For Showtime’s Season 2 late-night show of Desus & Mero, the Bronx Chopped Cheese Kings of Showtime has to bring in the “motherf***ing OG of Late Night Television,” David Letterman.
On the season two premiere on Monday night, Desus Nice and The Kid Mero sat down with David Letterman to sound off on pop culture, politics, sports and more. The two used to be on Viceland until last year when they jumped to Showtime.
“Thanks for pretending you know who I am,” said a bearded David Letterman, who was the official first guest of the second season.
He said: “I knew about you years ago – promos for your show at your other place…Vice. And I thought Whoa! This is either going to be something… or it’s gonna be nothing. It turned out to be both! And I wanted to be on the show but I didn’t think you wanted me or something. Next thing I know, the thing is enormous.”
Letterman praised the location of their studio and the set. Then he teased Mero. “First of all, one of you spent a Saturday…you woke up at one, rolled a blunt, smoked it, went back to bed. I thought, ‘wow, this guy has a full schedule!”
Changing the topic, Letterman asked: “I think one of you wanted to fight Chris Matthews?”
Laughing, Mero chimed in saying it was Fox on-air talent, Tucker Carlson.
Unfazed, Letterman continued: “I think you wanted to have a slap fight with Rachel Maddow? Has she been on this show?” Desus clarified she was on the show previously and that it was an intellectual slap fight.
The difficult nature of interviewing celebrities was discussed as Letterman shared that he would have to send the offended guests from his show a “lemon tree” as a peace offering. When Desus asked about beefs, Letterman shared that he got into a “great fight with Quentin Tarantino.”
Letterman said: “This was really good. He was upset I found out one guest on the show, her girlfriend was somebody he was dating…a famous star so famous I can’t recall the name. So anyway… and I was saying, ‘no, you’re not dating Quentin Tarantino!” …now I am joking! So I am thinking the idea is Quentin Tarantino is a movie store nerd, you would have to rent films and have to return them…please be kind and rewind!”
After joking about their collective ages on the set, saying they looked like a Lipitor ad, Letterman continued. “Oh no you’re not dating that self described film nerd…that’s how he got his start in Arizona, so now I am pretending I am stunned that this gorgeous movie star is dating this little squirrely guy.”
Two days later, Letterman’s assistant got a call from Tarantino, who started to scream at him, “I am gonna beat the crap out of you, how can you say that about me!”
Letterman then got his producer Rob to pick the call up to hear Quentin rant on and on. “The guy is full blown clinically goofy.”
Letterman asked how he wanted to be beaten. A bat was suggested. The call went on and on. “The guy wouldn’t cool off, and that was it. We don’t hear from him for quite a while.”
The second part of the story was hilarious, according to Letterman, who shared that years later that he was to be on the show to promote Inglorious Basterds. “You guys are just great, you got Showtime by the nuts?” The conversation went sideways for a spell.
Finishing his Tarantino story, Letterman met him in the makeup room. “I go in there and he is with his publicist. I say ‘Hi Quentin, remember that thing when you were gonna beat me and we had a plane ticket waiting?'”
Letterman said to Desus & Mero: “So I am not quite sure if I provoked it or he did, but I [said to him] think you owe me an apology. His publicist kept saying, apologize…apologize…so finally he apologizes but I could tell he wasn’t quite sure he thought he owed me an apology.”
Commenting on how the guys were able to jump networks so easily, Letterman asked: “How did you guys wedge yourself out of Viceland and get to Showtime? Because you know once you are in somewhere, you are stuck! But you had a deal, and Viceland must have known what they had, so Showtime swoops in and says ‘ How about us?'”
Then the guys asked Letterman about his Netflix deal, and the network “driving the bag of money” to Letterman’s house.
Letterman explained why he went for the Netflix deal. “I missed being on TV talking to people…especially if you’re drunk! [looks at Mero]. Netflix are so nice and so pleasant, and we’ll give you a little show. I haven’t had to send anybody a little citrus tree since I’ve done it.”
What are Desus & Mero drinking?
Desus is drinking “a light Pilsner” while Mero is tucking into Brugal Rum made evident by the signature netting on the bottle, a Dominican brand.
Letterman shared he only drank decaffeinated coffee. Desus asked how long he had been sober. Letterman didn’t miss a beat: “Oh that’s right I used to be an alcoholic!”
“How do we know when you are sh**faced? asked Letterman to Mero, who played it off: “You don’t!”
Dave’s Neon Sign:
Desus & Mero infamously end their celebrity interviews by asking what they would like their neon sign to say. In the case of David Letterman, his would say, “We’re the Same.”
Desus & Mero clips
You can watch Desus & Mero’s extended interview with David Letterman below.
This Thursday, Desus & Mero will sit down with a special returning guest, Bronx representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Desus & Mero airs Monday and Thursday nights at 11/10c from New York City on Showtime.