You have lost touch with the people, Larry. You really have. Many of us who don't live in these Ivory Towers -- do you even walk places? Do people just carry you on litters? Is that what this is.

KING: We have a gift for you.

STEWART: All right.

KING: Look.

STEWART: Wow. That's so kind. I can't wait to throw it out.

KING: Let's get a good look at this.

STEWART: This is really nice.

KING: Go down.

STEWART: That is very, very --

KING: Do with it as you wish.

STEWART: All right.

KING: Getting one more call.

STEWART: One more call. Let's do it. KING: Never be back. Columbia, South Carolina, hello.

CALLER: Hi.

STEWART: Hi.

CALLER: Jon, I absolutely love your work. I've been a fan for years.

STEWART: Very kind.

CALLER: My favorite show of all time was you wrote it, you watch it.

STEWART: Oh my god.

CALLER: Are you going to bring it back? Can you put it out on DVD?

STEWART: That was the first show that I had done on MTV. It was -- what they did was they would take stories from people and we would reenact them. This was -- must have been 1993. And we did I think 12 episodes and then apparently on TV -- and again, I don't know if this is true -- but if no one watches it, they don't let you do it anymore and that's what happened with that show.

KING: That's true, I think.

STEWART: She enjoyed it. Have you heard of this thing story pirates? It's this --

KING: No.

STEWART: -- group of really good improv comedians and they take kids' stories and they turn them into these really entertaining --

KING: Like --

STEWART: No, real stories that kids have written them about certain items and then they perform them and it's crazy entertaining. My kids got invited to a birthday party where these story pirates were there and they performed. And I'm telling you, man, I remember standing up in front of the kids and going, no, I will not get down. I want to see. It was really entertaining. How are you kids?

KING: They're doing great.

STEWART: They're fun, right.

KING: Yes.

STEWART: My daughter, two years old, said to someone what came in the house the other day; how was your weekend? It was so funny. The crazy thing was, she really wanted the know.

KING: That's crazy. STEWART: It was crazy.

KING: Jon, the best of luck to you Sunday night.

STEWART: Thank you. I'm looking forward to it.

KING: I don't think you need help.

STEWART: Will you watch?

KING: Of course, I'll watch.

STEWART: I'm delighted. Are you in a pool of some sort? Oscar- type pool?

KING: No.

STEWART: OK, because I could have called you before the show and told you the answers.

KING: Before we leave, do you know the winners? Do you see the envelopes?

STEWART: I choose them.

KING: You pick the winners?

STEWART: Who do you think seals the envelopes?

KING: This is a story. Thanks, Jon. I don't think they'll let you host again.

STEWART: You know best picture, "A Bug's Life."

KING: What guest would you most like to see on LARRY KING LIVE? Head to our website, CNN.com/LarryKing and send us an email. We're calling it viewers' choice and we're ready to hear from you.

STEWART: We're calling it King Cam. You can stand on the street holding a stick.

(CROSS TALK)

KING: Tomorrow is the debate between Clinton and Obama, so we'll be back on Friday night and our guest will be Randy Jackson of "American Idol."

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