August 8, 2018
My Next Guest Needs No Introduction is a talk show in search of absolution.
Thanks for the article. We worshiped at Second Pres, as folks in Indy call it, in April, but my real appreciation here concerns grace. You deal with that well.
I often say that people become ready to receive grace when they realize that there is not a damn thing that they can do to atone for their sin. Maybe Letterman is near that place. I am sure that both of us pray that he does open himself to God's grace.
I appreciate many of the points in this essay, and who could not be a fan of Letterman seeking redemption late in his career for some of his admittedly poor behavior? I do, however, gently resist the implication that Letterman's expansive, grounding-breaking, and often brilliant career in television was somehow not valid or worthwhile because he had character flaws. Letterman revolutionized the talk show. Many of the great comedians of his generation have stated his positive influence (Ray Romano, Conan O'brien, Patton Oswalt) to name a few. Letterman's quick wit was often insightful, corrective of silly, celebrity vanity, and full of wacky joy. The visits by some of his returning guests--Steve Martin, Martin Short, Bill Murray, Julia Roberts--to name a few, represent some of the best television of a generation. In other words, there was a lot of God's grace in Letterman's unique approach to comedy long before he started his Netflix talk show.
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