David Letterman gör som bekant sitt sista program av Late Show den 20 maj. Och nyligen intervjuades han av New York Times i ett fint porträtt som visar en lugnare och mer till freds Letterman än vi kanske varit vana vid. Och en som är öppen för en framtid på tv även efter Late Show-pensioneringen. Läs hela intervjun här, ett utdrag kommer nedan:
Om konkurrensen med yngre programledare:
”Did the ascent of hosts like Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel push you out of the job?
– No, they didn’t push me out. I’m 68. If I was 38, I’d probably still be wanting to do the show. When Jay was on, I felt like Jay and I are contemporaries. Every time he would get a show at 11:30, he would succeed smartly. And so I thought, This is still viable — an older guy in a suit. And then he left, and I suddenly was surrounded by the Jimmys.”
Om efterträdaren Stephen Colbert:
”Did you have any involvement in choosing Stephen Colbert as your successor?
– No. Not my show. When we sign off, we’re out of business with CBS. I always thought Jon Stewart would have been a good choice. And then Stephen. And then I thought, well, maybe this will be a good opportunity to put a black person on, and it would be a good opportunity to put a woman on. Because there are certainly a lot of very funny women that have television shows everywhere. So that would have made sense to me as well.”
Om rivaliteten med Jay Leno:
”When you moved to CBS, so much was made of your rivalry with Jay Leno. In retrospect, do you feel like this was overblown?
– No, I don’t think so. It would have happened if I’d have gotten the “Tonight” show, and he would have come here. I think people are curious to see, well, what will happen? And we prevailed for a while, and then I lost my way a little bit. Quite a little bit. And at that point, there was not much I could do about it. People just liked watching his show more than they liked watching my show.
Om sexskandalen 2009:
What about in 2009, when you revealed that you were the target of an extortion attempt stemming from your sexual relationships with female staffers?
– Oh, yes. My sex scandal. That’s right.
Did you think that was going to be the end of your career?
– Looking at it now, yes, I think they would have had good reason to fire me. But at the time, I was largely ignorant as to what, really, I had done. It just seemed like, O.K., well, here’s somebody who had an intimate relationship with somebody he shouldn’t have had an intimate relationship with. And I always said, “Well, who hasn’t?” to myself. But then, when I was able to see from the epicenter, the ripples, I thought, yeah, they could have fired me. But they didn’t. So I owe them that.
Did you think people were surprised to hear you talk about these matters so candidly?
– I didn’t know what else to do. I couldn’t think of a really good lie.”
”Even though you won’t be on CBS at 11:35 p.m. anymore, do you think you might come back in another form fairly quickly?
– It just depends on the number of bridges I’ve burned. I don’t know how long this has been going on, but Jane Pauley is now on the CBS “Sunday Morning” show. Perfect fit. So I thought, by God, good for Jane. That’s a lovely thing for her to have now. So maybe one day, something of that level will happen to me.”