When did you start wearing suspenders?
“I had my heart surgery in 1987, and shortly after that I lost a lot of weight. My ex-wife, Sharon, who I was still very friendly with, said to me, ‘Have you ever thought about wearing braces?’ I said, ‘Well, I never wore braces in my life.’ She said, ‘I think they’ll look good on you.’ So I bought a pair that night, put some suspender buttons on a pair of pants and went on the air. People called in, said they liked the look. That’s all I had to hear. They were navy blue.”
How many suspenders do you have, Larry? May I call you Larry?
“Probably 80 here in California. I have a main closet off the bathroom. The suspenders are on hooks. Then in Washington, they’ll be another 20 and in New York another 20 because I keep clothes in hotels in New York and Washington so that when I travel I carry nothing. ”
People were a bit shocked when you first wore suspenders for an interview in the White House.
“Now they’ve gotten used to it.”
You wear suspenders all the time?
“Pretty much. Weekends, I’ll wear a belt.”
Well, that’s quite a revelation, Larry. May I ask where you get them?
“A lot of people send them to me. I had a guy in Ghana make a leather pair and send them to me. Janet Jackson brought me a pair with open holes for around the nipples. Really weird. They were only good if you wore them without a shirt. I wore them once. It was cute.”
I have to ask you this, Larry. How do you coordinate your colors?
“I like multicolor ties. I like bright ties. I like reds. I like blues. I like yellows. I like golds. I like purples. I don’t like muted colors. I hate that plain look that you always see on the guys coming out the bank. The white shirt with the same tie. You know who’s a tie freak? Bill Clinton. I’ve given him some ties. In fact, he was wearing a Larry King tie the day Monica hugged him. You know in that famous scene when he’s walking across a group of people and she’s wearing the hat. He’s wearing a Larry King tie. That was good. My little part of history.”