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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

25th Anniversary Special: Top 25 Moments from 25 Years on Air

Aired June 6, 2010 - 21:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LARRY KING, CNN HOST (voice-over): Tonight, the top 25 moments from 25 years of LARRY KING LIVE. We'll count them down from our very first show --

KING (on camera): This is the premiere edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

KING (voice-over): -- to the unpredictable, the unforgettable and the unbelievable events that have shaped our world during a quarter century of interviews.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't top that.

KING: Next on a special Silver Anniversary Edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Let's get right to it with the way it all started 25 years ago, the first LARRY KING LIVE on CNN. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: My name is Larry King and this is the premiere edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Every night at this time we'll be here for one hour. We're going to meet fascinating people from all walks of life.

We hope that you enjoy this kind of alternative to primetime programming rather than murder, mayhem, sex, violence. We'll bring you all of those but disguised as talk with questions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Boy, that turned out to be true.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Welcome to LARRY KING LIVE.

KING (voice-over): The first thing I noticed is my hair looked like a wig and I - I've never worn a wig. I was wearing a jacket. I don't wear a jacket anymore. And those glasses were ridiculous.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KING (on camera): We'll be back with governor Mario Cuomo after this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: But I had a feeling that night that this show would make it. I don't know why.

Mario Cuomo was the first guest. He was fantastic.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARIO CUOMO, FORMER GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK: This allows you to be a Jew and me to be a Catholic, if you choose, by letting everybody be what they are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Ted Turner called me. He said, Larry, you want to come work for me? You'll work at 9:00 till 10:00 every night. It's your show.

My agent was the late Bob Wolf. Bob called me up and says, it's not a bad deal. He'll give me nice money, same as your regular money. You're doubling you're pay. They're giving you an opportunity. If at the end of the year you're unhappy, you could bail out. So I said I'll try it.

I tried it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: This prison, does it get worse every day?

KARLA FAYE TUCKER, EXECUTED FOR MURDER IN 1998: No, it gets a little more exciting every day, a little -

KING: Interesting choice of words, though.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Prison interviews are always difficult. That was especially difficult, one, because of the glass separating us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TUCKER: Unfortunately, two people were killed.

KING: And brutally killed.

TUCKER: Brutally.

KING: How, to yourself, do you explain that?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: It was her and her friend. She did - she do it with a pick ax. She hurt the other person and killed one person.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Did you enjoy the violence?

TUCKER: At that time in my life, I was - I was very excited about doing different crazy violent things. Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: She would subsequently be executed by Texas.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: God bless Karla Faye Tucker, and God bless her victims and their families.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: George Bush saying that he watched that interview, and while she was very sympathetic, he kept thinking of the family. But he did what he thought a governor had to do.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: What's it like to kill someone?

TUCKER: It's horrible. I try not to take myself back to that night. We're the ones who put them through it. I'm the one that did that to them. So while I wanted to be angry, I couldn't be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: People were pleading for her life all over the world, including the Pope. Pat Robertson, because she had converted to Christianity.

She was very believing, and while she was frightened she believed she was going to go to a better place.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TUCKER: It's a blessing to be a part of it and it's exciting to know that God has a plan for this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: The first call was immense. There must have been 250 press, and South Carolina was close at the time. And it's that one minute to 9:00, and I'm standing with Bush and McCain, and McCain says to Bush, George, does it have to be the way it's been? And Bush said to McCain something like, that's politics. And McCain said to Bush, is everything politics? And suddenly I says "On stage."

I knew we were going to have a humdinger.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Tonight, a crucial debate for the three remaining Republican presidential candidates.

BUSH: Remember who called who untrustworthy. Remember -

(CROSSTALK)

BUSH: -- press releases, a pro life party.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Then you were contradictory -

BUSH: May I finish please?

MCCAIN: -- contradictory platform (ph).

BUSH: May I finish please?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Moderating is easy because all I have to do is ask good questions and keep it going. Can't let it get out of hand, yet you want it to be (INAUDIBLE).

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCAIN: You should be ashamed.

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Is he responsible for what someone else said?

MCCAIN: Well, this same man, he stood next to him. It was his event. This same man had attacked his father.

BUSH: This is an attack piece.

MCCAIN: That is not by my campaign.

BUSH: Well, it says paid for by John McCain.

MCCAIN: It is not by my people (ph).

BUSH: That's what it said (ph), John.

MCCAIN: (INAUDIBLE).

BUSH: When somebody's putting stuff up -

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Honestly, I was dirty (ph), on both sides. It got really messed up. If Bush had lost that, McCain would have been president, I think.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KING: Any scenario in which you would run for president? Can you give me a scenario where you'd say, OK, I'm in.

H. ROSS PEROT, RUN FOR PRESIDENT IN 1992: Number one, I don't want it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: What a night that was. I'd asked him three times previously, because I got a tip from a friend who said I think Ross is interested in running.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PEROT: You, the people, are that serious, you register me in 50 states. And if you're not willing to organize and do that, then this is all just talk.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: I had two minutes to go in the show. I said, one last chance. Is there any circumstance under which you could run? He said, well, you put me on a ballot in 50 states. Now, we finish.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PEROT: Wait, wait, Larry -

KING: Are you saying -

PEROT: -- I'm saying to the ordinary folks that I don't want any scene (ph) -

KING: This is a draft (INAUDIBLE) -

PEROT: No, no, no, no. I'm not asking to be drafted.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Two days later he called me and he said, you know something? I got back to the hotel and under my door was an envelope from the bellman. He left me $10. Something could start here.

And then, three nights later, Dan Rather on the "CBS Evening News" ran clips of that and what might be the coming Perot phenomenon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PEROT: I'm saying to all these nice people that had written me, and the letters, you know, (INAUDIBLE). Now, if you're dead serious, then -

KING: Start the committee -

PEROT: -- I want to see some sweat.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: I like Ross. Ross is - is cantankerous. He's Ross, man. He's Ross.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just can't describe the view. It just goes on and on and on. It's just - it's ghastly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: It was shocking to see that - that district of New Orleans, a city I love, and what had happened to it. Seeing things on television is one thing, being there is another.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRAD PITT, ACTOR: The plan here is to start with 150 homes. To build those 150 homes, I need the help of the American people. We need the help of the American people.

There's a portion of our society that we're - we're overlooking and we're not taking care of. It can be fixed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: I'm a great admirer of Brad Pitt. He's a super guy and he does wonderful things, like Katrina.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PITT: If you'd seen a list of - of all the roadblocks that we'd encountered and have yet to encounter, it would appear too daunting. But with people like Charles and everyone else on the ground - I mean, there are literally hundreds of people now involved in this. This thing is working, and it will get done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: He's there. I mean, he didn't have to do that. I like it when they're on the ground. Brad Pitt's on the ground.

We have a very successful raising of money from that appearance.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: So if somebody, some wealthy person - of our viewers were to give a check for $150,000 that would be building a house.

PITT: Hey -

KING: That would be a house.

PITT: They are putting a family in a house. They are returning a family to their neighborhood - done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Great respect for Pitt. I was enlightened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PITT: This is - it certainly has to be a long-haul project for it to work. There's no turning back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Betty Davis, Bill Cosby, the Beatles, Sinatra. You don't want to miss this. It's all coming up on LARRY KING LIVE 25.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We made a lot of news in 25 years. One of our most important and most watched shows? The NAFTA debate. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Larry King and CNN present the NAFTA debate.

KING: Now, we've got an ordinary citizen debating a vice president. Never done in history. A momentous occasion.

NAFTA was going to lose in the Senate. It changed that night. Al Gore called me on a Sunday morning. The vote was scheduled for, like, 10 days away. He said, I'd like to debate Ross Perot who is very vocal against it.

Al Gore later told me that he and the president were the only two who agreed on him doing that. Everybody in the White House who came with Gore didn't want to do it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PEROT: You're talking about something like a trickle of water coming over Niagara Falls as opposed to the gusher. You know it -

GORE: Now, you say it's --

(CROSSTALK)

PEROT: Do you guys never do anything but propaganda? Do you -

GORE: Isn't it your business also --

PEROT: Would you even know the truth if you saw it?

GORE: Oh, yes, I would.

PEROT: I don't believe you would. We've been up here to long.

GORE: Let me ask you a question. PEROT: Please let me finish. This is not "Cross Fire," is it, Larry?

KING: No.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: You've got two good talkers. All you do is referee.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GORE: We're not a nation of quitters. We're not a nation that is afraid to compete.

PEROT: We've got to have a climate in this country where we can create jobs in the good old USA. It'll only take a minute to kill a snake. Go ahead.

(LAUGHTER)

GORE: Can we talk about NAFTA?

PEROT: Excuse me, Larry. I don't interrupt. May I finish?

KING: But he did - he brought up a specific point.

PEROT: Could I finish?

KING: Yes.

PEROT: Let's have an unnatural event and try not to interrupt me.

KING: Let him respond. OK. All right.

PEROT: How can I answer if you keep interrupting?

GORE: Go ahead. How do you stop it without NAFTA?

PEROT: Give me your whole mind.

GORE: Yes. Yes, I'm listening. I haven't heard the answer, but go ahead.

PEROT: That's because you haven't quit talking.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: That was the largest audience in the history of regularly scheduled cable television.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GORE: It s extremely important that we make the right decision. This is a fork in the road. The whole world is watching.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: That debate changed the debate in the United States. I love Ross Perot, but Gore cleaned his clock. He wiped him out.

I can't believe all that's happened to me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JANET JACKSON, SINGER/ACTRESS: And push it out. No. Push this out.

TOMMY LEE, DRUMMER, MOTLEY CRUE: One, two, three, four!

BILLY CRYSTAL, COMEDIAN/ACTOR: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: I liked live TV and I liked unpredictability. You react to unpredictably. You react unpredictably. There is nothing wrong with that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're being inappropriate.

KING: OK - I -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK?

KING: All right. Inappropriate KING LIVE continues.

Did you hear the question? Don't you want to speak out?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

KING: Oh, my God. Do we -- do we --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Blabbo (ph), whatever his name was, jumping on my head. Whatever happened to him?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JACK HANNA, WILDLIFE EXPERT: King Toads. Now, those right here are poison glands.

KING (voice-over): With the two boys who are now much bigger.

HANNA: (INAUDIBLE) No, no. He's not going to hurt --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's coming (ph) -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get it off him (ph).

(CROSS TALK) (END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: The look on Cannon's face, who thinks his brother is about to perish, with a poison toad. Just seeing how cute they are and how important they are in my life --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Where is your right hand?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It ends just below the knee.

KING: It feels like a leg.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're in the dog house, you and me.

(CROSS TALK)

KID ROCK, MUSICIAN: It's for you. That's the King hat.

KING: We're back in the world's most famous box. Two guys from Brooklyn in a box.

Is there going to be a whole week of crocs?

This machine.

SNOOP DOGG, RAPPER: Didn't I tell you to turn left?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Those were wonderful moments.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: His first and only TV interview since being revealed as Deep Throat.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Woodward said they'd never reveal it until Deep Throat passed away. Obviously you didn't pass away.

W. MARK FELT, "DEEP THROAT: No. I hope I haven't.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: That was a tough one because Mark Felt had never revealed himself all these years. He has since subsequently died. He was in his 90s, didn't have Alzheimer's, but he had some dementia. It was hard for him to remember things.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: There were some who said that you were kind of like a traitor to the cause. There were a few, certainly on the Republican right side, complain that you were turning the tide on your boss.

FELT: That sounds like the Republican approach.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: But we realized it was historic. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll keep you in the right direction if I can. Just follow the money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "The Washington Post" were and are committed to protecting confidential sources.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: The fact that he chose - he chose our show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING (voice-over): Tonight, exclusive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: I think they come here because they know they wouldn't be interrupted and that the host does not have an agenda. Maybe that's old fashioned, but I like to hear what the guest has to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Did you like being called Deep Throat?

FELT: Well, yes. Some -- some ways I do. I'm proud of everything Deep Throat did. Yes, I liked being related to him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: I love Bette Davis. She called me the next day.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BETTE DAVIS, ACTRESS: How did I do, do you think?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: She had just had a stroke, showed a little in the face, but she was very resilient and wonderfully responsive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVIS: Every doctor there thought I would die. They did not think I would make it at all. You don't know Bette Davis. She will work again.

I think you'd remember this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: The thing that surprised me the most is how small she was. Because she was on screen, that Jezebel, she had that face that jumped at you.

And she smoked through the whole interview. We smoke them out (ph) - what, are we going to yell at her? And she had her assistant who would bring her her cigarettes. "Another one, dear."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Everyone who imitated you always did it by first putting -

DAVIS: Oh, I know, I know.

KING: -- the cigarette and lighting -

DAVIS: Oh, I know, I know. And the elbow. They do the elbow. They do this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: The best guests are those with no disconnect between brain and mouth.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: You once said sex is God's joke on human beings.

DAVIS: I think it is, because during those sexual times, oh, the person is divine. There comes a day and you look, and you say, what?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Bette could not have run for office.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're at 919 Parish Place, Apartment A, Philadelphia, the grow-up home of Bill Cosby.

BILL COSBY, ACTOR: It was very, very small. I brought them by here. I just want to see where I grew up. Ennis said he wanted to go home. He told Camille that I took him someplace and tried to prove to him that life was rough. But he didn't believe it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: I've known Bill Cosby a long time, interviewed him many times.

The hardest setting for anyone is death to begin with.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY: We were all there and Ennis was coming home and we put the coffin into place. And everybody is down, and everybody went to look at him. I didn't go. I don't want to see my son, like, to have memories.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: How a guy could go on after a child has died is incomprehensible to me. I would never go on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: One great thing you must have seen just all over the world was the love people have for you -

COSBY: For the family. Yes.

KING: -- and the caring.

COSBY: You'd never really know what people judge you by if you hit the mark and you made them - made them very, very happy. And I mean to continue to do that.

KING: You're an ace.

COSBY: Watch your mouth. Ace of what?

KING: Hearts.

COSBY: Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We agree that there was there a holocaust. MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, PRESIDENT OF IRAN (through translator): OK, bear with me.

KING: OK, no. I'm not. OK. Was there a holocaust?

AHMADINEJAD (through translator): You want to impose your viewpoint on me -

KING: No, it's not a viewpoint, it's a question. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: I normally don't like to get argumentative, but that really drove me up the loop.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: I'm Jewish. I have had relatives, cousins that were killed. How can you deny was is an obvious fact?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: The fact that I'm Jewish, that had nothing to do with it. What frustrates me is when - when I ask a simple question, all there can be is, No, I don't think there was a holocaust.

Two days prior, we had had breakfast. He says, we always look forward to having you. We know it will be fair and it will be wonderful. I said, I look forward to it, too.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: When you acknowledge here tonight that there was a holocaust, that 6 million Jews were exterminated by the Germans. That's all I'm asking.

AHMADINEJAD (through translator): Well, what exactly does this have to do with Palestine?

KING: Do you agree there was a holocaust?

AHMADINEJAD (through translator): Allow me to raise the second question and you'll get your answer.

KING: Are you denying that a holocaust existed?

AHMADINEJAD (through translator): You cannot violate the rights of the audience (ph).

KING: Oh, I understand it, but all I wanted to know is do you agree that there was a holocaust? That's a simple yes or no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: I don't think he'll let me do him again. Ahmadinejad - that was something.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Wrenching events has convulsed the Middle East.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: That's family, you know? The Palestinians and the Jews are second cousins. You have a family argument and a dispute and two faiths. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Attack, counterattack, revenge, retribution.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Someone said to me, you could be a diplomat. You could be a peace broker.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Together for the first time ever on television, Jordan's King Hussein, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat talk about peace in the Middle East.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Very interesting night, intellectual night, thoughtful night. As Bill Clinton told me, he's not sure it's solvable. He came very close. Arafat turned that deal down. I still don't know why Arafat turned that deal down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

YASSER ARAFAT, FORMER PLO CHAIRMAN: They have to withdraw from all but related area in the West Bank so that we can have very soon our election freely.

YITZHAK RABIN, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: What is needed, to carry out the elections and then to discuss the further deployment. I believe, the first of July is possible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Between the Palestinians and Israelis, leaders of both, I find myself nodding as each one talks. It's both their land. Sad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING HUSSEIN, FMR. KING OF JORDAN: We are looking for comprehensive, lasting, peaceful solution between the Arabs and the Israelis.

RABIN: And the time is in our hands and the results are dependent on what we will do.

ARAFAT: But we must make sure that peace is achieved for future generations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Our top 25 continues with Liz Taylor, Tammy Faye and a lot more. Where do O.J. and Marlon Brando rank? Stick around.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Welcome back to our top 25 LARRY KING LIVE moments. Here's a look so far.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: This is costume jewelry?

ELIZABETH TAYLOR, ACTRESS: What?

KING: Wait a minute. These are diamonds?

TAYLOR: You bet your ass they are.

KING: OK. All right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: I never had anyone pitch diamond jewelries on the air like it was just look at these. Look at these. Call in, folks. Let's start the bidding at $100,000.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: This is a diamond studded necklace with pearls.

TAYLOR: You got it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Where did you get that ring? "Richard. Richard gave it to me."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TAYLOR: It's a perfect ring. I thought, how poetic that that would be if a nice little Jewish girl like me ended up with it?

Am I making you nervous?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: She was an amazing, amazing star on the American horizon for years. Amazing actress.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TAYLOR: We had such wonderful time together, just the two of us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: I consider her a friend, and I like her very much and as another person, what you ask, you get answered.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Let's go.

PRISCILLA PRESLEY, EX-WIFE OF ELVIS PRESTLEY: Hello, Larry King.

KING: Hello, Priscilla.

P. PRESLEY: How are you?

KING: Thank you for having us.

P. PRESLEY: Welcome to Graceland.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: That's the most expensive LARRY KING LIVE I've ever done. The expensive (INAUDIBLE), the crew setting up, Graceland, renting that Cadillac.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELVIS PRESLEY, ACTOR/MUSICIAN: You'll never know how happy I am to be here. Somebody asked me this morning, what did I miss about Memphis? I said, everything.

P. PRESLEY: It's like nothing ever happened. It's like Elvis is here. We feel his spirit and everyone that's ever come here says the same thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: I was amazed at Graceland, how well they keep it, how incredible the crowds are that turn out there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: You still love him?

P. PRESLEY: Of course. I mean, he was a hard person not to love.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: A very nice lady. Very well within herself, and I can see why he was crazy about her.

Well, I've appreciated Elvis Presley more and more. I think he had a terrific voice and a great sense of stage. It was a hot day in Memphis.

I like doing presidents, of course, because you can't get any higher than that.

Do you still like this job?

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is the best job on Earth. It's an extraordinary privilege to be able to wake up every day and know that you have the opportunity to serve the American people.

KING: He's so smart. He's really smart. The book is still out, but I like it. Ford, regular guy, chip off the old block.

GERALD FORD, FORMER PRESIDENT: I was saddened because a friend was making that very dramatic step but the facts there and he had no choice.

KING: Is it hard to drive by the Watergate?

RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT: Well, I've never been in the Watergate so it's not hard.

KING: Never been in the restaurant?

NIXON: Other people were in there, unfortunately.

KING: Nixon, brilliant, pondering great interview because he can tell you about everything. Sum it up right in front of you. Carter, bright, inward, intellectual.

JAMES CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT: I don't have any doubt that God answers all the prayers. Sometimes he answers yes. Sometimes the answer is no. And sometimes the answer is -- you got to be kidding.

KING: Things don't look great sometimes. People are kind of down. Does it ever get you to say, maybe I'm wrong?

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT: The decision to remove Saddam Hussein was the right decision and I'm absolutely convinced it was.

KING: George Bush, great to talk to when you get light with him, baseball and stuff like that, loose. George Bush the first, one of the regular guys of all time.

The former president, seeing your name on buildings. What's that like?

GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT: When I see these things it's great.

KING: You landed George Bush.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH: Yes, I hear the pilot say, George Bush and I lean over and say, hey --

RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT: You can't be an actor without liking people. They're your stock and trade. You're out to please them.

KING: Hail Hardy, a great storyteller. But Clinton is responsive, persuasive and sharp. What is it? It's some sort of inner thing in you to get off the floor, the comeback kid approach? BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: All my life I was raised to believe that you should never give in or never give up. And then somebody hits you to knock you down, you're supposed to get up, not give up.

KING: Can't top that! Tammy Faye, god bless.

TAMMY FAYE BAKER, FORMER ACTRESS: God bless you, Larry.

KING: Of course, what can you say about Tammy Faye Baker. She died the next morning. I was surprised at how -- first been how bad she looked, she was always so vivacious. And yet, she still had that same Tammy Faye, here I am. If you could have people remember you for one thing, what would it be?

BAKER: My eyelashes. No.

KING: Still got that humor? They told me that night that when she passed, they would hold it for us to announce and we announced it the next night as we went on the air. She was a frequent guest and it was always fun having her on. A lot of people loved her. She would be off the wall.

BAKER: Don't you love this kid?

KING: She retained her religious faith.

BAKER: I think people need to know that there's great peace and joy in the end knowing that the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior.

KING: I really liked her. That was a tough night.

We're in Simi Valley. I'm Larry King. This is the coverage of the laying to rest of the 40th president of the United States.

There were so many people along the road leading from the airport that they kept stopping and moving slower and slower and slower. I was scheduled to be on the air for a half hour. I was up on a little hill overlooking the library and I was on for two and a half hours. This is the hearse, is it not? We're right next to it. There we see the flag-draped coffin. I had Gorbachev on the other end, a few other guests. And I just went and carried on.

MIKHAIL GORBACHEV, FORMER RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): He was a person with a big heart. He was a great president. He was a wonderful man. He was an extraordinary person.

KING: It was sad, not unexpected because we hadn't seen him in so long.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH: It's now a celebration rather than a sadness.

FORD: He had a first-class record. I'm proud to have known him and worked with him.

KING: When that sun went down, that was something. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He inspired America and its allies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He possessed a rare and prized gift called leadership.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now he sees his savior, face-to-face.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will join him when we are home, when we are free.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: The chairman of the board is our guest. This is LARRY KING LIVE in Washington. We'll be right back with Frank Sinatra after this. Stay tuned.

OK, first there was a mistake. I was so nervous. You're never nervous. He's my hero. I was in New York. There was nothing like Frank. Hard to get, doesn't do interviews but once you got him, one of the great interviews.

FRANK SINATRA, FORMER SINGER: A good question can open up doors in my mind that I would never think of discussing with anybody. I don't mind questions that border on, maybe a difficult way to answer because I try to fight my way out of it.

KING: It's hard for the first two minutes to interview someone you're a real admirer of but then it gets right down it to. It's who, what, where, when, why.

SINATRA: If everybody is a legend, there would be no normal people in the world. Everybody would be a legend.

KING: But you know you've gone beyond that, you're in another ballpark.

SINATRA: Yes, I feel that. And there's a very good chance that I probably should have gotten out by now. But I enjoy it.

KING: I thought he was the greatest talent this country has ever produced as a singer. A great actor, a terrific guy and a complicated guy. It's fun being someone else?

SINATRA: Of course it's fun because you can do things you can't do if you're yourself. I was always trying to keep a little tenderness in somewhere.

KING: You were very conscious of that?

SINATRA: Yes.

KING: What you want in an interview is passion, sense of humor, ability to explain what they do and a chip on their shoulder. He had all four. Is there still a lot of that little boy in you?

SINATRA: Yes, sure. You never lose that. I think if I lost, it would be all over, everything would be over.

KING: Tragedy is riveting but at the same time, tough. So you're on a high because you know there's a momentous thing going on. Then at the same time you wish it wasn't going on. It's conflicted feelings. Welcome to Haiti, how you can help. Mick Jagger, Jennifer Lopez, Ringo Starr, Seal, Ben Stiller and many others are here to say thank you. That was a great moment, great idea. Producers came up with it and raised $10 million.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Larry, auctioning your suspenders is part of the fundraising.

KING: Start the bidding.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll start at $100.

RYAN SEACREST, TELEVISION HOST: I'm at 250.

KING: 250?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 300.

SEACREST: 500.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nonstop, excuse me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The challenge is going to be great.

KOBE BRYANT, BASKETBALL PLAYER: It's important for all of us to contribute.

KING: One of the great things you can do is a show like that and that nothing else can do that. Twitter can't do that. The Internet can't do it. Worldwide television satellites can do that.

All the celebrities worked. They were happy to be there and it was a giant night for them.

Keep phoning in. Keep phoning in. Fifty-three years in the business and counting, still love going on. That was special.

I love the Beatles. They break rules. You could listen to their melodies every day. It was the one-year anniversary of the show "Love," which is still running at the Mirage in Vegas. Great show, by the way. So we had them all together, the two wives and two of the living Beatles.

PAUL MCCARTNEY, BEATLE: For people to stop you in the street and say, thanks for the music. You know, you saved my life. It's a privilege to have been --

RINGO STARR, BEATLE: Part of it.

MCCARTNEY: Part of those four guys.

KING: Extraordinary interview. Everything was extemporaneous. We didn't say we were going to hand you a mandolin. We just handed it to him. It was the moment. That was fun. I was jamming with the Beatles. I never thought of that. I'll go down in history. The Jewish boy from Brooklyn jammed with the kids from the mother country. What made the Beatles, Paul, musically special?

MCCARTNEY: We were just very good. I think individually, we were kind of talented people, but when we came together, something special happened.

YOKO ONO, ARTIST: It's a family. The Beatles family is a very family and we're part of it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was such a great legacy. It's a real privilege.

STARR: I think the most exciting thing is that a lot of the kids know the music. And if anything is left, we have left really good music.

JOHNNY CASH: You walk in my clothes closet and it's dark in there. Dark. Hello, I'm Johnny Cash.

KING: Every man knows he's a sissy compared to Johnny Cash. Well said. I always liked being with him. I interviewed him quite a few times back in the old days on radio and television. Keep my eyes wide opened all the time.

CASH: I keep a close watch on this heart of mine. I keep my eyed wide open all the time because you're mine, I walk the line.

KING: He told an interesting story about "I Walk the Line." He recorded that, heard it on the radio and didn't like it.

CASH: I said, don't send out "I Walk The Line" to the radio stations. I don't want to hear it anymore. He said you'll have to keep your radio off because it's playing everywhere.

KING: Are you bitter?

CASH: Bitter? No.

KING: You're a young guy, you're only 70.

CASH: No, I'm not bitter. Why should I be bitter? Thrilled to death with life.

KING: No cure?

CASH: No, I don't think so. There's no cure for life either.

KING: Death is the hardest thing to deal with from an interviewing standpoint because no one really knows what's going to happen and I don't care what anybody said, everybody is frightened.

CASH: It's been beautiful. I've been with you many times, Larry, and it's all been uphill every time, you remember? Yes, things have been good and things will get better all the time.

KING: He was special. There will never be another Johnny Cash. I miss him.

We're down to the top five "Larry King Live" moments. See what you chose as your favorites next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Welcome back to this special 25th anniversary edition of "Larry King Live." We begin with the top five countdown with the most famous slow-speed chase ever.

I live for two things, interviewing people and being on top of a story when I'm in the middle of things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: O.J. Simpson has been missing now for about seven and a half hours.

KING: I'm in Washington. He's about to be charged. He's supposed to surrender. We had on the head of the local Urban League. And while talking to him they come in my ear and they say, cut away.

OK, I'm going to have to interrupt this caller. I understand we're going to go to a live picture in Los Angeles. Go to the highway. O.J. is in a car and he may kill himself. And so now they go to the highway. We're viewing a car apparently being driven by Al Cowlings, one of O.J.'s oldest friends and a former teammate.

Police radio is saying that Simpson, the passenger in the car has a gun at his head. He's on Route 5, he's on 405 and I'm following a map to know where he is going. He's driven through two counties and we've followed him all the way. People told me, they'd be in airports, missed their planes just watching the drama.

ERIC SPILLMAN, KTLA: Total chaos here. Motorcycles, black and whites. People running around.

KING: I followed that car for two hours and 15 minutes. O.J. had written sealed letters to his mother, to his children, and then wrote a letter to the public in which O.J. said, "I had nothing to do with Nicole's murder," saying goodbye to people and saying he was pretty much at the end. It certainly reads like a suicide note.

Right at the midnight is when he came into the house and they cuffed him. Nothing is as historic as one of the greatest moments in television history.

Our guest is Marlon Brando. We've got a full hour to go. This is "Larry King Live." Don't go away. Brando does not do interviews. I get a call and a voice says, Larry King, this is Marlon. And I actually said, Marlon who?

MARLON BRANDO, FORMER ACTOR: I wore some red suspenders in your honor.

KING: Oh, my god. Have you ever wanted to run for office?

BRANDO: I want to run from office.

KING: All right, let me get a break. We'll come back with Marlon Brando and there's lots of other things to talk about.

BRANDO: No, I'm leaving now. It doesn't matter.

KING: We'll be right back, don't go away.

He was disarming, he was very open. He had food for the whole crew. He served champagne to the whole -- he served it. He was a genuine good guy.

BRANDO: I could have been a contender. I could have been somebody.

KING: You chose it as a profession.

BRANDO: Because there isn't anything that pays you as much money as acting, while you are deciding what the hell you're going to do with it.

KING: He said, if someone would just pull up to this door twice a year and leave $5 million, I'll never act again.

I've never been kissed by a man in my life, until Brando, and I got to tell you the truth, I can't stop thinking about him.

BRANDO: Darling, good-bye.

KING: Good-bye. I had no idea he was going to do that. That was Brando, impetuous. That's what made him the greatest screen actor of our time.

That ranks with the shock of Presley. Young people dying don't make sense. Icons don't die. They can die in their 80s, not that young.

The tapes of the rehearsal, the kid looks so alive and with it. We've learned a lot about what a nice person he was, how kind he was to people. This is one small part of this whole picture, right?

JERMAINE JACKSON, BROTHER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: Yes. We're mourning because this is the most incredible human being there will ever be.

KING: I had no idea what it was like, how gorgeous it is, beautiful rolling hills. Jermaine, it's interesting, of the Jackson Brothers, he's the most outward. They tend to be shy and inward. Jermaine is not inward.

J. JACKSON: I saw him laying in the room and he was lifeless, breathless. Why did you go? Why did you leave? I wish it was me there instead of him.

KING: I was very sad. And then I went to the memorial service, and that was incredible. The coffin was right in front of us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Daddy has been the best father we could ever imagine.

KING: It was special. It was a tribute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: You have chosen two moments in history as the most significant from all the shows we've done over the years. When you see them, you won't be surprised why they got the most votes.

OBAMA: We must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

KING: The most extraordinary inaugural in the history of the United States.

ARETHA FRANKLIN, SINGER: There's a love affair going on with the country and Barack.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I think it was a time of celebration and it was a moment where Americans feel coming together.

KING: A black president, the largest crowds ever assembled in that city. Cold, clear days, and you knew life was changing.

P. DIDDY, SINGER: I'm so happy that the world gets to see that this is truly what America is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You say, wow, this is one that you'll never forget.

KING: I lived for Washington in 20 years and I never saw a city that up.

Did you ever think you'd see a black president?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Certainly not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's really a historic moment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I decide not believe that this would happen in my lifetime.

KING: You knew you were part of history. They'll be talking about that moment as long as history's written.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is the World Trade Center and we have unconfirmed reports this morning that a plane has crashed into one of the towers.

KING: On 9/11, I was home in Beverly Hills. Everyone was sleeping and I clicked on the TV, CNN, and I saw a building on flames. I knew that my life had changed. I knew television would change. America under attack. Horrible images as terrorists strike against symbols of wealth and power. How could that happen? A terrible, terrible day.

Two weeks later, I found myself at Ground Zero.

THOMAS VON ESSEN, NEW YORK FIRE COMMISSIONER: This was the north tower. That was the south tower. It looks like a construction site, no big deal, you know. They're pulling equipment. But there's 6,000 people. That's what it -- that's the horror of it.

KING: Going to the burn center at Presbyterian Hospital, where I had had my heart surgery. What was the scene like here when you arrived?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was sort of -- it was like a war zone. I mean, there were just people all over the play.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard a boom and then debris started falling on us, and oil started falling on us, and spark -- we were all on fire.

KING: it all went through me. I felt that was my town.

We've had a lot of fun putting this incredible week together. Thanks for watching tonight, and during the past 25 years. Thanks again.