My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman: It’s a Whole New Ball Game Now
January 14, 2018 11:53 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

David Letterman interviews Barack Obama.

"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. Without a ... doubt, you are the first president I truly and fully respect."
posted by sylvanshine (11 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Many of the reviews I've skimmed have something or other to criticize, but I enjoyed this and teared up a few times. The acknowledgement of luck and privilege as a factor in success was refreshing, and I think both of these men aren't just saying it. This type of discussion gets to the heart of why I like David Letterman, even if I watched his show more in the 90s than in the 10s.

Now I don't know that I'm going to be 1/10th as interested in most of the remaining guests (cough Clooney cough Stern), interviews of whom are coming out monthly and not weekly on Netflix. (That doesn't help—on a monthly basis it's going to be way too easy to forget about the show, and my experience of Netflix has been that they aren't very good at surfacing new versions of old things I've watched; I am kind of amazed at how poor the Netflix interface is in general; it is always promoting shows to me that I literally just finished watching, putting the "continue watching" section a screen length down, and so on).

I left John Lewis out of the main description in case it constituted a ... spoiler? Heh. Certainly I didn't expect more than one interviewee to be involved.
posted by sylvanshine at 12:20 PM on January 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

I posted this to my FB page immediately after watching this very touching and hopeful conversation:

The best thing I have seen in more than a year. Two of our very own superheroes flying just slightly under the radar. The surprisingly approachable one and the grumpy sarcastic one. You should watch it.

The clips were terrific. I just loved it.
posted by Glinn at 12:34 PM on January 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

It isn't hilarious and it doesn't tread new ground, but it is gently humorous, thoughtful, and inspiring, and most importantly, it is intelligent and informed in an era where intelligence and information sometimes seem to be in short supply.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:01 PM on January 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I really enjoyed the format. Even though it was in front of an audience, it felt casual and unstuffy, chatty and friendly. There’s something I always enjoy about watching smart people have a conversation.
I’ll probably skip Clooney but I’ll come back to the show for sure.
posted by chococat at 1:28 PM on January 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

It was a lot of just two dads talking about their kids, and maybe some politics, and definitely race. I freaking loved it. Fuck the critics. They're just disappointed they never mention Trump. For me it was refreshing. And in typical Obama fashion, he showed what "Presidential" looked like instead of insisting that whatever he did, whatever he said, qualified as presidential by association. It was critical only by being a sharp and glaring contrast.
posted by Stanczyk at 3:10 PM on January 14, 2018 [9 favorites]

Man, when Obama walked out, I broke down in tears, just full-on ugly crying. Thank goodness I live by myself, for that would have been embarrassing. If someone had walked in at that moment, they'd have seen a middle-age man sobbing at his computer screen, and that'd be just a little awkward.

It was good too seeing Letterman back. He certainly seems more relaxed in this environment. He does that cantankerous/friendly dichotomy really well, it seems an effective and disarming technique.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 3:16 PM on January 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

Of course Obama is not going to use a long-form talk show with Letterman as a the place to air grievances about the trump administration. I don't understand what kind of idiot was expecting that to happen. In fact, I'd go even further and suggest that should the orange one ever see this, he'll probably be most angry about the fact that he's barely mentioned. I really liked this.
posted by axiom at 7:33 PM on January 14, 2018 [5 favorites]

I really liked this too. Obama is just so charming, I never understood the criticism of him being too cold and professorial.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:57 PM on January 14, 2018

This was great, but I'm really looking forward to the Malala Yousafzai interview.
posted by Pendragon at 5:59 AM on January 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

I watched this while resting during a bout of the flu, so maybe I was especially fragile. But as a generally non-weepy human, I was so moved to tears with a huge sense of loss. Talking about his kids, turning the conversation back to Letterman in such a kind and polite way, this general equanimity and pure generosity of spirit. Forget politics, Obama is such a good guy, such a goddamned mensch. I was so filled with loss that we're now represented by a reptilian, non-human, nasty piece of shit that I was teary for a long time.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 5:52 AM on January 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

When I watched this last night, I was struck by just how much President Obama's had to learn to be permanently on display: e.g., his anecdote about tearing up in the back of the limo as Secret Service agents looked straight ahead, pretending not to notice. Or his difference in perspective about what 'right now' meant, when compared to his book agent's idea of the term.
posted by culfinglin at 3:26 PM on February 18, 2018

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