If you thought this would be Letterman telling jokes for a while, you're unfortunately wrong. (He'd quickly have to overcome his reluctance to speak about the current President.) I'm already picturing his interview with Hillary Clinton, perhaps a pair of tumblers on a glass-top between them.
What could seem better than getting David Letterman and former U.S. President Barack Obama together again and sitting them down in front of an audience to talk for an hour about whatever's been on their minds since they both left their old jobs?
Longtime Letterman fans were relieved to see him back on their television screens after almost being off the air for three years.
Now we're watching a short documentary showing Letterman meeting with Rep. John Lewis, congressman and activist, recalling his historic 1965 march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Obama and his election are positioned as a direct extension of that struggle, and it's impossible not to view the president's own statements about disrupting the status quo-made at Selma on the 50th anniversary of the march and highlighted in the interview-in the context of the current administration. Although Letterman is too experienced and too wry by nature to engage in outright platitudes, his series's premiere feels like a lot of generalities and old news masquerading as something more profound.
Unfortunately, the series fails to live up to that mission with its first episode, which debuted on Netflix Friday. "And everybody had seen me, you know, crying and misting up for the previous three weeks", Obama said with a grin. I mean, what you just put together is as I think amusing a statement of who Barack Obama is as I've ever seen. "I think the key is what we call 'staying in the pocket.'" he said. And even though they never mention Trump by name, the two delve into some surprisingly academic political analysis. "I have a story about Malia that I've not told anyone", Letterman began.
"I think there was a sense that I had run the race, I had completed it".
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The Hollywood Reporter's Tim Goodman said the interview was "not groundbreaking" and added that it was a "big disappointment" not to get juicy Obama remarks about Trump.
The guest list for the initial six-pack of My Next Guest instalments sets the stage for a fascinating and diverse array of conversations (one assumes it will continue as long as Letterman remains inspired).
"I go over, and I say, 'You don't know who I am".
"They're not expecting that everyone's going to watch it on the first day", Wilstein says. In theory, this looks like a Hollywood ending - riding off into the sunset as the King of Late Night. "There's a reason why Obama has not been on Kimmel and Colbert". Comparing the experience to "open-heart surgery", Obama admitted that he got a bit teary-eyed and also struggled to put together a desk lamp for Malia's dorm.
"I think what makes it worth watching is just... just seeing these two guys who were really giants in the culture, who have been out of the picture for the past year". "She was just being really quiet about it, but in a way that was really moving and touching".