Speed Reads

late night

David Letterman explains how he fell out of love with late night television

David Letterman is not dead yet. "With years of vitality left, he has been trying, since his Late Show farewell in May 2015, to figure out what his next step should be," The New York Times reports. But while the 69-year-old is unsure what exactly his future holds, he knows for sure what won't be in it: "I don't miss late-night television,” he told the Times. "And I'm a little embarrassed that, for 33 years, it was the laser focus of my life."

What [Letterman] is clear he does not want, and does not miss, is the platform provided by a nightly talk show, where he and [Paul] Shaffer could riff on current events — "Something about it, it just left us," he said. Not even the final throes of a presidential election whose undulations grow wilder by the day made him nostalgic for this.

"It's too big a job," said Mr. Letterman, who was nonetheless pleased to see one of his old Late Show segments, in which he mocked Donald J. Trump for outsourcing his clothing line to Asia, used in an advertisement for the Hillary Clinton campaign. [The New York Times]

While late night might not have the appeal it used to for Letterman, he is not quitting TV altogether. His brief appearance in the new documentary series, Years of Living Dangerously, made him enthusiastic about "doing television that aims to educate a mass audience on serious subjects." Letterman also expressed his admiration for absurdist comedies like Veep and Portlandia.

"I keep saying, jeez, I still think I can do something," Letterman said. Read more about his post-Late Night life at The New York Times.