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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Encore: Celebrating Larry King Live
Aired December 21, 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, HOST: Tonight the woman behind the show. My senior executive producer, Wendy Walker, is here with 30 years of stories from an extraordinary career in TV. All told in her new book.
WENDY WALKER, SR. EXEC. PRODUCER, LARRY KING LIVE: It's like a history book. This show is like a history book.
KING: Politics, crime, scandal, disaster and world (INAUDIBLE) events. She's had a front row seat and we'll go behind the scenes. Witness what it takes to put this show together every night.
Kathy Griffin reveals what you don't see.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How can you face me?
KING: And Suzanne Somers tells us why guests open up to us.
SUZANNE SOMERS, ACTRESS/SINGER/AUTHOR: If you want to clear things up, you go on the LARRY KING show.
KING: Meet the person and staff who created it all and crafted some of the media's iconic moments. The Beatles reunion. The Marlon Brando kiss. Thousands of interviews in between. All next on LARRY KING LIVE.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
KING: This is going to be very interesting tonight, folks.
Wendy Walker is the senior executive producer of this program, and the author of what I admit myself is a terrific new book, "Producer: Lessons Shared from 30 Years in Television."
You hardly ever see her on this show and now you'll meet the person whose influence is all over this show every night.
Thirty years in the business. What was it like to write this?
WALKER: It was like going to the shrink, I think. It was much harder than I thoughtful so many people -- every time I would talk about our show, your show, people would say you've got to write this down. So eventually I decided to do it. And it took a lot more work than I thought it was going to take.
KING: But you also write about the years before this show.
KING: You're a White House producer. What took you to this business?
WALKER: I needed a job. When I graduated from college, my father gave me $40. And I was in a school in Virginia. And we drove to Washington. It was a girls' school, the closest city.
And they said if you don't have a job in a week, you have to come home. So I walked into Brooks Brothers and got --
KING: The men's store.
WALKER: The men's store. Got my first job right away. And one of my customers was Ethel Kennedy. And this was right when I was out of college. And I would wait on her -- waited on a lot of interesting people. But she was the most interesting.
One of the friends of hers was the producer at ABC and he was a White House producer. And I thought oh, I'd never going to be able to do that. That's so neat and so cool. But I really liked the producing angle of it. And I thought, well, this is -- there's organization. It's interesting. And I just got the bug.
And I walked into ABC and --
KING: You know --
WALKER: -- applied for a job and that was it.
KING: The rest is history. After our 25th anniversary a week earlier this year, I made a very difficult decision to not do a nightly show anymore. A bittersweet day for both Wendy and me.
Let's take a look at how we started off that show. June 29th, 2010.
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KING: I talked to the guys here at CNN and I told them I'd like to end LARRY KING LIVE, the nightly show, this fall, and CNN has graciously accepted to agree to. Giving me more time for my wife and I to get to the kids' little league games.
With that chapter closing, I'm looking forward to the future. What my next chapter will bring. But for now, for here, it's time to hang up the nightly suspenders.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What was that like for you? You were here.
WALKER: Well, I still -- it still hard to even put that in words. I was so proud of you and I am so proud of you. And I considered it such an honor to be part of the show. And I think you were right.
I think there is a time and I think after that week, the 25th anniversary week when you had Lady Gaga and Obama and Lebron James and Bill Gates and -- I mean you couldn't -- it was just -- it was just probably time. But I think it's always better to leave them wanting more and I want more still. So that's probably the best way to go.
KING: One of the things we do a lot of is helping people through the death of a public figure which is a fascinating concept, I think. Because often it's thrown together, right?
KING: The person is not expected to die and dies that day. Let's take a look at some memorable moments over the years of people. Wendy produced, talking about losing loved ones.
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KING: Is it hard to look at your dad?
BINDI IRWIN, STEVE IRWIN'S DAUGHTER: Sometimes it is. Sometimes I have good days and bad days. Sometimes it brings back memories and it's really nice and some days I just cry straight off.
LISA MARIE PRESLEY, ELVIS PRESLEY'S DAUGHTER: I think I had a harsh introduction to death early on. And I kind -- it sort of started a whole sequence at that point.
KING: What was special about him that maybe we don't know that?
CAROLINE KENNEDY, PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY'S DAUGHTER: I don't know. I think that his personality really came through. So in a way, they're not maybe particulars that you don't know.
KING: What you saw was what he was.
KENNEDY: I think so. I think that was special, too.
KING: That had to be the worst morning of your life?
KENNEDY: He was just so much fun to be around.
KING: Worst morning of your life?
GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH, 41ST PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A lot of families, Larry, when they have a --
BUSH: Yes, loss, they go apart. And ours, I think, was closer together.
BILL COSBY, COMEDIAN: Some people say, you know, you and Camille are very strong. I don't see us as being any stronger than anyone else.
KATIE COURIC, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: Everybody didn't really know about it.
KING: Didn't know he was sick.
COURIC: Yes. But they really didn't know how sick Jay was and how serious his cancer was. And how difficult it was.
PAUL MCCARTNEY, SINGER, BEATLES: With George, I got to see him --
KING: You did?
MCCARTNEY: A short time before he died. And it's just the best because we just -- we sat like the, if you don't mind. We sat and just stroking hands like this.
LIZA NIEMI, PATRICK SWAYZE'S WIFE: For us, every day, every week was a supreme victory so it wasn't like, oh, my gosh cork we make it to six months? It was, yes, yes, we made it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was able to tell him I loved him. And I asked him to breathe. Breathe. Keep breathing, Jess. His first name was Jesse. He never like that name but he let me know at one time and I always called him Jesse.
KING: When you finally went to bed on Tuesday night, the end of this harrowing day, you find a note saying --
TED OLSON, WIFE BARBARA WAS ON PLANE THAT HIT PENTAGON: Saying, I love you. When you read this, I will be thinking of you and I will be back on -- I will be back Friday.
DANA REEVE, CHRISTOPHER REEVE'S WIFE: You know some people have said to me, do you feel like you got to say goodbye? And I feel like for nine and a half years, we had -- you know, that was the conversation. That was the death bed conversation. I think you have to live the conversation. And I think we did.
NANCY REAGAN, PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN'S WIFE: There are people who told me that it gets much easier. Well, maybe for them. But not for me. I miss him more now than I ever did.
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KING: The hardest to do -- we've got to take a break. But are they the hardest to produce?
WALKER: No. They're really not. I mean when somebody -- when these people want to come on and share that, those memories, it's just what they're saying. There is not much to produce about.
KING: It's touching to relive it now.
WALKER: My gosh.
KING: And you read a lot about it in this book. The book is "Producer: Lessons Shared from 30 Years in Television."
We're with Wendy Walker. A number of very high profile guests have shared revelations about themselves and their careers on this show. We'll share them with you. Suzanne Somers is coming up. Don't go away.
KING: Producers make a lot of friends over the years, and Wendy has made quite a few. One of them is with us. Suzanne Somers, the entertainer, entrepreneur and best-selling author. Also a cancer survivor.
We've done more than 7,000 interviews on this show over the past 25 years and many of them had to do with someone revealing a private or a personal detail about their life. Example, watch.
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KING: Let's get right to the nitty gritty. What's wrong with the kidney?
OPRAH WINFREY, TV HOST: Gee, 12 of us. It was a very rough time for me. Yes, I'll probably say like hang in there.
KING: It was a rough time?
WINFREY: I mean -- it was -- yes, yes. Rough Time. Twelve, 14, very rough time.
KING: Family rough?
WINFREY: Yes. Family rough. Yes. I was being, you know, sexually abused at the time.
ELIZABETH TAYLOR, ACTRESS: I was married at 18 but Nick kind of got a kick out of beating the shit out of me.
KING: Nicky Hilton.
TAYLOR: Yes. And I didn't.
CHRIS BROWN, SINGER: And when I look at, like, the police reports or I hear about the police reports, I don't know what to think. I just don't know what to think. It's just like, wow.
KING: Do you remember doing it?
KING: Hepatitis C, when were you diagnosed? How do you deal with it?
PAMELA ANDERSON, ACTRESS/MODEL: How do you deal with it? When I was first diagnosed I thought obviously I was dying. When I first -- well, actually my doctor told me, you know, this little glitch in your blood work. You have hepatitis C. I said OK, how do you get rid of it? And he said you can't.
HUGH GRANT, ACTOR: I'm prepared to accept some of the things that people have offer me like stress or pressure or loneliness. I mean that would be lovely to just say that was the reason. But I think that would also be a bit -- a bit false. You know, I think in the end, you have to come clean and say it was a disloyal and shabby and goatish.
MATTHEW PERRY, ACTOR: On the set of "Serving Sarah" is when I kind of had a little, kind of -- the best way I can describe it is kind of a spiritual moment where for a split second you see everything kind of clearly. I can't really describe it because it's -- you know, it's about stuff that's bigger than I can really put into words. But it got to the point where I was wondering if I was going to survive.
DR. LAURA SCHLESSINGER, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: I'm here to say that my contract is up for my radio show at the end of the year and I've made the decision not to do radio anymore.
DIANA ROSS, SINGER: I walk over to her and said, this is how it feels when someone rub you up and down. And maybe I shouldn't have. And I apologize --
KING: And you -- and what did you do?
ROSS: I'm sorry?
KING: What did you do when you said this is how it feels?
ROSS: I did the same thing to her that she had done to me.
SOMERS: I've never told anyone in the last year I've been battling and surviving breast cancer. And I was in that clinic and it all has to do with my breast cancer. But I think the most shocking words I ever thought -- I never thought I'd ever in my life hear someone say to me that you have breast cancer.
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KING: All right. First, when you make this call, or try to get her on, is that hard?
WALKER: Yes, it is. But in this instance, Suzanne was the one who made the call to me. She called --
KING: She called you?
WALKER: Yes. She called -- that afternoon, we had another show. We were all ready to go with another show and somebody said Suzanne Somers is on the phone. Picked it up, told me what was going to, and we canceled the show. And --
KING: Why did you want to come on?
SOMERS: Because the tabloids had come out with this story that I had had liposuction. At that time I had written all the "Somersize" books. And I said to my husband -- I had kept it quiet.
I said to my husband, I have this connection with my constituency and now it seems like I'm cheating and I think they need to know truth that we had taken some fat from one breast and moved it to the other. And so that's when I came on.
You know, if you want to clear things up, you go on the LARRY KING show.
SOMERS: Because it's a global experience because there is credibility. If you tell your story on the LARRY KING show, it gets a different kind of play than if you went on one of the nightly kind of shows.
This show. This show. It's really been an incredible, for me as an author. And I wrote you a letter when you -- when you decided to step down, to tell you. I'm going to cry. It's just been so valuable having this friendship with you and with you and how we've become friends over the years.
You know being friend with Wendy, you end up doing a lot of benefits. I'm sure you know. That she is always getting you to sing or show up somewhere.
SOMERS: Somewhere for somebody but --
KING: The three words you don't want to hear from Wendy are "by the way."
SOMERS: Exactly. Or, breaking news, sorry. It's usually when you're in there all made up, and they go, sorry. Have to cancel.
KING: Is that the hard -- that's hard to bump a guest.
WALKER: It's the worst.
KING: Like we almost bumped you tonight.
WALKER: We almost did.
WALKER: Exactly. Yes. We almost did that.
KING: No, isn't that hard? That --
WALKER: It was great having it happen to me so I know how it feels.
SOMERS: Well, I remember maybe 15 years or so ago when you were still in Washington, D.C. and I was -- I was doing a John Waters film, "Serial Mom," in Baltimore.
KING: A funny movie.
SOMERS: Funny movie. And I was in the car on my way with my make-up on, and I get a call from you. Susie.
WALKER: Stay in the car.
KING: The book is "Producer." The author is Wendy Walker. And one of the reasons viewers relate to the guests on this show is because they've overcome obstacles like many of you.
We'll talk about some of our most inspiring hours with Wendy and Suzanne Somers right after this.
KING: We're back with our senior executive producer, Wendy Walker, author of "Producer. With us, Suzanne Somers.
Over the past 25 years, we've been inspired and awed by people who've not only encountered adversity but thrived in spite of it. Watch.
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KING: So you never thought you'd be sitting on a world wide television program saying, I am a gay man.
RICKY MARTIN, SINGER: I never thought and I -- trust me, Larry, if I knew, and I've said this in many occasions. If I knew how good it was going to feel, I would have done it 10 years ago.
KING: What was it like when you were diagnosed?
MICHAEL J. FOX, ACTOR: Well, I was -- you know, it was hard to describe it because I was so young. I was 29 years old. And so Parkinson's is not what you'd expect to hear.
RICHARD PRYOR, COMEDIAN/ACTOR: It makes your arms do that. And your legs. You know, stuff like that.
KING: Motor control.
PRYOR: Yes. That's all I know.
KING: Is there pain involved in it?
PRYOR: No. Just embarrassing. You get very angry.
STEPHEN HAWKING, SCIENTIST: When I was first diagnosed with ALS, I was given two years to live. Now 45 years later, I am doing pretty well.
HEATHER MILLS MCCARTNEY, MARRIED TO SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY: Not to be dramatic but just to show people --
KING: Where does your leg ends?
MCCARTNEY: It ends just below the knee. So this is to show people the quality of the leg that you can actually get.
KING: It feels like a leg.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unless I actually hit rock bottom, I wasn't going to stop production. So what I say is that, you know, I wasn't going to stop until it stopped me. So I mean, I had that determination because it had been something that I wanted to do my whole life. And I wasn't about to pull off the side of the road when things had been going so well just because of my health.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't believe in having a disability. I think that everybody goes through life and everybody has got challenges they face. Mine are physically apparent.
MATTIE STEPANEK, YOUNG POET: Sometime I say why me? Why have I had such a hard life? My siblings died. Why does it not go away? And then I think again. Why not me?
KING: Christopher Reeve, I'm your director here tonight. Move your finger.
CHRISTOPHER REEVE, ACTOR: Say go.
D. REEVE: There you go.
C. REEVE: Say stop.
Now you've always been so upbeat. The feeling of god being with you. Does that remain --
TAMMY FAYE, BATTLING CANCER: That remains consistent. I talk to God every single day and I say, God, my life is in your hands and I trust you with me.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
KING: She died the next day. That was unbelievable.
WALKER: That was a memorable show. I got a call about that show actually because -- when it was on, I got a call from somebody at CNN and said -- they said why is she on? She looks -- she looks horrible. And I said, well, that's what cancer looks like.
WALKER: But I think it was -- it was so hard to see her like that. That is the first reaction you get when -- you know?
SOMERS: But I think that that is so much of what your talent is. She -- you know what the public is interested in seeing, listening to. That was -- that was -- all of us saw ourselves in Tammy Faye. Because that's a bullet. Nobody knows if it's coming at you.
KING: That's the key to a producer, right?
WALKER: Finger on the pulse.
SOMERS: That's your talent --
KING: Why do people come on and talk about illnesses?
SOMERS: You talk about things on television so that others can relate. So that -- but usually, I talk about something, I like to be on the other side of it. I like to have figured it out so that I have a solution. So that it's not just here's my problem. I always like to have a solution. And then I usually have a book.
KING: By the way, a book. This is a terrific book.
SOMERS: It's a terrific book.
KING: It's a great book. Wasn't Mattie used to be panic? You took him. You --
WALKER: Yes. That's just heart breaking. Little boy.
KING: There's nothing like Mattie.
WALKER: He was a prophet. He was this little child who's --
SOMERS: An old soul.
WALKER: Such an old soul.
WALKER: And we were up for an Emmy. We took him to New York. He was my date. And I wanted him to win so badly that he was just -- we were holding hands and we didn't win, but he was so happy to be there. But what a-- boy, you think you have a bad day and then you look at Christopher Reeve and Mattie.
WALKER: You know?
SOMERS: And maybe that's why. Maybe that's why you tell the story.
WALKER: Larry, would you go on to talk about something like this? I mean you --
KING: I don't know. I mean --
WALKER: You'd never had --
KING: A part of me says yes, a part of me says -- I've talked about my heart.
KING: I went on Phil Donahue with Arthur Ash and Mike Ditka to talk about heart disease. That I did.
SOMERS: That's because you knew you could talk sports in the green room.
KING: Suzanne, you've been a great friend on this show. You've guested 23 times over the years.
KING: And she'll be coming back later with another guest that's coming.
By the way, the O.J. case, Marlon Brando's kiss, the Mick Jagger interview -- just a few of the big moments we've experienced on this show, written about in the book "Producer." We'll give you some behind-the-scenes scoops next.
KING: We're back with Wendy Walker, the senior executive producer of LARRY KING LIVE and the author of "Producer: Lessons Learned or Shared from 30 Years in Television."
We've had so many great moments on this show. Not only following history. Sometimes making history, too.
Let watch a few along with our senior executive producer Wendy Walker who as I said this new book "Producer" is something you will not put down. Watch.
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KING: OK, I'm going to have to interrupt this call. I understand we're going to go to a live picture in Los Angeles. Police believe that -- that O.J. Simpson is in that car. PARIS HILTON, HOTEL HEIRESS: I've been through a lot. And that was a pretty traumatic experience. Something I really have grown from. And when I heard that you asked me to be on the show, I was excited.
KING: What have the last two days been like?
HILTON: It's been pretty overwhelming.
RYAN SEACREST, TV/RADIO HOST: Auctioning your suspenders tonight is part of the fundraising.
KING: Start the bidding. You start it.
SEACREST: I'll start the bidding at $100.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm at 250.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five Hundred.
SEACREST: Three hundred, 500. Terry (INAUDIBLE) at 400.
KING: Remember, bureaucracy is slow. You can hear about billions being donated. It don't get there tomorrow. We're going to do our best to get it there, like, pronto.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You must have conjured something in your head for you to come out and call me a murderer of my child. And I want to hear one through 10.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you wrote the ransom -- I think you heard --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When did I write --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- wrote the ransom note.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Before or after I kill --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You tell me. You wrote the ransom note.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. You're the one theorizing here. You tell me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were in the house that night.
MIKHAIL GORBACHEV, FORMER SOVIET PRESIDENT (Through Translator): It's my opinion, his human qualities also is very high. He was a great president. He was a wonderful man. He was an extraordinary person.
JERMAINE JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON'S BROTHER: We're mourning because this is the most incredible human being there will ever be.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The world will never, ever forget Michael Jackson. MICK JAGGER, SINGER: I think at times I'm very lucky. Yes, you always need a lot of luck. And I think that they were in the right place at the right time.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And begin again the work of remaking America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a real opportunity that we have with the Obamas in the White House.
KING: That's what got you mad to sort of fight back.
GEORGE W. BUSH, 43RD PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I stand by my ads.
ROSS PEROT, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Do you guys ever do anything by propaganda?
AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: Isn't it your business also?
PEROT: Would you even know the truth if you saw it?
GORE: Oh, yes.
WALKER: I don't believe you would. You've been up there too long. Please let me finish. This is not "Crossfire," is it, Larry?
PEROT: May I finish?
MARLON BRANDO, ACTOR: goodbye. Goodbye.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: That's the other big time I got in trouble. Because after that was on, the president of CNN, Tom Johnson, called me and said, why did you let them do it? And I said, what? He said why did you let them kiss on the lips? And I said, you know, I'm so sorry. I just forgot to tell them, if you're having fun and you guys feel like kissing, just don't kiss on the lips. So --
KING: Here's how she follows that in the book: "when the entire crew had sipped champagne, it was our turn. He walked over to Larry and me to toast with us. 'That was quite a kiss,' Larry said to Marlon. 'Kiss my producer like you just kissed me.' I stared at him for a moment. Closed my eyes as Marlon Brando took me in his arm. As he placed his lips on mine, gone were bare feet, dirty tows, coffee cups, overweight bellies and perspiration. It was Stanley Kowalski (ph), Terry Malloy (ph), Fletcher Christian (ph). You name it. It was that man kissing me like I had never kissed before.
"For weeks afterward, Larry walked around the set saying, you know, after I kissed Marlon Brando, I can't stop thinking about him. I silently nodded my head. He wasn't the only one."
What was that really like?
WALKER: It was like that. Because he wasn't -- I had to close my eyes. When I closed my eyes, he was back on the waterfront.
KING: When you were there, when the kiss occurred, do you remember your reaction?
WALKER: I was -- it was disbelief. But I thought that is a moment. That is a television moment. I didn't think I was going to get a call about it. But yes, it was shocking. If you look at that again, where did you come up with that? Give me an offer you can't refuse.
KING: From the "Godfather."
WALKER: I know, but it sounded like you had rehearsed that, the two of you, you know.
KING: Our guest is Wendy Walker. The book is "Producer." Our good friend Kathy Griffin is here. She's going to help us through some very funny moments on LARRY KING LIVE over the years. That's next.
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SNOOP DOGG, RAPPER: It's low to the floor, too. See? I told you it was low to the floor.
KING: I'm low to the floor.
TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: I just don't want to hurt you. There you go. Bring it down.
KING: What a way to make a living, huh?
It's not a toupee. It's not a comb over.
DONALDU TRUMP, "THE APPRENTICE": Don't mess it up too much.
KING: It's not a comb over.
JANET JACKSON, SINGER: And push it out. Let this -- no. Push this out.
KING: I tell you what. I'll walk the street. You ride the car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll ride the car.
KING: I like that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out there.
KING: OK, I'll sell it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beverly Hills, lets tell them about this movie.
KING: "Bee Movie" now playing. "Bee Movie" now playing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Kathy Griffin is a comedian. We don't have to tell you that. And an Emmy winner. And she's 50 years old. Happy birthday.
KATHY GRIFFIN, COMEDIAN: Double Emmy.
KING: Double Emmy. She'll be appearing at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas on November 27th, and at the Gibson Amphitheater in Los Angeles on December 16th and 17th. I might come see you on November 27th. That's Thanksgiving weekend.
GRIFFIN: Do you have the nerve? Can you handle it? Because I might mention you in the act. First of all, I've never met her, so I don't even know what's going on here. I don't know where she lives or if she is an intern.
KING: Why are you here then?
GRIFFIN: It's a mystery. I don't know. I thought Suzanne Somers fell out, because let's talk about the first time that I was booked and then bumped.
KING: Why were you bumped?
GRIFFIN: How can you face me? Two words, Kato Kaelin.
KING: Kato Kaelin?
GRIFFIN: I will never forget that call. You didn't make it. Your people made it, your minions. Larry made it. He was crying. It was hard to see him so emotional. Kato Kaelin is a bigger name than I am. And that's what makes the show special, that after you get bumped several times, you get unbumped and then you're on the map.
KING: Did we help make your career?
GRIFFIN: You made me and you can break me. You're like the gays. You've made me and you can break me. And you've tried. God knows you've tried on this show.
KING: Wendy, why is she a good guest?
GRIFFIN: Thank you. Exactly.
KING: No, there's no one like her.
WALKER: No. She's special.
GRIFFIN: And considering it is her first week, I think she's doing a terrific job. She's dressed properly, appropriately. She handles --
KING: Do you like the look?
GRIFFIN: I do. And also the amount of screaming that you must have heard from him in the commercial break is jarring. It is really --
KING: What are you doing?
GRIFFIN: I'm trying to ruin your career. I'm trying to ruin your image and your career.
KING: We've had some funny moments with some of the funniest people on the planet thanks to Kathy and others. Let's watch.
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KING: Bill, do you want to throw to it Susan from under there?
LARRY SEINFELD, COMEDIAN: This is the funniest show on TV.
JIM CARREY, ACTOR: Come original Larry. Just read the copy, for God's sakes.
KING: You read this part.
JIMMY FALLON, COMEDIAN: Yes, that's what I would do. I'd do a rooster like that.
SEINFELD: It goes on and on and on.
CHRIS ROCK, COMEDIAN: I rule the world so I can sleep with you? No, I rule the world so I can sleep with you, you, you and you.
KING: What's under it?
CRAIG FERGUSON, COMEDIAN: On a kilt, on a good day? Lipstick.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, COMEDIAN: Let's talk white man to black woman.
KING: Jewish white man, Brooklyn.
GOLDBERG: Doesn't matter.
KING: Are you thinking about running for the big one?
STEPHEN COLBERT, "THE COLBERT REPORT": For God?
KING: Do you think God has a sense of humor.
LEWIS BLACK, COMEDIAN: He'd better. He'd better. Or you and I are screwed. You know that.
JON STEWART, COMEDIAN: Oh, my God. Please tell me that that is not the capsule that they keep you in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Larry, kiss me. Just do it now. Don't be afraid. Hold me. I love you. Your nipples are hard. It is a cold room. We'll be right back.
GRIFFIN: You're funny. What's next?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Is it tough to -- when you're in a situation where you're expected to be funny -- unlike coming on a stage. When you're on a show like this, is that harder?
GRIFFIN: It is a little nerve racking because it is live. But what's great about this show is that -- first of all, you're great at setting up comedians. So I want to thank you, because a lot of hosts will ask you about something. And then for me it might be like an eight-minute chunk in my act, and I can't do it in a couple seconds.
But you'll actually lead me into something and then you move on. Now I realize that's because I bore you. And let's talk about how she's trying to produce the show and the guy in your ear is also doing it. So there is a lot of in-fighting that happen at this show, which I enjoy the most.
KING: I don't get to hear. I don't hear her talk to the guy in my ear.
GRIFFIN: I don't think you've listened to her for years. I think that's obvious.
WALKER: He really doesn't. But that's another story.
KING: Does a producer have to be a control freak?
GRIFFIN: She is almost trying to hit me. Look it, she went to -- shut my mouth.
WALKER: A control --
KING : Not -- freak is a bad word. Have to be a controlling personality?
WALKER: I think they have to be -- I think they have to be able to handle a lot of things at once and try not to --
GRIFFIN: Like ding dong, it's Kato Kaelin.
KING: I see.
GRIFFIN: I'm over it.
KING: You've never gotten over it, have you?
WALKER: It's different. A lot of comedians, as you know, aren't like this. A lot of comedians aren't good guests. GRIFFIN: You know I'm a super fan of the show. You know that I've watched literally every show. So it is fascinating to me when you get a comedian and they're very, very serious.
WALKER: They're not funny.
GRIFFIN: Because I can see your face going, OK, here we go. I love to watch you switch gears. So we see him switching it. OK, now we're going to goof around. We're going to riff. Oh, they're being very serious, and that's part of the fun, truly.
WALKER: But there are a lot of comedian who's aren't funny in real life.
GRIFFIN: Or as pretty.
WALKER: Or as pretty.
GRIFFIN: Or this rack. Am I right, buddy?
KING: We've been to some incredible places. That's coming up. As we go to break, here are some of the incredible and powerful people we've interviewed on this show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD NIXON, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Old politicians sometimes die, but they seldom fade away.
RONALD REAGAN, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't want to hear anyone tell me what the political ramifications are.
BILL CLINTON, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You should never give in, never give up.
KING: Do you ever say maybe -- maybe I was wrong.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The time is in our hands.
NELSON MANDELA, FMR. PRESIDENT OF SOUTH AFRICA: Racism is a characteristic feature of South Africa. We must fight it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: LARRY KING LIVE has gone around the world for some special shows. And the book "Producer" takes you to a lot of them. Let's take a look at some of our favorite locations the past 25 years. Check it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Let's go!
PRISCILLA PRESLEY, FMR. WIFE OF ELVIS PRESLEY: Hello, Larry King. KING: Hello, Priscilla dear. Thank you for having us.
PRESLEY: Welcome to Graceland.
KING: (INAUDIBLE). The show is a year old tonight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're looking at some of the people. I guess they're getting ready to come across in the evening.
KING: They're coming across for the evening?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They could be just for the evening. But I'm sure they'll probably stay here for a while.
KING: We're back in the world's most famous box. Two guys from Brooklyn in a box. Except he stayed in this box for 44 days without food.
What house are we in? We're in one of these --
BUSH SR.: This is my mother's. My mother's -- late mother's house.
KING: What was it like to grow up near here in much lesser circumstances than here and then have this.
LEBRON JAMES, NBA BASKETBALL PLAYER: First of all, this is humbling, because I know where I come from.
KING: Houses were once here, right, I would imagine, that we're walking on.
BRAD PITT, ACTOR: You can't call this an act of God. This was man- made failures. This should not have happened.
KING: Julius, isn't there a bad group? What is that thing behind us?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's condemned row.
KING: Condemned row? Who is in there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People that's condemned. Death Row.
KING: There is a window here that you're not allowed to be with a prisoner. That's any prisoner.
It has turned into a beautiful early evening here in Normandy on this incredible end of an incredible day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks like a construction site. No big deal. They're pulling equipment. But there are 6,000 people. That's the horror.
KING: This says "if tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I would walk right up to heaven and bring you home again."
(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: I lost it on that show at the fire station. Do you like when we go places?
WALKER: Yes, it's so cool.
KING: Harder though.
WALKER: It is harder, but also, this set -- this set is so recognizable, and people feel so comfortable here, I think it has been nice to go out and go to these places. But it is always great to do people here. The really good interviews --
GRIFFIN: Did you want to bring this to Lebron James' house? That almost was your second male kiss. You really looked like you had a crush on him. But I mean more than a crush. You know what I'm saying.
KING: The first time you were on this show, were you nervous?
GRIFFIN: First of all, this is in my act. So clearly you've never watched my Emmy nominated specials. But what I talk about -- what I'm fascinated by is you -- let's use the word temperament. The first time --
KING: What are you talking about?
GRIFFIN: You know what I'm talking about. I'm going to tell America. I'm tired of keeping it inside.
KING: It's not in the book.
WALKER: Yes, it is.
KING: I read the book.
GRIFFIN: First of all, he fired the whole staff during the commercial. I was sitting here shaking saying, am I next. Then I thought Kato Kaelin would be right behind me, you know.
WALKER: You do that in your act.
WALKER: That's so funny.
GRIFFIN: You know, I'm really rather famous and do quite a few television specials. This is like the first night with Kato. I swear to God. Is he in the hall? I'm really nervous Kato's going to walk in.
KING: Do you still have a crush on Ryan Seacrest?
GRIFFIN: Look, I don't talk about her publicly.
KING: Oh, I see. Oh.
GRIFFIN: Fire that guy!
KING: Do you have a favorite place we've gone?
WALKER: I would have to say Graceland. That was just so fun, because it was supposed to be a mansion and it is kind of like a center hall colonial, with shag carpet. But we were allowed to actually --
GRIFFIN: Was there coke in the carpet, like little leftovers?
WALKER: But there was a can opener in the kitchen, the old fashioned can opener. They kept it the same way it was. It was really funny.
GRIFFIN: With pills inside? Or dolls, as they called them then?
KING: Were you a Presley fan?
GRIFFIN: Of course. He was gorgeous and was one of the greats. But I still make fun of him. The greats I make fun of. By the way, I'm setting him up for when I put him in my act next. I adore you, and sometimes you come up in my act.
KING: Can I bring children to your act?
GRIFFIN: No. No. You can barely come yourself. Barely.
KING: OK. We're going to take you behind the scenes of LARRY KING LIVE. how decisions are made, what people think about being on the show, and advice for upcoming guests. Stick around.
KING: We're back with the Dolly Sisters, Wendy Walker, author and producer, lessons shared from 30 years in television. Suzanne Somers returns. And Kathy Griffin. Do you remember your first time on this show?
SOMERS: It was a long, long time ago.
KING: It's 23 times you've been on.
SOMERS: You were in Washington, D.C.
KING: Your first time you said you were nervous.
GRIFFIN: I was very nervous, absolutely. And I demanded the whole hour.
SOMERS: But when I first went on --
WALKER: I still do. Get off, girl. I know the necklace is 19.95. I get it, Somers. I got it.
SOMERS: Thirty nine, ninety five.
GRIFFIN: I'll take four, if I can just get there in time. I'll call. Sorry. Go ahead.
KING: You were in Washington.
SOMERS: You were in Washington and you were cable. And it wasn't at that time as prestigious to guest on cable shows. Do you recall that moment in time?
GRIFFIN: This isn't really going your way.
SOMERS: Yes, it is.
KING: I'm a little hurt.
SOMERS: The most prestigious of all.
KING: Here are some of the incredible musicians we've had on this show. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: The book is "Producer." In our remaining moments, couple other things. What has this show meant to you personally? It's been a big part of your life.
WALKER: It has, 17 Years. I think of events and I think of events in my life. So they've been kind of interwoven. But I think the thing that I'm going to miss the most are the people. I mean, it's definitely not me and not just you. We have an amazing, amazing staff.
KING: We have staff all over the country. Washington, New York, Los Angeles.
KING: And they've all gotten very close to you.
WALKER: We're very close.
KING: You kind of marry them, don't you? I mean, in a sense, they're your family.
WALKER: You go through their ups and downs. And, you know -- because you have to, if you're close. And who isn't when they're working in a group like that?
KING: What's the worst part of the job?
WALKER: I don't have -- I love my --
KING: What about letting someone go?
WALKER: Well, that's hard, but usually -- no, that's always hard. But it's been amazing. I can't believe it's been 17 years. It does not seem like --
KING: It doesn't seem like it at all. Do you pinch yourselves sometimes? Have you ever -- this is history.
WALKER: Yeah. I do. When I think of the 30 years at CNN, and -- it has been -- it's like a history book. This show is like a history book.
KING: What's it like to get a show ready and on? You say we promote that. Can you briefly say what happens? What do you do in the morning? You have a staff meeting, right?
WALKER: We talk all day long. I mean, you would be surprised, because it would drive you crazy. But we start early, 5:30 on the West Coast, 8:30 on the East. And we're just looking at everything that's going on in the world. Reading the papers, looking at the other morning shows, deciding if we need to change what we've already decided to do. Usually we have something decided the night before.
So we decide if we have to change it. But then that goes on all day long. We can be ready for a show, as you know, ready five minutes in, and then we have to change it for breaking news.
KING: Breaking news always holds --
KING: Because we're first a news network.
WALKER: And that's -- as you know, that's kind of the easy part. Because then people are coming in, calling on the phone and you're just trying to get the information and there's just an energy that goes with that.
KING: By the way, we're not leaving, because Wendy is going to exec produce specials, right? That's got to be different, because when you say something's special --
WALKER: It better be a special.
KING: It better be special. Wendy, you've got a great book. You're a doll. Love working with you.
WALKER: Thank you so much.
KING: And continue working. "Producer, Lessons Shared From 30 Years in Television," Wendy Walker, the senior executive producer of this program, tonight and every night. I tell people all the time it's the best staff in the business. They know what they mean to me and now I want you to know. For one of the few times on LARRY KING LIVE, we're showing you the names of my friends who put it all together.
Thank you, everyone. We will now roll the credits.