Ever since he left late night television, David Letterman’s wry sense of humor and biting sarcasm have been sorely missed in pop culture. There are few major events in today’s news cycle that wouldn’t be vastly improved by Letterman chiming in and giving his two cents on the matter. Luckily, New York Magazine conducted a lengthy and wide-ranging interview with the comedy legend, and there is enough commentary in this one interview to hold fans over until the next time Dave decides to speak this publicly (and this extensively) again.
While Letterman indeed discusses a lot of things, both related to public events and not, some of his most intriguing and biting comments centered around Donald Trump and his merry band of helpers in the administration. As Letterman himself mentions in the piece, his relationship with now-President Trump goes back farther than many other people in media, as he interviewed the real estate mogul decades ago and, as a fellow New York institution, had a working understanding of who the billionaire (“billionaire”?) was under all that spray tan.
So now that he’s free of the restraints of being under contract at a huge corporation like CBS, which presumably cared what Letterman said or did in public to some extent, he can make clear his exact opinions on everything going on in the Trump White House. The former host has never truly cared what people think of him, but being reminded of that particular side of Letterman is never anything less than joyful.
About the actual election of Trump itself and the President’s oft-mocked appearance, he said,
“I’m not blinded by the white-hot light of “president-elect.” I mean, we elected a guy with that hair? Why don’t we investigate that? He looks like Al Jardine of the Beach Boys. I don’t know.”
He continued, on the subject of the actual administration,
“Donald Trump can be Donald Trump, but if he doesn’t help the people that need help, then he’s just a jerk. That press conference that he held berating the news media? I mean, how do you build a dictatorship? First, you undermine the press: “The only truth you’re going to hear is from me.”
He even touched on the fact that eventually Alec Baldwin’s impersonation of the President will bother him so much that the distraction will lead to an even larger misstep politically and it could spell doom for the administration. But he also didn’t stop with Trump himself, but widened the target to other members of the Trump team as well. Which is when it really got good.
On the subject of Steve Bannon, Letterman didn’t hold back one bit. He calls Bannon “the Hunchback of Notre Dame” and compares him to the “guy who goes to lunch, gets drunk, and comes back to the office: ‘Steve, could you have just one drink?’ ‘Fuck you.'” He doesn’t hold back with Kellyanne Conway or Sean Spicer either, insinuating the former is his “favorite” simply because of her potential as a comedy target and commenting on the fact that she had to be “counseled” by this administration, which is really something. About Spicer, he says he is a “boob who just got out of a cab and now here he is” and then moves on to Stephen Miller who he calls “creepy” like he “just fell out of a truck.”
For anyone holding out hope that all these comments might one day find themselves back on a television show though, that line of thinking is bound to end in disappointment. Letterman admits that if he still had a show, all he would talk about is Donald Trump. He says,
“People would have to come and take me off the stage. ‘Dave, that’s enough about Trump. We’ve run out of tape.’ It’s all I’d be talking about. I’d be exhausted….we’re spending quite a lot of money on editing, Dave. If you could just keep it to an hour, we’d all appreciate that, because we have big stars who’ve flown in from Hollywood to be here.”
So while it doesn’t realistically sound like Letterman will be returning to television to shower us with his opinions about the world regularly ever again, he still has some other projects in the pipeline that will bring his wit and intelligence back to the forefront. Read the fully interview for his complete political thoughts and more.
(via New York Magazine)