The great thing about Letterman retiring is that Dave just doesn’t give a damn anymore. I mean, he’s never really outwardly expressed much suggestion he gave a damn what other people thought, which is why he’s been so great over the course of his career. But now that he’s getting trounced by Fallon every night, and now that he’s got one foot out the door, Letterman has never seemed so giddy. He’s at ease, even liberated by the decision. He doesn’t have to worry about the ratings, and he sure as hell doesn’t have to worry about impressing anyone.
Take, for instance, the segment below, which was pre-taped and will air during tonight’s episode. In it, Lindsay Lohan cajoles Dave into calling up Oprah to ask her how Lohan is doing now that Lohan is on a reality show overseen by Oprah. After Dave yanks Oprah’s chain for a few seconds, Oprah ends up speaking so kindly of Lohan’s efforts that Lohan tears up.
I’d say it was all an act, but I’ve seen I Know Who Killed Me, and that would give far more credit to Lohan’s acting ability than it deserves.