LOS ANGELES — CNN host Larry King stunned television viewers last week by researching the background and accomplishments of a guest prior to interviewing him on his popular cable television show.
Surfing star Jason Trebuchet was scheduled to appear on King’s program Friday. “I was really worried,” said Trebuchet, “that he wasn’t going to know who I was or what I did. But when I showed up on the set and he began asking questions about my back-to-back championships and my abusive father, I was like, ‘okay I can handle this.'”
King said the idea to research a guest in advance came to him during an interview with hip-hop artist Kanye West in 2008.
“Halfway through that show,” explained King, “I thought to myself ‘Who the fuck is this, and why is he important?'”
As a result of that epiphany, King instructed his staff last Thursday to gather all the written materials they could locate about the surfer, including a detailed biography provided by Trebuchet’s press agent.
The night before the interview, King studied hundreds of facts pertaining to his upcoming guest. He then created a series of questions based on what he had learned.
The research apears to have paid off. “Most of the time I haven’t a clue what I’m saying,” admitted the award-winning TV host. “But this time I was informed, articulate and able to pose pertinent questions to the man about his career and childhood.”
King said the preparedness he demonstrated in the Treuchet interview has prompted him to thoroughly research his future interview subjects “every so often.”