Return to Transcripts main page


CNN and Ashton Kutcher's Twitter Battle

Aired April 19, 2009 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Twitter champion Ashton Kutcher. He's here to talk about the battle -- face-to-face.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALES (singing): (INAUDIBLE) Larry, we saw you got on Twitter. Too bad Ashton's going to beat you.


KING: Sean Combs helped Kutcher climb the mountain to a million. And he joins us.

And Oprah's Twitter buddy, Jimmy Fallon, stops by.



SALLY BOYLE (singing): I dream of love that never dies.


KING: From obscurity to global sensation...


SALLY BOYLE (singing): ...that God would be forgiving...


KING: Susan Boyle stunned the "Britain's Got Talent" judges and inspired the world.

How is it going to change her life?

BOYLE: I certainly won't be lonely anymore.

KING: And she'll sing for you and get an unexpected apology.

Who's sorry now?

Find out next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Some things are hard to predict, but I can safely say tonight's program will not be dull.

Our first guest is Ashton Kutcher, actor, producer, Twitter extraordinaire and defeater of this network.




KING: I've never heard of that.

KUTCHER: Will I get...

KING: But, hey, it's a new world, I invented a word.

We both know -- I've come to learn, you've known for a while what Twitter is.

Can you briefly explain what Twitter is?

KUTCHER: Yes. Twitter is a 140 character micro blog. And that -- that's probably the easiest way to say it. It's a -- it's a social media network where people can come and report whatever they are doing, whatever they're interested in. But you have to do it in 140 characters or less.

KING: Why?

KUTCHER: Well, you know, I can't speak for the founders of the company. I didn't create the company. I'm not -- I'm not, you know, associated with the company. But what -- what I've been told is that they kept it to 140 characters because it was originally going to be used as just sort of an updater type feed that -- you know, more like a headline feed as opposed to the whole story.

KING: And it's basically a send out process, right?

KUTCHER: Yes. Well...

KING: It's not a -- not a take in process?

KUTCHER: It is a take in process. And that's what, I think, has made it -- I think that's what makes it incredible, because as you send out whatever information -- media, news -- that you feel is relevant, then people send you how they feel about that or responses to that. And then you can broadcast their response to it.

And so it's really a conversation more than anything. And that's -- that's why the difference between it being just regular media and social media.

KING: Let's take a quick look back at how the Twitter challenge began.

Let's watch.


KUTCHER: This is a message for Larry.

Why don't you come on my Twit (ph) show and we'll put it on Twitter and then maybe we'll get Ted Turner to call?

And it will play -- and it will end it -- let's do it on the Internet.



KING: Are you putting me on?

Do you -- are you kidding?

Do you think you can take on an entire network?

Do you know how big we are?

Do you know what CNN is?

Kutcher -- you're playing out of your field. You're in -- you're in another time zone. This ain't going to work. CNN will bury you.


KING: Did you think that you would, at the last rush, down to the wire, in a neck-and-neck race, that you would win?

KUTCHER: I had a good feeling I would win. There was -- there was actually a guy in Croatia who did a minute to minute statistical analysis based on the trending of...

KING: The trend of it?

KUTCHER: He -- based on my increase of followers in comparison to CNN's from a minute to minute basis, he actually gave me a report -- I think it was yesterday morning -- that said that I would eventually overtake CNN.


KING: But you did trail.

KUTCHER: Yes, well -- so there was -- so I was trending in a very positive position. And then Anderson Cooper was on "360." And Anderson started talking about it. And you only put up the CNN BRK -- the at CNN BRK. You didn't put up mine or that it was a challenge. It was just you need to follow.

And so, at that point in time, CNN started trending. So I went live to the Internet and rallied the social media audience around following me.

KING: May I ask what prompted you to pick on me in that little car scene? Why -- why me?

KUTCHER: Well, originally, I was leaving you out of it, Larry. I was -- I was keeping it clean. You know, for me, what originated this whole thing was, I think I had 850,000 followers on my Twitter stream without -- and I hadn't advertised. I wasn't talking about it. I wasn't doing anything and actually I had turned down several media requests for something because I felt like it was a relationship between me and my fans and it was a conversation that we were having...

KING: Good.

KUTCHER: ...and not a conversation for media.

And so I was at 850,000. And I looked and I saw that CNN was like 50,000 followers ahead of me. And -- and I thought it to be quite significant that we now live in an age, for media, that a single voice can have as much power and relevance in -- on the Web, that is -- as an entire media network.

And I think that, to me, that was shocking. And I did...

KING: So you picked me out?

KUTCHER: No. I threw out -- I said -- I actually picked out Ted Turner. And I said that I would dig a ding dong ditch in Ted Turner's house if I beat CNN BRK to a million followers.

And I picked Ted because Ted -- Ted started CNN. And I think Ted actually, in his acquisition of AOL/Time Warner and everything that took place, was -- and in building CNN -- is a maven of his own right.

Then you called to have me come on CNN and I felt that would be just promoting the CNN BRK even more so. And -- and so I felt -- so at that point in time, when you asked me to come on the show, I said, well, why don't you come on the Internet?

And then you did. So now I'm here.

KING: Got you.

Now, I'm not a sore loser.

KUTCHER: No, you're not.

KING: I'm not going to pull a Norm Coleman and take this to the courts.

KUTCHER: You've always been...

KING: However...

KUTCHER: ...gracious, very gracious.

KING: Let's -- let's look at what went on -- a little -- there might have been a little dirty play here.

Let's watch something that took place outside our bureau right here.




OK. Hey, CNN, hey, Larry, we saw you got on Twitter. Too bad Ashton's going to beat you, because you got a little...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, we are here, people. CNN building. It's a -- it's a phenomenon, this Twitter, right now.

As you know -- all know, I'm sure, CNN, Ashton Kutcher, they have a contest to see who can be the first person to get one million followers on Twitter. Now, we're here to support A plus K. We're asking everyone in Hollywood to do the same. Please, Twitter.

Hello, sir.

How are you?


KING: All's fair?

KUTCHER: All's fair.


KUTCHER: That's actually @toojiggy, who is also on -- on Twitter.

KING: Toojiggy?

KUTCHER: @toojiggy, T-O-O-J-I-G-G-Y. He -- I know him.


KING: I got it. I hope so.

KUTCHER: But it was great. You know the thing about it, it was -- it became a grassroots thing where I...

KING: Obviously.

KUTCHER: ...where I think people wanted to see, you know, the new media win.

KING: OK. You staged a streaming video victory party when you passed the million mark.

Let's look at a little of that celebration. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got to break it loose. We've got to break it loose, baby.


KING: It was either Obama wins or the Phillies win the World Series.

Are you surprised Ashton Kutcher won the Twitter war?

Go to and let us know in our quick vote.

Sean Combs is next. He'll join us.

Stick around.


KING: We're with Ashton Kutcher talking Twitter tonight. You look wild.

Oprah's got my Twitter hook up. Quincy Jones does it, too. And I want you to have it. Here's my Twitter address.

Do you call it the address or what?



KING: Kingsthings -- one word -- kingsthings -- no apostrophe. By the way, you guys can help me.

Sean Combs is here.


KING: Why don't you recommend to your followers that they hook into my Twitter?

COMBS: We will.


KING: Will you do that?

COMBS: It's called giving a shout-out -- it's called giving, you know, it's called giving a shout-out to -- to our followers to come follow you. But you have to have something to say. That's the whole vibe with Twitter. You know, you can have a lot of people on there. The reason why he has a million followers and I have like -- I think I'm at 600,000 right now, is because we have something to say.

KING: You have something to say.

COMBS: You have to...

KING: By the way, let me introduce you.


KING: Sean Combs, the record producer, recording artist, designer, entrepreneur. And he supported Ashton in his Twitter feud with CNN.


KING: He's also, as he said, an active Tweeter on his own.

You called to congratulate Ashton when he crossed the million mark.

Let's -- let's watch this.


COMBS: (INAUDIBLE). You have done it, my brother.


COMBS: Let me just say congratulations. This is your brother Denny (ph). We are going to change the world. We're going to save the children from malaria. I'm so proud of you. You (INAUDIBLE) in there. Let's go.

KUTCHER: Let's go (INAUDIBLE). Let's go.


KUTCHER: Let's get them.


KUTCHER: Let's go.

KING: Why, Sean, why are you a Tweeter?

COMBS: For me, it's been helpful to really kind of cut out the middleman. And the middleman has been the media. It's given me a chance for people to really get to know the real me.

You know, due to my own fault, there's such a persona of the Hamptons and bling bling and, you know, the "Forbes" list and, you know, who I'm dating. And there's just more substance to me than that. And, you know, over time, I've just wanted to make sure that that -- that has gotten out.

And when I, you know, started Twittering, it was really because of him. I was at a party with him and he put up a picture of me and him. And it was on the cover of "The Times" the next day that he Twittered from an Oscars party.

And I was like let me -- you know, I have an account. Let me get into this.

And I -- I was able to really connect with people from all over the world at the push of a button. And me and them really connecting and them getting to know who I really am and what's really going on (INAUDIBLE).

KING: I'm understanding more every second.


KING: Are you Twittering all the time, Ashton?

KUTCHER: Oh. I don't Twitter all the time. I Twitter, probably, more than I should. It is a little addicting after a while.

KING: That's what I'm trying to get at.

Is it addicting?

KUTCHER: Yes, you actually...

KING: Do you get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, do you Twitter someone?

KUTCHER: Well, you start...


KING: Come on.

KUTCHER: I don't...

KING: Do you do that?

KUTCHER: I don't sleep that much, so don't -- I try not to interrupt it with a Twitter, like I'm dreaming about right now. I don't -- I try not to do that.

But, you know, it's -- I really, what I like to do is I like to infuse entertainment, a news story -- some entertaining anecdote. My -- my friend Yehuda Berg is on there. And that's my spiritual teacher. So sometimes he'll send me a Tweet and then I can post it to other people and maybe make their day a little bit better.

KING: Is it addictive to you, Sean?

COMBS: Yes. It calls me.

KING: It calls you?

COMBS: It calls you. It -- because everybody has their own style. That's -- what he described is his -- is his Twitter DNA. I have my own Twitter DNA, which is inspiration. I love putting out inspiration and motivation for people that are like entrepreneurs and out there working and they want to be somebody.

And we all have our own style. And it just calls you to put out a message.

KING: Ashton appeared on "Oprah Winfrey" earlier today. Oprah has just started Twittering. She has made more -- she has more than 70,000 followers before she sent her first message.

Let's take a look at her talking about being Tweeted.


OPRAH WINFREY, HOST: This is from Ellen: "Oprah Winfrey, what are you doing on here? Shouldn't you be working on our cover?"


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And she posted a picture, actually.

WINFREY: Oh, that's very cute.


WINFREY: She posted a picture.


KING: Oh, by the way, I might add, there's a t-shirt reporting: "Kutcher Hands CNN Its Lunch in Twitter Feud." It's available at and we'll be getting one to you as soon as possible.


KING: See, we can take the...

COMBS: And speaking of t-shirts, I brought this for you. This is...

KING: I am Diddy.

COMBS: I'm Diddy.


COMBS: So for a day, you can be Diddy for a day. And this is my address -- my Twitter address. And you can -- when you're working out, you can be Diddy. There you go. I think -- you know...

KING: I am -- I am honored.

KUTCHER: You know, Larry...

COMBS: Thank you.

KUTCHER: ...the only thing that, you know, I think is -- is being missed -- and I think it's really important that it's not -- is that -- that Twitter is not about celebrities. It's not a platform for celebrities.

COMBS: For sure.

KUTCHER: And I'm -- in all these interviews and all these things, it's been celebrities -- you know, people that people know have been on TV, because -- and that's what it is.

But it's really about everyday people having a voice. And -- and I don't want it to be dwarfed by a celebrity facto (ph). And I think it's just important to acknowledge the people, because you can't follow yourself. It's not about that.

KING: Although this made people think it's celebrity.

KUTCHER: Well, and that's why...


KUTCHER: That's why I want to really clarify that and I think it's important that people understand that.

KING: I'm glad you did.

COMBS: And it's important that you know like, you could have a million followers or you could have 10 followers. It's the same amount of energy and the same amount of power. A lot of people follow us because of the celebrity factor.

KING: Who...

COMBS: But hopefully people will realize they have the same amount of power to build their own communities.

KING: Do we know who has the most followers?


COMBS: He does.

KING: You are now the king?

KUTCHER: No. There are no kings on Twitter.

KING: Oh, I'm sorry.

KUTCHER: There are only jesters.

KING: OK. You're -- let me get a break.


KUTCHER: You're the only -- you're the only King on Twitter, let's put it that way.

KING: I accept.

Your blogs and Twitters are next. See you back here with Ashton, Sean and Oprah's Twitter buddy, Jimmy Fallon, in 60 seconds.


KING: It's time for your blog comments and Tweets.

Here's Sarah Schnare with a look at what you're saying -- Sarah.


We've been blogging for quite a while now. But never before have we seen so much attention. Even some Hollywood stars are chiming in.

Ashton, your wife, Demi, who certainly followed you from start to finish, she asks: "Boy, now I really need to work to catch up to hubby. But no worries, I have no campaign that will be flooding your way. LOL."

And Oprah also started Tweeting today. She says: "Hi, Larry. I wanted to Tweet you on the show tonight, but will in the air. Not sure about air Tweets. Have fun with Ashton."

And I have a question for you, Ashton. This is from John Mayer. He says: "Is now not a good time to announce that I've bought 300,000 tiny scissors for mosquitoes?"

KING: Do you want to respond to that?

KUTCHER: John, right now would be a very bad time to announce that, especially due to the fact that the whole race between CNN, at the end of the day, was about promoting a -- a brilliant cause which is Malaria No More. If you want to donate, you can go to and you can donate.

KING: And we're going to do more on that. I'm going to show you...


KING: ...more of what we have coming.

Tell us what's on the blogs.

SCHNARE: Most of the activity tonight, Larry, echoes the sentiment from Michael, which is quite lovely. He says: "It's awesome that you guys were able to raise awareness about malaria prevention. You certainly have a higher purpose."

And I have to agree, this has been so much fun for all of us. I know I was glued to my computer last night and watching the numbers rise. So well done, you guys.

KING: And this has been -- there's no other word for it but phenomena.

We'll be right back.

Jimmy Fallon join us.

Don't go away.


KING: Ashton Kutcher and Sean Combs remain. Ashton is the number one Tweeter now established.

Joining us now in New York, Jimmy Fallon, the host of NBC's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," one of Twitter's most prolific Tweeters.

What did you make of the outcome of this race between CNN and your friend Ashton?

JIMMY FALLON: It was very cool. I still think a majority of people don't really know what the hell Twitter is. They have no idea what -- what it is and what to do with it. But I think it's a cool thing.

Congratulations, Ashton. I think it's cool what you guys are doing and, of course, that you brought the charity thing in.

And I just think it's -- it brings awareness to what people can do with this whole Twitter thing. I think it's just going to get bigger from here. I think people are using Twitter now to get their news from. It's almost like an RSS feed, you know. You can get one from CNN with a link, you know, to a story about Somali pirates or whatever. You know, it's just -- it's becoming like a newspaper for people.

KING: Why do you Tweet?

FALLON: I need the attention, Larry.


FALLON: It's an ego thing.

KING: Desperate at this point, hey, Jimmy?

FALLON: Yes, really, really sad.

No, I just...


FALLON: It's cool just like to talk to my fans and to see what they thought of the show. And, you know, I Tweet out jokes -- I'm going to Tweet out jokes from the night before, like my favorite joke from the monologue the night before, just to make people laugh in the morning. And it's good to hear feedback -- you know, constructive criticism. I think this is the first time, you know, that celebrities are using, you know, the Internet and you know that it's an actual celebrity. Like they've done it in the past at MySpace and -- but I think people -- fans were leery that is this a label doing this?

Is this a studio doing this?

Like is it really them?

And I think it's becoming -- Twitter is becoming a cool thing for celebrities to be doing. And it's actual celebrities actually doing it.

KING: All right...

FALLON: And I think it's becoming curious for people to check it out.

KING: I am told there are fake Larry King accounts. There's probably fake accounts for you.

How does -- there's a danger in that, isn't there?

KUTCHER: Well, I think that...

KING: Hold it, Ashton.

Go ahead.

FALLON: Well, I think that -- I think that Twitter is actually, you know, going to be trying to put together some type of authentication -- authentication -- am I saying that right?

KUTCHER: Yes, that's it.

COMBS: Authentication.

FALLON: Authentication.


FALLON: I'm not very good. When I get into the (INAUDIBLE).


COMBS: Authentication.

FALLON: Authentication for who is who.

COMBS: It's like a check or something. They're going to have some sort of...

FALLON: Yes. I think that they're going to try to institute that. But then -- but there are certain people...


FALLON: ...there are certain people that people can go to that are -- that are on Twitter right now that will be able to tell you. Like I immediately -- like, as soon as you got on, I called you and I said hey, is that really you?

And then I told my entire audience that it was really Puff.


FALLON: And then -- and then they know. So it's a -- it's a community and it's that conversation that will make it (INAUDIBLE).

COMBS: And the words -- and the whole thing about this is the word passes so quickly that once there is a fake, you know, it goes up. It's like the news. You know, it's so viral. It's the truest definition of viral that I've ever seen. I mean everything happens so -- it's real time. It's real time.

KING: Do you think, partially, though, Jimmy, it's about ego?

FALLON: Yes, I mean, you know -- I mean, for Oprah, I think it's just kind of cool that she's doing it, you know, because finally she -- we'll find out what Oprah feels about things, you know?

I mean her fans...

KING: And you think that's a good -- that's good.

FALLON: I'm just kidding. I mean like her fans who don't, you know -- who don't hear enough from Oprah if they don't have the Internet or if they don't have -- read books or magazines or radio or eat food...


FALLON: ...then finally they get to hear what Oprah thinks.

KUTCHER: You know, I also think -- I mean, at the end of the day, we all have ego. We all have some level of ego.

KING: Self.

KUTCHER: And but if we can...


KUTCHER: If we can use our ego to actually create good, charitable things in the word in some way and use our ego -- see, originally, I defined Twitter as an ego stream, when I first saw it. But then what I realized is that if we can transform that into something that's positive that can actually effectively change the world, that could be a really valuable tool.

COMBS: You know the beauty about it, it's freedom. If that's -- if that's what you want to do, if you want to use it to change the world or if you want to use it to just have fun, if you want to use it to tell jokes, if you want to use it to tell -- say the things that's on your ego, you're allowed to do that. And people are allowed to follow you or not follow you. It's a freedom of choice and...

KING: What about put in the hands of a bad person, though?

COMBS: Yes, I mean you see a lot -- you'll see some negativity. And the beauty about, if I get negative types of at replies on -- on my home -- at my home, what I'll do is I'll unfollow them. I'll block them. I mean (INAUDIBLE) I'll block them.

KING: Jimmy, do you know how Twitter makes money?

FALLON: I have no idea how they make money. I don't know if they do make money.

KUTCHER: Twitter doesn't make money.

COMBS: Right now, they're not making money.

KING: They don't make money?

KUTCHER: No. Twitter is in the same phase that YouTube was in when they were acquiring...

COMBS: Or MySpace...

KUTCHER: ...when YouTube was acquiring an audience, before they were bought by Google. All they were doing was acquiring an audience. And then they used the Google ad networks to actually monetize their platform.

Twitter is actually in the same phase as -- constructing a company.

But if you look at social media in general, we're in the middle of a recession and social media companies are hiring, right?

So -- so something's -- something's -- a tide is turning here. I mean, I know that my -- I know my television studio budgets on the shows that I produce at Catalyst are being cut back. But social media is hiring.

So I think that that's a comment on a turn of the tide. And Twitter will figure out how to monetize their platform.

KING: More with Ashton, Sean and Jimmy. And Ryan Seacrest will join the mix.

Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Ashton Kutcher, the champion; Sean Combs; and Jimmy Fallon. They're all on the Twitter bandwagon.

Don't be left out. Send your Tweets to kingthings -- one word, no apostrophe. A Tweet we just got: "Twitter is the great equalizer. Celebrity is not an issue on Twitter. You have to offer content to be of value."

COMBS: Yes, that's (INAUDIBLE)...

KING: Joining us on the phone is my buddy, Ryan Seacrest, the host of "American Idol," the host of his own major radio show. And, you guessed it, he Twitters, too. I guessed it on his show this morning.

You were -- you were, in the battle with Kutcher, you were kind of a Switzerland, right?

You took no stand.

RYAN SEACREST, HOST, "AMERICAN IDOL": Well, both of you -- I love my whole family here, my -- my Tweeple. I just thought it was a great competition, a fun competition that turned into doing some good. And I mean I -- I really commend Ashton for his -- his note, which was up on Twitter, which was he was going to donate those nets and I thought this is how we take a toy and turn it into something really cool and great for the part of the world.

KING: And we have here right here -- I know the guys here can see this and Jimmy can see it. I don't know if you, can Ryan. This is -- What is this?

KUTCHER: This is a mosquito net one mosquito net, signed, sealed, delivered, sent for $10 can save somebody's life. And there is actually a tipping point where if we have enough of these, we can eradicate malaria from the world. And I have to also say really quickly that on April 25 is National Malaria Day to raise awareness. And there's another guy behind this for me. His name is Kevin Rose and he is the creator of Digg.

And Kevin and I and my wife anticipate now Ryan is onboard and Puff is onboard, are teaming up to raise awareness on the 25th for National Malaria Day. You can got to and you can donate and we can save lives. Every 30 minutes a child dies from malaria.

KING:, right? Ryan, you contribute. I'm contributing. This is a great cause.

SEACREST: This is a great - I'm sorry, Puff, go ahead.

COMBS: I'm also going to design a tie or a special t-shirt through Sean John. We are going to designer something together and get his designer hat on, going to design something also and raise some money.

KING: What were you going to say, Ry?

SEACREST: I can't see the net because I'm in the car, but I went to a part of the world that's affected by malaria with "American Idol" and when we were doing "Idol Gives Back" which raised about $140 million and a lot of that money went to Malaria No More, we got to see how something so simple can change and save a life. So really, it's a great thing. And we'll all be together supporting that cause.

KING: And Jimmy Fallon, are you getting onboard?

FALLON: Absolutely. Yeah. Count me in. "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." We're in on that. I like it. It's fantastic. Good for you.

KUTCHER: Send out a tweet on April 25, next Saturday and we'll raise the awareness on Twitter.

FALLON: I'll do it on the show, too.

KING: All the followers give onboard. Just give $1.

SEACREST: Guys. One things I always freak out about, I tweet at night a lot. I'm addicted to it, but I'm always worried about misspelling stuff. Is there a spell check?

COMBS: There's a spell check but I don't know how to use it. You ever see when the red things are underneath the words ...

KUTCHER: On regular Twitter? You know the thing about twitter is one, there are some great rules. You don't have to spell correctly because you're trying to shorten everything to get to 140 characters.

SEACREST: It's so true. You're negative four by the time you get your first thought out.

KUTCHER: And the other great thing is you don't have to respond to people. It's not like getting an e-mail where you feel bad because you didn't respond to everybody. You pick who you want to respond to.

FALLON: But don't tweet when you're drunk either.

KING: Ryan, I know how you got with your Blackberry, Ryan. Is this going to be as bad?

SEACREST: Larry, let me tell you something, I only sleep four hours a day anyway, now that I'm twittering, it's down to three hours, but I'm absolutely loving it. And like I said, it was just fun and it was a toy and now you see how can it can some great things. By the way, the king is so hot on this. He was on fire this morning talking about how he's going to be the latest tweeple.

KING: What do you love about it?

SEACREST: I think I love how there's no filter, there's no boss, there's nobody you have to check with. There's no system. You just sort of - you have a thought and you throw it out there. It can be as random as I'm brushing my teeth or it can be Anoop (ph) looks really pissed off during the commercial break on "American Idol" tonight. And you get instant reaction and instant response. So it's F-U-N. It's fun. KING: Thanks, Ryan.

FALLON: You get that immediate response. You get immediate feedback so you can say like, for me, for instance, I could say on the show, hey, I have Cameron Diaz on tonight, do you have any questions for Cameron? And then boom, you get thousands of questions. In the matter of a minute.

KUTCHER: It's collaborative content, and that's a new media.

KING: Makes sense. Ryan, thanks, baby.

SEACREST: Talk to you later, guys. Congratulations, Ashton. Larry, I love you. See you.

KING: Thanks, babe.

Ashton, Ryan and CNN all donated 10,000 nets each. Oprah and Demi Moore each donated 20,000. We're not finished with these guys yet. Go to Tell us what you think of them. And what they're doing on Twitter. Back after this.


KING: Captain Richard Phillips came home today. And captain, we want to welcome you back to the U.S. We're so glad you're safe and sound with your family. Let's check in with Anderson Cooper and see what's on AC 360 tonight. I'm guessing you'll have more on this home coming?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: We will. We'll have a lot on that. But before I do this cut in I just want to say it's been a devastating day for me. Because in a desperate last-minute effort last night, we tried to beat Ashton Kutcher and he played us very well. And I've been depressed all day, I've been sleeping all day. I finally mustered up the energy to come in. But congratulations, Ashton, you did a great job.

I'm angry and resentful. I hate you, but you did a great job.

KUTCHER: Thanks, man.

COOPER: And also we should point out malaria kills like 1 million to 3 million every year. So what you're doing is great. Five hundred fifteen million cases of it every year. So we need all the help we can get on it. So thanks very much.

Larry tonight on 360, an emotional homecoming for a hostage, Captain Phillips, as you talked about, held by Somali pirates. He and his family finally have been reunited. He says he's not the hero. The military deserves the praise. You're going to hear from him tonight. Also fallout from the release of the so-called torture memos, secret CIA interrogation memos, the president facing criticism now that he put the country at risk by releasing these. Others defending his actions saying that he unmasked torture. We're going to give you the facts. You can decide for yourself. And a story tonight, Larry, that all Americans should hear. Eleven-year-old Carl Joseph Walker Hoover, this little boy right here was the victim of bullying. Kids in school called him gay. Last week he hung himself using an extension cord outside his bathroom. Today would have been his 12th birthday. We're going to talk to his mom about what can be done to help other kids right now getting bulled in schools around America. Those stories and a lot more, Larry, tonight on 360.

KING: That is unbelievable. Anderson Cooper at the top of the hour, 10:00 Eastern and 7:00 Pacific. Back with our remaining moments with Ashton Kutcher and Sean Combs and Jimmy Fallon. My presentation to you in honor of the victory is a pair of my suspenders, worn by me. You can wear these on your Web site, on your webcast, whatever you do.

KUTCHER: These are lovely.

KING: They're expensive, too. They're nice, aren't they? They're black, basic black, goes with everything.

COMBS: You're a mini Larry.

KUTCHER: I am mini-Larry.

KING: Leave them on, mini-Larry, you look good. Jimmy, thanks so much for being with us. I appreciate all you've done.

FALLON: Thank you, Lawrence. I appreciate it.

KING: Even though you helped Ashton, we still love you.

FALLON: I helped both of you, yeah. Where's my suspenders?

KING: See you.

Sean, what do you do?

COMBS: I'm an entertainer.

KING: You do so many things.

COMBS: I would kind of say, I would compare it to being a ring master. You come to the circus and you see there's many acts to the circus. I bring out the elephants, I bring out the midget on top of the giraffe, whatever I've got to do to make ...

KING: You're P.T. Barnum?

COMBS: P.T. Barnum. Whatever I have to do to make you feel good, make you feel happy. I love entertaining and I do it through my businesses and through fashion.

KING: And you've done well with it.

COMBS: I'm blessed.

KING: And Ashton, congratulations.

COMBS: What do you do?

KING: What do you do? Are you making a movie?

KUTCHER: What do I do? I'm making a movie in Atlanta. I start in a week. I will be ding dong ditching Ted Turner while I'm there.

KING: And you can tweet from Atlanta. Because I know you can tweet from anywhere. I know this. You can tweet from anywhere.

KUTCHER: You've got it down now.

KING: Thank you all, guys. Next, the woman the world is talking about, breakout singing sensation, Susan Boyle in 60 seconds.


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Welcome back. To people who didn't know her, Susan Boyle, looked like she might be a producer's idea of comic relief when she walked on to the "Britain's Got Talent" stage last weekend. Watch what happened.


SIMON COWELL, TELEVISION HOST: How old are you, Susan?

SUSAN BOYLE, SINGER: I am 47. And that's just one side of me.

COWELL: OK. What's the dream?

BOYLE: I am trying to be a professional singer.

COWELL: And why hasn't it worked out so far, Susan?

BOYLE: I haven't been given the chance before. But here's hoping it'll change.

COWELL: OK. And who would you like to be as successful as.

BOYLE: Elaine Page (ph)?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you going to sing tonight?

BOYLE: I'm going to sing "I Dreamed a Dream" from "Les Miserables."


KING: OK. What happened after that became famous and we'll show you in a little while. How did you feel, by the way, Susan, when you came onstage?

BOYLE: It felt very daunting at first but I gradually picked up enough courage. I was very confident with the title. KING: Now, people laughed, though, when you walked out. Some even rolled their eyes, they made faces, who was this lady? Didn't that hurt you a little?

BOYLE: That doesn't bother me because I knew I had to get on with my act.

KING: So you had no question about your singing?

BOYLE: Well, I wasn't sure how I would be received so I just thought I'd give it a whirl.

KING: All right. You're a judge, Piers Morgan. What did you make of this whole thing?

PIERS MORGAN, TALENT COMPETITION JUDGE: Well, I sort of feel like apologizing to Susan. Since Susan, I know you're listening, I'm sorry, because we did not give you anything like the respect we should have done when you first came out because it had been a long day in Glasgow, in Scotland, and lots of terrible auditions and then you came out and we thought you were going to be a bit of a joke act, to be honest with you. And then I can remember every time I watched a clip it takes me back to that second when you had begun to sing, and I had never heard a more surprising, extraordinary voice coming out of somebody so unexpected.

And I mean that with the greatest of respect to you. Than what happened that day onstage and I am just so thrilled about what's happening to you now. It's incredible.

KING: I think we all are. We'll be right back with Susan Boyle and Piers Morgan, an incredible story. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Susan Boyle. The 47 year old now singing sensation. Video, by the way, of her audition for "Britain's Got Talent" has gone viral. Thirty million hits on YouTube. Piers Morgan, one of the judges for "Britain's Got Talent". Before we continue with that, watch this. Susan Boyle steps on the "Britain's Got Talent" stage, people snickered, she starts to sing. Watch what happens.


KING: What went through your head, Susan, when the crowd reacted the way they did?

BOYLE: Could you repeat the question, Larry?

KING: Yeah, what went through your head when the crowd reacted like they did?

BOYLE: Gosh, it's fantastic. I couldn't believe it. Couldn't believe it. I was overwhelmed.

KING: Piers, unless there's a miracle happening, wouldn't you say that she's going to win?

MORGAN: Well, she's certainly the favorite. Apparently she's the most odds-on favorite ever on "Britain's Got Talent" at this stage of the competition. But Susan knows there are two big hurdles left. There is a live semifinal at the end of May and then a final if she gets through that.

So anything can happen in a live show and I also judge "America's Got Talent" and we have the same situation here this season where we've been doing some auditions and we've got some incredible acts so you assume they win it and then you see another one come and that's what makes it so surprising and I think Susan knows better than anybody, this game has a lot to be played yet.

KING: You agree, Susan?

BOYLE: I do entirely.

KING: By the way, have you taken lessons all your life? Singing lessons?

BOYLE: I've had a few singing lessons, yes.

KING: Just a few.

BOYLE: I had a few over two years. A few of them over two years.

KING: How did you select the song you sang?

BOYLE: I sang that song because it fit in with the circumstances at a particular time. That was the way I was feeling at the time. It sort of summed up I was aiming for.

KING: Piers what's your thought immediately as the first notes came out?

MORGAN: I thought it was extraordinary. One of the most astounding moments I've ever seen. We had a similar situation with Paul Potts in Britain and we had it with a guy called Terry Fater (ph) on the American show who went on to be a $100 million act in Vegas. And the thing about these shows that I love, Larry, is that you can get people like Susan who have lived a dream all their lives but never had a chance to realize it and they're not by their own admission the kind of stereotypical pop star look, they couldn't get on to "American Idol" or shows like that and we are their only real hope of achieving this kind of stardom.

But what's astounding is the speed and the breadth of her success. I mean, I've been getting calls today from China, from Russia, from Australia. All around America, all around Europe. Susan Boyle has gone from total obscurity in the space of five days to global superstar and that's just extraordinary.

KING: Susan, are you going to record now?

BOYLE: Well, that will depend on the results. We'll take baby steps at time ...

KING: I don't think you need the results. Don't you think she can get a contract right now?

MORGAN: Well, I spoke to Simon Cowell who also judges "Britain's Got Talent" last night and he's in Hollywood and I think it's fair to say his eyes have been going "ka-ching" ever since Susan's performance because Simon is a businessman and he knows his music and he knows he's got somebody with an extraordinary voice and this global phenomenon going on around her and I think that within a year, whatever happens to Susan on the show, whether she wins or not, I think we're going to see a number one album around the world. I think you're going to see a world tour and I personally just want to say to Susan, thank you for coming on the show.

And to any Americans watching here, by the way, we are still auditioning for "America's Got Talent." Susan has laid down the challenge. Can you come and do on the American show what she's done in Britain?

KING: I'm saying you're going to have a hard time finding anybody. Susan Boyle stunned a lot of people speechless, as we said, with her singing. Not the judges right away. Watch what happened.


MORGAN: Without a doubt that is the biggest surprise I have had in - when you stood there with that cheeky grin and said I want to be like Elaine Page (ph) everyone was laughing at you. No one is laughing now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am so thrilled because I know that everybody was against you. I honestly think we were all being cynical and that's the biggest wake up call ever and I just want to say it was a complete privilege listening to that.

MORGAN: OK. Moment of truth. Here's yes or no. The biggest yes I have ever given anybody.

COWELL: Amanda?


COWELL: Susan Boyle, you can go back to the village with your neck held high and three yeses.


KING: I was going to say, only in America. Only in Scotland. We'll be back with more moments with Susan Boyle and Pierce Morgan and she may sing a little. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Susan Boyle and Piers Morgan. Susan, you're single. In fact, you say you've never been kissed. Now you're getting piles of fan mail. How will this change your life?

BOYLE: Well, I won't be lonely. I certainly won't be lonely anymore.

KING: Will you date? Will you change the way you look? Change your hair, your dress, your style?

BOYLE: Why should I? Why should I change? Particularly my identity.

MORGAN: Quite right.

KING: Piers, that's right. It would be a mistake to try to change this, right?

MORGAN: You know, the great appeal and charm of Susan is the way she is. The way she looks, the way she acts. She is her own woman and I think that is what everyone is falling in love with and I have to say Susan and I was very touched by the very flattering remarks you made about me in the newspapers in the weekend which did not go unnoticed, particularly as you chose me over Simon as your potential suitor. And I would like to extend an invitation to you to have dinner with me in London, Susan.

BOYLE: I accept.

MORGAN: Thank you.

KING: Susan, did it bother you that people were judging you before you sang on appearance and were kind of sort of making fun.

BOYLE: That doesn't bother me at all. I just got on with my act because I (inaudible), to keep going.

KING: Piers, does that surprise you that it didn't bother her?

MORGAN: No, because I think she's got an amazing spirit and determination. I think that Susan had an absolute confidence in her ability as a singer so she didn't really care that people were laughing or not laughing. I think she was more focused on the fact that she had her chance, a shot. It was almost like the Rocky Balboa script. Coming out of nowhere, and you get a shot, you take it and suddenly you're the world's champion.

And I think the sky's the limit for Susan, she wants to be a professional singer. The whole world is going crazy for her. I think at the very least she will achieve that aim.

But what I'm really proud of, I think, is in this time of recession around the world, what Susan Boyle has single-handedly done is give us all something to smile about and feel optimistic by and inspired by and it's a fantastic achievement to make the whole world grin and talk to each other and say, have you seen that clip? Isn't it amazing? And to make people cry. What a thing!

KING: You are so right, Piers. You hit the nail on the head. Susan, will you sing just a little for us?

BOYLE: I'll try to. I'll try to sing for you.

KING: OK, give it a whirl. Go ahead.



KING: Susan Boyle, you are - Piers, analyze that.

MORGAN: Amazing. That was just absolutely stunning. To sing that with no musical backing is unbelievable. You have the voice of an angel, Susan. And if you don't win this show somebody is going to have to be pretty incredible to beat. Amazing.

KING: Amazing. You're not kidding Sinatra ought to be reborn. Susan Boyle, thank you. Best of luck. You'll be singing for the Queen, Susan, I predict it.

Piers, thanks for joining us. Susan Boyle in Scotland.

BOYLE: Thanks very much.

KING: Piers Boyle in London.

That is a tough act to follow.

Anderson Cooper will try. Here is AC 360. Anderson?