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15 Jan 2018

Home Video Review: David Letterman Returns and Reminds Us How Great He Is as an Interviewer With Netflix's 'My Next Guest'

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A scene from the debut episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman. A scene from the debut episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman.

Even if you are a David Letterman fan, let’s face it: You probably decreased your viewing of his Late Show in the final years of its run. As with most late-night shows, you caught some glimpses of it the next day in video snippets—but without a concentrated viewing of Letterman doing his thing.

Letterman’s new Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, is a blessed reminder of how damn good of an interviewer the man is. The show is slated to be a monthly program, featuring an hour-long interview. The format loses the desk, the set and the band (although Paul Shaffer does provide the theme music). The result is marvelous.

The first guest of the initial six-month run is some unemployed guy named Barack Obama, a charming, funny, well-spoken guest who Letterman clearly admires. Obama does not directly attack the current president, but he sends some thinly veiled messages to Mr. Trump about doing the job with dignity. It’s an absorbing glimpse at Obama’s life a year out of office—as well as a welcomed return for Letterman.

Other late-night stars—like Johnny Carson and, to an extent, Jay Leno—disappeared after their runs. Thankfully, Letterman is back, and it’s a real treat to see him doing something worthy of his talents when he could just be puttering around his ranch.

Future guests will include George Clooney and Howard Stern.

The first episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman is now streaming on Netflix.

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