In a star-studded send-off, iconic talk-show host Larry King made his final appearance as host of CNN's "Larry King Live" on Thursday, after 25 years on the air. Some of King's favorite guests joined him by satellite, including personal finance guru Suze Orman and Donald Trump. Network news anchors — from Katie Couric, who read a poem, to Diane Sawyer, who presented King with a gift of suspenders — paid tribute. Former president Bill Clinton got in on the act, as did President Obama, who thanked King for "a truly amazing career" filled with excellent interviews "from presidents and generals to Kermit the Frog and Joe from Tacoma." Was it the farewell the once powerful, always schmaltzy King had coming? (Watch Larry King's farewell)
Yes, it was the "Larrypalooza" King deserved: The last "Larry King Live" was just what the moment called for, says Ken Tucker in Entertainment Weekly. It was "a Larrypalooza" of "the biggest guests (President Obama! Ryan Seacrest! President Clinton! Suze Orman!) and the biggest compliments ('You're the best,' said Donald Trump)." And, fittingly, "Larry King was Larry King: Friendly, relaxed, never at a loss for a quick question."
"Larry King's last show review: Who said, 'I'll miss your sexy ass!'?"
It was the end of an era, and it showed: Judging by the parade of "well-known faces," says Glenn Davis in Mediaite, Larry King wasn't the only one who recognized that this was "the end of an era." Cynics might say the only reason "King was able to get so many people to pay tribute to him because he never went tough on anyone." Maybe, but few people "in any walk of life" could muster as much "goodwill" as King. "Easy target for mocking though he might be, he's an icon all the same."
"Larry King's sign-off speech: 'You're not gonna see me go away'"
The only thing missing was tears: Larry "showed surprisingly little emotion," says Tom Shales in The Washington Post, "no matter how impressive and generous the celebrities were." He showed no "bitterness" — despite the way CNN "coldly" shoved him aside when his ratings fell — only a grateful farewell to faithful viewers. "This was certainly no grandly emotional moment to rank with Johnny Carson's famous farewell in the early '90s."
"A star-studded, but still somewhat muted, farewell for 'Larry King Live'"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- 6 tiny scientific mistakes that created huge disasters
- How science is accelerating our search for alien life
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1: 10 major differences between the book and the movie
- Inside Turkey's shadow war with ISIS
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- Three major publications have acknowledged plagiarism by Fareed Zakaria. Does CNN have no shame?
Subscribe to the Week