A couple of nights ago, David Letterman was on The Late Late Show, which is being hosted by a series of celebrity guests until James Corden takes over in late March. During his interview with Regis Philbin — who was hosting on Tuesday — Letterman asked, “Where is the tubby kid?” and suggested that the fact that Corden would need a few months before taking over was a red flag.
“Where’s the tubby kid who is taking over the show? … How bad does he want to do the show? Where is he? Why are we talking to you? … How bad does he want it? Where is he? There aren’t that many shows. If I’ve invested my money in a guy to do a show, and he says, ‘I’m going to need a couple of months,’ I think that’s a flag.
Anyway, the network — which took over production of The Late Late Show from Letterman’s production company, Worldwide Pants, after Letterman announced his retirement — didn’t much care for that. Dave recounts that he got an angry phone call from the Late Late Show producers complaining about Letterman’s description of Corden, and he responded accordingly by apologizing in a perfect Letterman-esque way, which is to say that he was so effusive in his apology that he probably made the people who asked for it feel very, very small for making such a silly request.
You kind have to watch it to get the tone (it’s not embeddable, but the YouTube video is here). It’s clear that he isn’t really sorry. “I apologize from the bottom of my heart for calling the kid tubby,” he said. “I apologize to your friends, family, and relatives, and please, I hope you find it in your heart to forgive me.”
Is the apology proportional to the slight? Is it dripping with condescension? Does Dave give a shit? Nope. He’s out in four months, and he’ll say whatever he goddamn well pleases, thank you very much.