My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman

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My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman
GenreTalk show
Directed by
  • Michael Bonfiglio
  • Mark A. Ritchie
  • Michael Steed
Presented byDavid Letterman
ComposerPaul Shaffer
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes26
Executive producers
  • Aaron Bergeron
  • Mary Barclay
  • Louise Shelton
  • Charles Gant
  • Jonathan Cianfrani
  • Bronwen Epstein
  • Helen Cho
  • Aaron Latham-James
  • Sonia Lisette
  • Will Thwaites
  • Jenny Morrissey
  • Susan Rousseau
  • Tommy Alter
  • Declan Quinn
  • Kenneth F. Wales
  • Cameron Barnett
  • Brandon Alperin
  • Jeremy Leach
  • Ethan Mills
  • Mo Fallon
  • Jesse Gordon
  • Edward A. Bishop
  • Paul Little
  • Dave Marcus
  • Dave Carter
  • Claude Shires
  • Jon Philpot
  • Jennifer Gill McGarrity
  • Tom Patterson
  • Dan O'Brien
  • Christopher Dillon
  • Cori Wapnowska
  • Jasmin Way
  • Brian Ray
  • Matt Askinazi
Running time44–61 minutes
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseJanuary 12, 2018 (2018-01-12) –
present (present)

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman (commonly referred to as My Next Guest) is an American television talk show hosted by David Letterman that premiered on January 12, 2018, on Netflix. The series consists of interviews with one guest per episode both inside and outside a studio setting. The show has received generally positive reviews, with its format, Letterman's hosting, choice of guests, and insightful conversations receiving praise. My Next Guest has been nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special four times.



On August 8, 2017, Netflix announced it had ordered a six-episode interview series starring David Letterman. Each hour-long episode was set to feature Letterman conducting a long-form conversation with a single guest and in-the-field segments, in which he would explore topics on his own.[1]

On January 5, 2018, it was announced that Letterman's guests in the first season would include Barack Obama, George Clooney, Malala Yousafzai, Jay-Z, Tina Fey, and Howard Stern. It was also announced that the series would premiere on January 12, 2018, with Letterman's interview with Obama. This interview was Obama's first since leaving office.[2][3]

On December 14, 2018, it was announced that Netflix had renewed the series for a second season consisting of six episodes.[4] On May 31, 2019, five new episodes were released. On June 21, a bonus episode was released.


The show's theme song and bridging music were written and recorded by Letterman's long-time bandleader, Paul Shaffer.[5] Soon after it was announced publicly that Netflix had given the series an order, Shaffer received a phone call from Letterman asking him to work on the show. Soon after, Shaffer began to receive cuts of episodes from the first season and he started to put music in afterwards where the director thought it was needed.[6]

In developing the sound of the show's music, Shaffer initially looked to Letterman for guidance. Finding none, he remembered his and Letterman's shared love for the sort of music produced at the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama describing it as "the honesty you hear, the southern soul feeling." The score initially included drums but the show's producers and director thought that the music should "feel like it's Dave's old friend Paul playing," so it was ultimately stripped down to solely include piano, organ, and bass guitar.[6]


Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast released
16January 12, 2018 (2018-01-12)May 31, 2018 (2018-05-31)
BonusMay 8, 2018 (2018-05-08)
25May 31, 2019 (2019-05-31)
BonusJune 21, 2019 (2019-06-21)
SpecialOctober 25, 2019 (2019-10-25)
34October 21, 2020 (2020-10-21)
46May 20, 2022 (2022-05-20)
SpecialDecember 12, 2022 (2022-12-12)
SpecialApril 30, 2024 (2024-04-30)

Season 1 (2018)[edit]

No. in
TitleGuestOriginal release date
11"Barack Obama"
"It's a Whole New Ball Game Now"[a]
Barack ObamaJanuary 12, 2018 (2018-01-12)
Cold open: Letterman interviewing then-President Obama on Late Show with David Letterman.
On-location segment: Walking with Congressman John Lewis across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, site of the civil rights movement's Bloody Sunday in 1965.
22"George Clooney"
"You Be the Newsman, I'll Be Liz Taylor"[a]
George ClooneyFebruary 9, 2018 (2018-02-09)
Cold open: Letterman and Clooney outside of LAX watching planes land and eating fast food.
On-location segment: At the home of Nick Clooney meeting Iraqi refugee Hazim Avdal whom the Clooney family is sponsoring.
33"Malala Yousafzai"
"You Know, She Has a Nobel Peace Prize"[a]
Malala YousafzaiMarch 9, 2018 (2018-03-09)
Cold open: Letterman accompanies Yousafzai as she leads a tour group at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.
On-location segment: Yousafzai continues to lead the tour group as Letterman tags along, the pair browse in the University of Oxford shop, and Letterman eats lunch with Yousafzai's father.
"I Had a Paper Route Too"[a]
Jay-ZApril 6, 2018 (2018-04-06)
Cold open: None
On-location segment: Letterman visits Shangri La Studio, speaks with music producer Rick Rubin and listens to Madison Ryann Ward recording.
55"Tina Fey"
"It's Just Land Mine Hopscotch"[a]
Tina FeyMay 4, 2018 (2018-05-04)
Cold open: None
On-location segment: Letterman and Blues musician Buddy Guy eat chicken and fries at the Athenian Room, one of Tina Fey's Chicago hangouts, while talking about the origins of the Chicago Blues. Later, Guy performs “Skin Deep”, accompanied by Paul Shaffer, at his nightclub, Buddy Guy’s Legends.
66"Howard Stern"Howard SternMay 31, 2018 (2018-05-31)
Cold open: Letterman interviewing Stern on Late Night with David Letterman.
On-location segment: Letterman rides horses with paleontologist/geologist Christa Sadler at Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument.

Bonus (2018)[edit]

TitleGuestOriginal release date
7"You're David Letterman, You Idiot"Jerry SeinfeldMay 8, 2018 (2018-05-08)
In a behind-the-scenes Netflix event, Jerry Seinfeld and David Letterman interview each other.

Season 2 (2019)[edit]

No. in
TitleGuestOriginal release date
81"Kanye West"Kanye WestMay 31, 2019 (2019-05-31)
On-location segment: David visits Kanye's house and tries some of his clothes.
92"Ellen DeGeneres"Ellen DeGeneresMay 31, 2019 (2019-05-31)
On-location segment: Behind the scenes on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
103"Tiffany Haddish"Tiffany HaddishMay 31, 2019 (2019-05-31)
On-location segment: David joins Tiffany Haddish in her backyard to do some gardening.[7]
114"Lewis Hamilton"Lewis HamiltonMay 31, 2019 (2019-05-31)
On-location segment: Letterman races young drivers on a go-kart track; Hamilton drives laps in a 2019 Mercedes AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+ and drives Letterman around a circuit in a Mercedes-AMG E63, Letterman drives Hamilton in a station wagon.[8] Lewis Hamilton's father, Anthony Hamilton, is in the audience.
125"Melinda Gates"Melinda GatesMay 31, 2019 (2019-05-31)
On-location segment: Gates joins Letterman in a self-driving car simulator; Letterman meets Bill Gates at the offices of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.[9]

Bonus (2019)[edit]

TitleGuestOriginal release date
13"Zach Galifianakis"Zach GalifianakisJune 21, 2019 (2019-06-21)
Joining Dave at a special Netflix event, Zach Galifianakis pays tribute to childhood idols and shares juicy tidbits from the Between Two Ferns set.

Special (2019)[edit]

TitleGuestOriginal release date
14"My Next Guest with David Letterman and Shah Rukh Khan"Shah Rukh KhanOctober 25, 2019 (2019-10-25)
"King of Bollywood" Shah Rukh Khan opens up about his rise to fame, his family, and his billions of fans as he and David meet up in Mumbai and New York.

Season 3 (2020)[edit]

No. in
TitleGuestOriginal release date
151"Kim Kardashian West"Kim Kardashian WestOctober 21, 2020 (2020-10-21)
On-location segment: Kardashian and Letterman shop for test supplies in a CVS Pharmacy.
162"Robert Downey Jr."Robert Downey Jr.October 21, 2020 (2020-10-21)
On-location segment: At the home of Robert Downey Jr. in Malibu checking Robert’s mini-zoo.
173"Dave Chappelle"Dave ChappelleOctober 21, 2020 (2020-10-21)
On-location segment: An audience at "Chappelle Summer Camp", Chappelle walks Letterman through his hometown of Yellow Springs, Ohio[10]
184"Lizzo"LizzoOctober 21, 2020 (2020-10-21)
Music superstar Lizzo invites Dave to lay down a track at her home studio as they chat about flutes, protests, her time working with Prince and more.

Season 4 (2022)[edit]

No. in
TitleGuest(s)Original release date
191"Billie Eilish"Billie Eilish, Finneas O'ConnellMay 20, 2022 (2022-05-20)
Dave visits Billie Eilish to discuss inspiration, influences and imposter syndrome — and even manages to work in a little go-karting and Auto-tuning.
202"Will Smith"Will SmithMay 20, 2022 (2022-05-20)
Will Smith recalls his rap origins, the lasting impact of his parents, spiritual explorations, and one very fateful night at Quincy Jones' house.
213"Cardi B"Cardi BMay 20, 2022 (2022-05-20)
Cardi B and Dave split a chopped cheese in a Bronx bodega and chat hooky parties, hip-hop, parenting, political science and protesting injustice.
224"Ryan Reynolds"Ryan ReynoldsMay 20, 2022 (2022-05-20)
Ryan Reynolds makes pizza for Dave while he discusses his youth in Canada, early days as an actor, life as a father and love of Welsh football.
235"Kevin Durant"Kevin DurantMay 20, 2022 (2022-05-20)
Dave and Kevin Durant go one-on-one in basketball, shuffleboard and conversation as they cover family, focus, trash-talking, social media and more.
246"Julia Louis-Dreyfus"Julia Louis-DreyfusMay 20, 2022 (2022-05-20)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus takes Dave fishing and talks growing up with two families, serving Gumby tea on Saturday Night Live and reality overtaking fiction with Veep.

Special (2022)[edit]

TitleGuestOriginal release date
25"My Next Guest with David Letterman and Volodymyr Zelenskyy"Volodymyr ZelenskyyDecember 12, 2022 (2022-12-12)
Dave travels to Kyiv to sit down with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy in front of a small live audience on a subway station.

Special (2024)[edit]

TitleGuestOriginal release date
26"My Next Guest with David Letterman and John Mulaney"John MulaneyApril 30, 2024 (2024-04-30)
John Mulaney returns to his Chicago high school with David Letterman as they candidly discuss addiction, fatherhood and the state of stand-up comedy.


Critical response[edit]

The first season of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction has been met with a positive response from critics. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds an 83% approval rating with an average rating of 6.79 out of 10 based on 29 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "My Next Guest may not be groundbreaking, but a more intimate setting provides ample room for intelligent, insightful interviews with interesting subjects that go beyond standard late-night conversations."[11] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the season a score of 70 out of 100 based on 13 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[12]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2018 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Informational Series or Special My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman Nominated [13]
2019 Nominated
2021 Nominated
2022 Nominated


  1. ^ a b c d e This is the original episode title at the time of release. It was later replaced with the featured guest's name.


  1. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 8, 2017). "David Letterman Returns To Television With Netflix Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  2. ^ Hipes, Patrick (January 5, 2018). "David Letterman's Netflix Show To Bow January 12 With Barack Obama As First Guest". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  3. ^ Lewis, Hilary (January 5, 2018). "David Letterman's Netflix Talk Show Sets Barack Obama as First Guest". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  4. ^ Petski, Denise (December 14, 2018). "David Letterman's 'My Next Guest' Renewed For Season 2 By Netflix". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  5. ^ Stuever, Hank (January 12, 2018). "Review: Letterman sits down with Obama, but both men seem rusty and off their game". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Leight, Elias (February 2, 2018). "Paul Shaffer on Writing Letterman's Netflix Theme Song & the Value of Humor in Pop". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  7. ^ Harris, Susan (June 5, 2019). "Gardening with Tiffany Haddish and Dave Letterman". GardenRant.
  8. ^ Wilson, Kevin A. (June 6, 2019). "David Letterman and Lewis Hamilton Hit the Track Together". Car and Driver.
  9. ^ "Melinda Gates and David Letterman talk tech, philanthropy, music and more on Netflix show". GeekWire. June 2, 2019.
  10. ^ Gentile, Dan (October 26, 2020). "Dave Chappelle discusses SF on Letterman's Netflix show". SFGATE. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
  11. ^ "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  12. ^ "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman: Season 1". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  13. ^ "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  14. ^ Hipes, Patrick (July 12, 2018). "Emmy Nominations: 'Game Of Thrones, 'The Americans', 'Atlanta', Defending Champ 'Handmaid's Tale' Among Top Nominees". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  15. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (September 9, 2018). "Anthony Bourdain, 'Jesus Christ Superstar' and 'Saturday Night Live' Win Big on Night 2 of Creative Arts Emmy Awards". Variety. Retrieved September 14, 2018.

External links[edit]