This is a review of My Next Guest needs no introduction with David Letterman on Netflix.
Let’s deal with the things that are still the same. The trousers are still too short, although the socks don’t seem to be white anymore.
That’s it. Everything else is different. A new set, no band, no desk, no pencils, no gimmicks. The beard.
Letterman is back. In a new Netflix series, the former Late Show host takes a more thoughtful, deliberate approach to the chat show by inviting just one guest per week to appear.
In the first episode, the guest is a big one. The rush of applause when David Letterman announces the “44th President of the United States, Barack Obama”, is astounding. There is a suggestion that most of the audience doesn’t know who the guest is before the announcement, which is a nice touch, and after a short intro the two sit facing each other and start to catch up like old friends.
Both Obama and Letterman share the recent experience of being out of work, but it’s clear that the former President has enjoyed his time off. He has profited from an extended break with his family, before getting down to the serious business of being an elder statesman. He talks at length about his childhood, the civil rights movement that inspired him to be involved in politics and more.
Cut into the interview are some short film segments, which were enjoyable and informative and showed a side of Letterman I like and added some context to the discussion.
Obama and Letterman largely skip mentioning the current President by name, but during the filmed segments with Congressman John Lewis, there is some more direct commentary on the current administration.
I like this new format for David Letterman, the Late Night format of jokes, skits and short interviews is OK – but it’s really good to see a more ‘long form’ interview with someone that can pull decent guests who are prepared to speak in depth.
There are six episodes in this new season, over the next months we’ll see George Clooney, Malala Yousafzai, Jay-Z, Tina Fey, and Howard Stern follow Obama onto the stage.
Overall. This Episode. 10/10. Netflix.