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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview with Pamela Anderson
Aired April 17, 2010 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight Pam Anderson burning up the stage on "Dancing with the Stars" is here to answer the question everyone is asking. Is Kate Gosselin a diva? Is Pam stepping out with her handsome partner? And was her barely there outfit and this move too hot for prime time?
And then drama on the high seas. The guys from "Deadliest Catch" are used to life threatening surprises, but the loss of a fellow captain knocked them for a loop.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you mean, you could die?
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
KING: They haven't recovered yet. All next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Good evening. Pamela Anderson, actress, animal rights activist, and she's on TV's number one show right now, "Dancing with the Stars." She rumbaed (ph) her way into the next round this week with quite a costume or lack of a costume. And a routine ending split that had a few jaws dropping.
It's always good to welcome her to LARRY KING LIVE.
How are you doing?
PAMELA ANDERSON, ACTRESS: I'm doing good. How are you?
KING: How did you do that split?
ANDERSON: I was born doing the splits.
KING: You were born and you came out doing --
KING: No, I mean, was that hard?
ANDERSON: No. I -- no, it wasn't, actually.
KING: Doesn't anything hurt when you do that?
ANDERSON: A little, but it's a good hurt.
KING: All right, what about the show? Why did you take it?
ANDERSON: I love it. I've always wanted to learn how to dance. I've had this fear of dancing. And I just thought, you know what? They've asked me to do it for so many years, and I thought this was the year. It fit into my kids' schedule. And you know I rehearse when they're at school.
And it's just a nice challenge in my life right now. I thought it was something positive.
KING: You had a fear of dancing?
ANDERSON: Yes. Well -- yes, kind of -- well, everyone around me is always so talented, and, you know, musicians or musical, and I just love music so much but I thought this would be a good way to do something like -- like technically like a ballroom dance.
KING: You said you never had a dance lesson your life?
KING: So this is from scratch?
ANDERSON: Just from scratch. Damian helped me right from scratch.
KING: Are you happy with how you're doing?
ANDERSON: I am. I'm really happy. I want to do better but I'm happy with what I'm doing.
KING: We hear that the rehearsals are really tough.
ANDERSON: They are but I like it. I like structure. I need structure.
KING: No kidding.
KING: So you finally decided -- you turned it down, though, in the past I'm told.
ANDERSON: Yes. Yes.
KING: Why did you turn it down?
ANDERSON: It is -- wasn't the right time. And I thought I'm not doing "Dancing with the Stars." And then after I saw it, they sent me the season eight and I watched it for two days in my room and I thought I absolutely have to do this show. It's like way too much fun. KING: Are you surprised at how well it's doing?
ANDERSON: Yes, it's doing great.
KING: I think this is the best season ever.
ANDERSON: I'm glad. I'm glad. It's doing great, yes.
KING: All right. You received a lot of attention for the seductive moves, the costumes, and the very sexy split. Let's take a look at Pamela Anderson in action on "Dancing with the Stars."
(VIDEO CLIP, "DANCING WITH THE STARS")
KING: Did you practice that a lot?
ANDERSON: I didn't practice the split very much, but the rest of the routine, yes.
KING: All right. Have you done splits before then, right?
ANDERSON: Yes. I was a gymnast when I was little, like 8, 9, 10.
KING: That'll help.
ANDERSON: But little -- yes. But yes, it kept some flexibility. It's coming handy sometimes.
KING: Do you had to tone down any of your moves for television?
ANDERSON: What moves?
KING: Come on, Pamela. You're a seductive, sexy person. We all know that, right? That's not a --
ANDERSON: No, I --
KING: That's a given.
ANDERSON: No, but I thought this is -- the rumba is a dance of love and desire, and I thought it was really nice to come out more romantic and do it very sweet.
KING: What do you do after the rumba?
ANDERSON: Quick step. My feet are killing me.
KING: That's like a foxtrot, right?
ANDERSON: Yes. But faster. Faster. It's a lot of fun. But it's a lot of step. KING: To what tune?
ANDERSON: It's very quick. Am I allowed to say?
KING: Yes. Well, I don't care. I mean --
ANDERSON: I don't think I'm allowed to say the song. I am? No, I can't say the song.
KING: You can't say the name --
ANDERSON: I can't say the song. Can't the song, but it's a quick step. And it's movie. You know what? It's movie week. It's movie week. So we have to --
KING: A song from a movie.
ANDERSON: They give you a movie and that's kind of where we go from there.
KING: All right. Clear up reports.
KING: That you say "Dancing with the Stars" producers had to talk to you about wearing underwear while you dance.
ANDERSON: No, just -- they followed me around with little nipple covers.
KING: Nipple covers.
ANDERSON: That's it, yes. Yes. There's nothing else.
KING: But you wear underwear?
ANDERSON: Yes. Yes, of course.
KING: Did you offer not to wear underwear?
ANDERSON: No, I never have ever said. I don't think -- that's never come up.
KING: Well, they haven't said anything to you.
ANDERSON: Nothing has ever come up about that.
KING: Have you had a wardrobe --
ANDERSON: Cleared that up.
KING: Have you had a wardrobe malfunction?
ANDERSON: No, not yet. No. KING: Could that happen?
ANDERSON: It -- well, they're very -- they're very, you know, they're very -- you know they're on top of it. They don't want that happen. I don't want that to happen.
KING: What have they -- do you know what you're wearing next?
ANDERSON: Kind of. We've just looked through some certain -- they've looked through patterns and dress styles and things like that. But that's it. They do it very quickly. And Damian has a lot to do with it. He really comes up with the costume.
KING: We'll ask about him in a moment.
KING: Here's what the judges have had to say about your performances. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARRIE ANN INABA, JUDGE: What's really beautiful about you is you have this certain artistry to all your movements. Your body moves so beautifully.
BRUNO TONIOLI, JUDGE: Pamela Anderson can do refinement and elegance and still be drop dead sexy.
LEN GOODMAN, JUDGE: Pamela, you have been titivating yourself, haven't you?
INABA: What did you say?
INABA: You go from character to character. You brought Marilyn Monroe right back to life.
TONIOLI: I can feel the waves of sensuality.
GOODMAN: For me, perhaps, a little bit overdressed but other than that I'm going to say, well done. Great dance.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What do you make of that? Were they fair?
ANDERSON: Well, they're -- I mean, I'm just overwhelmed because it's just so -- they're being so nice. I mean they are, you know, critical too because I have a lot to learn about the technique and everything, but I was really happy to get a good score from Len. KING: Were you surprised from the score?
ANDERSON: Yes, kind of surprised. Kind of surprised. But we're getting a little bit better each week. And I'm starting to learn how it all worked, you know, it's kind of hard -- I've never danced before so it's not -- your mind -- you have to remember steps and there's a performance and then there's characterization and all that stuff that goes into it. So it's a lot of work.
KING: What's with Kate Gosselin? She seems to be having trouble with her dance partner. We'll have Pam straighten out all about that drama right after the break.
KING: Willie Nelson, Friday night.
Welcome back. The Pamela Anderson is our guest. Been a lot of drama on this season's show. Kate Gosselin has been described as having meltdowns on and off the set and clashing with her partner, Tony.
Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATE GOSSELIN, "DANCING WITH THE STARS" CONTESTANT: Can you just show me? We don't have enough time. I'm stressed.
TONY DOVOLANI, "DANCING WITH THE STARS" CONTESTANT: Really? Then why don't you start paying attention to my teaching then?
GOSSELIN: Look, I just want to learn. Like, show me so I can get it. I love how you teach, but you're not taking into consideration how I learn.
DOVOLANI: I've never been questioned on my teaching ever before.
GOSSELIN: Please don't make arguments where there's none.
DOVOLANI: I quit.
GOSSELIN: You can't quit. I don't get it.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
KING: OK. She's been called a diva. True?
ANDERSON: We don't have these problems. Damian and I have so much fun.
KING: What do you make of it and her problems?
ANDERSON: I see her -- you know, when we're getting our hair and makeup done, we talk about kids. But she has really been -- she's just nice. She's been sweet. Everybody has been.
KING: Were you surprised that -- were you surprised at that?
ANDERSON: Everyone has been having little meltdowns, there's a lot of tears on the show. A lot of tears.
KING: You have them too?
ANDERSON: I haven't had any yet. No, I'm not going to.
ANDERSON: Oh god.
KING: You and Kate are both single working moms.
KING: Do you relate to her at all?
ANDERSON: Well, yes, we do talk about the kids. You know? My schedule is around my kids so I'm always saying I have to go here, I have to make dinner, and I'm going to rehearse after here. So that's about it.
KING: Do you think she's getting treated fairly by the media?
ANDERSON: Sure. Oh by the media? I don't know. I don't look at the tabloids. I don't read the tabloids. I don't know.
KING: Are you close to any of the other contestants?
ANDERSON: I love Evan. I've known Evan. You know Richie Rich has designed costumes for him in the past. And so we have mutual friends. And he's fantastic. And everyone is so sweet. You really got -- become like a little family.
KING: How did you deal with Shannen Doherty, because you were both married to the same guy, right?
ANDERSON: Both by mistake.
KING: But you both admit it was a mistake.
ANDERSON: No. She's sweet. That didn't count.
KING: You -- you get along.
KING: That didn't count.
ANDERSON: That didn't count. No.
KING: Why? They balance each other off?
KING: Biggest competitor on the show. Who do you, like, fear the most?
ANDERSON: Fear the most? Gee.
KING: I mean by far I mean --
ANDERSON: Well, you kind of compete against yourself, I guess, but everybody else is so good. Evan's good, Nicole's good. And -- I mean everyone has their strengths and I'm just -- I can't believe that we're doing as well.
I'm not used to all the good compliments. It actually makes me more nervous and more shy when they say good things. I'm used to kind of being --
KING: In your heart.
KING: Do you think you might win it?
ANDERSON: I don't know. Wouldn't that be fun? I think it would be great.
KING: It'd be great for you.
ANDERSON: It would be fantastic. That would really be a lot of work though, because again, technically, and the dances get harder and harder. And they start to do two dances a show.
My mom is coming out, thank god, she's going to come out on Sunday and help me with the boys because I've been running from rehearsal to lacrosse to water polo to rehearsals to dinner to -- I've been doing it all by myself.
KING: You're close to your dance partner, Damian Whitewood. You've met him -- we'll meet him a little late, but you said he's the only man in your life.
ANDERSON: The only man in my life is Damian.
ANDERSON: Yes. Well, I'm glad I'm not really in a relationship right now. I think it would be harder to do the show. I think it would be difficult. But Damian is my entire focus. That's it.
It's nice to go dance all day together and then go home -- I go home to my kids. He goes home to his girlfriend. And we get to have this really fun, healthy friendship.
KING: So there's no relationship -- romantic relationship?
ANDERSON: It's a very romantic, sexy relationship. But that's it.
KING: Just for the camera?
ANDERSON: Just --
KING: And for the dance.
ANDERSON: I feel really connected to him. There's a lot of chemistry. Yes.
KING: When you say stuff like that, don't you think his girlfriend --
ANDERSON: She's a dancer, too. She understands. She understands.
KING: She's not ticked.
ANDERSON: I don't think so. No.
KING: Do you know her?
ANDERSON: Yes. Yes. We go out to dinner. She was out to dinner with us last night. She spends a lot of time with us in rehearsals. And her name is Peta.
ANDERSON: Like, no, like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
KING: Bet you're into that. Always (INAUDIBLE).
KING: So do you mind the talk that people insinuate that you're having a relationship with your dance partner?
ANDERSON: Do they think so?
KING: Do you mind it?
ANDERSON: Well, that's good. I don't mind it. No, I don't mind it.
KING: Any other romances on the set? Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy?
ANDERSON: I don't know.
KING: Are they close? ANDERSON: I don't know if there is. I don't know if there is. I have no idea.
KING: Are you dating anyone?
ANDERSON: I'm not dating anybody. No time. No, just the boys, and Damian, and the show. It's a lot of work. So no.
KING: Aren't you lonely?
ANDERSON: I am a little lonely. I think that's good for the dance. Makes me excited to go to work every day.
KING: Don't young eligible guys ask you out?
ANDERSON: Not right now, no.
KING: No one asks you out?
ANDERSON: No. No, not really. I'm not thinking about that.
KING: The show is going to change that.
ANDERSON: Well, either this or Match.com. That's what I was thinking.
KING: We'll be back with more of Pamela Anderson. By the way, if you would like a date, get online. Don't go away.
KING: That's Friday night, you don't want to miss it.
Pamela Anderson is with us, still there, on "Dancing with the Stars."
Is -- do you think it's hard to date a celebrity? Let's say not a celebrity. Say a broker, a stockbroker wants to date you.
KING: He has to put up with paparazzi, the press, people looking at you and not him when you go to a restaurant? Don't you think it's hard to date someone like you?
ANDERSON: It's very difficult to date. Yes. That's why I'm single.
KING: Are you a good date when you date?
ANDERSON: I think so. I think so. I mean I really have my little life with my kids. And I live in a little bubble.
KING: How old are they now? ANDERSON: 12 and 13.
ANDERSON: Boys. Yes.
KING: What do you make of the Tiger Woods thing?
ANDERSON: I think it's too bad that everyone had to get so involved in it but, you know, I wish him the best. He's a great athlete. And that's really (INAUDIBLE).
KING: What about Sandra Bullock?
ANDERSON: That sucks.
ANDERSON: That's terrible.
KING: Do you know him?
ANDERSON: Yes, I do know them. And I feel bad for her.
KING: Do you know Jesse?
ANDERSON: I have met him before, yes. Through Bob.
KING: Do you have any impressions of him?
ANDERSON: No idea. That was -- I had no idea. You know, again, I don't really know what's going on with them personally. I haven't talked to them in a long time but it's just all too bad. It's too bad that it's so public and everyone talks about it because it's hard enough, you know, privately.
KING: How's your health? You've had hepatitis C. I remember we talked about it.
ANDERSON: I still have hepatitis C.
KING: So how does that work?
ANDERSON: Well, I -- you know they say how you feel is a barometer of how you're doing. And the liver is a regenerative organ and as long as you take care of yourself, you can live your whole life with it. Not even know you have it sometimes but you know.
KING: What do you take for it?
ANDERSON: I don't take anything, homeopathic medicine. And I feel good. I have a ton of energy. And that's what you have to kind of base it on. Then I get yearly checkups.
KING: The father of your boys are Tommy Lee.
KING: A good friend of this show as well. Do you stay in touch with him?
ANDERSON: Yes, I do. I have to.
KING: Oh yes.
ANDERSON: Yes, I do. I have to. No, I still love Tommy.
KING: Does he see his boys a lot?
ANDERSON: He sees them. He sees them. Yes, he sees them whenever he can. He's been helpful lately which has been nice.
KING: There are reports that you owe $500,000 in unpaid taxes.
ANDERSON: Yes, I do owe some taxes. I'm working on it, though.
KING: How did you get into that?
ANDERSON: Well, it's kind of -- it's you know, I'm in construction lawsuits and all sorts of things. Last year was a pretty tough year so I'm getting that altogether. I'm getting my house together. And I'm -- everything is resolved. Everything is being resolved. I think it just kind of came out --
KING: The government worked with you?
ANDERSON: Yes, of course.
KING: All right. You're a famous animal rights activist. You work closely with PETA. What do you think of the SeaWorld tragedy. Do you think there should be a SeaWorld?
ANDERSON: I don't think there should be SeaWorlds. Of course not.
ANDERSON: I think it's terrible.
KING: They should not be in captivity?
ANDERSON: They should not be in captivity at all. It's bound to happen. Something like that. It's just terrible but -- it's terrible that it's happened, but there shouldn't be any SeaWorlds.
KING: We have a question came to us through Facebook. Ask her what she eats to keep in such great shape.
ANDERSON: Lots of vegetables. I'm vegetarian so.
KING: Are you a vegan?
ANDERSON: I try to be vegan so that's -- I'm getting close to being vegan.
KING: The difference between vegan and vegetarian is?
ANDERSON: Just dairy products. Really. It's -- you eat no cheese, no milk, no dairy, no animal product at all.
KING: Is there a Pamela Anderson milk shake?
ANDERSON: There is. A vegan milk shake. At "Millions of Milkshakes." I just watched that the other day with PETA.
KING: What goes into it?
ANDERSON: Rice milk and, you know, coconut, pineapple, all sorts of good stuff.
KING: Have a good, sweet taste?
ANDERSON: It's very good. Yes, you have to check it out.
KING: Where do you get it?
ANDERSON: "Millions of Shakes."
KING: Millions of --
ANDERSON: It's this place. That's what it's called. Yes.
KING: It's in Santa Monica. Here.
ANDERSON: It's in Santa Monica. Yes.
KING: After dancing, what are you going to do?
ANDERSON: I don't know yet. I don't know yet. I'm kind of -- you know, I'm working on my home in Canada as well. And I want to spend more time at home. So. I have perfume and I have -- you know, hair care and the skin care all coming out, too.
KING: You're an enterprising woman.
ANDERSON: I do. I have a few things going on.
KING: Pam's dance partner --
ANDERSON: Dancing is the fun part.
KING: Her dance partner is next. He'll join us. Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Pam Anderson. And joining us is Damian Whitewood, her partner on "Dancing with the Stars," and the guy teaching her all those moves.
All right. When they told you you would be paired with her, what did you think?
DAMIAN WHITEWOOD, ANDERSON'S PARTNER ON DWTS: Oh, my god. Pamela Anderson.
KING: How did you get to be on the show?
WHITEWOOD: I've been dancing for about 22 years? And I was dancing on Broadway for the last seven months. And got in contact with the show, few other guys, and yes, sent in my details. And --
KING: The rest is history.
WHITEWOOD: Here I am.
KING: What show were you in on Broadway?
WHITEWOOD: "Burn the Fall."
KING: The -- where are you from?
KING: I know that accent.
KING: The great Aussies.
All right, she says she's never had a dance lesson in her life. How difficult was it to teach her moves?
WHITEWOOD: That's the best thing possible because she's got no bad habits. So we're starting from scratch and she's listening to everything I say.
KING: Have you had moments like Kate Gosselin had with her teacher?
WHITEWOOD: Not yet.
KING: Haven't had a fight.
ANDERSON: No. We haven't had a fight yet.
(CROSSTALK) ANDERSON: We're thinking about --
WHITEWOOD: We keep saying that. We need to get angry with each other.
WHITEWOOD: We've tried in the past though but --
KING: Doesn't work.
WHITEWOOD: You still --
KING: Not you two.
KING: Let's take a look at some rehearsal footage of Pam and Damian learning a dance. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WHITEWOOD: Pam is really responsive to all the technique that I'm throwing at her. She definitely wants to get it right.
Wow, you're really getting this like smooth foxtrot thing happening now.
ANDERSON: I'm so happy at this point in my life in my career that I'm doing something this fun and actually semi pulling it off.
WHITEWOOD: That was perfect.
ANDERSON: OK, good, he's smiling.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
KING: OK, Damian, we asked her, we'll have to ask you. How close are the two of you? And you can elaborate.
WHITEWOOD: Well, we have a pretty close relationship. We're spending six hours a day with each other, plus time outside as well. I think it's good -- it's a good working relationship. You need to get along and have fun. As you can see in our packages, we haven't argued yet there.
WHITEWOOD: We're having fun.
ANDERSON: What to argue about? And --
KING: What's the time outside?
WHITEWOOD: What's the time outside? It's time getting to know her family and meet the boys. And see a lot of stuff --
ANDERSON: Come over and barbecue.
WHITEWOOD: On the beach.
KING: Does she know your girlfriend?
WHITEWOOD: She does. She comes along all the time.
KING: Is your girlfriend get all jealous?
WHITEWOOD: She understands what I'm doing. Obviously I've been spending the last four or five years dancing with her. So it's a bit of a break for both of us.
KING: Isn't it -- I mean a girl as beautiful and bright as this and gorgeous, isn't it hard not to be -- to say, well, I still love my girlfriend, I'm not attracted to this girl?
ANDERSON: He's girlfriend is pretty gorgeous.
WHITEWOOD: She's an amazing woman. Amazing woman to work with. I'm very grateful. I'm kind of living the dream, I guess. I'm dancing with Pamela Anderson and yet I get to go home to a beautiful girlfriend as well. I'm a lucky man.
KING: Is your girlfriend in the business, too?
WHITEWOOD: She is. Yes, she is my professional dance partner.
KING: Oh, so you dance as a couple --
WHITEWOOD: Yes. Yes.
KING: So she has no qualms about Pam?
WHITEWOOD: She knows what we need to do on the dance floor. She understands that each dance entitles different things. And luckily the rumba, we had to be sensual and romantic.
KING: How good is Pam?
WHITEWOOD: She's good. Yes, she's --
KING: How good is she?
WHITEWOOD: You know, I didn't know what to expect. Obviously she kept saying never danced before, never done any fitness. I didn't know where we're going to go. But she's good. She's quick at picking things up which is helping me.
KING: What kind of teacher is he?
ANDERSON: He's great. He's just really firm, really strict, which I like. And when he's doing repetitive things, I can tell when he gets a certain face that I got to try a little harder and when he's smiling, I can tell he's happy so.
KING: Here's a question for Pam on our Facebook page. What dance have you liked the most that you performed?
ANDERSON: The rumba.
ANDERSON: I just like it. It was just very romantic and sweet and sexy, all the good stuff.
KING: Can anybody learn to dance? Can anybody learn to dance?
WHITEWOOD: Can anybody? Everyone should learn to dance. Anyone can, really. It's -- you just got to listen to the music and let yourself go.
KING: What's the joy in dancing?
WHITEWOOD: The joy.
WHITEWOOD: There's nothing more sexy than a man and a woman dancing around the floor for me. Sums it up right there. Two people moving as one.
KING: It's kind of like --
ANDERSON: Good stuff.
KING: Sex standing up.
ANDERSON: It is. With your clothes on, yes.
KING: Sex with your clothes on.
ANDERSON: It is.
KING: So -- nothing happens with this attraction? I mean --
KING: The audience probably would have a tough time believing this. ANDERSON: Really?
ANDERSON: I think it's very innocent. It's a good lesson in a relationship, too. He's very sweet. Very gorgeous. It was fun dancing.
ANDERSON: And then I go home to the kids.
KING: This is hypothetical.
ANDERSON: OK. OK, Larry.
KING: If he didn't have a girlfriend, would you date him?
ANDERSON: Are you like what? Are you 20?
WHITEWOOD: Thank you.
ANDERSON: No. I can't say that. Can't say that like that.
KING: It's hypothetical.
KING: Yes. If he didn't have a girlfriend, would you date her?
ANDERSON: What if? I'm too old for you.
WHITEWOOD: We'd have to see how we go with the dancing. I think --
ANDERSON: Yes, really, I have to be a much better dancer.
KING: Thank you both very much.
ANDERSON: Thank you. It's great.
KING: We'll be following these exploits.
KING: Hey, they have some of the most dangerous jobs on the planet, but they made it here safe and sound. The guys from the "Deadliest Catch" are with us. And they're next. Stick around.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: Welcome back. The sixth season of the "Deadliest Catch" premiered on the Discovery Channel last night, highlighting the excitement and danger of Alaskan crab fishing. The stars of the show are with us. Captain Sig Hansen captains Northwestern, been working on the high seas for 18 years. Captain Johnathan Hilstrand captains Time Bandit. Captain Andy Hilstrand is the Time Bandit's other captain. And captain Keith Colburn who captains Wizard. Congratulations to all of you. We understand last night was the highest rated Catch episode ever.
(CROSS TALK )
KING: You deserve it. How long are you gone for when you go out, Sig?
SIG HANSEN, CAPTAIN, "NORTHWESTERN": It depends on how much quota we're allowed to catch. In our younger years, we were gone for nine to 11 months out of a year. These days five to seven months.
KING: How long have you been doing it.
HANSEN: All my life. I was 12 the first time I went to Alaska.
KING: Johnathan, how far out do you go?
JOHNATHAN HILSTRAND, CAPTAIN, "TIME BANDIT": We're about a week out. it's five days to Dutch Harbor and then another two and a half days out to see sea.
KING: Are there different seasons?
J. HILSTRAND: Yes, king crab, we're about a day and a half out, a day out. But you're so far from civilization. Dutch Harbor has a bar, a church and a little store.
KING: Where are you doing this? Where is this that you're fishing?
ANDY HILSTRAND, CAPTAIN, "TIME BANDIT": It's out on the Aleutian Chain. It's Dutch Harbor, and then we go out to Bristol Bay for king crab, and then we go up to the Bering Sea for Ofelia crab.
KING: It's near what big --
A. HILSTRAND: You have the Russian line, where we can fish on that. We've actually gotten in trouble with the Russian Navy before for ofelias, and then in Bristol Bay for king crab.
KING: Keith, is there good money in this?
KEITH COLBURN, CAPTAIN, "WIZARD": Yeah, there can be great money in it. This year we had a little bit of a blip. The recession didn't help us any either, because our price was down significantly.
KING: You get paid by catch.
COLBURN: You get paid by the catch. This year the price was down quite a bit. So it was a tough year for us.
KING: Sig, is there a lot of competition when these boats go out? Are you all competing with each other?
HANSEN: Of course. It's all about -- it's not just about the competition, but you're competing against yourself as well. You know, when we get out there, the gloves are off. You want to catch that crab. You want to provide for your family, make your crew money. At the same time, you get into town and you get your bragging rights if you do well, but then, at the end of the day, the guys -- it's a bands of brothers. If they need help or --
KING: You're in the same game.
HANSEN: You're going to help out, yeah.
KING: How do you know exactly where to go?
J. HILSTRAND: You don't. You set your gear out, spread it out.
KING: Educated guess.
J. HILSTRAND: You spread your gear out, pick your gear up and see what's in it. But once you think you got it figured out, you go.
KING: Was the "Perfect Storm," Andy, about what you do.
A. HILSTRAND: The "Perfect Storm" was about sword fishing on the east coast.
KING: Similar about the dangers of weather.
A. HILSTRAND: Exactly, it's -- some of the roughest waters are in the Bering Sea. We have been in 120 foot waves before. It's just -- that's when you think you're going to die.
KING: Keith, did you all know each other before the show.
COLBURN: Yes. Sig and I actually worked together before the show. Met John and Andy. My brother Monte was pretty good friends with them prior to the show. It's a small group. The fishery and the crab fishing fleet is a pretty small, tight knit group of guys.
KING: Is the team aspect important, the four of you working together?
HANSEN: That's out the window.
KING: So you can hate each other?
HANSEN: You lie to each other.
A. HILSTRAND: You lie to them. Say don't come over here, there's nothing here, when you're on the mother load. KING: I'll show you about that. Things can get tense on a boat. Fights even occur on land. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COLBURN: He set you up with that solid lady. Wasn't helping you out?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever.
COLBURN: It's not about fishing, it's about --
A. HILSTRAND: Knock it off. Trying to be a human being. Go kill your brother.
COLBURN: Don't go down on me for that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Keith, are things okay now?
COLBURN: I'm standing, yeah. Yes, we're good. We leave that stuff on the beach, basically. Once we start fishing, we fish. We all plow into the Bering sea to go fish. All that stuff stays behind and we fish.
KING: Where do you live?
HANSEN: Seattle. Most of the fleet is from Seattle.
KING: You all live in Seattle?
A. HILSTRAND: No. Alaska and Seattle. Arizona now.
KING: Arizona, you got a way to go to get the boat. You ain't doing this in Tempe.
A death in the "Deadliest Catch" family hit these guys hard. We'll talk about it next.
KING: He was quite a guy, Captain Phil Harris. He guested on this show, captain of the Cornelia Marie. He died during the crab season. He was featured on the "Deadliest Catch" for a number of years. Were you guys all close with him, Sig?
HANSEN: I knew him well before the show. We did a lot of fun things together other than fishing.
KING: He was quite a guy.
HANSEN: He was a good guy.
KING: He died of what, a heart attack, Johnathan?
J. HILSTRAND: He had a stroke and then ended up having a brain aneurysm ten days later.
KING: Did you ever sail with him, Andy?
A. HILSTRAND: Never sailed him, no, but we've known him for about 25 years.
KING: What about you, Keith?
COLBURN: Never sailed with him, but same thing, I've known him for years and years. Just a tough loss for the entire fleet.
KING: What made him a great fisherman, Sig?
HANSEN: You know, the thing about Phil is what you see is what you get. He never held back. But he would have been a good poker player, because he kept those cards close to his chest. You could try to read through the lines. He was good at fibbing. He knew what he was doing.
KING: Do you know how the family is doing?
J. HILSTRAND: They're getting through it. The kids, it really hit it hard when we buried him. I could see on the limo ride back to the hotel he sort of slumped. That was Josh.
KING: Do you know, Andy, how the producers of the show handled the death?
A. HILSTRAND: I was still out fishing when Phil died. The rest of the guys were back. I think they handled it well from what I saw on the first episode. They tried to be respectful. He was a big character on the show.
KING: Did you ever fish with his brother and kids?
COLBURN: No, I haven't. Never had the opportunity to fish with the boys.
KING: Are there any female captains, deck hands?
HANSEN: Back in the 80s we had a gal that ran a boat for a while. What was her name? Remember? Toni. I think she some female crew members, if I'm not mistaken.
A. HILSTRAND: Little five foot pots.
HANSEN: Usually the gals that do work on deck aren't exactly -- they're pretty stout. KING: By the way, Phil and his sons were guests, as we mentioned, on the show last year. We asked him about the art of crab fishing. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Why do you like crab fishing, other than the monetary rewards?
HARRIS: You don't think about the money. It's something between you and the elements, and it gets in your blood.
KING: What makes a good crab fisherman?
HARRIS: Catching crab.
KING: I mean are there certain attributes? Do you need good reflexes, strength?
HARRIS: You have to know what you're doing. You have five, six, seven guys on the boat. You're telling them when they can eat, sleep, go to the bathroom. You stay up for days and days and days at a time without sleep. Our record is five and a half days.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Great guy. What -- Andy, what makes a good fisherman?
A. HILSTRAND: I don't know. Some say you're born with it. It's your instincts where you think like a crab almost. It seems, like Phil said, either you're in front of it, in between it or you're doing crappy. So you just kind of get your instincts and you just kind of read the way the crab are moving. There's only 70 of us in the world.
KING: Only 70?
Keith, do you ever feel like you're killing something that's living?
COLBURN: No. The fisheries in Alaska are some of the most regulated and well managed fisheries in the planet. The crab stocks are healthy right now. They're doing really well. We take just a minute portion of the male biomass off the ground. So, no. At the end of the day, we don't kill them. We just give them to the processors. They kill them.
KING: they control it well then, the fisheries?
HANSEN: Everybody wants a sustainable fishery. That's what it's about. I want a fishery for the next generation and thereafter. So Keith is right. Politically, the fishermen join in. We're with the feds. I mean, it's all regulated. We used to take 45 percent of the males off the ground. Now we're only taking 15 percent of the males off the ground. We're so conservative, it's too much.
COLBURN: Fifteen percent of the four inch males off the ground. KING: How do you know the male from the female?
COLBURN: A female snow crab is about that big. Male snow crab gets to be about this big.
KING: An interesting development this season involves a personnel switch on two of the boats. Back with that drama after this.
KING: Back with our captains. When people talk about dangerous jobs -- the miners have dangerous jobs. How do you rank yours, Sig?
HANSEN: I'd say we're on the top of the list. The strange thing is I don't think any of us realized it before they started filming and all these statistics came out. Next thing you know, you got everybody freaked out.
KING: Now you're scared.
HANSEN: Honestly, yes. I mean, the older I get, the more afraid I get.
COLBURN: It's harder to lie to our wives now about what we're doing.
KING: Johnathan, you told me during the break you get seasick. Why then would you do this?
J. HILSTRAND: It pays the bills. I didn't get sick when I was a younger kid, when I was a younger kid. When I was 30 -- if I go out and haven't been on the ocean, I go out in the 30 or 40 foot seas, about two and a half days into it, I throw up lunch out the window, and then I'm good to go.
KING: Andy, did you ever come close, do you think, to buying it?
A. HILSTRAND: Yeah. We were on the boat one time. We were throwing some lines out and a line went right around my hand and started pulling on it. I kind of threw my glove off like that. That pulled me over lie that.
There's been a couple times like that. I had a line wrapped around my waist and it about killed me. John saved me, cut me out.
KING: Keith, have you ever been scared in dangerous waters?
COLBURN: Boy, even just last year, they captured a pretty immense wave that just about took out my crew. I can honestly say during the moment, I was never scared. Everything becomes really clear, and you're really focused, and you just get through it. After you're out of the situation, whether it's big water or big whatever, then you have a chance to reflect on it. At that point, you get a little shaky, but not during the moment.
KING: Do many people who want to be fishermen not make it?
HANSEN: Absolutely. I think a lot of guy goes up there, hear about it. It's an ego thing or some kind of testosterone that kicks in. The fact is, you don't have to be big to go fishing. You just have to have a big heart and you have to want it bad enough.
A lot of times they hear about the money. That's an incentive. But then they don't see the other side of the coin. We can go for weeks or months and not make a dime. I don't know if a lot of guys are willing to sacrifice that.
KING: You come back empty?
HANSEN: I've come back where we had to pay the boat money. We owed the boat money. She -- you're paying for fuel, bait, airplane tickets.
KING: You're renting the boat?
HANSEN: We own the boat. But I'm saying, as a crew member, you owe the boat. Now you have to fish the next season and pay up for what you are behind. It's not all peaches and cream, man.
KING: Johnathan, have you ever thought of quitting?
J. HILSTRAND: Yes, this is my 30th season. We were taking saltwater on our fuel, laid on our side, too deep to dump our gear. I came in to off load at St. Paul Island, I seen that airplane coming in. I said, I'm getting on that plane. I left my brother --
A. HILSTRAND: In the ice.
J. HILSTRAND: For two trips.
KING: But then you came back?
J. HILSTRAND: Phil Harris came 12 hours after me to town and I got to say good-bye to Phil.
KING: Simple question, Andy, why do you like it?
A. HILSTRAND: It tests -- it's everything about -- Mother Nature tests you every time you're out. And it's like the ultimate man versus nature, unbelievable.
KING: When you see -- when they forecast bad weather, do you ever not go out?
COLBURN: If you're in town, you have the option of not going out. We work so far offshore, Larry, when you're 200 miles out, there's no running and hiding. You're pretty much out there, you have to batten down the hatches and deal with it. KING: How long does it take to get out there?
HANSEN: It depends on where you fish. Sometimes you're right by the Russian border. You could be 200 to 300 miles from Dutch Harbor. You're in the middle of nowhere.
KING: Take a long time to get out where you're going to fish?
HANSEN: It's going to take two days if you're going to go out that far. It's a ways.
KING: I would think -- Jonathan, I saw the fight. You have to get along because you can throw a guy overboard.
J. HILSTRAND: If we're mad at each other, we'll fight in town and we'll save each other on the water.
KING: Ever want to throw anybody overboard?
A. HILSTRAND: Oh, there's been quite a few people you want to throw over. Use them for crab bait, put them in the pot.
KING: Do you eat crabs, Keith?
COLBURN: Absolutely. I've got a freezer full of the stuff. People ask all the time, do you get sick of it? It's not like we're eating crab every night. But, yeah, I love crab.
KING: All of you do?
J. HILSTRAND: Any kind of shellfish.
A. HILSTRAND: It's delicacy.
J. HILSTRAND: Any shellfish, I love it.
KING: You guys like stone crabs?
KING: They have seasons in Florida, the stone crab season.
COLBURN: King crab is still the best.
KING: How many can you bring in, in a haul, on a great day?
HANSEN: Depends on the size of the boat, you know. Keith's boat is bigger than mine. And I'm a little bigger than their boat. But on a good day, let's saying you're getting 100 average, pulling 100 pots.
J. HILSTRAND: Seventy thousand pounds.
HANSEN: That's half million dollar in one day.
KING: How long will you be out for? How many pounds can you bring back? What's the most pounds you ever brought back?
HANSEN: I did 100,000 pounds in 80 hours. That was a half million load in 80 hours.
J. HILSTRAND: Our boat only holds 130. His boat holds what, 170?
KING: You can make a lot of money in two days?
COLBURN: Well, you can't fill the boat in two days, but we're going to give it a shot. There were years not long ago when the crab stocks were down, where we literally made all of our money in 14 fishing days one year. The entire year of our finance based on 14 days of fishing.
HANSEN: Think about it. All these guys complaining about the economy, they're lucky to have a job, because, you know, when you're a fisherman, you don't know what's going to happen from one year to the next.
KING: When we come back, Sig and Phil will switch deck hands. We'll talk about it when we return.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah! That's what I'm talking about.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's what we're talking about!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Michele Bachmann and Anne Coulter tomorrow night. We'll talk Tea Party.
A twist this year had Sig and Phil switching deck hands. One of them was Phil's son. Let's take a look at the two Jakes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: Listening to you and Josh, you can't -- you're not his boss for everything.
JAKE HARRIS, SON OF PHIL HARRIS: I didn't say -- I never told him I was his boss.
HARRIS: Yeah, you did. That's (EXPLETIVE DELETED). He's calling up trying to find another boat to get on because he's afraid he's going to kill you.
HANSEN: Here's the deal. I need for you to go on the Cornelia.
HARRIS: I just had a little meeting with Sig. We've decided to put you on the Northwestern and me take Jake Anderson.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What was that about, Sig?
HANSEN: I just think the kids -- we need to take them down a notch, plain and simple.
KING: And you did.
HANSEN: Yeah. That's the deal. The grass isn't always greener. I think it's a good lesson to learn.
A. HILSTRAND: Don't you love the way Phil just tells it like it is, goes and tells his kid?
KING: Do you guys see whales?
KING: What do you think about whales in captivity? Do you have an opinion on that?
A. HILSTRAND: Might eat you.
J. HILSTRAND: Killer whales -- we were talking with the trainers in San Diego. They said they would never swim them in the wild.
COLBURN: -- last year when that killer whale jumped up behind us and I kind of jumped. Now you see.
KING: Thank you, guys. Continued good fortunes. Congratulations, best ratings ever. That's the show "Deadliest Catch," Tuesdays on Discovery.
We close on a sad note for the LARRY KING LIVE family.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Miriam Walker, mother of my senior executive producer, Wendy Walker, died on Easter Sunday. She was 94. Miriam Walker left a remarkable legacy, four daughters, 10 grandchildren, including my god daughter, Amaya, and her brother Walker, and two great grandchildren. Miriam Walker enjoyed a fulfilling, distinguished life. She was sharp and independent minded and, right to the end, she had it all. She will be much missed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Our thoughts are with her family and many, many friends. Time now for Anderson Cooper and "AC 360." Anderson?