R.I.P. Larry King Live

In a shocking (SHOCKING!) announcement last night, Larry King informed the world (THE WORLD!) that he would be leaving his long-running talk-show, Larry King Live, in the fall (THE FALL!). End of an era, I’m sure. From the New York Times:

In the face of falling ratings, the CNN host Larry King announced Tuesday evening that he would end his long-running talk show, “Larry King Live,” this fall.

Mr. King will stay at CNN part time; in an announcement on his show, he said that he would host an undetermined number of specials “on major national and international subjects.” [Ed. note: MAJOR INTERNATIONAL SUBJECTS!]

“Larry King Live,” the centerpiece of the CNN prime-time schedule, has seen its ratings drop sharply in recent years, particularly in the last six months, leading to widespread talk that Mr. King’s current contract, which will expire in June 2011, could be his last. Asked by Bill Maher, his guest on his Tuesday night show, about the speculation in the media, Mr. King said “that had nothing to do with it.” He said he approached CNN management about the change and they “graciously accepted.”

That was nice of a forward-thinking media company in charge of a multi-million dollar franchise to graciously accept the resignation of a constantly confused and exhausted-seeming, 3,000-year-old bag of bones that is literally being held together with STRAPS. The article goes on to explain that Larry King hopes Ryan Seacrest will take his place. Ah, an old media stalwart for hard-hitting journalism until the very end. I mean, no offense to Ryan Seacrest, he seems like a very nice walking bottle of hair gel man, but if you want him to take your place on what is purportedly a serious interview program on one of the few remaining serious news networks, then clearly no one needs to take your place. “Let’s put a plant there!” Of course, the real tragedy is that we will probably never get an on-air confirmation from Larry King himself concerning the popular rumors that he farts so much that he has to have a small electric fan at his feet, and that this fan blows the farts right into his guests’ faces. “Tonight, on a very special episode of Larry King Live, I interview myself about my farts! Larry on Larry!” Oh well. R.I.P. Larry King Live. America’s interview subjects will have to find someone else to lob the softest of soft ball questions and hold their feet to the gentlest, not unpleasant fire before departing on a non-sequiturial, mildly-Alzheimer-y digression.