Brrr! Larry King is hoping for a cold afterlife. The former CNN host told his guests on “CNN Presents: A Larry King Special: Dinner with the Kings” (which aired Dec. 4th) that he wants to be frozen after death “on the hope that they’ll find whatever I died of and they’ll bring me back.”
King shared the news with his wife Shawn and a camera crew, with celebrity buddies Conan O’Brien, Tyra Banks, Seth MacFarlane, Shaquille O’Neal, Quincy Jones, Russell Brand and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey beside him, chowing down a dinner from Wolfgang Puck.
The talkshow-style banter turned serious (and to cryogenics) when MacFarlane, who created “Family Guy” asked King if he was “a little obsessed with his own mortality, like I am?” King replied:
“Oh, I fear death. My biggest fear is death, because I don’t think I’m going anywhere… And since I don’t think that, I don’t have a belief. I’m married to someone who has the belief, so she knows she’s going somewhere. And I wanna be frozen… in the hope that they’ll find whatever I died of and bring me back. And she [Shawn King] said to me, ‘If you come back in two hundred years, you won’t know anybody.’ Okay, I’ll meet new people.”
O’Brien said King’s desire to be frozen and then revived was “big news.” “You would like to be frozen? This is news to me,” O’Brien said incredulously. Cue Brand chewing loudly and MacFarlane quoting Mark Twain. O’Brien was still incredulous but later admitted he didn’t really know what was going to happen after death either. MacFarlane asked King if he wanted to live forever. King replied, deadpan, “Yeah, you bet your ass.”
Tom Chivers, the Telegraph‘s assistant comment editor, blogged about King’s quotes, admitting that he, too, is afraid of death:
There will come a time when not only do you and I not exist, but no-one exists, no life exists, and nothing of any kind remains that could, even hypothetically, suggest that it ever did. Then we, and all our loves, works and ambitions, quite literally might as well never have been.
Which is pretty depressing.
What do you think of King’s and Chivers’ views?
Personally, I don’t think atheists need to feel bad about an absence of pearly gates in our future. I also don’t think we need to make plans to have our dead bodies frozen. Hey, it’s kind of nice not to worry about a jealous, hateful god or good people suffering for all eternity. Focusing on the here and now can be rewarding enough, no human-sized freezer required.