Former President Obama and David Letterman have both been reclusive since leaving their respective jobs, but a casually dressed ex-president and hirsute ex-talk show host re-entered the public eye together in the debut of Letterman's new Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. Letterman compared his post-work life to Obama's, per the Daily Beast, noting he spent his time "at Bed, Bath, and Beyond picking out hangers" while Obama was "hang gliding and … climbing volcanoes and … wrestling sharks on somebody's private island." "Something's wrong here," Letterman quipped. Obama said he liked "puttering around the house" now and noted Michelle would have left him if he'd stayed in the White House longer. He also said he was "basically useless" moving daughter Malia into her college dorm, so emotional that it took him a half-hour to set up a desk lamp, per CNN.
There wasn't much talk of the current president, though the conversation did broach the political. When Letterman asked which hypothetical was worse for the US, the "diminishment … of [the] press" by the president or "somebody screwing around with the actual voting process," Obama pointed to a lack of shared basic facts as "one of the biggest challenges." "If you watch Fox News, you are living on a different planet than if you listen to NPR," he said, noting social media makes things even worse. Letterman offered some emotional words at the end of the hourlong interview, telling Obama, "Irrespective of the man or woman who holds the office, you have to respect the office of president. Without a question of a doubt, you are the first president I truly and fully respect." Upcoming guests on Letterman's show include George Clooney, Howard Stern, and Malala Yousafzai. (Read more David Letterman stories.)