Saturday, January 13, 2018

Barack Obama and David Letterman

Now streaming at Netflix, the first episode of David Letterman’s six-episode interview series, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. It’s a disappointment, in several ways. There’s only the slightest glance at the White House’s new part-time tenant. There’s nothing said about how we got from the one president to the other or about democratic or Democratic futures.

But beyond any particular subject of discussion: David Letterman is not an especially good interviewer, not for this kind of interview, not at this length. He seems like a man attempting to play the role of a serious conversationalist. Imagine — just imagine — what Dick Cavett could do with this opportunity.

The best moments: Obama talking about his children, especially about taking Malia to college. Tear-smeary stuff, at least for me.

[The subject of the White House’s new part-time tenant does come up in an interpolated interview with Congressman John Lewis.]

comments: 4

The Crow said...

I disliked that he cut the President off at inopportune moments. Thereafter, I focused intently on what Obama had to say so that Letterman's interruptions had less effect. This first episode was choppy, rambling when it shouldn't have been, and too much about Letterman.

I appreciated the breakaways to John Lewis, whose history I didn't know; would have liked more of that. Wouldn't it have been great to have Obama and Lewis exchanging memories and ideas about the future of this nation, how to pop those bubbles of isolation and help us, our young especially, focus on our shared values and how we could all learn to work together to assure we always will remain a great nation?

Yeah, I would have liked that.

Michael Leddy said...

I appreciated the conversation with John Lewis, but it made me wonder how they ever came up with the idea of placing one interview within another. I wondered if the Lewis footage was from another project that didn’t work out.

The Crow said...

Yep, that was some hodge-podge, all right.

As for Letterman wondering why he wasn't in Selma with Lewis and MLK, himself, I have an answer for that: he was a white kid with money who didn't develop that part of his conscience until most of the initial fighting and marching was over.

I hope the next episode is better, that the show has found its legs.

Michael Leddy said...

Yes, he said he was off in the Bahamas getting drunk with his friends. Your version says what his only implies.

Maybe he’ll do better with George Clooney.