April 28, 2010

LKL 25: Red meat, gin & Julia Child

Posted: 01:36 PM ET

It’s Larry King Live’s 25th anniversary and we want to share with you some of our LKL memories, what it’s like to work on the program and our favorite moments of the past 25 years of history-making television.  During the next few weeks, we’ll be posting blogs from Larry’s staffers as we count down to the program’s 25th anniversary week, beginning May 31st.  

Let us know what you think and don’t forget to rate YOUR favorite moments and enter our sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles to meet Larry in person!

By LKL Senior Editorial Producer Carol Buckland

As Senior Editorial Producer for Larry King Live, it’s my responsibility (and privilege) to pre-interview most of the guests who appear on the show.  It’s a dream job.  If there’s such a thing as a Ph.D. in learning about interesting individuals, this is the best place in the world to earn it.

The list of people I’ve pre-interviewed for LKL over the years now includes hundreds of names.  Each conversation has been special.  While I value all of them, the most memorable for me was the first time I had an opportunity to speak with Julia Child.

I am not a person who impresses easily.  I can honestly say I’ve kept my cool while speaking with world leaders, A-list movie stars, best-selling authors, business moguls and intellectual powerhouses who – if their I.Q. points could be transmuted into degrees of temperature – would be able to boil water with their brains. 

But talking with Julia Child?  Gushing fan girl does not begin to describe my attitude as I approached my first pre-interview with her in December of 2000.  I mean, I grew up watching The French Chef on PBS.  I cooked (with varying degrees of success) out of her books.  I laughed myself sick at Dan Aykroyd’s impersonation of her on Saturday Night Live.  She was a role model to me.  An…idol.

I knew seven days ahead of time when I would be speaking with Julia Child.  Also aware of the pending pre-interview were every single member of my family, all my work colleagues, 99.9% of my friends, my dentist, my doorman, the produce guy at my local supermarket and just about anyone to whom I happened to speak in the week leading up to the big phone call.


Julia Child did not disappoint.  She accepted my babbling expressions of admiration with a brisk laugh, then settled in to chat about her incredible experiences (she was then 88) and her philosophy of food – both the preparing and partaking of it.  She recalled, in drool-worthy details, some of the haute cuisine she’d tasted over the decades.  She also cheerfully admitted to enjoying Pepperidge Farm Goldfish and the occasional In-and-Out Burger.  Her love for her late husband, Paul, was palpable when she spoke about their many years together.  

Near the end of our conversation, she said something to me that she later – in her trilling, unique-as-a-fingerprint voice – echoed during her interview with Larry.  “Personally,” she observed with a laugh, “I’m not sure life would be worth much without red meat and gin!”

I don’t drink.  And if I did, I seriously doubt it would be gin.  And, back in December of 2000, I was trending toward vegetarianism.  But under the thrall of Julia Child, I was ready to embrace the belief that a bloody good hunk of beef and a belt of Beefeaters, Bombay Sapphire, or Tanqueray were the keys to a fulfilled existence.

Filed under: LKL 25

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hannelore lederfine   April 28th, 2010 2:40 pm ET

I try to watch the LARRY KING SHOW every morning 11am here in germany. the show is so fullof intrest and fun. Thank you Mr.King!!!

Donald L Allen   April 28th, 2010 3:01 pm ET

Donald L Allen the is store never spot on the OBAMA beet it the police and on the wall street it the fit to go in the wen it like one fighting the other right you see what you or doing on both side that is wrong right see it what you or Both or fighting four that is not your,s to bargain four and you no like always it got nutting to Do with us the people we have nutting to Do with your self gain right see what it is you or doing with or Mooney or even if there is any and if you think you do have the Idea to present I say the Diff you don't I do that is the Diff see what you do that is to the no good four or city and you or using or Mooney to do so if there is any money right see what it is you re doing to Au's and or country right see take Keary Be good I no you want but I say the Diff see you store of 2010 wed,apr 28 PM2010

Jason---san antonio   April 28th, 2010 3:40 pm ET

Please get that Mexican woman, JANE VELEZ, off the air. She doesn't deserve a show. She looks so SICK when she states that she wants to know more about Tiger's sex life. WE don't ask her which WOMEN she sleeps with. We don't care. Please give her show to someone with CLASS like Jean Casarez or Lisa Bloom. Those two do have class and would make your ratings go way up.

dave brown   April 28th, 2010 9:59 pm ET

I love to watch Larry King-he is one of the best intervewers in the business. My favorite guest is Willie Nelson-and when Larry and Willie sing together they form perfect duet. Dave Brown.

Hugh in California   April 28th, 2010 10:33 pm ET

@Jason-san antonio,
Stop with the "WE" - you can't speak for others, unless you're a spokesperson or affliated with some group, so just speak for yourself! What the hell does Jane Velez's race have to do with the subject?! I'm sure of one thing - you ain't Mexican! If you were, you wouldn't be mentioning her ethnic background.

Cajazz76:24:8   April 29th, 2010 6:52 pm ET

Julia Child was one tough bird in the kitchen, but a lamb in dealing with those who surrounded her.

Polly Booher   May 19th, 2010 1:13 am ET

I would love it if you would re-run the Julia Child interview. I missed it – and I do remember watching her on TV all those years ago and being amused and amazed at her. It would be great to hear her (unique) voice again! Think about it, Larry!!

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