That David Letterman’s current dream interview would be President Trump comes as little surprise. After retiring in May 2015 and seemingly vanishing from the media landscape, Letterman’s been benched while others in late-night TV skewer politics like they’re shooting fish in a barrel.
“I would just start with a list,” Letterman, 69, told New York magazine’s Vulture, describing how he’d conduct a sit-down with a guy he used to consider a “Late Night” punching bag.
“‘You did this. You did that. Don’t you feel stupid for having done that, Don?” After calling Trump advisor Stephen K. Bannon a “white supremacist,” Letterman added, “Come on, Don, we both know you’re lying. Now, stop it.’ I think I would be in the position to give him a bit of a scolding and he would have to sit there and take it. Yeah, I would like an hour with Donald Trump, an hour and a half.”
Contrast that with how he approached Trump in the past.
“We didn’t take him seriously. He’d sit down, and I would just start making fun of him. He never had any retort. He was big and doughy, and you could beat him up. He seemed to have a good time, and the audience loved it, and that was Donald Trump,” Letterman said.
These days, though, the former late-night host’s concerns are less far-reaching than grilling the leader of the free world.
“It’s still hard,” he said of navigating life as a civilian. “I have trouble operating the phone. That’s the God’s truth. I needed a pair of shoelaces. And I thought, ‘Hell, where do you get shoelaces?’ ”
A friend tipped him off to Designer Shoe Warehouse, where after what appears to have been a rather traumatic hour he was able to lay hands on the laces.
“It’s a building the size of the Pentagon. It’s enormous. If you took somebody from — I don’t know, pick a country where they don’t have Designer Shoe Warehouses — blindfolded them and turned them loose in this place, they would just think, ‘You people are insane.’ Who needs this many shoes? It’s sinful,” Letterman said. “It’s one of these places where there’s no employees and every now and then there’s just a scrum of shoe boxes.”
He’s more comfortable, he said, in the bait-and-tackle shop near his house where he can buy live bait and get advice on where to fish for large-mouth bass and nobody summons him by calling out, “May I help our next shoe lover, please?”
Sounds like a place with very few fish in a barrel.
Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles TimesDavid Letterman