First, it was Dave Chappelle and now it’s David Letterman. Something about the name Dave/David, maybe? Anyway, Chappelle already made big money in his return to the screen with Netflix and now Letterman is doing the same.
Back on TV. Out in the wild. Netflix 2018. https://t.co/KTX7qJPgFj
— Netflix US (@netflix) August 8, 2017
The former host of The Late Show will host a new six-episode series talk show on Netflix in 2018, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Each of the six episodes will include one guest, along with multiple monologues on various topics by Letterman.
“I feel excited and lucky to be working on this project for Netflix. Here’s what I have learned, if you retire to spend more time with your family, check with your family first. Thanks for watching, drive safely,” Letterman said.
That has to be one of the best quotes in press release/announcement history:
Best press release quote ever: "If you retire to spend more time with your family, check with your family first." https://t.co/m7MdaPbQq9
— Brian Lowry (@blowryontv) August 8, 2017
“Just meeting David Letterman was a thrill; imagine how exciting it is for me to announce that we will be working together,” Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said. “David Letterman is a true television icon, and I can’t wait to see him out in the wild, out from behind the desk and interviewing the people he finds most interesting. We’ll have to see if he keeps the beard.”
One would assume that Letterman will likely go after the current members of the White House for his special at some point. The late-night host has interviewed a ton of presidential candidates and high-ranking politicians, including Trump himself in the past.
“I know there’s trouble in this country and we need a guy who can fix that trouble,” Letterman told the Associated Press in July. “I wish it was Trump, but it’s not, so let’s just stop whining about what a goon he is and figure out a way to take him aside and put him in a home.”
No guest list has been announced, but one would have to think it’ll be a pretty great list. With only six episodes to work with as of now and a host as well known as Letterman, big names will likely be in the mix to appear on the show.
Here are some big names I’d like to see on the show who would make for compelling content:
Guest #1 – President Barack Obama: Obama has appeared on Letterman before and I think it would be interesting to see the two talk things over again on the Netflix show. Obama hasn’t done any major TV interviews since he left office and I think a situation like Letterman’s could be a perfect way to break the ice.
Guest #2 – President Donald Trump: The chances of this happening are next to none, but I think it would be a fascinating interview. If Netflix had its way, they would probably want Obama and Trump in back-to-back episodes. Trump has been interviewed by Letterman before, but that was back when he was a normal citizen.
Guest #3 – President/Prime Minister of Canada, Germany, China, France, Italy, or Japan: More unlikely guests here, but Netflix would probably love this. Letterman has been very outspoken politically lately and I think various political guests could make the show interesting. In particular, Letterman has been outspoken about Trump, so I think to have a President/Prime Minister from a major U.S. ally on to talk about Trump would be interesting. If anyone could do an interview like this, it’s probably Letterman.
Guest #4 – Jay Leno: The two had a little bit of a rivalry when they were both hosting late-night shows at the same time and Letterman was passed over for Leno to replace Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. Letterman lost to Leno in the ratings multiple times and was pretty straight-forward when he was asked about losing to Leno:
“I was embarrassed by it…We didn’t know what happened, we just knew we’d lost our way. For a long time…I would blame the network, and I would get in furious fights with (CBS CEO) Les Moonves. We had a fight that lasted a full 24 hours, because I thought the problem was not me, the problem was the network. And then I gradually began to realize that the problem was me, and I made my peace with that. It was simply that a larger number of people liked watching Jay Leno more than they liked watching me.”
“When Jay started winning, it was just like, one night he wasn’t and the next night he was. We thought oh well, it’s anomalous. Well, it wasn’t. It went on like that forever, and that panicked us, or perhaps me because I was at the head of the thing. We lost our way for a while. It took a long time to settle back in and find out what we were doing. On occasion we would beat him in the ratings here and there, but not routinely. I felt bad for the network, I felt like I was failing the staff. I was embarrassed for my family. I got over it, but I still wish we could have been the Number 1 late night show,” via Deadline.
Guest #5 – Oprah Winfrey: Back in 2013, Oprah interviewed Letterman and it was interesting. At the time, rumors had circulated that Oprah and Letterman had been in a “feud” for 20 years. That was cleared up a little bit when Letterman openly apologized to Oprah on TV. Oprah is a major name and I think an interview between the two would be big enough to be included in the six-episode series.
Guest #6 – Letterman’s wife since 2009, Regina Lasko: Bear with me here because I know this is a strange suggestion for a six-episode show. Lasko and Letterman have been married since 2009, so definitely not during Letterman’s whole career. However, since they got married in 2009, Letterman’s career has gone on one heck of a ride.
Since the two were married, Letterman ended his long-running late-night show, rumors swirled about Letterman’s return, and now he is making a comeback. Not to mention Letterman revealing he had an affair with an intern after someone tried to blackmail him. Throughout this entire time, Lasko has been right by Letterman’s side. I think it would be fascinating for the two to interview each other about what their lives have been like during the past eight years.
Justin Bieber: Have to get one millennial on here.
Cher: The two yelled at each other and Cher called Letterman “an asshole” back in a 1986 interview.
Bill O’Reilly: Back in 2006, Letterman said this to O’Reilly: “You’re putting words in my mouth, just the way you put artificial facts in your head.”
Group interview with Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, John Oliver, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and/or Conan O’Brien: Netflix specifically said one guest per episode, but I think a group interview with all of some of these names would be fascinating. The famous late-night host Letterman would get a chance to grill one or multiple current late-night hosts at once.
Barry Bonds, Pete Rose, O.J. Simpson, Colin Kaepernick, Ray Rice, LeBron James: Not another group interview, but instead any of these athletes. LeBron is the only name here that doesn’t have a controversial history, but he is a major athlete. As for the other five names, I think any of them would make a fantastic interview about their standing in sports and what they did to hurt their respective images.