All the King’s Men

In the September Vanity Fair, profiler Marjorie Williams offers this tasty Larry King anecdote:

“One of the most oft told of the Larry Stories that circulate at CNN concerns his take-out order when he eats dinner at his desk, before the show. His favorite dish, from a local Chinese restaurant, is a chicken with cashews–without the fat-laden cashews. When the food arrives, a young intern or production assistant is charged with combing through it to remove any errant nuts; then he or she has to swaddle the chicken in paper towels and squeeze out any excess oil.”

A friend of Chatterbox’s, who recalls his two-year tenure as King’s Grease Monkey, says that Williams got the story right, but underplays how loopy the talk-show host is about his vittles.

“I drained Larry’s meat for almost two years while working for the show. The intern/production assistant must open his cranberry juice and pour it over ice for him, just so. He also wants the packets of hot mustard opened for him and spread over the chicken. If he spots nuts or excess grease in his grub, the show is ruined! During commercial breaks, he will harp about the botched meal, unsettling the King crew and guest alike. The intern/production assistant can only dive for cover.”

The retired Grease Monkey says that the only time there was absolute calm on the set was when King went out to dinner.