At long last, the new season of Norm Macdonald Live just premiered online, and the first episode is an hourlong chat between Macdonald and David Letterman. The two talk about Macdonald’s book, their experience with psychiatrists, their shared love of George Miller, the time Letterman met Richard Nixon, his heart surgery, his decades hosting shows both in the morning and on late night, his thoughts on today’s late night shows, and much more. Macdonald, unsurprisingly, continues to be an excellent interviewer with questions like this: “Why is it, when you walk down the street, there’s not half the people with nooses around their necks? What makes life insist?” Here’s an excerpt where Letterman explains why he named his show Late Night with David Letterman instead of Late Night Starring David Letterman:
Letterman: I was embarrassed. I could not possibly, and still don’t, consider myself a star, because I couldn’t refer to myself as a star. Macdonald: Oh, so it had nothing to do with Carson? Letterman: Oh no no no no no no. Johnny Carson was a star – there’s no question of that. So for me to adopt that – “Starring Dave Letterman” – that was just ridiculous. In the same way, I always cringe a little when people refer to the folks who watch their show as their “fans.” I just think that’s a little too…you know, you kind of just stepped over the line of basic humility there. So to call myself a star didn’t go.
Watch the full interview above.