Netflix has dropped a trailer for David Letterman’s limited series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman. The new show marks the legendary late night host’s return to TV after he left The Late Show in May 2015. Letterman’s deal with Netflix will reportedly pay him $2 million per episode. For that kind of money, Letterman will happily give up family time and return to work.
In recent days Netflix has made waves by taking on Hollywood with its own blockbuster-level production, the Will Smith action film Bright. Long before it took on Hollywood, Netflix was already an attractive destination for big-name comics looking for artistic freedom. Dave Chappelle, Louis C.K., Aziz Ansari, Jen Kirkman and many others have produced stand-up specials for the streaming service. In 2017, Jerry Seinfeld moved his popular web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee to Netflix. Later in the year, Netflix streamed the comedian’s Jerry Before Seinfeld, in which he revisited his early days in stand-up. Judd Apatow also returned to his early stand-up days for Netflix’s Judd Apatow: The Return.
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But Netflix scored arguably its biggest get of all by luring the one and only David Letterman out of retirement. Now the network has given us our first taste of the fruits of their deal with Letterman, the limited series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. The trailer drops somewhat out of the blue just one week before the show debuts. It’s just like Letterman to keep a veil of secrecy around everything, then suddenly spring a new show on everyone. And yes, he still has the beard. See the trailer above.
The new monthly show features Letterman interviewing a roster of big-name guests. As the trailer reveals, Letterman over the coming months will be talking to George Clooney, Malala Yousafzai, Howard Stern, Jay-Z, Tina Fey and President Barack Obama. Given Letterman’s huge clout and the level of respect he still commands, it’s no surprise to see him landing such true A-listers. Netflix will get their money’s worth at least in terms of star power.
We know Mr. Letterman can be a somewhat prickly character and sometimes confrontational in his interviews, but we also know that he’s capable of going in-depth with people who truly pique his curiosity. Unlike his late night days when he was forced to interview whatever fluffy celebrity was booked that night, Letterman now has the freedom to pick guests he truly wants to speak to. That freedom should lead to more substantive interviews and less discomfort. Although, with the unpredictable Letterman, there’s still the possibility for some awkwardness. And no doubt Letterman’s quirky sense of humor will play into the series as well.
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The first episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman premieres on Netflix on January 12th, 2018.