Ken Tucker
June 29, 2010 AT 12:00 PM EDT

As a nation reeled at the news that Larry King had announced he’s stepping down from Larry King Live, King was asked by his Tuesday-night guest, Bill Maher, who he’d like to see take his place.

“Ryan Seacrest,” said King with hardly a moment’s hesitation. “Although I don’t know how he feels about politics,” referring to the idea that whoever replaces King will be obliged to interview political figures. Has Larry never seen how deftly Ryan navigates the delicate inter-personal politics of American Idol, the balkanization of the judges’ table in the Post-Simon-Ellen Era?

Larry King Live was festooned this night with Twitter messages coming in from celebrities.

Jimmy Kimmel: “Not funny, Larry — stop playin'”; Marlee Matlin: “Big shoes to fill… one of a kind, the best”; and from Ryan Seacrest himself: “You’re a legend — one of a kind.”

Would you like to see Seacrest take over? Would this be a step up or down for the Idol host?

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