Gayle King got universal rave reviews on the late-night shows Wednesday for her composure and professionalism during the segment of her interview with an unhinged R. Kelly that aired earlier in the day on CBS This Morning.
“I believe this was the first time a defendant pleaded insanity during an interview,” ABC host Jimmy Kimmel said of the interview segment, in which the embattled R&B singer became irate, screaming at the camera that people are trying to “kill” him, jumping up, swinging his arms and telling King that all of the women who have claimed to be victims of his abuse are lying. King sat calmly, looking straight ahead, letting him have his “moment,” as she described it Thursday morning on the CBS morning news program.
“Is there anyone cooler than Gayle King? Whatever zen meditation class she’s taking sign me up!” Kimmel enthused. (Watch the clip above.)
Among the more disturbing revelations, Kimmel said, is that Kelly lives in Trump Tower in Chicago and keeps a Christmas tree up all year round. In his interview with King, he was “playing the old I Can’t Believe Police Focused On This When There Are Real Victims Out There card” and King appeared to be having none of it, Kimmel said.
“Just check out Gayle’s composure,” chimed in CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert, showing the interview photo of Kelly raving while King sat calmly with arms and legs crossed, looking straight ahead.
“Absolutely stock still. She knows that when you’re interviewing R. Kelly you gotta go by T. Rex rules: it can only see motion,” Colbert observed.
“This was Kelly’s chance to assure the world he is normal. Instead he went with not that,” Colbert said.
“He shouted and he cried but it was completely unconvincing – for Pete’s sake he forgot to say he liked beer!” Colbert snarked, in reference to Supreme Court associate justice Bret Kavanaugh’s meltdown during his televised confirmation hearing.
Willie Geist – Colbert’s Wednesday night guest – was asked to weigh in on King’s “impressive” performance.
“First of all, all hail Gayle!” Geist gushed, bowing to her in absentia.
“Interviews like that are why I carry a small taser with me at all times. Sometimes you just got to get up and neutralize the threat a little bit.”
“When he stood up and started screaming…there’s a photograph that I think will become iconic, where he’s screaming like this and Gayle’s just going, ‘Let me know when you’re finished’,” Geist said.
”She’s amazing; she’s incredible.”
Here’s Geist’s interview – King remarks come at 4:30 mark: