So Was David Letterman Fired Or What?

Former United States President Barack Obama will be the the first guest in David Letterman's return to the interviewing business in the new web television talk show on Netflix titled "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman". "We are operating in completely different information universes", Obama says. "If you watch Fox News, you are living on a different planet than if you listen to NPR", he said, noting social media makes things even worse.

Netflix usually presents its new shows one season at a time, with a dozen or so episodes available immediately, but its latest talk show is being unveiled at the unusual rate of one installment per month. Letterman's show, on the other hand, promised to go deeper: intimate, in-depth interviews with whomever Letterman deemed interesting, regardless of the topic of the day.

The six-episode series - which will roll out individual episodes monthly - certainly receives a promotional boost from the true-to-its-billing first subject, Barack Obama.

The format of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction is in many ways what some viewers have longed for in the talk-show format.

"What's changed I think from when we were kids is technology", Obama told Letterman. "You're hang gliding, you're climbing volcanoes, you're wrestling sharks", Letterman says to him about their respective retirements.

However, Letterman's obsequiousness, Obama's cautious answers-he never directly mentioned Donald Trump-and the fact that the interview was taped last fall made for a tepid viewing experience.

Appropriately for a politician who was so closely associated with hope, Obama also offered some optimism: "I think it is a solvable problem, but I think it's one that we have to spend a lot of time thinking about". With Letterman as with Dan Rather, a stripped-down interview show is an ideal landing spot for someone who's not ready to head out to pasture.

Obama and the entire audience laughed at the story. As the pair walked across the bridge where Lewis marched alongside other nonviolent demonstrators on Bloody Sunday in March 1965, Letterman asked about whether he saw the Trump administration as "a setback". If this seems a non-sequitur in the context of the Obama interview Letterman is leading onstage before it cuts away, there's a connection.

Almost three years after he left late night, David Letterman returns in a different guise. "So I get home and she (Malia) knows I'm pathetic, so she's texted me hearts, and, you know, so we are talking on a regular basis". They upset Letterman, but Lewis zooms out to make it more about the fight against hate. "The stereotype of former presidents is you're sitting around your house waiting for someone to call, lonely".

"Here's how this is going to work", Letterman said. Also, Letterman is expected to reunite with longtime friends and fan-favorite guests George Clooney, Tina Fey, and Howard Stern for intimate conversations.

But then I realized that both men were committed to staying on the high road.

  • Salvatore Jensen