The continued rise of late-night television in the United States is of no surprise to anyone. Not even a pandemic can stop hosts from asking their charming guests a flurry of personal and professional questions. The history of the late-night talk show in the United States is a long one, dating back all the way to Steve Allen in 1954 for NBC. Since then it has evolved, from funnyman Jonny Carson to snappy Jay Leno, all the way to James Corden for some reason singing in a car. However, while the styles and trends of late-night may have changed, one figure has been an immovable object within the scene; David Letterman.
With the release of season 3 of ‘My Next Guest Needs No Introduction’, his Emmy-nominated Netflix tv show, it’s amazing to think that Letterman has been in this business for almost 40 years. Starting out in 1982 with the ‘Late Night with David Letterman’ show on NBC, he has hosted a total of 6,080 episodes on television and has released 18 episodes with Netflix. It’s fair to say that there aren’t many people in the industry that have that sort of longevity. Now, why is that?
For some, it’s because of said longevity that they watch Letterman. They’ve seen him on the small screen since they were young, so it only makes sense that they would carry on watching his work, rather than worry about what the next ‘it’ talk show was.
For others, it’s his soothing tone, his veteran questioning and his ability to get guests to open up. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in his Netflix show. No longer bound by commercial breaks or interludes, Letterman can truly focus on his guest in a remarkable way. From breaking down the plight of civil rights with President Barrack Obama to discussing the harrowing details of the infamous Paris burglary with Kim Kardashian. Many late-night hosts are more than capable of interviewing and getting humorous or heartwarming anecdotes out of their guests. However, Letterman is able to bring down the wall that celebrities are forced to put up, and the mutual respect between host and guest allows for a more intimate conversation.
That isn’t to say that Letterman is a saint, one quick Google search will showcase his numerous feuds with celebrity personalities, his affairs and his controversial exit from the CBS Late Show in 2015.
However, with his revamped ‘old man’ persona which includes his fly-fishing inspired outfits, his long wizard-like beard and the adorable and constant mentions of his son Harry, it’s clear that he has regained that likeable nature that may have been lost over the past decade.
Stream the latest season of ‘My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman’ on Netflix now, or click the link.