For Larry King, retirement was never an option. Early reports suggest King is looking to get back to work, as an occasional contributor for Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
The Daily Show frequently turns to notoriously funny people like Lewis Black, John Hodgman, and Kristen Schaal as contributors, so King’s name might come as a bit of a surprise to many.
The style of Larry King Live was more of an easy-going, conversational one, a far cry from the frenetic, whip-smart comedy often on display at The Daily Show. Occasionally, King was left to play the role of good sport, seemingly caught off-guard while guests harangued him.
For instance, while promoting the animated film Bee Movie, Jerry Seinfeld jokingly doubted whether King even knew who he was after the host inquired if Seinfeld willingly ended his show – or if it had been canceled by NBC.
Obviously, King has not been recognized for his off-the-cuff comedic skills, but he is not entirely without a sense of humor. He has appeared in several films (often playing himself) and voiced characters in the last three Shrek sequels, and, coincidentally, the Seinfeld-starring Bee Movie. Though credits like that probably won’t afford him much leeway with fans of The Daily Show. Maybe a stand-up comedy tour, Larry King: Standing Up, could win him some support.
So, has King been hiding some serious comedic chops for the last few decades, or is the dichotomy between him and The Daily Show intended to be the joke? While the lampooning of oneself can, and has done wonders to reinvigorate the careers of actors like Batman’s Adam West and William Shatner (with his Priceline commercials and role on Bleep My Dad Says), there is too little information to suggest this is where The Daily Show would take King’s contributions. In fact, according to a source with the network, they have only begun to explore the idea.
“A single conversation has happened. It’s still extremely preliminary. He’ll be on every now and again, like Lewis Black. He’s not joining as a correspondent, but as a contributor.”
Should a deal be made, King will be in good hands. Comments by The Daily Show host John Stewart, on the final episode of Larry King Live, suggest King not only has friend in Stewart, but an advocate, as well.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart airs weekdays @11pm, on Comedy Central