Larry in Paradise

The other night on 60 Minutes II, there was my man,  Larry King, the King of Late Night Talk. Larry shared lots of amusing anecdotes, such as this typical real life encounter with one of his many fans.

"I'm walking in New York, my hometown...me and the wife and the kids, and a guy walks by and he looks at me and says, 'Hey, Larry King, beautiful grandchildren, great-looking daughter.' That hurt...."

Plus, this exclusive. The King of Talk told Mike Wallace why he would rather interview the The King of Pop than The King of Evil.

King: "...Here's an interesting question: I'll get you Saddam Hussein tonight for an exclusive or Michael Jackson tonight for an exclusive. Both will talk about anything you want to talk about."

Wallace: "Who will I take? No contest. Saddam Hussein."

King: "I would take Jackson and I would beat you if we go head to head. Saddam Hussein tends to be boring. He's more predictable as to what he's going to say: 'Yes, my troops will carry on. They carry on in my name. The infidels came to my country.'"

Wallace: "Wait a second. Wait a second. On 'Larry King.'"

King: "Maybe I'll get him to say more."

Wallace: "No, no, no."

King: "Are you asking me, would I personally rather..."

Wallace: "You'd throw him softballs."

King [laughing]: "...You'll never be back in this house. You told me you'd be nice, Mike. You can't be nice, can you, Mike? You know, [it's] something in you, you just can't be [nice]. I would rather do Saddam Hussein, but who would cause the most interest and concern? Hands down, Michael Jackson."

[Larry is so wasted...oh my...... and now he kinda goes to sleep. What is happening in that head of his? You know that noise that harps make when you go to sleep? or heaven? I hate that...]      

And Now, Larry Gets His Dream Gig

Duh duh daaa do do dah dah - Wake up Larry!

Duh duh daaa do dee doo dah - Mister King!

Rrmmmphh...  mmm...

Duh duh daaa do do dah dah - Come on gorgeous, come on.

Rrrrrr shlufff uhh, huh?

Duh dee daaa do dee doo dah - Wake up, sleepy head!

Yummmph gaa who's there?

It's me - the Larry Fairy. I'm here to grant you your wish.

The Larry Fairy! I'm going to be young again!

Duh duh daaa do do dah dah.

No silly. Guess again.

My heart is going to be like brand new!

No, no...

My ex-wives are going to quietly pass away!

Duh duh daaa do dee doo dah.

No such luck, Mister King. Want one more guess?

I'm going to be universally loved and respected by my colleagues!

AND NOW, CNN PRESENTS LARRY KING LIVE...

You are a funny man, Larry. I'm just a fairy, not a friggin deity. Just listen.

TONIGHT'S SPECIAL GUEST IS THE KING OF POP, MICHAEL JACKSON.

But I'm still wearing my pajamas! Yiiiiiiiii!

Larry swirls down a pin-striped vortex as those damn harps play the Larry King theme. When the fog dissipates, he is behind his familiar desk. He is wearing a royal blue shirt with starched white collar and cuffs. His trademark suspenders are Chinese red with a black piped outline, emblazoned with simple yet elegant Aztec symbols, which are embroidered with golden thread inside of a gold-framed column. His tie plays nicely off the suspenders, with a similar pattern in contrasting colors. He is wearing no pants.

Swirling down a vortex is no darn good. Larry speaks hesitantly.

LARRY KING: After numerous charges of child diddling, any number of bizarre incidents, frequent court cases, and literally decades of what some people would call unacceptable behavior - including the apparent murder attempt of his youngest child by dangling from a precipice, and the befouling of pretty Lisa Marie Presley, Michael Jackson calls it all a terrible mistake....

Tonight Michael Jackson, the man worshiped worldwide as the King of Pop, joins us to shed some light on his brother Jermaine Jackson and on growing up Jackson and a whole lot more. Jermaine is tonight's only topic, and yes, we hope... no. We have no hope.

We welcome to LARRY KING LIVE tonight Michael Jackson. He was with us sometime back, in spirit at least, when we discussed him with his brother Tito. He was the man at the tail end of the Jackson family. First came...

Michael: Jackie.

KING: Second came...

Michael: Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, Michael. Michael, that's me. I.

King: I what?

Michael: That is I.

KING: So Jermaine - he's there right in the middle of the five. No. 3 on the Jackson lineage of brothers. Jermaine Jackson. And he's your older brother, as we said, musician, singer and businessman. Founder of the 'Jermaine's Steak and a Tater' restaurant chain, recently featured on the cover of Food World. We'll discuss that in a while.

But basically we're here to discuss the Jacksons and -- well first, what was it like growing up Jackson? I remember when you -- I remember when you played Miami. You were just -- what was that like?

Michael: That was...

KING: You were -- you were like the black Osmonds.

Michael: Oh, really? I hate you Larry. You smell old. No, just joking, it was wonderful. But we never had a lot of things that we did that normal children do.

KING: Did the show business thing start like before you were born? Were you singing in utero?

Michael: My God, that is such a dumb question. Of course. Jermaine was already three or four at the time.

KING: Was it your father that drove all of you into the business?

Michael: My father and my mother, pretty much. My father, yes. You know, sometimes I call the bastard and just breathe on the phone. Maybe, go Hee!, and he'll be like <deep voice> 'Michael, is that you?' and I'll just hang up...

KING: Did you like diddling kids? Were you a kid yourself when you first diddled...

Michael: Well, that's all we knew. But Larry, you know the ground rules. We're here to discuss Jermaine.

KING: Rats! So, okay, what -- Michael help me -- was the first big break that the Jackson 5 got that made you well known?

Michael: There was a lot of big breaks. But I say probably "The Ed Sullivan Show."

KING: Ed Sullivan was like news when he put you on, right? Here they are, the Jackson 5.

Michael: Yes. Yes. He was incredible, just watching him stumble around backstage. He was like Frankenstein, you know, and one time Jermaine asked him a question. He said, 'Do you act like this every show?' because he would smoke a cigarette and then put it out right before they called him and step on it and walk out. And so he slapped Jermaine across the ear, which popped his eardrum. And that's how I ended up on stage. Because of Mister Sullivan.

KING: Wow. That's some story.

Michael: Yeah. Yes it is.

KING: I mean, Jermaine, he was just a cute little boy with all that talent.

Michael: Yeah.

King: And Ed Sullivan just smacked him one and popped his eardrum, and that's how you got to be the singer?

Michael: Yeah. The rest is history, as they say.

KING: Wow. And am I the first one to ever hear that story?

Michael: Jermaine was the first...

KING: But am I the first big time journalist to ever hear the story?

Michael: Well, I told Ed Bradley, but they didn't air that part of the interview...

KING: So, I'm the first journalist to ever air this story?

Michael: Well, Carson Daley...

KING: So, I'm the first ever prime time news journalist to ever air this story?

Michael: Yes.

KING: There you go folks, another Larry King exclusive.

Michael: 

KING: So when did the Jacksons break up?

Michael: The Jacksons. The Jackson really never really broke up. We've held that thing together so when Jermaine was...

KING: When Jermaine was on tour, there's someone from the Jacksons always involved?

Michael: No. No. No. When Jermaine does a tour, Jermaine tours because he has such great success with... uh, '
Let's Be Young Tonight' and things like that. But it's just that the chemistry of just the original Jackson 5 coming back together is like magic for all of us.

KING: Speaking of young, what's the youngest boy you've ever diddled?

Michael: I am not a diddler of young boys, Larry, and that question was not about Jermaine. I think you know the terms of our engagement.

KING: Rats. Mmm, so, did Jermaine ever diddle a young boy.

Michael: No.

KING: To the best of your knowledge, that would be a no?

Michael: To the best of my knowledge, that's right.

KING: How about you?

Michael: How about me, what?

KING: Never mind. Well let's take a few calls. Go ahead, Renaldo, in New Haven, Connecticut.

Renaldo: Do you really call that <bleep> Jesus Juice?

KING: Michael, the caller wants to know if you really call wine 'Jesus Juice'.

Michael: Yes I do. And that question wasn't about Jermaine.

KING: Okay, we're standing by for your calls to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, about his brother Jermaine ...........................<pause> ....................................... ..............................................................................
......................................................<pause>.............
..............................<pause> .......go ahead, Brad, from Columbus, Ohio.

Brad: Howard Stern

King: Michael, the caller wants to ask if you know Howard Stern.

Michael: No I don't.

KING: Uhh, I understand that Howard Stern claims that you diddle youngsters. Is that true?

Michael: No.

King: Rats..... Well, Thanks to everyone for joining us tonight. Hope you enjoyed listening to Michael Jackson speak up for his brother as a brother would for another brother. More news ahead on CNN, your most trusted name in news. Good night to our...

Michael: It's only twelve minutes past nine. I'm on for the whole hour.

KING: Rats. <pause> So Michael, what's good at 'Jermaine's Steak and a Tater'?

2004, Mark Hoback