On Monday, Piers Morgan used his final segment to remember a man who, in his words, "held perhaps a unique position of being loved by millions around the world for being supremely evil."
Referring to the late actor Larry Hagman, the "Piers Morgan Tonight" host rolled video of the man in his signature role, that of Texas-based bad guy J.R. Ewing from the iconic television show "Dallas."
"Who else could possibly delivered lines like these," said Morgan, before playing clips of Ewing waxing poetic on revenge ('the single most satisfying feeling in the world,') and offering free marital advice, ('a real man has to learn to keep his tomatoes on top.')
Five months ago Morgan hosted not only Hagman, but also two of his infamous co-stars, Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy, who were both at his side when he passed on Friday.
In New York promoting the continuation of the Dallas series on TNT, Morgan asked Hagman about portraying the sinister oil man, and on Monday, he replayed footage from that June interview:
MORGAN: Do you like being, for what you were, the most evil man on television?
HAGMAN: Well, you know, I don't think I was an evil man, I was just like a Texas businessman, that's all.
MORGAN: Yes, evil.
HAGMAN: They keep bringing that up. I'm just doing what people do for business.
MORGAN: You can't start distancing yourself from being evil. J.R. was wonderfully evil. Magnificently evil. Constantly scheming and plotting, even against his own family. That is evil. Isn't it?
HAGMAN: Especially with his own family.
MORGAN: Exactly. But did you like the reputation?
HAGMAN: Of course I do, it is wonderful.
Following his visit to the "Piers Morgan Tonight" studio, Hagman presented Morgan with a black cowboy hat, similar to one worn by Ewing:
"If I look at it I think of J.R. cackling in a suitably evil manner and remember J.R.'s mantra, 'don't forgive, never forget and do unto others before they do unto you.'"
Admittedly a huge fan of the series, which he watched religiously in England, Morgan notes that both the character, and the actor, leave behind a legacy as large as the great state of Texas they so notoriously represented:
"They don't make baddies like J.R. anymore, they don't make many actors as good as Larry Hagman any more," he said. "He'll be greatly missed."
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