'My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman'


"It was interesting to see how everyone handled things different", Barack told David Letterman in the premiere episode of Netflix's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.

You may have heard about his Fox News comments today from Fox News itself, wherein Obama either "ripped" or "slammed" the network. What the Russians exploited, [was] already here- we are operating in completely different information universes. Paul Shaffer has added some appropriately jazzy riffs (there's no band, of course, the only constants in the first two episodes, which took place in NY and Los Angeles, being the two leather chairs plopped down on sparse, massive stages inside lovely theaters; the airy feel and cinematic look of these Netflix shows are in stark contrast to his network show). "There's a well-known senator from New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and one time he was debating one of his less-capable colleagues and the guy got flustered and said, 'Well Senator Moynihan, that's just your opinion, and I have mine.' And Moynihan says, 'Sir, you are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts'".

Free to be whatever he wants in front of the camera now, Letterman opts for befuddled pussycat rather than old lion.

Instead, the interview mostly serves as a reminder of the themes of Obama's presidency-namely, hope, and the importance of working for a "more perfect" America. On traditional televised talk series, the interviews are shorter and more promotional: politicians looking for exposure with a certain audience; actors promoting movies or, more recently, defending themselves against allegations of unsavory conduct; and, occasionally, authors hawking a book. "How big a setback is the current administration (to civil rights)?".

A few of Letterman's questions to Obama are framed inside Letterman's own experience, including parenthood and his walk with John Lewis. He also said he was "basically useless" moving daughter Malia into her college dorm, so emotional that it took him a half-hour to set up a desk lamp, per CNN.

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"I had a show for a long time", Letterman said in his new show's trailer. Obama describes how he became inspired by civil rights, how the absence of his father led to his desire "to be present in my children's life", and how he does not miss "the trappings of the office". And it's potentially entertaining to see crotchety Dave, with his beard and white socks, remaking himself into a kind of hipster grandpa.

"I was just pretty pathetic", he added. Why was I not aware?

Rather than wrap up with this, My Next Guest would have done well to keep the cameras rolling another hour, and begin the show at this deeper, more personal and more meaningful moment, and work forward from there.

The upcoming episode of "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman" is a first for both persons involved.