Award-winning TV and radio host Larry King died on Saturday (Jan. 23). He was 87. King had an illustrious career that included, according to CNN, more than 30,000 interviews with politicians, film and TV stars, musicians, sports figures and others over his 64-year career on programs like The Larry King Show, Larry King Live and Larry King Now. Here are a few memorable moments from some more recent interviews King conducted with Latino celebrities and politicians.
During the 2012 presidential campaign, King asked comedian George Lopez, who was stumping for Barack Obama, if he thought Mitt Romney would get any of the Latino votes. Lopez explained why he might. “Well, here’s the lovely thing: Mitt Romney’s father was born in Chihuahua, Mexico,” Lopez says. “So, Mitt Romney is technically Mexican American. He has yet to come out of the proverbial ethnic closet. If Mitt Romney wins, I want to see his birth certificate.”
King and actress Natalie Morales talked about why she felt it was important to come out as queer (she doesn’t like the word bisexual) and how the term, which King said he always thought was derogatory, has since been reclaimed by the LGBTQ community. “I was asked once by a war hero who was homosexual, ‘Why are you heterosexual?’” King says. “I don’t know. I like skirts.” After a big laugh, Morales replies: “Me too.”
At the end of this 2014 interview, Garcia explains that he is honored if people say he is the “most successful Hispanic actor ever” but isn’t a fan of hyphenations. “I don’t think actors should be hyphenated by their ethnic background,” Garcia says. “You’re one of the greatest talk show hosts…you’re not one of the greatest Jewish talk show hosts.”
During their 2009 interview, King and then-President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez spoke on a series of important topics like his relationships with specific U.S. Presidents and purchasing weapons from Russia for defense, but one of the most interesting moments came before the interview even began when King and Chavez sang part of the song “Allá En El Rancho Grande” together.
King discussed with actress Rosie Perez how she was presented the offer to join the talk show The View during their 2014 interview. King asks her if she things the show is going to be more political. “I didn’t want to be on a show where people were just screaming at each other disrespectfully,” Perez says. “I’m too old for that. I don’t want to go to work and face that every single day.”
King asks Derbez how he landed his two roles in the 2011 comedy Jack and Jill. Derbez tells King a funny story about how Adam Sandler’s maids and gardeners told Sandler about him. “All [Sandler’s] staff are Mexicans,” Derbez says. “He asked them, ‘Who’s the funniest comedian in Mexico?’ [Sandler] called me not because of my manager, not because of my agent – because of his maids and his gardeners.”
In a 2014 interview, King asks Santana what he thinks happens after someone dies. “We don’t [die],” Santana says. “We just go into another room where we discard the need for a limited body.” Santana then explains what he thinks he’s going to experience when he dies. “I’m going to get a standing ovation when I get there,” he says. We’re sure King will, too.