Larry King Surprised at Dodger Stadium for 80th Birthday
Larry King covered his eyes in shock as he was surprised by his family and friends on the field at Dodger Stadium Friday night for his 80th birthday.
Pat Boone led the crowd in singing "Happy Birthday" as the veteran news anchor was chauffeured by golf cart to a throne on a blue carpet and presented with his own Dodgers jersey.
As he was greeted with birthday wishes by loved ones -- wife, Shawn; sons Larry Jr., Cannon and Chance; daughter Chaia and his brother Marty Zeiger -- he responded: "You lied!"
"I thought it was a meeting with the Dodgers for their season ticket holders," King explained to The Hollywood Reporter. "They fooled me good. There's nowhere I'd rather be than here."
Shawn King had spent the past months trying to keep her plans a secret from the baseball fanatic.
"Since he's such a rabid Dodger fan it was the perfect excuse," she said. "He has literal letters from the Dodgers saying, 'Will you please come?' "
Guests sported Dodger hats replaced with the LK symbol and took a swing at the batting cage before heading into the Stadium Club for a dinner that wouldn't have been complete without the infamous Dodger dogs. A video compilation was shown of celebrity friends, including Jimmy Kimmel, Mike Tyson and Celine Dion, who shared their best birthday wishes without forgetting to poke fun at King's age and signature suspenders.
Other guests included former mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa, television host Dr. Drew Pinsky, co-owner of the Dodgers Peter Gruber, and Dodgers relief pitcher J.P. Howell. Publisher Larry Flynt recalled one of his favorite memories with King was when he was put on the hot seat himself during an interview with him.
"He interviewed me about 25 years ago," said Flynt. "Me and the Rev. Jerry Falwell had a pretentious court battle, and that was one of CNN's highest rated interviews."
Shawn King sang her and Larry's song "The Way You Look Tonight" with the help of her three brothers. Singer Paul Anka arranged a version of the song he wrote for Frank Sinatra's "My Way" for the special night.
"It's appropriate to be here at Dodger Stadium, the third oldest ballpark in the major leagues, 'cause our guest of honor, Larry King, is the third oldest to ever park his balls here," said Anka.
With the help of the world's second richest man, Carlos Slim, Anka sang the newly penned lyrics that sent an eruption of laughter throughout the room: You could've retired no need to work / Stayed home and learned the Mormon twerk.
"When I was a kid, I never knew anyone 80," said King. "No one was 80. I brought my father-in-law, Karl, here just so somebody older could be here."
King ended the evening joking that his 90th birthday celebration will be at Staples Center and sang another Sinatra classic "I've Got the World on a String."