I listen to “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”, the NPR news quiz on my morning runs (or sometimes “Car Talk”). It takes the focus off my pain. Each week they invite a guest for “Not my job”. On July 23, Larry King was on the show, and they asked King questions about being queen-QE2 that is. (Recently, they asked Elvis Costello questions about the other Elvis…Stojko, the figure skater). In my life I’ve probably watched Larry King for less than 10 minutes (he just retired), but he told a great story while on the show.
He talked about how he’d wanted to be on the radio since he was 5, and when he was finally offered a DJ job, 10 minutes before he was going to go on air they asked him what he was going to call himself. He said, “Larry Zeigler”–his name. They told him that wouldn’t work. His boss flipped open the newspaper sitting on the desk and saw an ad for “King’s Wholesale Liquor.” How about Larry King? “OK” he said.
He started playing the music but was too nervous to saying anything between songs. The show went on for a long time in silence, as if there were no host. Finally, the general manager kicked open the door and says, “This is the communications business @#$% ! Communicate!”
At the next break between songs, King communicated, “Good morning. My name is Larry King. That’s the first time I’ve ever said that. I’ve just been given that name. I’ve always wanted to be on the radio, but I’m scared to death. The general manager just kicked open the door and said I had to communicate.” He told the “Wait, Wait” crowd that he discovered something that day, “If you’re honest with your audience you can never go wrong.”
They also asked why did he wear suspenders? He got the idea from his ex-wife. (Which one?)
I like Larry’s advice (that’s why I’m blogging about it), but what do you think? Can you go wrong by being honest?