David Letterman Wanted a Female ‘Late Show’ Host, Is Otherwise DGAF
Anyone following David Letterman (and his giant beard)’s post-retirement from The Late Show can’t help a smile at the veteran comic’s irreverent outlook. To wit, Letterman reveals in a new interview that he “couldn’t care less” about Stephen Colbert’s new Late Show, or any other series out there, wondering why the job didn’t go to a female host.
Speaking with Tom Brokaw, Letterman flippantly revealed that his disinterest in the future of late-night surprised even him, as if a tremendous weight had been lifted after leaving The Late Show in Colbert’s hands. Asked if he missed being on CBS night after night, Letterman offered (via Entertainment Weekly):
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.
Perhaps surprisingly, Letterman even joined the chorus clamoring for less homogeny in the late-night landscape, seeming disappointed The Late Show didn’t replace him with a female host:
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.
That’s certainly going to strike a chord with Colbert, whose own Late Night iteration has experienced significant turnover in its creative staff, and otherwise failed to deliver expected ratings boosts. Letterman had no hand in the selection process, per his own admission, but would have female host have made for a more effective transition?
You can catch the full On Assignment interview Sunday, June 12 at 7:00 P.M. on NBC News.