Editor’s Note: “CNN Presents: A Larry King Special: Dinner with the Kings” airs at 8 p.m. ET Sunday.
Larry King: "My biggest fear is death, because I don't think I'm going anywhere"
Conan O'Brien on Larry's friends: "These are people you fought in the Civil War with"
Tyra Banks on "Top Model": "That is a character. I don't do that"
Seth MacFarlane: He's not "heartless frat guy," and his favorite film is "Sound of Music"
“I want to be frozen on the hope that they’ll find whatever I died of and bring me back,” Larry King told a shocked group of dinner guests gathered at his Beverly Hills home for a party hosted by him and his wife, Shawn.
“CNN Presents: A Larry King Special: Dinner with the Kings” airs at 8 p.m. ET Sunday.
No topic was off-limits when Conan O’Brien, Tyra Banks, Shaquille O’Neal, Seth MacFarlane, Jack Dorsey, Quincy Jones and Russell Brand discussed friendship, insecurities, success, worries, life, death and nearly everything in between.
MacFarlane asked the CNN host whether he was “maybe a little obsessed with your own mortality, like I am?”
“Oh, I fear death,” King told the “Family Guy” creator. “My biggest fear is death, because I don’t think I’m going anywhere. And since I don’t think that, and I don’t have a belief … I’m married to someone who has the belief, so she knows she’s going somewhere.”
Although mortality was a topic of discussion, the dinner party was far from macabre. Not only did British funnyman Brand rummage through Shawn’s underwear drawer (on camera, no less), the multicourse meal was prepared by Wolfgang Puck.
“This is big news,” O’Brien said. “You would like to be frozen? This is news to me.”
“It’s the only hedging of a bet,” answered King.
The comedian and host of TBS’s (sister station to CNN) “Conan,” still in shock, told the group, “I just want to make sure that we stick with the headline here, which is that you wish to be frozen.”
MacFarlane wondered aloud whether King wished to live forever.
“Yeah, you bet your ass,” King said.
“Here’s the thing,” O’Brien continued.. “You just revealed that you want to be frozen …”
“Why you hung on that?” asked King.
“Listen, two things just happened,” O’Brien joked. “You revealed you want your head chopped off and frozen, and Russell Brand went into your wife’s room and stole your underwear. And now you’re moving on with your prepared questions.”
When the subject turned to friendship, King told the group that he had an “unusual situation” because he remains friends with three individuals he’s known since the age of 10.
“Well, these are people you fought in the Civil War with, Larry,” joked O’Brien. “That’s a bond. When you’re fighting the Confederacy, that’s an incredible bond, Larry.”
O’Neal told party guests that his mother is his best friend.
“We started out together in Newark, New Jersey,” explained the basketball great. “And throughout all the tough times, she was there. She was really my real role model. My mother’s always been there for me. She’s my best friend. Before I do something or say something crazy, I always think about how it could affect her.”
MacFarlane had similar sentiments.
“Both my parents were unbelievably supportive,” he said. “They were ex-hippies and so, thank God, never wanted me to become a lawyer or anything like that. My mom used to call every Monday morning after ‘Family Guy’ would air, and either rave about the show or say, ‘Eh, I didn’t think this was as funny as some of the other ones.’ And I would always look forward to that call.”
MacFarlane lost his mother last year after a battle with cancer.
O’Brien opened up about the insecurities within him that plague him to this day. He talked about a group of inner-city kids who came to visit the “Conan” set.
“One of the girls – she must have been 16, 17 years old – said to me, ‘How do you get over your insecurity? When does that go away?’ And I said, ‘You never get over it.’ And she was shocked.”
Jones also chimed in on insecurities and success.
“The prime rule back in the ’40s was, you have to be humble with your creativity and gracious with your success. We didn’t think about money or fame ever.”
King asked Twitter inventor Dorsey what makes him angry.
“Inaction,” answered Dorsey. “People seeing something just inhumane going wrong and just not doing anything about it.”
King asked Banks what people’s biggest misunderstanding is about her.
“When I created my show,” said the fashion and beauty guru, “I also created a persona on ‘Top Model,’ and it’s a character. … That is a character. I don’t do that.”
MacFarlane told the group, “I think people, because of ‘Family Guy’, think that I’m a heartless frat guy, playboy type. Could not be further from the truth, I’m actually very shy. I fall asleep each night with a book in my hands. My favorite movie is ‘The Sound of Music.’ “
As dinner wrapped up, King asked his guests what they were most grateful for. He turned to Dorsey first, and Brand reminded him to do so “in 140 characters or less.”
Dorsey said he is most grateful for “being able to wake up every day and do what I love.”
King spoke to CNN.com about “Dinner with the Kings.”
“The problem was editing it,” he said. “We did about two hours, but had to edit it down to a one-hour show.”
King said that he would love to do a few dinner party specials a year.
“I hope people enjoy it,” King said. “I hope that enough people like it that we do it on a regular basis. I’ve done a lot of things in my life and this was one of the big kicks. I think it’s a great idea and I think that it works.”
King also opened up about some misconceptions about himself.
“People sometimes think I’m sort of all-knowing,” he explained. “When you reach a certain age and people see you on television, they look at you and think, ‘Wow! Everything must be great!’ Well, everything isn’t always great. You can be hailed on the streetcorner, but you still have to go home and take out the garbage. You have one kid who doesn’t want to go to school, another has an earache. …
“Here’s an example: My wife is late getting somewhere. One kid is yelling, another kid is out on his bike, and he hasn’t come home, and I’m out in front of the house looking for him, and a tour bus goes by. So I gotta stop and smile and wave at a tour bus. It’s like leading two lives, and it’s crazy.”