David Letterman has some opinions about the Trump administration, but he no longer has a TV show on which to share them.
“I’m lonely, I can’t stop talking,” he warned New York magazine writer David Marchese during an extensive new interview. “This is like visitors’ day at prison for me.”
One of the topics he couldn’t stop talking about was President Donald Trump. “I think you have an obligation” to take on Trump as a comedian, he said, though he declined to comment on how the current crop of late-night hosts has been handling the new administration.
“I can’t say much about these shows, because I just don’t watch them,” Letterman said. “Can you imagine not doing Trump jokes? That would seem bizarre.”
Letterman’s comments in the interview made clear that were he still on the air, he’d be doing plenty of material on the president himself. “He would really rather not have a society where free speech was going to be a factor. I’m telling you, there’s something between him and the Russians,” he said. “I’m sure the Russians groomed Trump.”
Letterman regularly had Trump on his show starting in the 1980s, which gave the former “Late Show” host a unique perspective on the new president.
“He was a joke of a wealthy guy. We didn’t take him seriously,” he said. “He’d sit down, and I would just start making fun of him. He never had any retort. He was big and doughy, and you could beat him up. He seemed to have a good time, and the audience loved it, and that was Donald Trump.”
Letterman admitted that he even considered reaching out to the then-president-elect in the days following the election because of his history with Trump.
“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,” Letterman said of a hypothetical new interview with Trump. “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.’”
“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,” he said. “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.”