Retired TV newsman Larry King might be getting reincarnated. And in his second life on TV, he'll be ... funny?! Yep, rumor has it King is vying for a spot as a contributor on The Daily Show. Can you just see him now, attempting witty banter back and forth with Jon Stewart?
Nothing is in stone yet -- this is just an idea that Comedy Central seems to be toying with, but it's kind of interesting to contemplate what this could mean in the greater scheme of NEWS. For instance, even though he's made a career of interviewing celebs and controversial figures, King had been on CNN since 1985. CNN is supposed to be a straightforward news channel, and although he's never been as "serious" as Tom Brokaw or Walter Cronkite, Larry King's definitely considered a respectable broadcast journalist, right? So, now, for him to switch gears in retirement and go hang out with funny man Jon Stewart ... would that diminish his credibility?
I went to journalism school, and I swear, my professors were so flabbergasted that most of us watched The Daily Show more often than we'd watch the straight-up nightly news or listen to NPR. They thought it was a travesty. And in some ways, yeah, kids who wanted to become news people should probably make sure they're getting a balanced diet of serious and entertainment-tinged news. But for the general public, well, in many ways, entertainment has become news and vice-versa.
I mean, just look at FOX News! That's like a pure satire of itself at this point. And on just about any channel, we're struggling to see objective, old-school investigative reporting. We've got a lot of shock-jocky talking heads and stories that are increasingly salacious, bloody, gossipy, etc.
For that reason, those same, old-school profs would probably be TOTALLY offended by the idea that a "serious" broadcast newsman (not necessarily Larry King, but say someone like Tom Brokaw) would spend his retirement on a COMEDY show. GAHH! But, I don't think we should be that surprised or blame Larry King for wanting to steer into "entertaining news" territory. It's what the majority of viewers want, especially the 18- to 35-year-olds that ratings people CRAVE.
And hey, at least with Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, or my personal fave Bill Maher, we're getting nutritious hard news headlines and opinions (that we realize are opinions) with a healthy dose of laughter!
Basically, The Daily Show has become more than just a comedy show. It's not in the same category as, say, SNL's "Weekend Update." Maybe it was at one point, but now, it's "news with a sense of humor" -- it's a new category unto itself that Jon Stewart has trailblazed. And King -- or any other journalist -- would be hard-pressed to pass up the chance to get a piece of that action.
Do you think it's unnerving that Larry King would appear on The Daily Show?
Image via CNN.com