The Lighter Side Of Larry King

It’s not every day we get to see the Borscht Belt side of CNN’s Larry King, but it was evident at last week’s UJA Federation of New York dinner honoring agency creative Linda Kaplan Thaler and Coke COO Steve Heyer.

King, a friend of Heyer’s from the latter’s days at TBS, gave the keynote speech, which included a series of one-liners. To convey the meaning of the Yiddish word chutzpah, King noted that Hadassah, the women’s Zionist organization, had so much of it that it opened an office in Libya. Referring to the on-air kiss on the lips he received some years back from Marlon Brando, King confessed, “I can’t stop thinking about it. Three weeks ago, I woke up in the middle of the night yelling, ‘Stella!’ ”

Heyer, who is leaving Coke after being passed over for the worldwide CEO job, received the UJA’s Global Leadership Award. He gazed out at the room of about 350 guests and said he felt as if he were at his second bar mitzvah. Kaplan Thaler, CEO of The Kaplan Thaler Group, has been active in UJA for 15 years and recently produced a pro bono video about the organization’s efforts to help Rawandan refugees. She received the Maxwell Dane Award for Humanitarian Excellence. Dressed in an evening gown and pumps, she said, “The hardest part [about all this] was walking up here in these shoes.”