On Netflix show, a rusty Letterman quizzes Obama, and it's pretty boring


The show's title is certainly true for the former late night host's first interview subject, President Barack Obama, in his first television interview since leaving office. "What the Russians exploited, (was) already here - we are operating in completely different information universes".

"If you watch Fox News you are living on a different planet", the president remarks over the applause of the audience, "than you are if you listen to NPR".

Letterman, 70, signed a deal past year to develop the six-episode Netflix show, for which he will be paid $2 million per episode. "And everybody had seen me, you know, crying and misting up for the previous three weeks", Obama said with a grin.

"My Next Guest With Needs No Introduction with David Letterman" now sits at an early rating of 60% on the reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, after its debut, Barack Obama-featuring episode premiered Friday on the streaming service. Tension between Lewis and the current president stretch back to last January when Lewis skipped Trump's inauguration and said he did not view him "as a legitimate president".

The closest he comes to dipping his toes in the contemporary political water is wryly suggesting that one of our biggest current problems lies in not having a common set of facts on which we can all agree.

The taped segment between Lewis and Letterman was filmed as the two walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., where Lewis was beaten and arrested during a civil rights march in 1965.

Back onstage, Letterman gets several laughs by pretending Obama is still in office. With Letterman as with Dan Rather, a stripped-down interview show is an ideal landing spot for someone who's not ready to head out to pasture.

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"Barack Obama would have been here with you had he been the right age, wouldn't he?" And it's potentially entertaining to see crotchety Dave, with his beard and white socks, remaking himself into a kind of hipster grandpa.

"I had a very optimistic feeling about (social networks)", Obama says.

Lewis reflected on how the "Bloody Sunday" march he led helped pave the way for Obama's eventual election, but he called Trump's presidency "a major setback to the hopes, the dreams and aspirations of a people". But the vast bulk of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction is just two people talking - and not about a new project the guest wants to promote.

Letterman: "I have been nothing but lucky".

"We went to Japan, had not been to Japan before". Why was I not aware?

Spin's Drew Salisbury hit Letterman's interview style for failing to probe Obama deeper, saying, "Aside from a few moments, the interview is unfortunately neither revelatory or particularly engaging". "I have been nothing but lucky".

The upcoming episode of "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman" is a first for both persons involved.