Former “Late Show” host David Letterman returned to the stage, in a manner of speaking, on Friday with the first episode of his Netflix special interview series.
His guest: Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States. The interview was taped last fall at the Amsterdam campus of City College in New York.
Much like the current lineup of late-night comedians, Letterman is a big fan of Obama and laid it on plenty thick during their hour-long chat that touched on Obama’s post-presidency, Russian election interference, race and family.
Including Letterman’s repeated joke about referring to Obama as though he was the current occupant of the Oval Office, as a tribute to Letterman’s famous “Late Show” tradition, here are the top 10 most suck-up comments and questions Letterman made in the interview Rolling Stone called “a little too fawning.”
On Obama leaving office
“Palpable sadness on my part, and I think a lot of people experienced it, and I think that happens with any major shift, and then I see you, you’re hang-gliding, and you’re climbing volcanoes and you’re windsurfing and you’re wrestling sharks, and you’re on somebody’s private island, and I’m at Bed, Bath & Beyond looking at, picking out hangers. Something’s wrong here.”
On Obama first taking office
“Two wars and a collapsing economy. Welcome to the gig. Where’s the handbook on that?”
On the economy
“I fall prey to a cliche which I believe I first heard from you, and it goes like this. My son in 20 years will say to me, ‘Wait a minute, you knew this was a problem, you didn’t do anything about it,’ and I apply that to all manner of circumstances in life and in the world. Are we safe from this same thing repeating itself?”
On dreaming Obama was still president
“To hear you describe this in a way that I can understand just makes me so happy you’re still president.”
On Obama’s writing
“I read a book that you wrote, Dreams From My Father. It was such a—what an odyssey, your life. What an odyssey, your early life. How well-written and how dense each period of your life and—one of many things I was taken by was your relationship with your mother. Tell me about that relationship and how you feel now about it.”
On again dreaming Obama was still president
“Mr. President, I know you have to get back to the Oval Office.”
On moving day
“Let’s talk about something you and I have in common: kids. You took your older daughter to college. Was moving more moving than you thought it would be?”
“Are [both your daughters] funny?”
On Obama’s greatness
“You invoke the phrase ‘against all odds, maybe someone who can change or make history.’ You of course described yourself.”
On Obama’s greatness again
“Irrespective of the man or woman who holds the office, you have to respect the office of president. Without a question of a doubt, you are the first president I truly and fully respect.”