Late Show host David Letterman’s signature top 10 list had a presidential theme on Monday: the top questions “dumb guys” ask the president. Question No. 2 happened to get answered that very night: “Will you be a guest on one of my late shows?”
As Letterman counts down the days until his final show on May 20, he was joined by President Obama, who is also heading towards retirement when he leaves office on Jan. 20, 2017.
The two alternated between sincere appreciation and goofy jokes in Obama’s eighth and final appearance on “The Late Show” (and third since becoming president). Letterman asked what Obama would do once he leaves the White House.
“I was thinking, you and me we could play some dominoes together,” Obama joked. “We could go to the local Starbucks and swap stories.”
Later, Obama offered praise for Letterman’s 22 years on “The Late Show.”
“We’ve grown up with you,” he said. “The country, I think has after a tough day at the office or coming home from work, knowing you’ve been there to give us a little bit of joy, a little bit of laughter, it has meant so much. You’re a part of all of us.”
The two also talked about last week’s protests in Baltimore and recent unrest around the country in response to police shootings. Letterman asked Obama if he believes the country is facing a period of racial strife.
Obama said that while he thinks things are “leaps and bounds” better in America in terms of race. “When I was born it was illegal for my parents to be married. The problems that we see with law enforcement, that used to be the law,” he said.
But he added that dealing with the country’s racial past and its current problems requires vigilance, comparing it to “tending a garden.”
“One thing I know about America is that when we decide to solve a problem, we can. This problem is solvable. … We have to come together and say what works and how we’re going to make it better.”