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Shannon Penrod: David Letterman for the Win



My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman (Season 4) A+ Netflix

Movies, television, theater, and the written word are the context in which I make sense of life and how I feel about it. I am unapologetic about this. It is who I am, but it does mean I sometimes see things through rose-tinted glasses. I am always hopeful for the happy ending. So, like billions of people around the world I tuned into the Oscars with excitement and anticipation. I wanted to see Riz Ahmed win an Oscar for his amazing short, The Long Goodbye – he did win, but we didn’t get to see it live; we got to see an edited recording of it. I wanted to revel in Summer of Soul winning best doc and I was hoping upon hope that CODA was going to win best picture. Of course, everybody knows these things happened, but I watched them with ash in my mouth, stunned, struggling to make sense of a world that no longer seemed to make sense. You know what happened. But did anyone understand it? I didn’t, and I wanted to. Then everyone talked about it until all of us just wanted to globally vomit. There was so much talking and no sense. How could this have happened? I needed someone to help me get a grapple on this thing I could not understand.
Then I watched season 4 of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman. Look, if you don’t like David Letterman, I don’t want to argue with you, but let’s agree we can’t be friends. But! Even if you (wrongly) don’t LOVE David Letterman, even if you (wrongly) can’t stand him, you OWE it to yourself and MANKIND to watch Season 4: Episode 2. Dave interviews Will Smith, before the Oscars – and yet, it is all there. Everything I needed to understand what happened…all there. Like a freaking road map. It still wasn’t right. I’m not excusing or condoning…but I get it now. Thank you, David Letterman. Let the healing begin. Watch it. Tell me if I am wrong.
For those of you who understand the brilliance of David Letterman (those of you who are right) you will find the rest of the season deliciously, brilliantly fabulous as well. His other guests are Billie Eilish, Cardi B, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Durant, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. It’s so good, it is ridiculous. Dave’s self-effacing, apologetic, effortless interview style is like a stealth bomb seeking the truth and finding brilliance in the most interesting places. I had never heard of Kevin Durant before, stop judging me, and now I also want to be his friend. Each of the interviews is a masterclass in the art of conversation; each will leave you wanting more Dave.
I thought I couldn’t be a bigger fan of David Letterman than I already am, and yet here we are. I feel like the Grinch and my heart grew 10 sizes, all for Dave. Catch season’s 1-4 of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman on Netflix.
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