8:48am PT by Hilary Lewis
David Letterman's Netflix Talk Show Sets Barack Obama as First Guest
David Letterman has amassed an all-star roster of guests for his upcoming Netflix talk show series, which is titled My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman.
The 60-minute show will stream monthly with the first episode launching on Friday, Jan. 12, and the additional five episodes streaming, one a month, after that.
Letterman will kick off the series with a chat with Barack Obama, with the interview serving as the former president's first talk-show appearance since leaving office.
Other guests set for Letterman's series include George Clooney, Malala Yousafzai, Jay-Z, Tina Fey and Howard Stern.
The project, produced by RadicalMedia and Letterman's Worldwide Pants, marks the longtime Late Show host's first regular return to the small screen since leaving the CBS show in May 2015. He previously made a one-episode appearance on National Geographic's Years of Living Dangerously documentary series.
Each episode will be centered around one person Letterman finds fascinating, with the two engaging in in-depth conversations both inside and outside a studio setting. The show will also feature field segments with Letterman embarking on trips related to the guest featured on each episode.
Letterman previously told The Hollywood Reporter that he wanted to interview North Korea leader Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump on his Netflix series.
The former CBS host has made no secret of his desire to interview Trump and call the former Apprentice host out on some of his more radical statements and actions since he entered politics. But the president has kept a low-profile on the talk-show circuit, not sitting down for any of the high-profile late-night shows, all of which have taken aim at him, since taking office.
"I think I have insight now that heretofore I did not have," Letterman told THR of why he wants to talk to Trump. "I'm tired of people saying, 'Can you believe he…' and 'Oh, my God, what has he done… .' I want to put an end to that. ... What we need now is somebody like myself to sit down with him and calmly get him to sign some papers and then have him leave the White House."
With respect to Kim Jong-un, Letterman said he wonders, "What does he want? They have a missile they think can hit Chicago — what's he pissed off at Chicago about? Are we at war with this guy? We put sanctions on him, he gets more pissed off. If Dennis Rodman goes over there, I ought to be over there. … I wouldn’t want to make it worse, but on the other hand, I don't know that you can make it worse. OK, you're building rockets, you've got nuclear capabilities, OK, great. What, really, does that help?!"
He added, "I don't know that he'd be the prototypical guest but, by God, wouldn't you like an hour to just look at this guy and talk to him and listen to him? Does he have kids? Does he have pets? Why does he want to behave like this? If he wants to be a hero, why not start trying to reunite the peninsula? Why not do something that has some humanity to it? I don't get this."
As for the tone of the show, Letterman predicted that "there will be some silliness regardless" of who he's interviewing or the topic of a field piece.
"I'm of the opinion that irrespective of the topic and regardless of who you're talking with — I just think if you go to dinner with Person A or Person B, sooner or later there's going to be something funny that happens or is said that is either in context of a greater topic or adjunct to a greater topic," he said. "I don't have a news background or a journalism background, but I have to believe there will be some silliness regardless. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's the nice thing — we'll find out."
Netflix also released the below trailer for Letterman's series.