David Letterman Talks Fatherhood, Late Night Hosts, Politics, and “Trumpy”
New York magazine has a great interview out this week with the gloriously bearded David Letterman, and the lengthy chat covers everything from parenthood to late night to if he’s been in touch with Jay Leno at all (“No. I’m assuming I will bump into him before we die”) to his thoughts on Donald Trump — or as Letterman prefers to call him, “Trumpy.” Letterman also roasts pretty much everyone in Trump’s administration, from Steve Bannon (“the Hunchback of Notre Dame”) to Sean Spicer (“a boob who just got out of a cab and now here he is”) to Stephen Miller (“He fell out of a truck”). Here’s Letterman’s take on Jimmy Fallon’s infamous Trump hair tousle on The Tonight Show:
We used to have a joke we’d do about booking guests: “Guess what?” “What?” “Neil Armstrong is going to be on the show.” “Neil Armstrong? That’s fantastic.” “He doesn’t want to talk about the moon.” I don’t want to criticize Jimmy Fallon, but I can only tell you what I would have done in that situation: I would have gone to work on Trump. But the thing about it is, you don’t have to concoct a complicated satirical premise to joke about Donald Trump. It’s not, “Two guys walk into a bar …”
On the media’s obsession with covering Trump’s tweets:
Let’s stop that. We don’t need more confirmation that there’s something wrong with Donald Trump. Let’s instead find ways to rebuild what is rational. And the Democrats, goddamn it, get a little backbone, get a little spine. The only person I can trust anymore is Al Franken, who has a great brain and a great heart. I believe what he says.
On whether his 13-year-old son Harry is aware of his long TV career:
I remember Jack Paar came out of retirement after years of being gone. People said to him, “What are you doing?” And he said, “I want my daughter to understand what it is I did.” Well, I don’t feel that way. The other day, I said, “Harry, I get the sense sometimes you don’t like going places with me in public.” And he said, “Well, you have bad people skills. Just be normal.”
On his potential interest in returning to late night TV:
My interest has shifted. When I’m talking about things to do now, it’s not like, God-dang, let’s get right back into comedy. Let’s call the Butterball hotline on Thanksgiving. But bring in Donald Trump or Mike Pence or somebody, and let me smother them with my ignorance.
Head over to Vulture to read the full interview.