Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction proves the world still needs David Letterman

Netflix's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction proves the world still needs David Letterman

Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction proves the world still needs David Letterman

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Perhaps the most obvious way that My Next Guest Needs No Introduction breaks from Letterman’s other shows is that it’s not a daily, or even weekly, talk show in the way that audiences are used to thinking about them. It’s a monthly program, with Netflix giving the comedian the go-ahead to create six, one-hour episodes that will be released between now and June 2018. The lineup starts big with the former president, and continues from there: George Clooney, Jay Z, Tina Fey, Howard Stern, and Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai.

Netflix's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction proves the world still needs David Letterman

Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction proves the world still needs David Letterman

It’s a powerful moment, even more so because it’s coming from a person known as one of the most acerbic wits in late-night history. It’s also impossible to imagine this kind of revelation — or even this show — being welcomed on a broadcast network where ratings come at a premium. In that world, broad appeal is key, which has the unfortunate side effect of creating disposable shows that never push too hard or ask that much of the viewer. But with Netflix, it appears that Letterman has discovered a platform that drops many of those pressures.

Netflix's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction proves the world still needs David Letterman

Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction proves the world still needs David Letterman

menu more-arrow no yes Log In or Sign Up Log In Sign Up Tech Science Culture Cars Reviews Longform Video Circuit Breaker Forums Podcasts Store More Tech Apple Google Microsoft Apps Photography Virtual Reality Business Design All Tech Science Space Energy Health Environment All Science Culture Web TV Film Games Comics Music All Culture Cars Ride-Sharing Cars Mass Transit Aviation Rideables Autonomy All Transportation Reviews Phones Laptops Cameras Tablets Headphones Smartwatches VR Headsets This is my Next More from Verge Guidebook Longform Video Circuit Breaker Forums Podcasts Store ✕ Entertainment TV Review TV Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction proves the world still needs David Letterman New, 10 comments President Barack Obama joins the inaugural episode for a conversation about family, race, and America By Bryan Bishop@bcbishop Jan 12, 2018, 5:16pm EST share tweet Linkedin Photo by Joe Pugliese / Netflix When David Letterman left the Late Show in 2015, it felt like a generational changing of the guard. After over three decades as a late-night host, the comedian was stepping away, letting Stephen Colbert reinvent the show while Letterman enjoyed the free time to do, well, nothing — other than grow a really serious beard. So when Netflix announced last year that he would be coming out of retirement to host a talk show, it raised a couple of questions. What could Letterman do outside the limitations of network television that he hadn’t already done, and would a David Letterman series still seem relevant given that the late-night world has moved on?

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.


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