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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview with David Cook, Heidi Montag, Spencer Pratt
Aired June 15, 2009 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, David Cook exclusive. The "American Idol" winner in his first TV interview on losing his best friend, his brother, who died of brain cancer. His emotions of moving on without the person who inspired him the most.
And then, Heidi and Spencer out of the jungle and they're here. Were they tortured a reality show or are they torturing us?
And Jeff Foxworthy's advice for us all about goofing off at work and getting ahead.
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JEFF FOXWORTHY, COMEDIAN: You might want to listen up.
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KING: What does he think of the Letterman feud? Foxworthy is fired up and so are we, next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Before we begin, a couple of notes. Thursday night, the Jonas Brothers for the full hour. And Friday night, I'm going to be in Las Vegas and -- that's where I'm going to be doing my comedy. I do have a funny act and it will be in the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas. My wife Shawn will open the proceedings. It starts at 8:00 and if you'd like to get tickets to see us there, proceeds will go to my cardiac foundation. Just go on the Web site, encorelasvegas.com. We hope to see you there, it should be a lot of fun. It's a different side of me.
Here's a great guy, welcoming him back to LARRY KING LIVE, David Cook, winner of the seventh season of the "American Idol." His debut album is the self-titled "David Cook." Great name. Our condolences, David, your older brother Adam passed away. Can we say it was not expected or is any death not expected?
DAVID COOK, MUSICIAN: Well, I mean, I would say the actual event was unexpected, but we kind of knew for a while that Adam was heading in that direction, I guess. So, you know, now that it's done and it's over with, I think, you know, it gives us a chance as a family to kind of regroup and move on and, hopefully, make sure that, you know, his memory just kind of lives on.
KING: How old was he?
COOK: He was 37 and an amazing, definitely one of my best friends, one of my biggest advisers. And he was just one of those people, I think he was important to everybody that knew him, which is very cool.
KING: What did he do for a living?
COOK: He was a lawyer.
KING: In Missouri?
COOK: In Indiana, actually, Terre Haute. And so lawyer jokes were the norm around the family. But he's left behind a great wife and a couple of kids. And you know, we're still family. We still talk all the time.
KING: When did he discover he had it?
COOK: God, he must have been 26.
KING: So he held on that long, 11 years?
COOK: Yeah. Adam was defiant almost to a fault and I say that in the most endearing sense. The doctors when they first diagnosed him, they gave him about two years. And every time they would give him a diagnosis of a definite amount of time, he would always seem to exceed it. And I remember I took a couple of days off from this tour that we've been on back in March because we got bad news that it was going to be a few days at best and then of course, he lasted seven more weeks, so.
KING: David learned of his brother's passing several hours after it happened. He arrived in Washington, D.C. for the Race for Hope, a fund-raiser for brain cancer research, still took part in that event. Watch.
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COOK: On a serious note, I, like everybody here, am affected by this disease. I actually lost my brother yesterday to a brain tumor. And I couldn't imagine -- I can't imagine being anywhere else right now.
CROWD: We love you.
CROWD: We love you, David! We're right with you!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Yeah. How do you deal with -- how do you cope? You got music.
COOK: Yes. I have amazing people just kind of surrounding me from all levels and I mean that, obviously, I'm extremely close to my family.
KING: Parents living? COOK: Both parents, yeah. And the fact that, you know, I've been able to surround myself professionally with a ton of great people and that's from my management, my label, all the way down to my fans. I -- the condolences and well wishes sent my way in the last month and a half has been unreal and I know that those wishes, you know, partly to my family have been an absolute blessing.
KING: How are your parents taking it?
COOK: You know, I think just like everybody else. I definitely take lessons from them on how to cope and how to deal with this. And that race was, you know, part of that deal. I think my parents, they stayed the course and they mourn in private.
KING: They say that people die as they live. How did he die? Did he die bravely?
COOK: Yeah. Adam -- Adam died without -- without relative cognitive ability. The tumor that he had called a gigliablastoma -- (ph) it affected him outwardly, but not inwardly. And I say that in moments of clarity, he maintained his sense of humor all the way to the end. And the biggest lesson I took from Adam was that it never defined him. It was never a character trait or a personality trait. It was just an illness. And so yeah, I think, I definitely think that Adam passed with all of his dignity intact.
KING: David performed the song "Permanent" inspired by his older brother for the finale of this season's "American Idol." Take a look.
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KING: How did it feel to come back?
COOK: You know what? "Idol's" always, ever since I first got on the show, it's just felt like home. The people behind the scenes, the judges, Ryan, everybody, it is a camaraderie there. And so it meant a lot to be able to come back and do that. And we've been really fortunate that all parties involved with the recording of that song kind of forwent their payment of royalties and now the song is actually up for a few more days. I think another week, on iTunes and all of the proceeds from the sale go to ABC squared.
KING: Was it nice to work without the pressure of wondering if people are voting for you?
COOK: Being a part of the finale for season eight was definitely a lot less stressful than season seven. I definitely had a level of empathy for Adam and Kris. But it is such a cool thing just to be part of, I mean the show at all, let alone to get to the finale, and so, but it was very cool to back.
KING: We will talk about what his career has been doing since. Who is your all-time favorite "Idol" winner? That is tonight's quick vote. Give us your answers, CNN.com/LarryKing. David is in the lead right now.
Is sudden fame all it's cracked up to be? He might have the surprising answer. Since I don't know what it is, I'm as interested as you. That's next.
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KING: His debut album, "David Cook" went platinum, is still selling very well. He's our special guest, the winner of our seventh season of "American Idol." OK, is fame what you expected? Is it all it's cracked up to be?
COOK: It's different. I think that's the best way to explain it. I've constantly amazed at what -- what people seem to gravitate towards.
COOK: I've always thought like, I guess call it, you know, being naive, but before all of this, I always assumed like, you know, if I ever get to this point where I have a major record deal and I'm making music and people are going to want to talk about the music. And a lot of times, they'd rather talk about who I'm dating or what kind of food I eat or whatever. And so the theater of the absurd kind of stuff.
KING: Do you wonder why they are interested in that?
COOK: No, because I'm afraid it would just kind of consume my being.
KING: Back to some current things. What did you think -- by the way, are you doing another album?
COOK: Actually, we're getting ready to start another leg of the tour. We just finished the first leg of the Declaration Tour, did three months of college dates and now we're going to start doing theaters through the summer. I think right now we're looking to go into mid October.
KING: And record again?
COOK: Hopefully, record again.
KING: What did you think of the Kris Allen win over Adam Lambert? Surprised?
COOK: I was, but I wasn't. I was surprised in the sense of just like everybody else, you hear all the media talking and everybody seemed to think Adam was going to win. And so when they said, Kris, I was like, oh, OK. But I think being there and kind of following the season and watching them perform, I wouldn't have been surprised either way. They are both great performers and great guys.
KING: Any thought about the fuss over Adam's sexuality? Or why should that matter?
COOK: You know what? I just think that now that it's out, let's move on. Adam is such an amazing singer and amazing performer and I don't really see how sexual preference plays a role.
KING: Will it affect his career?
COOK: It shouldn't.
KING: Do you think it might?
COOK: I think whether or not it will, I think time will tell. I'm hoping that, you know, we get to a point where it's just like anything else, like hair color.
KING: In the latest "Rolling Stone," Adam credits you for paving the way for him to perform innovative arrangements on "Idol." Do you see yourself as a kind of trailblazer?
COOK: You know, it's always interesting to me because I've heard him say that a couple times and it's extremely flattering. So thanks, Adam. But I think past that, you know, I took, you know, ideas from prior idols, too. I looked at people like Bo Bice and Chris and tried to spin it my own way and make it me. And if somebody wants to take something from that, that's amazing. I feel like that just adds brevity to what I did on the show.
KING: Now you and your former rival, David Archuleta, your runner up, performed in the Philippines, last night. I'm told 50,000 fans. What was that like, 50,000 fans?
COOK: Well, the funny thing about that show is the number fluctuates. I've heard 50, I've heard 40, I've heard 115.
KING: 632,000 fans. How did it feel?
COOK: Cool, cool. One of those moments where I just -- you kind of have to take a step back and realize I'm halfway around the world and these people know who I am. And they are such -- they have such a thirst for like the "Idol" brand there. And I think they are the only other country that simulcasts it live, so it goes on at like 8 in the morning.
But like, Archie and I couldn't leave the hotel without chaperones. We went to -- I went to go shopping at the mall across the street and had 50 armed guards holding people back because I walked in the stores. It puts it in perspective because then I come back home, and mom is like, "When you come home, maybe you can go and take the trash out."
KING: Go get a bottle of milk.
COOK: Right, right.
KING: Are you protective of Archie?
COOK: No, I don't think so. I definitely -- I definitely feel like Archie and I have a cool kind of brotherly relationship. But if anybody should be protective of anybody, he should probably be protective of me. He is very mature for his age. It's such -- you know, I remember watching when we performed in the Philippines and just to see how much he has grown from the time we were on the "Idol" tour to now, it was really cool to see.
KING: A special guy. David Cook, winner of the seventh season of "American Idol," the debut album is self-titled "David Cook." Want exclusive access to the Jonas Brothers world tour? You've got it. Go to CNN.com/LarryKing for reports you'll only get only on our Web site. Check out their stop right now and remember our big interview is Thursday night. Back with David in 60 seconds.
KING: Don't forget, you can download David's version of "Permanent" on -- on the iTunes, right?
KING: The proceeds will go to?
COOK: ABC squared. It's short for Accelerated Brain Cancer Cure, an organization that raises money and funds for a cure for brain cancer.
KING: David has had an incredible success after "American Idol." Here is a look back. A look at "Come Back to Me." The video is number one this week on VH1 and Fuse's top 10 countdown. Take a look.
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KING: A couple of other quick things. Now you went to the "Idol" audition to promote your younger brother?
KING: And you got it and he didn't. What is he doing?
COOK: Andrew is actually -- he is hosting a radio show on the Internet, KCRadio.com.
KING: Where is that?
COOK: Just go to KCRadio.com. KING: But where he is physically?
COOK: Oh, physically, he's in Kansas City. So he really seems to enjoy it, he's learning a lot and he's also finishing up an education degree.
KING: Can he go back on "Idol?"
COOK: Yeah, if he wants to. I think now that everything has kind of fallen where it's fallen, he kind of wants to pave his own way a little bit, but you never know.
KING: On this tour, you have played so far mostly smaller circles.
COOK: Primarily college venues.
KING: Are you looking forward to bigger?
COOK: Absolutely. I think I want to be part of something massive. I want to be one of the biggest acts in the world. But we're working our way up the ladder.
KING: What is the next thing you want to do? You want to sing? I mean, you want to do a movie?
COOK: Do it all, why not? I'll become like Seacrest, I'll just do a little bit of everything.
KING: Like a generalist.
KING: Is there something you'd like to do that maybe people wouldn't think you would do? Would you like to act?
COOK: I would love to act, actually. I kind of threw my hat in that whole hat a long time ago. And we've had some offers but nothing has stuck.
KING: Let's see the guitar with your brother's initials are on it, right?
COOK: This is actually the guitar that I played on "Idol." And I've retired it for the time being. It's hanging on a wall back at home.
KING: Where is his initials?
COOK: Right here. I'll probably bring it back out at some point. But my brother was always real adamant about not being the center of attention. So here we go.
KING: David, you're a special guy.
COOK: Thank you very much. KING: Thank you for coming.
COOK: Thank you.
KING: David Cook and thanks for doing this, it wasn't easy.
COOK: My pleasure.
KING: America loves him or hates it, there's no middle ground when it comes to Heidi and Spencer. What have they got to say for themselves? That's next.
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SPENCER PRATT, TV PERSONALITY: Being in the jungle with this beautiful thing right here for 23 days, she can't leave me! She's locked out!
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KING: Joining us now from New York, Heidi and Spencer Pratt. They recently quit as a duo from "I'm A Celebrity: Get Me Out Of Here!" They rushed out of Costa Rica, off the show. Spencer, why did you quit?
PRATT: Well, the first time I quit definitely a mistake and I realized that and begged NBC to let us back on. And so when we went back, we were ready to go and win the whole show and win as much money for our charity as possible but then when Heidi got the gastric ulcer and was rushed to the hospital, we still wanted to go back to the jungle and we continued to ask NBC every day to let us back but Heidi's doctor has advised NBC that it would not be a safe environment for her.
KING: So Heidi, you didn't leave for any reasons of dissatisfaction with the show?
HEIDI MONTAG, TV PERSONALITY: No, absolutely not. I loved the show. It was such a blessing to even be able to go and such a great cause for charities. I just got really sick and, you know, I was throwing up a lot and the next day, I didn't get better and the doctor said it was an emergency and that I needed to be rushed to the hospital, and it was a very dangerous situation, so I had to go.
KING: You both certainly were the epicenter of drama on the show. Let's watch.
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MONTAG: Jokes are fun and funny but when they're at the expense of someone, they are really mean. And I have really bad bug bites.
UNIDENTIIFED FEMALE: Don't hit me!
PRATT: I didn't hit you! I hit your water!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You hit her possession.
PRATT: I didn't hit you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why would you do that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said you did it! You told me you did it.
PRATT: This is not a very nice show.
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KING: All right, let's discuss some of the things being said since. Spencer, people are saying that was an act, you were doing it for attention.
PRATT: I wish I was that incredible of an actor. Unfortunately, I lost my mind in the jungle. I was not ready for what the show entailed. I went in there thinking we were all going to hang out and tan and chill out by the lagoon. So I kind of blacked out in reality mode. So I wish I was that good of an actor. I would definitely not be in reality television.
KING: If that's true, then why did you want to go back?
PRATT: Because after we finally, it hit us what the show was, you know, we accepted it and got into it and we were ready to win, but when you go into something with a totally different head set and it's the opposite of that, it kind of just threw us off.
KING: Heidi, what do you make of people saying the sickness was an act?
MONTAG: I wish it was an act. Honestly, it was one of the most horrific events. I was horrified, I was so sick, I was so scared. I had severely IVs in me. I was in the hospital for up to 10 hours. And honestly, I wish it were an act.
KING: OK. Now we know that there have been stories all day that you're mad of Al Roker of NBC because he asked if you were proud of your behavior. Why, in your opinion, was that a bad question?
MONTAG: It wasn't the question that was bad. You know, I answered it, I tried to answer it, but I guess I didn't answer it how he wanted me to and he got very aggressive and said, you know, that's not what I was asking you! And started coming at me more and more aggressively and I didn't appreciate his tone.
And his, you know, mean spiritedness toward me when I was trying to go on and talk about "I'm A Celebrity: Get Me Out Of Here," you know? And my experience on it. And I felt like he was attacking me and I just didn't appreciate the way he was talking to me.
KING: How did you react to that, Spencer?
PRATT: Well, I'm working on not, you know, freaking out right away, you know, having a crazy temper. So my heart was pounding and, you know, obviously, any male, especially, you know an elderly man who thinks he can parade my 22-year-old wife on television, it was a very difficult situation, but, you know, we're keeping it moving, we forgive him and, you know, it was early in the morning. Maybe he was upset that he had to report some bad weather coming up later this week.
KING: So it wasn't the question? It was the way he handled it after the question was answered, is that it?
MONTAG: Yes, of course. It wasn't the question at all. I was trying to answer it, but it was the way he kept pursuing it and kept asking me and I answered it and he kept repeating the question. And just -- it was the tone and how he was saying it to me.
KING: We'll have more with Heidi and Spencer Pratt, the talk of the day on "I'm A Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here!" How long can they ride of wave of celebrity? We'll talk about it after the break. And you can go to CNN.com/LarryKing for the Jonas Brothers backstage photo gallery. Stick around.
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MONTAG: You can't see anything!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lights out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look out!
MONTAG: It was so horrific and so gross and I was trying, so hard, I was like, OK, god, if Dan was in the den, please help me to get through this. Pretend I'm shopping.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have one minute left, Heidi. You got to get a move on. Come on.
MONTAG: Oh, this is just great!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: I'm not sure, but I don't think I would do that show.
MONTAG: It's pretty crazy.
KING: Heidi and Spencer, Janice Dickinson, another celebrity on that program, the super model, was rushed by ambulance today from the set in Costa Rice, do you know anything about it?
MONTAG: No, I haven't heard anything about it, but I will definitely say a prayer for it. It's a crazy show, I'm telling you, it's not a walk in the park.
KING: Do you like her, Spencer?
PRATT: I personally love Janice Dickinson. I think just like Heidi and myself, people really don't understand her. So I feel like when you get to know her, just like Heidi and myself, I think there is way more to love than people realize.
KING: Spencer, people say that you've made a career out of being obnoxious. Let's put it this way; when you look in the mirror in the morning, do you consider yourself, I'm an obnoxious person?
PRATT: When I look in the mirror in the morning, I think about how amazing I am at first, and how --
KING: See, that is obnoxious!
PRATT: So then yes. So then yes.
KING: Heidi, do you think he is obnoxious?
MONTAG: No. I think he's misunderstood. I think Spencer doesn't take anything too seriously. I think he just has fun. I think he just lives life day-to-day. And people take him way more seriously than he intends, I think.
KING: What did you hate the most about the show, Spencer?
PRATT: Not having my Blackberry or my iPhone.
KING: Not the dangers involved?
KING: Some of the weird things?
PRATT: No. Being out of touch with my business world.
KING: What did you hate about it, Heidi?
MONTAG: I think the lost chamber. I think that was the worst for me. The smell in there, I mean, it was just -- it was horrific. So that was probably the worst for me.
KING: Are you surprised, Spencer, at the show's success?
PRATT: No. Actually, now that we're not on the show and we Tivo it and watch it every night, it's up there with one of my favorite shows on television. Not being a part of it and getting to watch it is way too much fun.
KING: Why do you like it so much?
PRATT: Because after you experience it -- like the thing about the show is people only see an hour each night. We're there in that little circle that you see for an hour for 24 hours. So, like, once you've experienced it, getting to watch it and really know like, ah, thank you, thank you -- we're not there right now! It's just -- and her sister is about to win, Holly Montag.
MONTAG: We're very excited for her.
PRATT: And we love Steven.
KING: Can I gather, Heidi, you would not go back?
MONTAG: I would go back. And actually, we both tried to go back after I was hospitalized because we wanted to finish it out for our charities, and to try to finish the show, because it's a great show and we felt very honored to be a part of it. But for my health reasons, the doctor said that I was not allowed to go back in the jungle. But I did want to go back.
KING: I would not go back either. Thank you both so much.
PRATT: Thank you.
KING: Heidi and Spencer Pratt of "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!" And they took it literally and they are gone.
We are with the Jonas Brothers this week. We have a sneak peek at what you'll see during our exclusive with them Thursday. How did they make out in Madrid? You'll see it next.
KING: Hi, I'm Larry. Want to keep up with me off camera? you can follow me now on Twitter, find me on Facebook. Go to CNN.com/LarryKing. Sign up! Let's be friends.
Jeff Foxworthy in a couple of minutes. But first, talk to the Jonas Brothers directly through our Facebook page. Go to Facebook.com/CNNLarryKingLive and ask Kevin, Nick or Joe a question. We might ask them in Thursday's show. We have exclusive and unprecedented access to their European tour. Let's see how all of Madrid went mad for the Jonas Brothers this weekend. Watch.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello. We just arrived in Madrid. We arrived at about 2:15 a.m. And we have to go to the hotel and customs and get up and do the show tomorrow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The whole trip, you can tell, is a big family. Everyone is always joking around together. We are a family. Family travels together. And we choose the people to be on the tour according to that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love to do these shows and be able to travel across the world to get to play our music for our fans. It's amazing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- big part of everything we do, as long as we can remember. And it's kind of the base of everything we do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amen. Bring it in, everybody. First show, Madrid, we're about to go to stage. Here we go, everybody.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That feeling when you step on that stage and you're living your dream, there's nothing you want to do other than this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How you guys doing tonight. You all right? I can't hear you! All the way in the back now! How's she doing? Oh, oh, oh, one more time!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Louder!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Goodbye to Spain, off to Paris. One day down, two more to go. Let's do it.
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KING: Want to see more? You can at CNN.com/LarryKing. We've got them taking Paris by storm, too. Just went up on the website. We'll devote all of Thursday's show to the Jonas Brothers and their tour. They will be stateside by that time in Dallas. Write it down.
Next, the very funny Jeff Foxworthy. He is going to get serious, too. We'll talk about Sarah Palin, who might be a favorite in redneck country. He's here in 60 seconds!
KING: We welcome to LARRY KING LIVE one of my favorite people, Jeff Foxworthy. Get this, he is the largest selling comedy recording artist in history. He's the host of a terrific show "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader." The "New York Times" best selling author has a new book out. It's called "How to Really Stink at Work." There you see it's cover. It's very funny.
First, Jeff, a David Letterman monologue comment about Sarah Palin's daughter has stirred up a lot of controversy. Here is a little of the back and forth and then we'll get your thoughts.
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DAVID LETTERMAN, "THE LATE SHOW": One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game; during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.
MATT LAUER, "THE TODAY SHOW": Are you suggesting that David Letterman can't be trusted around a 14-year-old girl? GOV. SARAH PALIN (R), ALASKA: Hey, take it however you want to take it. It is a comment that came from the heart that Willow, no doubt, would want to stay away from David Letterman.
LETTERMAN: These are not jokes made about her 14-year-old daughter. I would never, never make jokes about raping or having sex of any description with a 14-year-old girl.
PALIN: Weak. Convenient excuse. You know what? Regardless of which daughter it was, inappropriate.
LETTERMAN: Were the jokes in question in questionable taste? Of course, they were.
Do I regret having told them? Well, I think probably I do. But you know what? There are thousands of jokes I regret telling on this program.
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KING: That is David Letterman, who today and tonight on his show will issue a formal apology. The apology to the governor and her family on the show tonight. He says his joke was indefensible and beyond flawed. He said, quote, I feel that I need to do the right thing here and apologize for having told that joke.
As a comic, father of two teenage daughters, Jeff Foxworthy, author of "How to Really Stink at Work," what do you make of this whole thing?
JEFF FOXWORTHY, COMEDIAN: As the father of two teenage daughters, it was a flawed joke. As a comedian, you look at what Dave does. You're trying to do this every night, year after year, decade after decade. At some point in the road, are you going to throw one out there that you shouldn't have? Yes. But to me it's about forgiveness. He came back and apologized saying, hey, the joke is flawed. To me --
KING: Do you think it's over there?
FOXWORTHY: Well, I think so. Having teenage daughters, I don't think any kind of joke about anybody having sex with a teenage girl is funny. But he apologized.
KING: If she asked you, Jeff, should I go on his show, what would you tell her?
FOXWORTHY: Who is that, Sarah?
FOXWORTHY: Yes. Larry, that's the key to life. We all make mistakes. Life is about forgiveness. I think that makes her bigger to go on there, and say I accept your apology.
KING: I agree with you. You put an end to it, go on. FOXWORTHY: Absolutely. Life goes on.
KING: "How to Really Stink at Work," how did you come up with this? These are guys who want unemployment, right? Want to get fired?
FOXWORTHY: When we were writing it a couple of years ago, we didn't think about the job market being so bad. Brian Hart (ph), a very funny guy, was one of the writers when we were doing "Blue Collar TV." We were sitting around one day, and he said, you know, knowing you as a comedian, I cannot imagine that you worked at IBM for five years. I said, Brian, I was at IBM for five years. I don't know how much work I did, because I was young and we were with -- you know, I had buddies, and we would find ways.
Larry, we had a boss that -- we were in dispatch. He loved to kind of circle and always look over your shoulder to see what you were doing. So we figured we would watch every time he came out of his office. We'd let him get about 20 or 30 feet out, and then we would dial his phone. So his phone would start ringing, and he would stop and run back to get it. And when he would get to the desk, we would hang up. And we would do this to this guy 25 times a day!
KING: Hundreds of people at CNN are working on the same thing. We will be right back with Jeff Foxworthy. Don't go away.
KING: Back with Jeff Foxworthy, largest selling comedy recording artist in history. The idea of this book came from where?
FOXWORTHY: We had done a book the year before. Brian and I had written one called "How to Really Stink at Golf," because we were both terrible at it. Every book we saw about golf was how to be good at it. We had read them all and none of them had worked. We thought, why not give up on that and set our goal. Everybody knows the limits of how good you can be at golf. Right? Tiger Woods -- nobody knows the limits of how bad you could be at it.
KING: So you give key advice here how to quit? Or to get fired?
FOXWORTHY: Well, without -- you really don't want to get fired. You want to have a job. But you don't want to do it well, because you're going to be promoted and that is a lot of pressure. Who can have any fun with that kind of thing hanging over your head?
KING: Status quo?
FOXWORTHY: Stay the status quo. Do things like write a petition to have your boss fired, and take it to your boss and tell him you found it on your desk. So he will spend the rest of the day looking at everybody else. And you can sit there and play Solitaire on the computer!
KING: That's funny. Did you do any of these things?
FOXWORTHY: Yes, I did. You know what? I did. And I think most of my comedy -- I was a lucky comedian, because I trusted very early on that if I thought something or my wife said it or my kids did it, that surely we weren't the only ones. And that is what I've always trusted with comedy. Even I did my first two children's books, I did "Dirt On My Shirt" last year and "Silly Street" this year. With that, I try to make myself go back and be seven years old and write about the things kids like.
KING: Why do rednecks, who you kid, laugh at you?
FOXWORTHY: Well, they laugh with me. I think that is it. And that kind of whole thing started because I talk like this. Even in the early days of comedy, I'm working in New York City, I wear jeans and cowboy boots. It's always, Foxworthy, you're nothing but an old redneck from Georgia. Well, in traveling the country, I was look, hey, I know what I am, but I'm not the only one.
I'm playing at a club in Michigan, and they are kidding me about being a redneck. Larry, the club is attached to a bowling alley that had valet parking! I said if you don't think you have rednecks, look out the window. People are valet parking at the bowling alley. So, people always say, where do you come up with the redneck jokes. I say, there is not a lot of research going on. It is pretty much my family and friends.
KING: Do you write all your own material?
FOXWORTHY: I always have. When you get down to -- like when we were doing the "Blue Collar TV" shows and I had to write a monologue four times a week. I had a couple of buddies helping me. But stand up I have always written.
KING: How are you enjoying this fifth grader show?
FOXWORTHY: As long as they give me the answers. I enjoy it a lot.
KING: How many times would you know the answers?
FOXWORTHY: Fifty or sixty percent. But sometimes -- We had a lady on last year. It was like a second grade grammar question about an antonym. She said, oh, I remember in school, there were homonyms and synonyms, and antonyms. She said, I can't remember the difference. She said, can you use it in a sentence. I said, yes, my antonym came over for Thanksgiving dinner. I don't remember what it is.
But it's a ball to do. We're getting ready to come back on July 3rd with new shows, a lot of them celebrities playing for charity, which is a cool thing. And then we are doing a syndicated version this fall. So we are going to be on daily.
KING: Is it that we just forget too much as we get older? FOXWORTHY: It is a strange thing, in that why the brain keeps some things. Like I don't know why my brain has all the words to the Brady Bunch theme song, but it deleted everything about triangle. You know? It still has that file, Larry, when I accidentally saw my grandmother naked when I was 10. It won't get rid of that. I can't get rid of that. But half the world history is out the window. I think it's because we don't use it.
KING: You know the whole Brady Bunch.
KING: Let me hear it.
KING: Go ahead.
FOXWORTHY: I heard you singing the country song.
KING: I was good.
FOXWORTHY: You were more than good.
KING: We'll be back with Jeff Foxworthy, again, one of my favorite people. The book, "How to Really Stink at Work." Speaking of comedians, Kathy Griffin tomorrow night. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FOXWORTHY: You give me a redneck man's t-shirt drawer, I can tell you what kind of truck he drives, what radio station he listens to, who he roots for in Nascar, what he likes to hunt, who his favorite college football is, his philosophy in life, and where he went on vacation the last 21 summers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Ain't nobody like him, Jeff Foxworthy. Time for our remarkable questions, both via e-mail. First from William in Canton, Ohio, home of the Football Hall of Fame. "I always enjoyed your late night radio show. I remember during the last hour, you would ask callers why you were up. I thought it was clever and fun. How did you come up with that idea?"
We wanted to do like a survey. They didn't rate shows over night. So we tried to find out who was up. Oddly enough, the profession most up was college students, which made me feel pretty good.
Next question from Sheila, Fairport, New York. "What is your favorite part of your memoir and why? It is a great read, thanks."
My favorite part is these stories I tell, which I will be telling in Vegas on Friday night. If you've got a question for me, ask at CNN.com/LarryKing. One day left. If I read it on the air, you will get an autographed copy of "My Remarkable Journey," and have a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles, see my show live. And while you're on the website, check out my interview with sportscaster Joe Buck, one of my favorite people. Half the proceeds of this book go to the Larry King Cardiac Foundation.
Jeff, what are you? Are you a quiz show host? A comedian? An author? What are you?
FOXWORTHY: I have been very blessed. I have gotten to do a lot of things.
KING: Pin you down?
FOXWORTHY: It would be a stand up comedian.
KING: That's what you are.
FOXWORTHY: I appreciate the job. I have been doing it 25 years. I think I appreciate it more now than ever.
KING: You always have them when you walk on the stage?
FOXWORTHY: I hope so.
KING: You don't bomb, do you?
KING: Melbourne, Florida, hello.
CALLER: How you doing, Larry?
CALLER: This is James. Anderson Cooper has a segment that I want to watch that is coming on next. I was wondering what Jeff thought about pot being legal in America; can we afford it or can we not?
FOXWORTHY: Don't make me get into this political kind of questions. When you have teenage kids I look for one last thing to be something to trip them up. They have enough problems as it is.
KING: How old are they?
FOXWORTHY: Fifteen and 17.
KING: Boys in their life yet?
FOXWORTHY: Not yet.
KING: Seventeen and doesn't have a boy?
FOXWORTHY: She is actually a great student. She spoke at the White House last year. She and I went to Africa with some people, and she discovered that most of the children there that die -- it is of malaria. So she buys malaria nets. She works with a group called Compassion and they have raised over 700,000 dollars for nets for kids in Africa.
KING: Are you worried about boys?
FOXWORTHY: You know, Larry, here's the thing, when you have teenage daughters -- when I was a teenager, I could get every girl's mother to like me. All the mothers like me. And the dads would look at you like you spit in their coffee cup. Now I totally understand. It makes perfect sense.
KING: When a guy comes to the door who is a lot like you, that is a big fear.
FOXWORTHY: That is not a good thing. No. Because I know now why I was at the door. He should just turn around and leave.
KING: Are you always out tour?
FOXWORTHY: No. You know what, I have always made -- I have been very lucky. I have made my family my priority. I mean, 12 years ago, left L.A. and went to Georgia, where all my family lives. Live next door to my brother. Take my kids to school every day, do stand up on the weekends, and come back and write books after I take them to school. Life is great.
KING: You are funny at home?
FOXWORTHY: I think so. I think I'm a normal guy. I'm funny a lot of the times, but I'm serious. I love to read. My kids laugh at me, because I cry as easy as anybody in the house. Sunday night, we will watch the "Extreme Home Makeover." My daughters just go, are you crying yet, dad? When they move the bus, I'm gone. I'm gone.
KING: The material you come up with, is that difficult? Do you ever run out -- sit down and it is dry?
FOXWORTHY: It is funny, when you look back at it, whether it is an album or an HBO special, it's always like what was going on in my life for that year. I just talk about my life. I don't sit down and think what am I going to talk about. It is whatever is going on.
KING: Nothing beats real thing?
FOXWORTHY: No, I don't think so. People know when you are making it up.
KING: When are we going to get a Jeff Foxworthy reality show?
FOXWORTHY: It would be the most boring show. I wouldn't let them do that. You know what? I want my kids to grow up normal. I wouldn't want a camera in their face.
KING: What are you going to write next? FOXWORTHY: I just finished my third kids book, I think. I'm putting the finishing touches on it. It is called "Hide." So that --
KING: When you write for children, is it difficult not to write down?
FOXWORTHY: It is. And I always wanted to do it. But when I started hosting Fifth Grader, all the sudden every kid knew who I was. My daughters were like, dad, you should do it now. I sat down thinking this would be easy. After three days, I was like, no wonder Dr. Seuss was a big deal. This is hard. Your vocabulary is condensed. It has to make sense. It still has to be funny. It has to rhyme. There is actually a musical rhythm to it.
KING: Dr. Seuss was probably a genius.
FOXWORTHY: Beyond a shadow of a doubt, total genius.
KING: So are you.
FOXWORTHY: Thank you, Larry. Good to see you again.
KING: My Pleasure. Jeff Foxworthy, wrote it with Brian Hart, "How to Really Stink at Work, A Guide to Making Yourself Fireproof, While Having The Most Fun Possible."
Kathy Griffin is here tomorrow night. Time now for Anderson Cooper and "AC 360." Anderson?