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If David Letterman could have held on for another year in late night, he would’ve had a good time taking on President Donald Trump.
“If I still had a show, people would have to come and take me off the stage,” Letterman told New York magazine in a new interview. “‘Dave, that’s enough about Trump. We’ve run out of tape.’ It’s all I’d be talking about. I’d be exhausted.”
In previous years, Letterman enjoyed having Trump on his show. They went toe-to-toe several times. In fact, Hillary Clinton used a clip from a 2012 “Late Show” interview – in which Letterman called out Trump for having his Macy’s clothing line made in Asia – in one of her campaign commercials.
“I always regarded him as, if you’re going to have New York City, you gotta have a Donald Trump,” the 69-year-old comedian said. “He was a joke of a wealthy guy. We didn’t take him seriously. 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.”
But that was before Trump was elected president. Letterman says he has stopped finding the real-estate mogul funny in that capacity.
“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,” Letterman said. “We know he’s crazy. We gotta take care of ourselves here now.”
When asked about Jimmy Fallon’s interview with Trump during the election on NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” which observers criticized for its lack of tough questions, Letterman offered how he would have behaved in the situation.
- Getty Images, NBC
“I don’t want to criticize Jimmy Fallon,” he said, “but I can only tell you what I would have done in that situation: I would have gone to work on Trump.”
And if Letterman had a chance to do just that, he already knows what he’d want to cover with the president.
“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 [White House chief strategist] 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.’ 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. Yeah, I would like an hour with Donald Trump – an hour and a half.”