New York, NY - In stunning disclosure during yesterday's broadcast of "Larry King Live" on CNN, host Larry King acknowledge that he was dead and had been for the past eight years. CNN immediately cut to commercials and returned from the break with a classic interview Larry did with L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Dianetics, some years ago.
Princell Hair, CNN's executive vice president and general manager for US operation, when reached for comment, was "flabbergasted" by the news. "I see Larry all the time," said Hair, "and I had no idea anything this serious had happened."
In 1987, Mr. King suffered a massive and near fatal heart attack which he addresses in his book, "Taking on Heart Disease". It is unknown if yesterday's announcement was connected with the 1987 event or if Mr. King's death in 1996 was the result of some other accident, illness, injury or trauma. Whatever the case, Mr. King is staying mum on that issue.
He is however open to discussing the period since 1996 and how he has maintained the appearance of life where none exists. Opening a compartment on his chest, Mr. King pointed proudly to a clockwork mechanism whirring silently within. "The whole kit and caboodle, from head to toe is like this now - gears, belts, wires - I don't even know what all, but it works like a charm."
Swinging open his face to expose the inner working of his head, Mr. King explained that some pieces of his original brain had been linked to two solid-state storage devices and four processing units to give his cadaver the power of thought and speech. "I don't know anything about how it all works," said the now frighteningly faceless King, "but I'm sure glad it does."
When pressed for details on the technology now animating his lifeless body, and providing a spark to he dead soul, Mr. King was unable to provide any details. "All I know," he said, "is that one day, I was alive, and the next I was dead but somehow undead. Does that make me a zombie or a vampire or something? You tell me."
Those closest to Mr. King took the news the hardest - his wife singer/actress Shawn Southwick-King' and children Andy, Larry Jr., Chaia, Chance and Cannon were in seclusion following news of King's death.
In a statement read by a family friend, Southwick-King said, "This is earth-shattering news for Larry's children and me. Larry has been a loving husband and father for the past eight years, giving no hint of the fact that he was dead. As a family, we will be doing some deep soul-searching to determine what we will do in light of this shocking information. We thank you all for your prayers and support." Details for a memorial service or burial were not provided.
Mr. King, for his part, seemed quite happy. "I've got to tell you, it feels great to have this off my chest. Imagine the pressure of maintaining a deception like this for all of these years - believe me, it wasn't easy. I understand that it will take people time to adjust, but trust me, I'm that same great guy that everyone has grown to know and love."
CNN said it will continue to air Mr. King's popular interview program, but will be renaming the show, "Larry King Kind of Live".