Free from the restraints and necessities of late night show hosting, David Letterman gets the opportunity over 40-60 minutes with each guest to delve deeper than he ever could before. Every episode begins with a brief couple of minutes of stand-up by David which also acts as an introduction to his guest. The remaining duration of each episode is a combination of David interviewing his guest on stage in front of an audience and segments recorded outside of the studio that are somehow relevant to the guest being interviewed.
While late night shows are made to be bite-sized and shallow with its many guests per episode, David uses his new format to speak with each of his guests on a deeper level and involve himself with their lives. Whether it is going to Kanye’s house and getting dressed up by Kanye himself, going to Tiffany Haddish’s neighbourhood, or going out to the racetrack with Lewis Hamilton, it is obvious that David cares for each of his guests (which I think is an advantage he didn’t have working late night).
I don’t like most late night show hosts or talk show hosts. Conan, David, Ellen (who is a guest this season) and Norm Macdonald are really the only exceptions I can think of (Russell Brand is decent but I have never seen his show and I don’t think Eric Andre can be considered a part of this same category). The reason is simple: I think that these hosts have a true ability to communicate with and understand their guest as well as an ability to interact with their guests in meaningful ways WHILE also blending in humour in a way that works.
David brings these abilities and skills in to this new season where he has a handful of diverse guests. Despite the variety of guests, David manages to have effective communication with all of them which makes for great interviews (I even liked the Lewis Hamilton episode despite not being a watcher of race sports (race sports as in sports that involve racing, just for clarification)).
The guests are not only diverse but fantastic. Kanye West, Ellen DeGeneres, Tiffany Haddish, Lewis Hamilton and Melinda Gates. As a huge Kanye fan, it was amazing to see that episode (it was also the reason I watched any of this in the first place). Melinda Gates was the most insightful and serious episode but there were also great comedic moments. The bits of David and Bill Gates in the kitchen were probably the highlight of the entire show for me (other than just fan-boying over Kanye but that is more of a general thing).
In-depth, interesting and entertaining. David employs his great social skills to great effect in a handful of interesting interviews and bits with exciting guests. A top-notch talk-show that is nearly on par with ‘Norm Macdonald Has a Show’. I hope David continues to have great guests on his show (I haven’t and probably won’t watch season 1 because I honestly just don’t really care for the guests).
8/10 – Great