David Letterman has been quiet since retiring from The Late Show in 2015, but now he's back and more ornery than ever. "Yeah, it’s asshole again. He’s back," Letterman said in a recent interview with David Marchese of Vulture, who chatted with him about the role late-night talk show hosts should play in President Donald Trump's America.
Letterman says that Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert and other hosts have a responsibility to tackle Donald Trump head-on. "I think you have an obligation," Letterman said. "Comedy’s one of the ways that we can protect ourselves" from Trump becoming a dictator. "That press conference that he held berating the news media? I mean, how do you build a dictatorship? First, you undermine the press: 'The only truth you’re going to hear is from me.'"
So far, Letterman is most impressed with Alec Baldwin, whose impersonation of the president has enraged Trump so much that some have wondered if the actor might get assassinated over it. "Alec Baldwin deserves a Presidential Medal of Freedom," Letterman said. "Sadly, he’s not going to get it from this president."
And getting on Trump's nerves might be the best way for comedians to take down the commander-in-chief. "The man has such thin skin," Letterman added. "It’s distracting the batter. Eventually Trump’s going to take a fastball off the sternum and have to leave the game."
He also reflected on Jimmy Fallon's squandered chance to skewer Trump during the 2016 election. Instead of asking hard-hitting questions, Fallon mussed his orange hair.
"I don’t want to criticize Jimmy Fallon, but I can only tell you what I would have done in that situation: I would have gone to work on Trump," Letterman said. "I would just start with a list. 'You did this. You did that. Don’t you feel stupid for having done that, Don? And who’s this goon Steve Bannon, and why do you want a white supremacist as one of your advisers? Come on, Don, we both know you’re lying. Now, stop it.' I think I would be in the position to give him a bit of a scolding and he would have to sit there and take it. Yeah, I would like an hour with Donald Trump; an hour and a half."
"Trump’s the president and he can lie about anything from the time he wakes up to what he has for lunch and he’s still the president. I don’t get that. I’m tired of people being bewildered about everything he says: 'I can’t believe he said that.' We gotta stop that and instead figure out ways to protect ourselves from him. We know he’s crazy. We gotta take care of ourselves here now."
Check out the full interview here.
Banner image: twitter.com/@Letterman