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Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.

Five observations from David Letterman's Netflix debut

Posted Friday, January 12, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Five notable moments from the new monthly Netflix David Letterman show, which is basically a stripped down interview program minus the band, the desk and the monologue. It debuted Friday, January 12 and featured an interview with former president Barack Obama.

1- Who's Trump? The interview was clearly meant for long-term consumption and was taped last fall. So whatever the current president was doing at the time was studiously ignored and his name was never uttered. Letterman made a couple of indirect jokes. After Obama explained the challenges America faces, he said: "To hear you describe this in  a way I can understand just makes me so happy you're still president." And later, Letterman said, "I was under the impression that Twitter would be the mechanism by which truth was told around the world."

2- Turning the tables: Obama at one point early on started asking Letterman questions about his time after retirement.

"Here's how this is going to work," Letterman said. "I'm going to ask you stuff and you say you respond to stuff."

3- Obama can joke, too. Observing Letterman's facial hair, he noted wryly, "He has this biblical beard! Do you have a staff?" "I'm a holy man now," Letterman responded.

4- John Lewis gets love. Letterman takes a side trip to Selma, Ala. with the Atlanta congressman and civil rights legend to walk the Edmund Pettus Bridge where he was beaten in 1965. "I thought I was going to die," Lewis said.

"Symbolically, when the march was complete successfully, what is on the other side of the bridge?" Letterman said.

"The vote. Barack Obama," Lewis said.

Obama: "John Lewis is absolutely right. He and all those other folks that marched carried me across that bridge. They carried America across that bridge... He was the inspiration for the path I took."

5- A moment of teariness. He said it was like "open heart surgery" to send his daughter Malia off to Harvard. He felt useless while Michelle and Sasha were helping Malia organize her dorm room. Malia felt bad for him and assigned him to assemble a desk lamp. It should have taken him five minutes but took more like 30 minutes. Later, he admitted to crying openly after he left Harvard.

 

 

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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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