Friday, July 23, 2004

Why is Larry King famous?

How did Larry King become a big shot? How did his show become the first pit stop on the talk show circuit, so much so that it is the logical venue to announce a presidential bid or make a mea culpa?

Larry King might be the ugliest man on television. I don't mean that as a put-down, but to make the point that King himself must be remarkable in some way to overcome his bad looks in the most appearance-conscious of mediums. But he's a poor interviewer, and in two recent interviews with Jon Stewart and Bill Maher, his cluelessness makes it almost embarrassing to watch. King simply didn't get the Onion-type deadpan jokes that Stewart threw out, and tried to ask follow-up questions to obviously absurd statements. Maher makes his jokes slightly more obvious, but King still didn't know what to do with the Smug One's politically incorrect provocations. The man is simply overmatched out there. Was he good at one time? Or is he just the Liz Smith of cable talk shows?

Also, an alert reader notified me that yesterday marked the first year anniversary of Pigs & Battleships' launch. And all it has cost me are about 200 billable hours and a lot of headaches.