David Letterman and his retirement beard sat down for an exclusive interview with Tom Brokaw last week. A chunk of the interview aired on Friday’s Today Show, and the full interview airs tonight on NBC, although people were discussing some of the quotes throughout the week. While I always connect Letterman and Jon Stewart in my mind – their retirements came very close together – I think Letterman is the one who really did run out of f—ks to give. Jon Stewart didn’t stop caring, I think he just got burned out on caring too much. Like, between those two guys, I think Jon might actually miss it a little bit. Anyway, Letterman sat down for the interview with his friend Brokaw and Letterman was as blunt as always. Some highlights:
Why he grew a retirement beard: “I always told myself, when the show goes away, I will stop shaving. I had to shave every day from 20 until I was 68 — roughly every day. And I got so sick and tired of it.”
On Donald Trump: “I understand that he’s repugnant to people… The men putting together the Constitution, witnessing this election, wouldn’t they have just said, ‘That’s part of the way we set it up. Good luck’? [But]… There’s nothing illegal going on. It’s just he’s despicable.”
Whether he misses doing late night: “You know, I don’t. And it’s interesting. I thought for sure I would. And then, the first day of Stephen’s show, when he went on the air, an energy left me and I felt like, ‘You know, that’s not my problem anymore.’ And I’ve kind of felt that way ever since. I devoted so much time to the damage of other aspects of my life. The concentrated, fixated, focusing on that … it’s good now to not have that. I couldn’t care less about late-night television. I’m happy for the guys – men and women – there should be more women. And I don’t know why they didn’t give my show to a woman. That would have been fine. You know, I’m happy for their success. And they’re doing things I couldn’t do. So that’s great.”
Some have wondered if Letterman was taking a swipe at Stephen Colbert. I don’t know. Was he? I can’t tell. I think Letterman liked Colbert a lot, but Letterman has always said that he didn’t get a say in who replaced him. I do get the feeling that if Letterman was choosing, he would have gone with someone like Tina Fey? And who’s to say Fey didn’t get an approach and she turned it down? But yes, there are some concerns that Colbert won’t last one more year on The Late Show. What’s particularly rough is that Colbert doesn’t seem to be enjoying himself at all on network television.
As for Letterman calling Trump “despicable”… no lies detected.
Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.