Netflix Now Has Obama's First Talk Show Interview Since He Was President

Netflix Now Has Obama's First Talk Show Interview Since He Was President

Netflix Now Has Obama's First Talk Show Interview Since He Was President

It's called My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman - and it's excellent. Let's get that out of the way. In theory, this looks like a Hollywood ending - riding off into the sunset as the King of Late Night.

Former President Barack Obama weighed in on the potential consequences of Russian meddling in social media platforms during the 2016 election in a new interview with David Letterman. The former President, wearing a trim suit and white shirt, open at the collar, joins Letterman for an hour-long conversation that was recorded before a small audience, this fall, in NY.

"It turns out that we come up with all kinds of reasons to try to put ourselves over other people", Obama says.

In the first episode, Letterman also delivers a taped segment, in which he walks across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, with Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., who was beaten and arrested along with others who marched across the bridge in support of civil rights in 1965.

Netflix Now Has Obama's First Talk Show Interview Since He Was President
Netflix Now Has Obama's First Talk Show Interview Since He Was President

The Washington Post's Hank Stuever panned the interview as "flat", criticizing Letterman as too much "in thrall" of his guest. He fawns over the former president for most of the hour, reaching a climax near the end (after a plug for Obama's foundation and library), when he says, "When I was a kid, and it's still taught today, irrespective of the man or woman who holds the office, you have to respect the office of president".

Stupid pet tricks are in David Letterman's rearview mirror. The last time Letterman had so many viewers was in 1994, when his show aired after that year's Winter Olympics.

But Letterman's stroll through his subject's remarkable life gave Obama the opportunity to make a few telling comments - "you're entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts" - that were all the more effective for their undemonstrative delivery.

Former president Barack Obama was the first guest on David Letterman's new Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, and the former The Late Show host couldn't help but narc on Malia to her father about an incident that once took place at the White House. It had been coming out even before that - not outright boredom with talking about movies or TV series, or even a moving away from amusing or silly bits, but a definite push toward something a little less rote or mechanical in the responses he wanted from his guests. As the credits roll, Netflix plays a brief clip revealing that Letterman's next guest will be George Clooney. Obama teased Letterman now about his "biblical" beard and idiosyncrasies.

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The logo for the new series is lovely.

Letterman, 70, signed a deal previous year to develop the six-episode Netflix show, for which he will be paid $2 million per episode.

"It's all pretty rote and familiar, and what's worse is Letterman's stage and interviewing manner, which is clearly rusty", Matthew Gilbert wrote.

If you're thinking that Letterman coming out of retirement, lured to Netflix, is going to lead to something wholly new and super exciting, well, no.

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