On Monday night at the Sheraton Ballroom, onetime Abbot of the West Coast Friars Club Larry King gets a Friars Testimonial dinner, emceed by Katie Couric and featuring testimonials from the likes of Joan Rivers, Kathy Griffin, and Donald Trump.
I called Larry to toast the TV legend on his achievement.
Me: Hi, Larry! Congrats. It’s a tribute, not a roast, right?
Larry: Yes. Naturally, they do a couple of kidding jokes, but basically it’s not a roast at all. There’s no cursing, and it’s black tie.
Me: Even with Kathy Griffin there?
Larry: I expect some kidding, but I doubt there will be any four-letter words. There’ll be children there. The two that I’ve been to were really in good taste. Comedy Central has taken over the dirty roasts. I was on the one for Donald Trump.
Me: That was hilarious.
Larry: The thing about roasts is, after the first two jokes about Jack Benny’s money, it ain’t funny anymore. So you have to do special material on other things. If I were doing a roast tonight, I’d do jokes about Herman Cain. But if I were on a roast of Trump tonight and I just did wealth and ego jokes — and everyone else does, too — by the third one, it becomes a one-joke story.
Me: You’re doing specials on CNN these days?
Larry: Four specials a year. Dinner With the Kings airs December 4. A disparate group of people including Conan O’Brien, Shaquille, the inventor of Twitter, and the guy who does Family Guy, sitting around talking about everything. Wolfgang Puck did the cooking. He comes out and introduces each course. At one point, Russell Brand goes upstairs and puts on my wife’s underwear. We’re currently editing it down to an hour.
Me: I pray that Brand bit stays in.
Larry: And in February, I’m doing a major special on heart disease which will include Barbra Streisand, Dick Cheney, and two prominent surgeons. We’re gonna show you heart surgery.
Tune in for Part Two of our chat tomorrow.