Gawker has posted a tape that they call "the long lost drunk Larry King tape," in which the then-radio host can be heard slurring his words and making outlandish statements. The tape was reportedly recorded some time between 1987 and 1994, when King hosted a radio show on the Mutual Radio Network.
King claims to be exhausted, and it's likely he's not drunk as he told Kathy Griffin that he's never been drunk in his life.
"You know something? I've never been drunk in my life," he said. "I've had a drink, but I never been drunk. I don't like it."
Listen to the classic tape below, in which a confused caller to King's segment called "Open Air America" (in which he would open the phones at 3 a.m. to let callers discuss any topic they pleased) tries to solicit King's advice for breaking into journalism and gets an earful (but, alas, no advice):
Caller: I'm a student of print journalism, and I just wanted to know: what advice do you have for young people coming up into the field? Like, a lot of our professors are telling us how hard it is to get into the field at first. I'd just like to know, since you're in the field, if you have any advice on that.
Caller: For instance, experience: is that important?
Larry King: Uh huh, sure.
Caller: Is that probably the most important?
Larry King: Well, it's way up there.
Caller: It's way up there...anything else?
Larry King: Pressure under fire, done this before, I don't want this to be his first surgery.
Larry King: Applied himself well. These are the things that I'd have confidence in a young M.D.
Caller: Okay...I'm talking about the journalism field.
Larry King: I'm lost, what do you mean?
Caller: Journalism...I'm a student of journalism at a college and I was just wondering the most important aspect of getting into journalism. Not the medical field. I think you're exhausted from 30 nights.
Larry King: I am exhausted from 30 nights. No person, even those of us who are superhuman, those of us with Herculean appetites for the diverse and the bizarre, even those of us who have shown an aptitude to fight the good fight and stay the good long battle...even those of us can get tired. And your boy is tired after 30 consecutive nights. I have a half hour to go and I'm gonna do that half hour because I'm a pro, and that's what pros do. I'm a pro-fessional. Look it up in the book.
Larry King: That's what we do, we're pros. We're never rude and we don't cop out. We don't tell you that we're ill or that we're looking for the farmhouse in the middle of the desert. Or that we're parched. We don't tell you that maybe the check didn't come through this month, and where the hell does it go anyway if you're a guy who's left 16 forwarding addresses?
Larry King: So what do you do? What is the answer? Yeah, you're a little perturbed now. Kinda worried about the club.
Caller: The club?
Larry King: Don't worry about the club. Worry about, maybe, Jackie, my...haha, nah, don't worry. Okay, just cool it. Life is a breeze. Of course, some breezes as you know at 110 mph and get promoted up to hurricanes...I just thought I'd pass that along. Speaking of pass along, we're gonna pass along now to the newsroom, the Mutual Newsroom high atop the overlooking downtown, beautiful downtown studios of Roslyn, Virginia, Washington DC. The Mutual Newsroom will get us up to date on the news headlines and we'll come back with more Open Phone America and we'll have our salute to my man Duke Zeibert by taking him to one of his favorite places, one of mine too: the town of Cooperstown, New York. This is the Larry King Show in Washington, and we'll be right back.