When Larry King turned 70, I was serving as president and CEO of The Museum of Television & Radio. His family had surprised him by renting out the entire building in Beverly Hills for a memorable birthday bash.
Several months later, we held our annual black-tie gala at the Beverly Hills Hotel, about a mile away. Shortly before it was scheduled to begin, my staff told me that Carl Reiner, our evening’s emcee, had an emergency at home and would not be available that night. Panicked, I asked who else might be in the neighborhood and available to perform the hosting duties.
Within a half-hour, Larry King walked in, fully garbed in a tailored tux with suspenders underneath.
After I shook his hand in appreciation, telling him how amazing it was that he would step in on such short notice, King smiled and gave me a slightly sheepish look.
“Sorry I’m a bit late,” he said. “I actually went to the museum first and was waiting around there for 15 minutes. No one told me this dinner would be at a hotel. I thought for sure that since my birthday party had been so great, everyone was coming back to surprise me again.”
Clark Kent could not have undertaken this type of rescue so quickly and so well. In his own way, Larry King was Superman.
Stuart N. Brotman is the former president and CEO of The Museum of Television & Radio in New York and Los Angeles.
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