Netflix just unveiled their latest masterpiece by starring David Letterman in his comeback show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. Though it has been a long time since Letterman came out on TV, he sure made a magnificent come back by featuring the 44th president of the United States as his pilot guest.
Letterman’s format was different. He did not have the setup of a late-night show host. Instead, it appears to be filmed in a local theater in New York with just the raw stage, no shenanigans, the host, and the guest.
Two black, leather seats await and Letterman is ready to start the show.
First off, the viewers have to know that he has a beard now. This old guy is the same David Letterman that has been beloved by many. Though some say, including President Obama, that he should’ve shaved his beard, the comeback host is determined with his decision.
The narration for My Next Guest Needs No Introduction was also different from his former late-night spot. It showed how Letterman previously called Obama to invite him on his six-episode Netflix show. Though Obama said he is interested, he’s just not sure how or when it could happen.
Finally, Obama enters the stage with cheers and celebration. As the host and the guest sat down, the camera featured a chilling scene of two very accomplished men who are about to blow us away with their insights.
Letterman was more laid back. He’s not as “perky” as he used to be when he was out in his old studio, entertaining and interviewing celebrities. It could be that his sabbatical made him a much wiser man (thus the beard).
Since the timing of the show’s release could not be any more interesting, some thought it was going to be a bogus press interview to highlight Obama and his backlash against the current administration. However, instead of spite, Obama’s presence actually empowered the American virtue of patriotism.
Obama talked about his vacation after he got out of the White House, his transition as a father sending a daughter to college, and his fight for the American people.
From time to time, you can see Letterman’s sincerity behind his words; how he appreciated Obama and Rep. John Lewis’ works for the American people. Yes, there are talks about the current administration, but there was no personal attack. Letterman looked back at Rep. Lewis’ walk in Selma and how it propagated great leaders like Obama.
At the same time, Letterman reminded the viewers, especially the American people, that there has been progress made over the eight years that Obama was in office. It was done in a tasteful way and not in a patronizing tone.
Letterman deepened the discussion by his self-reflection. He asked himself why he has gotten to where he is and how the nation, nowadays, seemed to have moved hundreds of steps back against the reform made decades ago.
Obama’s responses were impressive, too. It was not about him, per se, but what he believed America is. For Obama, America is the land of opportunities, where people of big hearts thrive. He said that there are long-term problems that’s needed to be solved by the government, but he calls out to all to act.
There may be changes in the legislation, but this doesn’t mean the normal “Joe” can do nothing. He said that the walk in Selma was brought about by simple people who believed they have a voice and that they can make a difference by standing up for what is right.
For Obama, that is what democracy is.
Letterman’s pilot was a riveting success. The Verge noted the show as not only “relevant,” but also “absolutely essential.”
“It’s not a show that will be easily distilled down into disposable YouTube clips, though there are some great exchanges. And it’s not a program that should be viewed with attention turned halfway elsewhere. It’s thoughtful, funny, and moving, but more than anything else, it is proof that David Letterman still has something to say.”