TV Legend Lobbies For Post-Death Freezing

He's still going strong at 78, but TV icon Larry King already has plans for the afterlife. And we aren't talking about his eulogy! Listen as the former host of CNN's Larry King Live explains why he wants his remains frozen after he dies.

Just one of the little morsels of news that came out of Sunday night's CNN special, Dinner with the Kings: Larry King wants to be frozen after he takes a dirt nap.

In the special, the former Larry King Live host and his wife Shawn invited a camera crew to sit in as they dined with a host of celebrity guests -- comedian Conan O'Brien, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, former supermodel Tyra Banks, Shaquille O'Neal, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Quincy Jones and Russell Brand among them.

But it was MacFarlane who got the real scoop when he quizzed King about whether he was "maybe a little obsessed" with his own mortality. It's an accusation that Larry didn't exactly deny.

"Oh, I fear death," the 78-year-old replied. "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."

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King said that when he dies, "I want to be frozen, on the hope that they'll find whatever I died of and they'll bring me back."

"This is big news," O'Brien remarked. "You would like to be frozen? This is news to me."

"It's the only hedging of a bet," King answered.

Larry plans aren't as "Outer Limits-esque" as Seth would believe. See, the bespectacled King of Suspenders is a subscriber of cryonics. It's the practice of preserving expired humans and animals at extremely low temperatures, with the hope that healing and resuscitation may be possible in the future.

In fact, Larry isn't the only celeb hoping a thorough freezing and advances in modern medicine will give him a second lease on life -- someday. In 2009, Simon Cowell confessed that he too plans to do the world an "invaluable service" by having his body frozen upon his demise.

After his death, the acid-tongued X Factor mogul hopes he'll one day be brought back to life to torment aspiring singers with even more heavy-handed criticism. At a private dinner hosted by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Simon told guests he plans to have his body preserved in liquid nitrogen.

"I have decided to freeze myself when I die," Cowell confided.

"You know, cryonics. You pay a lot of money and you get stuck in a deep freeze once you've been declared dead. Medical science is bound to work out a way of bringing us back to life in the next century or so and I want to be available when they do. I would be doing the nation an invaluable service."

Image courtesy Ivan Nikolov/


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Comments on "Larry King wants to get iced after death"

Luke Parrish December 09, 2011 | 10:03 PM

In a sense, cryonics patients aren't really dead, or at least their status is uncertain. They are dead by clinical criteria, but those can be reversed in some cases. Their cells suffer a lot of damage because of the toxic antifreeze that is needed to prevent the worse damage of freezing, but damage isn't what we mean by "dead" -- the basic idea of death is that it is the irreversible cessation of life. To be more specific, there is a term called "information-theoretic death" that clarifies this concept. It means that the information that makes up the person (not their genes, but the personality that is built on the genes) has been completely erased. If the brain decays beyond a certain point, this is of course what happens -- but nobody is sure quite what point that would be. If the cells are slightly damaged but the decay process is halted, it may be early enough in the process that they can be regenerated with a future technology and the person brought back with the same set of memories and personality traits. That's the idea behind cryonics (as practiced today) at any rate. Hopefully with Larry King and Simon Cowell's money and influence behind it the science to prevent damage on the way down to cryogenic temperatures can progress faster. Maybe by the time many of us die there will be little to no cellular damage in the brain to worry about. With a few replacement organs (harmlessly grown from your own cells) you could be restored to a youthful state and given another shot at living life to its fullest.

Lynda McDonald December 07, 2011 | 6:07 PM

Mr. King having your body frozen is not the answer. Remember the saying, ‘the eyes are windows to the soul?’ When you view the remains of a loved one who in our terms have “died”, you know that “he/she” the real person, is no longer there. What we view as the “real person” is just the shell that they used temporally. Our soul is who we really are and it lives forever! There is something far more reliable than being frozen and you will find how to get it in Romans 10:9 of the King James Bible. Do this and you will no longer fear death. What will it profit a man if he should gain the whole world but lose his own soul? I seldom watch daytime television and couldn’t even tell you what program I saw the clip of Mr. King stating his wishes to be frozen. This may be the last time he will hear how to receive the good news of the gospel. I hope he sees it.

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