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Conan O’Brien paid tribute to the legendary late interviewer Larry King — who was also an occasional guest of the late-night host’s for three decades — on his TBS show on Monday.
The longtime broadcaster and interviewer died at the age of 87 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Saturday morning, with a cause of death not specified, though he was hospitalized for COVID-19 earlier in January. King’s death prompted an outpouring of remembrances from TV anchors and Hollywood figures, a list to which O’Brien added his name on Monday.
“Of course everyone knows him as this consummate interviewer, this legendary broadcaster: He talked to everyone, just a giant in the talk-show industry. But, on a more personal note, we had an interesting relationship at this show with Larry for many years,” O’Brien said at the top of Conan on Monday. “For some reason, we don’t know why, he felt very comfortable coming to us and letting his comedy side come out.”
O’Brien added that starting around 1993-1994, King began appearing on the show and “he loved to kind of try jokes out and comedy out with us.” O’Brien said that even when his team pitched King “crazy ideas” for comedy routines, the broadcaster would often do them: “He liked to make people laugh,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien proceeded to share a compilation of favorite King appearances on his show over the course of three decades: In one clip, King auditions to play the part of Wolverine in an X-Men project, wearing the mutant’s signature claws and hair; in another, he recounts the time Marlon Brando kissed him on the lips. The collection also includes a moment where King tried to persuade O’Brien to take fish oil pills and a bit with King selling a sheet set for $149.99 in a QVC-style ad.
A common theme in the appearances? King lamenting “Why do I come here?” after O’Brien cracks a joke at his expense.
Watch the full tribute below.
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