David Letterman brings chill chat - and Obama - to Netflix

David Letterman brings chill chat - and Obama - to Netflix

In My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, his new six-episode weekly Netflix talk show, there's no desk that Letterman sits behind, and no monologue or house band. If there's a bold idea with My Next Guest, it's to be as un-bold as possible.

"We're the only advanced democracy that deliberately discourages people from voting", Obama said. Letterman compared his post-work life to Obama's, per the Daily Beast, noting he spent his time "at Bed, Bath, and Beyond picking out hangers" while Obama was "hang gliding and ... climbing volcanoes and ... wrestling sharks on somebody's private island". It probably helps that the guest roster includes great foils for him like George Clooney, Jay-Z, Howard Stern, Tina Fey and Malala Yousafzai - as a late-night host, Letterman at times had been noticeably unenthused to interview random starlets or young celebrities about upcoming projects.

"No, that's me", Letterman interjects. The closest Letterman came to calling out the current president was when he asked Lewis, "Without being just flat-out specific about it, how big a setback is the current administration [to civil rights]?"

Letterman makes clear that his admiration for Obama is unreserved - something he contrasts with the other presidents with which he professionally overlapped. After some disappointing-sounding small talk, Letterman gets off the phone, looks at the camera, and deadpans, "I think that's a 'no.'" (Obviously Obama changed his mind somewhere along the way.) When Letterman comes out to greet the crowd at City College in New York City, the audience has no clue who the guest will be.

Obama's first interview since leaving office was with Prince Harry, who was serving as a guest host on BBC Radio 4's popular "Today" program.

For Letterman, the new show isn't merely a comeback; it's a reboot.

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This time around, he's partnered with Netflix for a pared-back version of his Late Show.

"Those people carried me across that bridge", Obama adds. "Do you have a staff?" he asks Letterman, teasing him about his Gandalfian hirsuteness.

Three years after Letterman handed the Late Show franchise keys to Stephen Colbert, the CBS late night show has delivered impeccable ratings. Not only did the company pull Letterman out of retirement, but it bought Jerry Seinfeld's "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" series last year and released two Dave Chappelle stand-up specials on New Year's Eve.

"Without being just flat-out specific about it", Letterman says. Both men were noticeably more relaxed and eager when the conversation turned from the political to the personal. They're pretending they can't see me in the back sniffling.

Toward the end of the hour, after all the discussion about Selma, Letterman recalls in a chagrined tone that in April 1965, a month after that march, he and some buddies went to the Bahamas because there was no drinking age there and they could get drunk for a week. The next episode, featuring George Clooney, streams February 9.

Obama avoided mentioning Trump, who blasts both the media and the Russian Federation investigation regularly, and instead opted to go more broad with his answer.

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