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Big Questions with Cal Fussman

Jan 26, 2021

After having breakfast with the iconic broadcaster almost every day for more than a decade, Cal has no choice but to produce Larry King’s obituary. He uses Larry’s own voice to explain how Larry became a master of communication and connection, and explains why the world will never see another like him. 

Show Notes:

Cal’s favorite Larry King story. 00:11
Why Larry King is so important. 04:58
The day Larry King’s father died. 06:21
Larry’s tough upbringing. 08:15
Larry’s love for radio. 08:40
Larry’s love for The Brooklyn Dodgers. 09:01
Larry’s Gil Moppo story as told to Jimmy Fallon. 09:20
Why Larry didn’t end up binding hats. 18:20
Patterns relating to iconic success. 18:56
How Larry got into broadcasting. 19:15
Larry arrives in Miami with less than $20 in his wallet. 19:34
Larry finds his first radio station. 19:49
Larry tells the story of being nervous on his first day on the air. 20:33
How Larry Zeiger got his radio name. 20:46
The birth of Larry’s interviewing style. 24:01
Larry tells the classic story of his first interview with Frank Sinatra. 25:23
How Larry could make a question disappear. 31:21
How Larry got fired. 34:59
The day Larry was down to $48 and won $11,000 at the track. 36:17
What Larry was most proud of about himself. 41:03
How Larry’s misadventures played into his interviewing style. 41:42
How Larry got his all-night radio show across America. 42:07
How Larry’s style connected with everybody. 42:35
How Larry met Ted Turner on his pathway to CNN. 42:59
Larry’s first night on CNN with New York Governor Mario Cuomo. 43:38
How Larry mesmerized Americans and the world for eight hours a day. 44:06
Larry’s best advice: Every setback is a step forward. 44:30
Larry’s heart attack, after smoking 3 packs a day for 37 years. 44:38
When Larry found out his heart surgeon had only nine fingers. 45:00
How Larry saved thousands of lives with his cardiac foundation 46:05
How Larry influenced a presidential election with one question. 46:38
Cal shows up at breakfast to help Larry write his autobiography. 48:11
Cal talks about how Larry mentored him. 48:26
Larry talks about Cal passing on his legacy. 49:32
Cal describes what made Larry so great. 50:00
Breakfast at Nate n Al’s. 50:36
The hardest part of getting old is seeing your friends pass away. 52:56
Fighting death with humor. 53:45
Larry thinks about freezing himself. 54:11
Larry is avalanched by health problems. 54:50
Larry discusses not being able to walk. 55:14
Covid was the worst thing that could happen to Larry. 55:37
Larry gets the answer to his final question. 57:20
Summing up with Larry’s influence. 57:35.
Why there will never be another Larry King. 58:45

People Mentioned:

Larry King
Harry Belafonte
Richard Nixon
Robert Taylor
Jimmy Fallon
Gil Moppo Mermelstein
Herbie “The Negotiator” Cohen
Brazzi Abbate
Engelbert Humperdink
Arthur Godfrey
Bobby Darin
Jimmy Hoffa
Jackie Gleason
Frank Sinatra
Jim Mahoney
Jim Garrison
Lou Wolfson
Ted Turner
Mario Cuomo
Everett Koop
Dr. Wayne Isom
OJ Simpson
George H.W. Bush
Bill Clinton
Ross Perot
Mike Wallace
Robert Kraft
Jay Leno
Sid Young
Andy King
Chaia King
Chance King
Donald Trump
Mark Twain
Greg Christensen