Return to Transcripts main page

CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Special Coverage of Michael Jackson's Funeral

Aired September 3, 2009 - 23:59   ET

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


JIM MORET, GUEST HOST, LARRY KING LIVE: Good evening. You're watching continuing coverage of Michael Jackson's funeral.

This is a special midnight edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

I'm Jim Moret, from "Inside Edition," sitting in for Larry tonight.

The service is still underway; it got off to a late start. It may be going very late, as guests have been told they can speak if they wish.

Elizabeth Taylor, Macaulay Culkin and other celebrities have joined the jackson family to say good-bye to Michael at Forest Lawn in Glendale, California.

And you're looking at tape from earlier this evening, a procession of some 26 cars with family members, drove up.

They were about an hour and 30 minutes late, getting under way.

We're joined outside Forest Lawn by Carlos Diaz, correspondent for "Extra." You've been there much of the day. I was there earlier, it was extremely hot. Any idea why it got off to such a late start?

CARLOS DIAZ, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": Well, I mean, it's the exact same thing that happened a few months ago at Staples Center when that was supposed to start promptly at a certain time, before noon, and it started at about an hour and a half late and went a lot longer than people expected.

This was supposed to -- this funeral service was supposed to last about an hour. It's already lasting longer than that. It got under way an hour late. But when you have so much to coordinate, you have 26 cars coming from across town in a very busy Los Angeles streets. It's not your normal funeral. Obviously, a lot more to this than your normal funeral and a lot more cars to get over here. It just seems to be a trend with the Jackson family at this point.

MORET: Carlos, viewers are watching tape of the services that are under way. Give us a sense, if you could, of the media coverage that's outside. I know there's a perimeter right outside the gates and there are cones. You're not allowed to go across that line. Give us a sense of how many people are there covering this event.

DIAZ: You have media from all over the world. It's less media than we saw at the celebration at Staples Center but, still, it's media from across the globe. The thing that struck me the most was that we really didn't expect to see this much pool footage of Michael Jackson's funeral. When the pool footage came on the screens, and on the monitors that are scattered about, reporters from all over the world - that have seen things, that the normal person has not seen - went running over to the monitors to get a glimpse of this. Even reporters who have seen so much were still in awe to see the pictures from inside this funeral.

MORET: And it was a bit of a tease, I know. We were told originally we were not going to get that pool footage. And then, true to form, the audio was cut. We're seeing tape that was shot some time ago.

Joining us here in studio is Gotham Chopra, a friend of Michael Jackson's. He accompanied Michael on the "Dangerous Tour" when he was just a teenager.

Gotham, you've known Michael for nearly 20 years.

GOTHAM CHOPRA, JACKSON LONG-TIME FRIEND: Twenty years, yeah.

MORET: What is your sense? You called it earlier on LARRY KING LIVE. You said you've known Michael for a long time. He's never been on time for anything.

CHOPRA: Yes.

MORET: You said half jokingly, you wouldn't expect this to begin on time. But it did go late.

CHOPRA: Yes, I mean, his concerts never started on time. He never showed up to dinner on time. It was the way he was. It was not a surprise. It thought it the over/under was right around an hour, but it is a very dignified ceremony from what we saw here.

MORET: In a way we're eavesdropping. We're looking in on aerial view right now. We're looking at along with our viewers. And this, I have to remind you, this is tape. The service is still ongoing. We are not able to hear the service. We were told that the pool footage would be limited. It is limited.

Gotham, give us a sense, if you could, because people tonight in this private ceremony of some 200 plus people, friends - close friends - family, are hearing about Michael Jackson, the Michael Jackson you knew.

CHOPRA: Sure.

MORET: Paint a picture of this man. Because he's so complex. Many people just have the wrong view of who he was.

CHOPRA: Michael was a contradiction. I mean, he was the greatest superstar that ever lived, in some ways, some people would argue he was a scandal-plagued celebrity, certainly in the last few years. But he was also a normal person, somewhere in the middle of that. I think one of the great normalizing things about him, especially the last decade, was his children.

He created a family, in some ways, people that would not judge him for being one of those two polar opposites, but really appreciate him for being somebody real, a father. He was a normal father. He knew which kid liked what cereal. He changed diapers. He got worried and stayed up all night when the kids' fever spiked. So, there was something normalizing about them for him as well.

I think, you know, he's actually in some ways all of those things. I mean, he was an agonized person in many ways. And part of that agony is where his amazing creativity came from. So, it is hard to define him, because he was so many of those things, wrapped up in this iconic personality.

MORET: Carlos out on the scene, Gotham is describing Michael Jackson in very human terms, but he was also a mega celebrity. We saw a star- studded group of people arriving tonight. Can you give us a sense of some of the people who are there? Give us a list of the celebrities that are joining this celebration of Michael's life?

DIAZ: And a very unusual list of celebrities. You have Elizabeth Taylor out here, who was waiting in the heat for Michael Jackson. She got here on time. Michael Jackson, of course, late. You have celebrities like Barry Bonds, Macaulay Culkin, Corey Feldman, Chris Tucker, who is a fan and friend of Michael Jackson's, appearing in one of his videos.

So, you have a very unusual mix. Lisa Marie Presley here. Debbie Rowe invited, but did not come. Also, Diana Ross, not in attendance, once again; she was not at the memorial service at the Stapes Center and not here tonight. But you do have a mix of a lot of celebrities and also a lot of celebrities that Michael Jackson will now be buried with here at this cemetery.

MORET: Carlos, you named a couple of people, Lisa Marie and Elizabeth Taylor, in particular. Neither of them showed up as you mentioned to the memorial service. We're seeing this is a very different type of service, attracting perhaps a closer group to Michael Jackson. Are you surprised by the people who are attending tonight?

DIAZ: No. These are people -- there's no one - I look at --Barry Bonds is kind of unusual to me. He's the one person you're like, well, I -you didn't hear too much of him having a close relationship with Michael Jackson. But really everyone else you can put them at some point in Michael Jackson's life.

But the big thing here is, as we see the footage, we've seen the footage all night, the family members. You see Katherine Jackson, Michael's mother, and you see Joe Jackson, Michael's father, sitting next to each other. They have a very unique and unusual relationship, the two of them sitting so close to each other. When you look at Katherine Jackson, you're looking at a mom. You know, you are looking at a mom who has lost her baby boy. And you can really see the anguish in her eyes. Joe stoic as usual. But you're really seeing it from Katherine.

We've seen pictures of Latoya and Janet also looking very somber tonight. A little bit of a difference from the memorial service where everyone wore the yellow ties. Tonight they're wearing all red ties with a black arm band, much as Michael did in life.

The thing that struck me the most at the memorial service was when they brought Michael's casket in, how everyone at Staples Center, you could hear a pin drop. It was so quiet. And then, moments ago, about 45 minutes ago, when the hearse carrying Michael Jackson's body went up this hill behind me, all of the reporters here were morbidly quiet. It's one of those things, we can talk all we want about Diprivan and propofol and lorazepam, and these other drugs. And we could talk about Doctor Conrad Murray, but when you see the hearse, or when you see the casket, it's a stark reminder that Michael Jackson is gone. And there he is right there. He's being put in the ground right now. It reminds everyone that we've lost a great entertainer.

ANCNOR: Carlos is right. It's an excellent reminder that tonight is Michael Jackson's funeral. Funeral still underway, started around 8:35 local time, a little over 30 minutes ago. As we go to break, from the night Michael died, here's Smokey Robinson talking about his friend, Michael Jackson.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SMOKEY ROBINSON, SINGER/SONGWRITER: I first met Michael when the kids first came to Motown and they did a show, actually, at Barry's home in Detroit. They did a show for us there. They were so dynamic. To see a little guy like Michael was at that time, singing like he had been here forever, you know, singing like an old man, was just an incredible experience.

LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR, LARRY KING LIVE: Did you know he was going to be a hit?

ROBINSON: Oh, absolutely. It was obvious.

KING: This was a no doubter?

ROBINSON: It was a no doubter. It was obvious. Like I said, he's like an old soul. He sang like he had lived it all before, when he was 10. I knew he was going to be great.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORET: Welcome back it to a special edition of LARRY KING LIVE." I'm Jim Moret from "Inside Edition", filling in for Larry.

Some information from the funeral, which is still underway. We're hearing that the guests are giving testimonials. Reverend Al Sharpton is speaking right now. Gladys Knight has already sung. Lisa Marie is quite emotional, we hearing, especially when the casket arrived. She's sitting in the last row. Elizabeth Taylor is in row eight.

Gotham Chopra, we saw -this has taken much longer than anyone anticipated. Elizabeth Taylor got there rather early. Many people were surprised she showed up.

You were a close friend of Michael Jackson's. Has he ever spoken about his other friendships? CHOPRA: Yeah. He was obviously very close. He had a deep admiration and respect for Elizabeth Taylor in particular. One of the things that was unique, he did sort of separated his relationships and his friendships and his family was something that was in some ways off limits in terms of his brothers and his parents. So he was pretty good at separating different parts of his life. A lot of the times when I hung out with him, it was just me and him, or in the studio, or something like that.

MORET: What do you make of the fact that his mother and father were sitting closely tonight? They live apart.

CHOPRA: Sure.

MORET: They're married. It's been a long marriage, and apparently successful, but not a traditional marriage. Did you get a sense that he was distanced or not very close with his family?

CHOPRA: I think he had, like everything in his life, it was a conflicted relationship. I know with his mother, in particular, I mean, he had such a deep admiration and respect for her. He worshipped her in a way that was even more than all of us love our mothers.

With his father, clearly, and it's been well documented, he had a very challenging relationship. There were a lot of things in his childhood that were very hard for him to overcome. I do think when he had kids, and he sort of created this new family, it put in perspective some of his relationships with his family. Even with his brothers. Loved them, respected them, was bonded with them, obviously through a shared experience. Bu there was also no desire, I felt, in some ways to return to that fraternity that made them all so famous. He loved them, but had moved on also.

MORET: Based upon your description of his feelings for his mom, it probably doesn't surprise you then that this service, probably more closely follows what she wanted for Michael Jackson than say his father?

CHOPRA: I think like a lot of funerals, I mean, this is a ritual more for the family. She's the matriarch of the family. She calls the shots. There's a lot cooks in that kitchen, obviously.

MORET: Right.

CHOPRA: With so many brothers and sisters, but ultimately I think they all, like Michael, have a deep reverence for her.

MORET: We have a guest joining us live from New York. He's an American journalist, music critic from 2000 to 2008. He wrote for "The New York Times" covering rock 'n' roll, hip-hop, and pop music scenes. Now, he writes about culture for "The New Yorker".

Kelefa, it is interesting, this is a actually merger of music and pop culture.

KELEFA SANNEH, "THE NEW YORKER": Right.

MORET: What are your impressions of Michael Jackson, the man, and what we're seeing tonight with this funeral?

SANNEH: Well, obviously, you know, his passing gives all of us who are fans in an odd way, it gives us an opportunity to really think about what he means, and really kind of reconsider what he means.

There's a lot of -- there's an incredible body of work, of course, to delve into. Rodney Jerkins, the producer, has talked earlier and in the last hour, about how there is kind of a trove of unreleased recordings. I'm sure we'll be hearing those.

I think it's also an opportunity to kind of reconsider where he fits. I think in a lot of ways you could argue Michael Jackson was the last and the greatest star of the disco era, oddly enough. He comes out of the '70s, he arises at this moment of crisis within R&B, and he makes music that like a lot of the greatest disco records, kind of draws from all over the place without being rooted in any particular genre or in any particular place.

I think for a lot of his life, especially for the '90s, and this decade, that was tricky for him when he tried to fit back into American radio. He crossed over so successfully into pop, but in the '90s, and in this decade, he was looking at a radio world where people were trying to cross back over from pop into urban genres, into R&B, into hip-hop. That was trickier for him to do.

So, I think that's why in the last 10 years you didn't hear his new songs on the radio as much as you did in the '80s. The odd thing, again, is that the pendulum is kind of swinging back the other way as it always does. In his passing you're hearing not only his songs on the radio but you are hearing a whole crop of musicians who have so clearly been influenced by him, and are clearly working in the traditions that he refined and invented.

MORET: The funeral is still under way. We're told Michael's father, Joe Jackson, is speaking right now. The funeral started 8:35 Pacific Time. It may continue for a while, since all the guests were invited to speak, if they wish. As we go to break, from the night Michael died, here's Sean Combs talking his friend Michael Jackson.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN COMBS, SINGER: When I first heard the news, you know, I was in shock. You just watched television and feel the old videos. This man was the greatest recording artist of our time. This man, through his music, actually like made a change in the world. He was the only artist that you could say people knew of this man in every country.

This guy was like my hero. He gave birth to all artists of my generation. And he changed the world; like he made me believe in magic. He made me actually visualize the music. And he made me want to make music.

(END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: What, Joe, is your favorite Michael song?

JOE JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON'S FATHER: The "Earth Song"; I like the "Earth Song" that he always sang, about the animals and all that stuff. Because he was crazy about animals.

KING: How do you think he'll be remembered?

JACKSON: Well, he should be remembered. How he will be remembered?

KING: Yes.

JACKSON: All over the world?

KING: Yes.

JACKSON: Because he was a fan to everybody, all over the world. And also he was in the "Guinness Book of World Records" for selling more records than anybody in show business history.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORET: That was Michael's father, Joe, speaking to Larry King in July. It's been more than two months since Michael Jackson died. Yet, feelings of sadness are still near the surface for many of his fans. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My favorite Michael Jackson song is "Bad".

JACKSON: I'm bad, I'm bad!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a cross between "Bad" and "I'll Be There."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My favorite Michael Jackson song is, "I'll Be There".

JACKSON: I'll be there, don't you know baby yeah

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Beat it."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Beat it"

JACKSON: You've got to beat it, beat it, beat it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "The Way You Make Me Feel".

JACKSON: The way you make me feel, you really turn me on...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My favorite song was "Thriller."

JACKSON: You and I must make a pact, we must bring salvation back where there is love, I'll be there

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I listen to his songs, I just believe he was a peaceful man. Wanted peace in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) way of life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was never (UNINTELLIGIBLE) for anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael, you were an icon. You meant a lot to a lot of people around the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His music, his spirit leads him.

JACKSON: I'll be there

Hopefully Michael's legacy will be his humanitarian actions, and the great music that he put out. And hopefully that is what he's remembered by.

JACKSON: Whenever you need me, I'll be there

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MORET: We'll be back with more live updates from Michael Jackson's funeral. It is still under way. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORET: Welcome back to this special edition of LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Jim Moret from "Inside Edition" sitting in for Larry.

Tonight we're covering Michael Jackson's funeral, which is still underway. We thought it appropriate to show you where Michael Jackson will be interred, where he will be laid to rest for eternity.

It's known as the Great Mausoleum. This is in Glendale, the Forest Lawn there. It is the Holly Terrace, so named because there are 13 levels of this terrace. What you're looking at is the actual mausoleum itself. It has a marble floor. It's beautiful. It's serene. There's a stained glass replica of the Last Supper by Leonardo di Vinci. The ceiling in this particular mausoleum is a recreation f Michael Angelo's painting of the Sistine Chapel.

It seems, based upon what his family has said, based upon what Michael Jackson has said, certainly the fact he never wanted to go to Neverland again, after the criminal trial ended, that this would be an appropriate final resting place.

While we're looking at this scene, let's go to Carlos Diaz, correspondent from "Extra" who's at the scene outside right now to get a brief update of the flavor, of the mood there.

Carlos, what is it like outside?

DIAZ: It's ironic that some of the media members are leaving, because they figured it would be over by now. Not only did it start late, it's running late now. We heard from multiple sources that the Jackson family will be going to an Italian restaurant in Glendale - in Pasadena, excuse me -- after this is all over. When that's going to happen, we don't know, because as you said earlier, everyone who wants to speak is invited to speak.

One note about where Michael Jackson is being buried. When it was all being said about whether he would be buried in Neverland or at Forest Lawn, there's another Forest Lawn Cemetery over Glendale, which is close to the "Extra" studios. I was of the opinion that Neverland would be better because of the fact if he was buried at the other Forest Lawn, and he was buried among the other plots, they'd have to have 24-hour security, making sure nothing happens to his plot. But here there's a different level of security.

As I was driving up this afternoon, you can see the mausoleum from miles around. It's beautiful mausoleum with a huge cross basically hanging over the mausoleum. To give you a perspective, it's about the size of Staples Center. I mean, it's a big area. So, this is really, truly a burial at a place fit for the king of pop.

MORET: It's also quite a private area where the public cannot come and visit. That's what you were alluding to. The fact that at least Neverland would have been private for him, but this will as well, right, Carlos?

DIAZ: Exactly. And that's the thing. When I was -when it was between Neverland and Forest Lawn, I said well, Neverland would be a great place for him to be, because it really is a private place. They can watch the body and make sure nothing happens to the body, a la Elvis, who had to be moved to Graceland.

When you see where he's being buried now, there is very tight security. It is away from the road. He will be housed, as we said earlier, with some of the biggest stars in the world, Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, W.C. Fields -some of the biggest stars in the world, Sammie Davis, Jr., all in that area. So Michael is in good company up on the top of this hill.

MORET: Thanks, Carlos.

Gotham Chopra is a friend of Michael Jackson's. He knew Michael Jackson from the time he was 15 years old, nearly 20 years now.

Gotham, we were talking during the break, and I was appropriating you to think of fun stories of you and Michael. He was joking with you because he incurred so much debt, you'd probably told me he owed you money. You had an interesting story about this.

CHOPRA: When I was a teenager, still, went I went to college in New York, at Columbia, Michael used to live at the Four Seasons, actually, at the top of the Four Seasons. He was working on an album at the time, "Dangerous." I helped him. Like a good college student, would go with my thesaurus and my rhyming dictionaries and would help him write some of the lyrics for his songs, informally. At the end of the night he would retreat into the bathroom and come out with a huge sack full of money. MORET: He kept it in the bathroom?

CHOPRA: He kept it beneath the toilet. He was notorious for anybody who knew him. He just always liked to have cash around. He would give me $5,000, $10,000 and, say this is for your work. I was always kind of unsure whether to take it, or what to do with it. I would say, Michael, let's just go spend this. We're in New York City.

MORET: You're how old at the time?

CHOPRA: About 19 years old. So, you can imagine.

MORET: Someone gives you $10,000.

CHOPRA: Oh, yes, there were definitely things I wanted to spend it on. Unfortunately, Michael would not be allowed by his security to go. So, I would call all my friends from Uptown, they would come down on the subway, or if I was feeling generous I would send cars now, because I was such a rich man, courtesy of Michael. They'd come down and we'd have a good time on his tab.

He was that kind of guy. We had a lot of fun. I think it was one of the things, he was neither this big superstar, nor this scandal- plagued celebrity then. He was just a normal guy, as a friend.

MORET: I suspect if someone is watching right now from the Four Seasons penthouse, they're checking the bathrooms right now.

The guests are moving into the mausoleum, as we suspected they might, near the end of the service. You're watching a special live edition of LARRY KING LIVE. We'll be back with more. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORET: Welcome back to a special edition of LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Jim Moret from "Inside Edition," sitting in tonight for Larry.

We're covering the Michael Jackson funeral. Guests are moving into the mausoleum following the casket. Now, a lot's happened in the last 70 days since Michael Jackson died.

Let's take a look back at the events that led us to tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire paramedic 33. What is the (INAUDIBLE) of the emergency?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir. I need to - I need an ambulance as soon as possible, sir.

He's pumping - he's pumping the chest, but he's not responding to anything, sir. Please.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: We're getting some breaking news coming into "THE SITUATION ROOM" right now from - about Michael Jackson, the king of pop.

DEBORAH FAYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Apparently Michael Jackson suffered cardiac arrest this afternoon. He was rushed to UCLA Medical Center.

LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Details are still coming in about the sudden death of Michael Jackson earlier today.

What's the scene there now, Kara?

KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Larry, right now, detectives are behind these big iron gates here.

KING: What we're looking at now is a helicopter we're told carrying the body of Michael Jackson.

JERMAINE JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON'S BROTHER: My brother, the legendary king of pop Michael Jackson, passed away on Thursday, June 25, 2009, at 2:26 p.m. We all will be (ph) with you Michael, always. Love you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MORET: A reminder of what's happened in the past 70 days since Michael Jackson's passing.

Kelefa Sanneh is a - a journalist, a music journalist and pop-culture journalist in New York.

Kelefa, there's a hint of nostalgia as we look back at Michael Jackson's music. I think that this month, as a matter of fact, the Beatles music is being re-released in video-game form and may even be re-released on iTunes.

Is our interest in Michael Jackson - is it nostalgia? Is it longing for the past? Or does he have a true musical legacy that will endure?

KELEFA SANNEH, "THE NEW YORKER": Well, I don't - I don't think it's an either-or.

I think, of course, there's an incredible amount of nostalgia. I think a lot of us remember when we first, you know, got the "Thriller" cassette or when we first saw the "Thriller" video. Or our first...

MORET: You're dating yourself to say "cassette," I got to tell you.

(LAUGHTER)

SANNEH: That - that - that's what it was.

And - and - and so, yes, of course, and - and - of course, but at the same time, of course, the music lives on and we still hear it. And part of what's so remarkable about Michael Jackson is, after 40 years of - of scrutiny, there's still something elusive about him. I mean, it - it's interesting for me to hear you talk to people who knew him, because I - I never knew him or got anywhere close to him. I was always kind of just a fan.

And so, I always had that sense that I didn't quite know him. And I think there's that sense in the music, too. There are these kind of currents of - of - of alienation and loneliness and - and sadness in - in a - in a lot of his songs. And I think that's partly why he - that's partly why people were so crazy for him.

There was - there was this sense that he's kind of singing right to me, and there's also this sense that I don't quite know him, and if only I could get a little closer, if only I could get a little nearer to the guy who's creating this music, I could get to know him.

But he really wasn't that kind of pop star. He wasn't the kind of pop star who you feel like you know every detail of their life, and you know how they feel and they're communicating a very plainspoken way. He always seemed a little bit mysterious, even now.

MORET: Gotham Chopra, I think of that song Michael Jackson wrote, "Leave Me Alone."

Was there an undercurrent where he felt people wanted too much of him and he wanted to be left alone?

CHOPRA: Yes, I think he always, through it all, loved his fans and felt a connection with his fans.

I do think there was a sense of rage. I think that was some of the people he felt abandoned him, and certainly it was part of the media that he thought had - were persecuting him in some way. So I do think that was a part of him.

There was another song I remember he wrote called "Stranger in Moscow," which was on the "HIStory" album, I think. And he described the scene in Moscow when he sort of was inspired. And there's a line in there called, "Armageddon of the brain." And I always felt like that was so iconic of this last portion of his life, the last 10 or 15 years, where he really felt like there was this huge burden that he was carrying around.

And - and it was not easy as a friend to watch him go through that. And yet it, again, was part of who he was. And I think it's one of the things - and, you know, now that we celebrate his life, a lot of us are - are not talking about some of the dark things that were part of his - his life in the last 10 or 15 years. And yet that was so much of - of who he is and - and I think, ultimately, what he'll be remembered for, as this massive, mythic figure.

MORET: Well, and I think tonight, especially with the funeral, there is certainly attention being paid to the positives in his life.

Now, Michael Jackson's funeral is still under way. It began just - just over an hour ago. We will discuss Michael children next.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MORET: More details from Michael Jackson's funeral.

Gladys Knight is singing the Lord 's Prayer. Lisa Marie gave a grieving Katherine - gave a grieving Katherine Jackson a hug. Elizabeth Taylor's wheelchair had to be lifted up a series of steps for her to go into the mausoleum. Miko Brando, we're told, helped her.

I just wanted to show you this. This is a - a - one of the passes that - that were given to those of us in the media who were covering - I don't know if you're able to see that. You - you had to - the - the security was rather tight.

The area - just to paint a picture for you - the area around - a three-block area around the cemetery was closed off to all traffic. No fans were allowed in. And the media were lined up. And it was very much - it was very much a media event, although we couldn't see anything.

Gotham Chopra, we're kept at arm's length even more so tonight. You got a very close glimpse into the life of Michael Jackson, and especially his children.

Were - you were talking earlier about what kind of dad he was. How would you describe those kids?

CHOPRA: They're - they're great kids, and - and Michael was really the only parent they ever knew. So I think he had a very intense relationship with them in a way that others don't. And - and he used to take them with him around the world, and literally, in the last few years, he lived in Dubai; he lived in Ireland; lived in New Jersey and Las Vegas. And - and those kids were always with him.

MORET: But - but for a time, it seemed that they were cloistered, sequestered, odd behind masks.

CHOPRA: (INAUDIBLE)

MORET: Was your perception of them that they were just normal kids?

CHOPRA: Yes, they were normal kids. I mean, I think that was more a product of Michael's aversion to the world and his, you know, distrust of the world, and - and less about theirs.

I mean, they were normal kids. They liked to play the normal games. And Michael surrounded themselves - surrounded them with toys and games and video games and candy. I mean, he - he loved to create that ultimate playground, and especially for - for his own children.

MORET: Michael Jackson's longtime dermatologist and friend Dr. Arnie Klein was on Larry's show July 8, and he talked about Michael Jackson the father.

Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DR. ARNIE KLEIN, MICHAEL JACKSON'S LONGTIME DERMATOLOGIST: He was the most important person to these children - is how Michael loved them and how he loved his children, and how they loved him. Because they would never go past without saying, "I love you daddy." He would say, "I love you."

And I spent Christmas Eve with them, with Carrie Fisher. And his kids only wanted to meet Princess Leia. That's all they wanted to meet. So I dragged Prince Leia over on the - on the - and he played with her and the kids all on the floor. Because he was a person who was both the father, and he loved them dearly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORET: Very briefly, before we go to break, does that ring true?

CHOPRA: Absolutely. I mean, he - he loved to literally be on the ground playing with them. I mean, he was very involved father that way.

MORET: We'll be back in 60 seconds. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: What are your memories of him as a guest?

CHER, ENTERTAINER: Well, we - I just remember that we laughed all the time. And because I didn't know how to do the dancing, and they kept - I kept going, 'You guys, you do this all the time. Just let's do it one more time for the old woman so I can not look like, you know, I don't know what I'm doing out here.'

And he just kept going, 'OK, come on, Cher, you're going to get this. You're going to get this. Come on, let's - let's do it. Let's just do it.'

And - and I thought, 'My God, you know, I'm going to dance with this boy that's like the best, you know, dancer in the world.'

But then I remember one night, I - I - we were at a party, I think it was on the Queen Mary, and we danced all night long. And I never even thought about that, you know, I wasn't his equal as a dancer. We were just having a blast.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORET: That was Larry King reminiscing with Cher about Michael Jackson.

Welcome back to a special edition of LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Jim Moret from "Inside Edition," sitting in tonight for Larry.

And let's go back now to Carlos Diaz, a correspondent for "Extra," who's outside the cemetery grounds. Carlos, we're getting a sense that the funeral itself is wrapping up. Are you seeing any activity at all?

DIAZ: Right.

Major activity right now. You're seeing a lot of police officers mobilizing right now on motorcycles, driving back and forth. You're seeing some police cars, some police officers getting into police cars as we speak. So there is a sense that the funeral is finally wrapping up.

As we told you, it started later, over an hour later, and it's running late now. It was supposed to start at 7:00 local time, which is 10:00 East Coast time, and then be done by around 8:00 local time, 11:00 East Coast time. We are well beyond that. So right now, we do have police mobilizing.

And I do want to say one thing, by the way: As was evident at Staples Center a few months ago, the police in both situations have done an amazing job. I mean, the planning of this was absolutely amazing. They've both - been both kind and courteous. So the police in both occasions, both the memorial service and with this funeral, deserve kudos for their professionalism and their courtesy.

MORET: Thank you, Carlos.

And attached to the invitation to the funeral - and there were only about 200 given out - was a reminder to all of the guests that they can go afterwards to a local restaurant where they could celebrate the life of Michael Jackson together. And we will of course be bringing you all of that information as it becomes available to us.

Right now, we're going to take a break and be back with more right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONNA SUMMER, SINGER: His greatest was perfection. And when you meet people like that who are so given to doing things at the utmost and the highest level, then it makes you up your game. And Michael was one of those people who wouldn't stop until he was perfect. And - and he - and he kept going even after that.

And so I - I will personally miss him. I will miss his light; I will miss his star. I will miss the who he has caused other people to become because of his greatest. He upped - he upped the standard.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RANDY JACKSON, "AMERICAN IDOL": I think, you know, he's one of the greatest performers if not the greatest performer ever. I mean, when you look at how many people he inspired and how the music inspired people, I'm saying - I mean, this - this guy lit up a stage like no one else.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORET: You're listening to some memories of Michael Jackson's from the night he died, June 25. That from Donna Summer and Randy Jackson.

And tonight is the night of Michael Jackson's funeral. It started late and it is wrapping up now. And the guests are being told that they may go to a nearby restaurant and continue to celebrate the life of Michael Jackson.

I spoke earlier with a friend of the family's who suggested that - that in - in their faith, they see Michael Jackson as sleeping now, and that they want to celebrate his life and - and join in a joyous environment rather than to do so at the funeral grounds.

Gotham Chopra, what is your fondest memory of your friend that will still make you smile today?

CHOPRA: You know, my - my memories are these anecdotes of - of sharing these moments with him, you know, up - he was an - a pretty isolated person despite the fact that he was this huge megastar.

MORET: I mean, he sounds like a prankster, too.

CHOPRA: Oh my god.

He used to - you know, when we were in Europe as part of his tour, you know, and this will shock some people, he used to have hundreds, maybe thousands of people outside chanting his name. And he used to, like, stand out behind and throw water balloons. Or he'd sort of spit into his socks and then throw them out - or those iconic silver gloves.

I mean, he was so isolated in a way that he just created games all the time. And he - he loved to watch documentaries. And he just - you know, he created a life for himself, because he had to.

MORET: Kelefa Sanneh, you're listening to this in New York and you're hearing Gotham talk about the man that you only knew through his music.

SANNEH: Right.

MORET: And you really did though know a lot about this man through his music, don't you think?

SANNEH: Yes.

I mean, one of the things is, with someone who achieves what he's achieved, it's - it's sometimes hard to remember just how radical it was and just how many boundaries he broke.

Just to give one example, before Michael Jackson came along, we thought that R&B singers were supposed to sing about love. And - and - somehow, Michael Jackson succeeded often by singing by other things. He often seemed most comfortable when he was singing about his own fears or his - his hopes for the world. But, you know, he didn't seem particularly interested in love songs.

He could do a lot of things to a crowd. He could amaze; he could inspire; he could dazzle. He didn't tend to sort of seduce the crowd the way a lot of other R&B singers would. And - and so, in that sense, he opened up a lot of new ground that we didn't even know. He - he broke a rule that we didn't even really know existed.

And - and - but that - that's what someone like him does, that kind of expands the territory that's available for a singer, and - ad changes slightly the way we see the music.

MORET: But as somebody who follows music and follows pop culture...

SANNEH: Mm-hmm.

MORET: ...how do you feel about so much of his older music that was never released finally being released? Are you looking forward to that? Are you looking forward to seeing a new side to Michael Jackson?

SANNEH: Oh, I'm - I'm excited about anything that gets released from the vaults. You know, Rodney Jerkins was saying that there's an album's worth of outtakes from the "Invincible" sessions, from his last record. You know, anything that gets released, I'm excited to hear, partly because you know that if even it got to the point of being demoed, Michael Jackson was such a - a perfectionist, that it's going to be interesting.

It's going to - every song kind of sounds like he was - his - his songs - his songs sounded - they never sounded easy. They always sounded like he worked really hard, and that the songs were kind of him in the process of figuring out what his music should sound like and what he sounded like.

And so there's the sense that any time you listen to a Michael Jackson song, you're catching someone in the process of self-creation. And so I think the idea that we're going to have more windows on to that process is incredibly exciting.

MORET: You're looking at a live shot now of Villa Sorriso. That's a restaurant in Pasadena, where family and friends will gather following the funeral.

We'll be right back. Stay with us, on LARRY KING LIVE.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORET: You're watching a special edition of LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Jim Moret from "Inside Edition," filling in tonight for Larry.

We're covering the funeral of Michael Jackson.

Let's go out right now to Carlos Diaz, correspondent from "Extra."

Carlos, are people leaving yet?

DIAZ: Yes, we just saw a car, the first car come down and leave, a Mercedes that was filled with, obviously, people that were there. No one of note that we saw in the car. They - they did escort the car out to the left.

We also saw the pool truck that - that - that had been giving the pool feed for the video that we had been seeing. That has already pulled down. So I'd imagine that the procession is now ended, the funeral has now ended upstairs - up the hill, and it is now time for people to start coming down.

And as you had mentioned before, they will be heading to a restaurant in Pasadena where they'll be celebrating the life of Michael Jackson.

And it's ironic how we've talking about speculation over the last two months about what could have killed Michael Jackson, who was involved, who was there, what's going to happen to the children, what's going to happen to the estate.

But now, tonight, it's the ultimate finality, putting Michael Jackson into the ground. The funeral of Michael Jackson now ending.

MORET: And the funeral started about an hour and a half late. It ended two hours later than expected.

Gotham Chopra, you thought this would run late. When you - when you hear Kelefa Sanneh talk about the legacy of this man, the cultural impact, you must feel privileged to have known him as a friend.

CHOPRA: Yes, I mean, just to hear him articulate so eloquently what an iconic symbol Michael really represented over his career, I - I knew it, I mean, clearly. But you're reminded, yes, what a privilege it was to be part of that life, and - and to know this person as - as a normal person. I think a lot of people lose sight when they think of all these, you know, mythic types of things that he was involved in.

MORET: You knew he was huge in life. Do you think that this would surprise him that 70 days after his death, at his funeral, a small funeral, that so many people would be so interested?

CHOPRA: I think - I don't think so.

I mean, again, I - I think he knew people still loved and appreciated him. I think the intensity of it, and I think even to Michael, the - the fact that some of the same people that were chasing him and were all over the scandals are - are celebrating him, I think he would probably find that a little bit ironic, yes.

MORET: And you're looking at a procession now of police officers leading out those who were mourning the passing of Michael Jackson.

Kelefa Sanneh, do you have a sense that Michael Jackson knew his place in music history?

SANNEH: Well, I think he obviously knew that he had an important place in musical history. But, you know, it's obvious that his music lives on as long as we listen to it. What's less obvious is that his music keeps changing, in a sense, as long as we listen to it. And what I mean by that is, you hear his music now in light of not just what inspired it, but what he inspires. And so as long as people keep taking inspiration from Michael Jackson's music, the way we hear his music keeps changing, and the way his songs sound will keep changing in light of what comes afterwards.

MORET: Gotham, do - do you think that the funeral really brings any closure? There's still so many questions about how Michael Jackson died, what's going to happen from a criminal standpoint, if anything?

But do you think that for the family, if not for his fans, that there is at least now some sense of closure?

CHOPRA: I - I hope so.

I mean, I think a lot of people - people grieve in different ways. And - and there's - two and a half months have passed already. So I think a lot of people who were close to him have already gone through a bit of a process. But certainly something like this hopefully brings some - some closure to his family in particular, who really put this together.

MORET: How do you feel, as a friend, watching this from afar? You're with us tonight, and I - we appreciate that. But how do you feel, looking at these images of your friend being laid to rest?

CHOPRA: Well, you know, when I - when I thought about it, even in anticipation of tonight, I mean, I went through my own process weeks ago, months ago. I mean, in our tradition, you know, that's not Michael anymore. Whoever's going to be in that mausoleum, he left a long time ago.

So I think, you know, what's nice is this a - a celebration of his life. And - and I think for his family in particular, this is part of their tradition, and - and hopefully it gives them some sense that they can move on now.

MORET: Carlos Diaz, we're seeing more police activity as cars leave the cemetery. Have many members of the media already left?

DIAZ: Yes, you know, I - as I said earlier, a lot of members of the media figured this would be over by now. It started so late and it - it ran so late. And so they - a lot of people have cleared out.

You're starting to see several cars now. You're starting to see one of the Rolls-Royces come down the hill right there. And it's ironic that - Michael Jackson always prided himself in his videos of being very forward-thinking.

And it - and it reminds me a lot of the "Moonwalker" video where you had police officers dressed in futuristic gear, and you're looking at these police officers here in Glendale, and their - their motorcycles are brand new, almost futuristic-looking motorcycles. And you're seeing three-wheelers and electric cars. And it's kind of like - it looks like a Michael Jackson video right now, where you have all these police officers getting ready to - to bring Michael Jackson's family down the hill and have them exit to the left when they came in this way, to the right.

And it looks, you know, finally the - the funeral is finally wrapping up.

MORET: Kelefa Sanneh in New York, what - what are your impressions of what you've seen tonight?

SANNEH: Well, I think it's - it's similar to - to what we would expect. Again, I - I think a lot of - but I think for a lot of fans, the real - the outpourings - the outpourings that they're really thinking about are the kind of spontaneous ones.

The ones I'll always remember is kind of being in Times Square and seeing people just staring up at the billboards trying to process the news on - on the day he passed, or - or walking down the street and hearing someone on a cell phone, saying, 'I can't believe it,' and knowing exactly what that person was talking about.

I think - I think for me, and I think for a lot of people, that's what was so moving, was just seeing that there were so many of us reacting to his death and reacting in such strong ways. It was - it was almost as if we didn't - as Michael Jackson fans, it was like we didn't really know our own strength; we didn't know how many of us there were, and how many people would be moved by this.

MORET: And a reminder to our viewers, you're looking at the gates, the entrance of Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, the final resting place of Michael Jackson. His funeral, which began about an hour and a half late and ended two hours after that, is finally over. The police are escorting the mourners outside, and they are on their way to a restaurant where they will continue to celebrate the life of Michael Jackson.

A group - you're looking at the restaurant right now. That is in Pasadena, not far away from Glendale, where the cemetery is. And those people will continue to celebrate the life of a truly amazing artist. And these 200 or so people knew him intimately, closely, as did Gotham Chopra, who's with us.

Gotham, what do you think your friend, Michael Jackson's legacy, his true legacy, will be?

CHOPRA: I think he will - you know, as - as Kelefa, your guest was saying - I mean, he will truly go down as one of the most iconic, creative geniuses of - of our era. And he transformed so much of popular culture, not just in music but in other areas.

And - and, you know, at his memorial, when the Rev. Al Sharpton really went up and talked about this enormous cultural transformation that Michael represented, I think it woke up a lot of people to just what a moving life he had.

But that being said, I will also remember as this sort of playful comrade, and - and, you know, Michael was somebody that I - I - I miss deeply because he was a guy that I considered a very close friend. And - and I think that's probably what I'll remember most.

MORET: Those are two sides of clearly a multifaceted man.

As we wrap up the last details from the funeral, all the guests walked by the casket. Elizabeth Taylor was the last person to go by. She was, as you know, one of his closest friends.

We've also heard Katherine Jackson has been extremely emotional tonight. And perhaps it's because of that that they left their home so late.

Our thoughts, clearly, are with the Jackson family. Michael Jackson has been officially laid to rest at the Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn in Glendale, California.

Thank you for watching. Stay tuned for the latest news on CNN.

Good night.

(MUSIC)