Review: My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman

Kanye West on David Letterman's television show
Image Source: Rolling Stone

As David Letterman retired from hosting his late-night television show for over 30 years, all eyes were on the television icon’s next move. But only a few years later, Letterman returned with the first season of his new show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman airing on Netflix on January 12th, 2018. Last week on May 31st, the show’s second season aired with a whole new array of guests, entertaining skits and compelling conversations.

The main element that strikes me about the production of My Next Guest is how low-key it is. The stage is sparse, with only two chairs and a couple of big lights in the background, most of them turned off. Letterman interacts with his audience only in the form of casual conversations or short quips. The show is almost entirely built off of Letterman’s interactions with his “fascinating” guests, either in the conversation on stage or the terrific clips portraying Letterman experiencing the everyday life of his guests, from doing a fashion show with Kanye West to gardening with Tiffany Haddish.

I may be slightly biased in saying that Kanye West was the most entertaining guest of the season. Watching his eccentric and huge personality clash with Letterman’s casual and crowd-pleasing demeanor was a beautiful explosion to this mostly relaxed show. But the series is fully focused on its guests, and with comedians like Ellen Degeneres and Tiffany Haddish, popular figures like Melinda Gates and sports heroes like Lewis Hamilton, it’s not hard to see how everyone brings their own qualities to this human-centered show.

The only complaint I could possibly see someone having is that My Next Guest is too laid back, and compared to Letterman’s other ventures on television, features significantly fewer jokes. But true to the title, My Next Guest is more about the experiences and stories of its guests, and that’s where it truly shines.