clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

King brings LDS humor to business crowd

Larry King, a comedian?King surprised a crowd of 8,000-plus USANA Health Sciences worldwide affiliates at EnergySolutions Arena on Saturday with a visit — and a bit of comedy — during the company's 17th annual convention.King also sat down with First Class MLM founder Tim Sales for an on-stage interview about the multilevel marketing business.Why Larry King? Why USANA? And why comedy?King has several ties to Utah. His wife, Shawn, is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and her family lives in the state."I married a Mormon and have paid for it ever since," said King, who was raised Jewish."The Mormon and Jewish cultures are a lot in common and not a lot in common," he said. "All Mormons are late. ... No Jew has ever been late. Jews have missionaries that journey to Miami Beach, and LDS missionaries go around the world."King said he hasn't yet met President Thomas S. Monson, but he expressed great admiration for the LDS Church leader's predecessor, President Gordon B. Hinckley, saying they were good friends.The Kings have a home in Provo and visit every Thanksgiving and Christmas, he said. But that's not what brought King and his act to town this time around.Sales was acquainted with Shawn King's brother, Paul, who's also involved in multilevel marketing, and asked if King would perform his comedy act for USANA affiliates.The longtime host of CNN's "Larry King Live" got into the comedy game in May when his good friend and Las Vegas casino owner Steve Wynn challenged King to perform comedy at the Wynn.King's comedy act consists of stories from his more than 40,000 interviews during his 50 years of broadcast journalism, as well as from his family relationships and life experiences."When people see me and Shawn, I know what they're thinking when they look at the two of us together," King, 75, said of his much younger, model/actress/country-singer wife. "But if she dies, she dies."King told the Salt Lake City crowd about a time when he was a young radio broadcaster in Miami and was told by a mafia member named Boom-Boom that he was going to be their keynote speaker at one of their charity events.King made sure he showed up, he said. After the event, the mafia members felt King did such a great job that they wanted to repay him. While escorting King to his car, Boom-Boom asked, "Got anybody you don't like?""I saved the life of the manager of Channel 4 that night," King said.But what King really wanted to know from Sales and USANA founder Myron Wentz was about the "bad image" of multilevel marketing."I want more knowledge of it," said King, who says he was among the victims of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme. "I'm expecting to learn a lot, and if I do a good job (during the interview), we'll all learn a lot."