Q&A With: Shawn and Larry King
Legendary TV interviewer is back with an Internet show.
August 08, 2012
Longtime Beverly Hills residents Shawn and Larry King, are now working as a team both personally and professionally. Married since 1997, the couple—in addition to raising sons Chance and Cannon—envisioned the newly launched Internet show, Larry King Now, streaming on Hulu. A part of ora.tv, an online network backed by tech king/world’s wealthiest man Carlos Slim, the program features Larry doing what he does best: interviewing.
With help from his wife, Larry has created a more casual, homey show environment than with the legendary Larry King Live. We caught up with Shawn and Larry on set, where they dished on their latest venture, life with the kids, and Larry’s ongoing curiosity.
How did Larry King Now come about?
LARRY KING: I missed doing interviews. I’m curious and that will always be the same. Our friend, Carlos Slim came to our house for dinner and said, ‘What can we do together?’ Shawn suggested a website, which led to Larry King Now. Our original thought was (strictly) news, but it’s branched out to cover many things. We formed ora.tv. Ora means ‘now’ in Italian, it’s also Shawn’s middle name.
Shawn, were you surprised Larry wanted to come out of retirement?
SHAWN KING: No, I never believed [he would really retire], especially a guy like Larry who’s been doing this his entire life. When you have that kind of passion, you don’t just walk away after 50-something years. It was impossible for him and I knew it, but I wasn’t going to say ‘oh you can’t do that!’ But then I started thinking, how on earth am I going to get him out of my house!
How does the show differ from Larry King Live?
LK: I really feel at home here. It’s a very different feeling than CNN. CNN is news-ish and here it feels very homey. [Broadcasting on] the Internet feels personable. The first time I worked there I felt like I had been doing it here for 20 years.
Shawn, you actually had a big part in designing the set.
SK: It was conceived from a trophy room I designed for Larry in our home. I wanted a room for him that was a tribute to his career. I built this cozy space that has books that he’s written, awards that he has received, pictures with people that he’s interviewed, and letters from Frank Sinatra and Bill Clinton. We brought (various things) from the actual trophy room, which gave it a more comfy, homey feel.
Larry, what were some of your career highlights? You’ve had so many….
LK: Winning two Peabodys for radio, an Emmy and Emmy lifetime achievement award, and 10 Cable ACE awards, but the number one achievement is fatherhood. There’s nothing that matches being a father.
Speaking of family, how do you spend your weekends in LA?
SK: Our weekends are family time. Saturdays usually involve [the boys’] sports. Sunday afternoon, I always cook a big dinner for Sunday night.
Larry, is there someone you haven’t interviewed yet but would like to?
LK: Castro, he fascinates me. In entertainment, Bruce Springsteen is number one. You can’t get ‘em all.
Photography by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images