I watched the first episode of “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction” on Netflix and was delighted and entertained by David Letterman interviewing former POTUS Barack Obama. An incredibly insightful, funny and inspirational 60 minutes of my life well spent. The next episode with George Cloney also brilliant.
The third episode however started to go down hill. Letterman bumbled his way through an interview with Malala so badly, that it led me to wonder if Letterman’s researchers fully explained who the intelligent, dynamic woman sitting opposite him was? Malala’s reserved nature seemed to expose Letterman’s lack of confidence and how heavily he had relied on the wit and charm of his former guests to carry the previous episodes.
This was confirmed for me when Brooklyn’s finest took the stage the following episode. I chose the words “took the stage” deliberately as that’s exactly what Jay Z did.
From the start, rather than try to establish a rapport with his guest, Letterman seemed focused on establishing their differences. Mr Carter practically interviewed himself. Dave meanwhile busy firing a barrage of questions to “understand” Jay Z: as if he were from another planet and speaking orthodox Klingon.
Letterman even asked about the beef between East coast and West coast , unsuccessfully trying to coax Jay into naming and shaming s***e rappers. Yes really…in 2018!
I’m not sure whether the insult to Jay- Z’s intellect or the irony of Dave talking about the pointless violence caused by the previous animosity and then trying to instigate a new one, irked me the most.
Actually – it was that through the whole interview there never seemed to be a point where Letterman was genuinely interested in any of the answers to his own banal questions. It was all too scripted and focused on set ups for links to bizarre musical interludes.
Letterman just spiralled downwards as he continued to ask more questions related to his own personal life (and failings) than about the multi-platinum artist stroke billionaire entrepreneur in front of him. And that’s the crux of the failure of the series. Letterman has never quite recovered from his 2009 transgressions. The show is a desperate attempt and opportunity for David Letterman to share HIS story and to convince the world that he is sorry for his past behaviour and ask for forgiveness.
So my word of advice to Letterman…
Let it go and move on – the world has.
Latest series of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction now available on Netflix