There is no stopping Larry King. Even in semi-retirement, the legendary TV host is still at work, trying to nab his biggest interview yet.
King, who hosted Monday's Peabody Awards, has been without his iconic "Larry King Live" show on CNN for just over six months, but he's more than keeping busy. The itinerary: hosting four CNN specials (the first, on Alzheimers, recently aired), going on a national stand up comedy tour, and luring out a reclusive dictator. Speaking to reporters before the Peabody ceremony, King was energetic as ever, whittling off stories and bristling at the notion of slowing down.
Q: Are there any interview subjects that you would have loved to interview, but got away?
King: Since I'm doing four specials, we're still after Castro. I'm doing one with Johnny Depp, he was high on the list, I'm doing one with Johnny Depp. Castro, he'd be number one, because he's the longest leader of a country ever.
Q: How's your standup career going?
King: Terrific. We sold out in Atlantic City, Boston, Indianapolis, we're going to Biloxi, Mississippi, Reno, Las Vegas. I love making people laugh. I love doing it. It's really a one man Broadway show. I tell stories. We're going to Europe in september, and next year we're going to Australia. I used to always work in conventions, I would speak at General Motors and AARP, I always told funny stories. My nephew, Broadway producer Scott Zeiger, said 'why don't we put together an act?' And there's a lot of scenes behind me, and video, but it's basically one man on stage, 80 minutes.
Q: Will we see it on TV?
The problem with doing it on TV is, you do an HBO special, and everybody sees it, well then you've got to change all of your material. So I would imagine, I'm not going to do it forever, this I'll I do for two years, if my health holds up, I think the last thing would be an HBO special. Because they're great stories, it's really funny stuff. I wouldn't say it, but it's really funny.
Q: You should team up with Charlie Sheen.
King: Charlie Sheen and I ought to go do an act together [laughter]. I like Charlie, by the way, and I like his father. In fact, when I had my heart attack, the first person to visit me was Martin Sheen. I never forget that... I haven't seen him. The only thing I was ever addicted to was cigarettes, and I paid the price by getting a heart attack. But I understand addiction, and so I knew what it was like - whenever we did shows about it, I always felt a little sorry because I know what it's like to want to do something. I remember, 3 o'clock in the morning in a snow storm in VA, I woke up and had no cigarettes. And I couldn't get out of the garage door, and I walked 3 ½ blocks to a 7-11, with a blazing storm hitting me in the face. I went into store, went behind the counter, grabbed the cigarettes, opened up and lit up before I paid for them. That's addiction. It's an addiction I was able to stop because of a heart attack. I don't know if I would have stopped, because it's very hard when you're driven, so I have a lot of sympathy, I'm not angry at addicts. I know what it's like, I was lucky enough to be addicted to something that didn't effect my career because you could smoke at work.