King has interviewed just about everybody under the sun so he has a lot of material to choose from. He’s certainly candid and not a brownnoser (he said he never found Bob Hope funny). He has a chapter on each category of celebrity and writes a critique, short comment, or anecdote, about each one. Sometimes he includes a great line or joke (the ones from John Stewart and Colin Powell are classic!). And for the umpteenth time (and who can blame him) he tells the story of how he landed an interview with Frank Sinatra.
King makes the point that he is not like Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity where their guests are really just props for them to pontificate. His mantra has always been that if he’s talking he’s not learning anything. He has been accused of asking softball questions, but his guests have opened up a lot more than if they were put on the defensive. His style has been popular enough to have kept him going for 50 years.
Carson and King are television immortals that make fascinating subjects and easy reading. When you’re stuck on a six hour flight they make the time pass quickly. It’s something to keep in mind when you have a long trip ahead of you.
David Kent is the director of the Village Library of Cooperstown. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.