The Letterman on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction is a far cry from the Dave on NBC's Late Night and even CBS' The Late Show. "Over the years, Letterman has evolved away from his acerbic, experimental roots, but on his Netflix show, which centers on long conversations with famous people, he can seem like a bizarro version of the talk-show host who once revolutionized late night: a cheerful, earnest man, deferential to fame, a Letterman without irony," says Jason Zinoman, who wrote a biography on Letterman. My Next Guest Needs No Introduction is also noteworthy, he says, because there aren't many laughs. "No late-night talk show host ever displayed more antagonism toward show business," says Zinoman of Letterman's old reputation. "He didn’t just mock the obsession with celebrities; he teased them to their face, displaying studious indifference to the projects they were promoting and a smirking skepticism to their hints of pretentiousness, self-importance or eccentricity. When he said he had 'an insatiable appetite about celebrities,' he clearly meant the opposite. David Letterman once terrified stars (not to mention their publicists and managers) so much that the fear of being a guest was the subject of a short story by David Foster Wallace. Kanye West is exactly the kind of grandiose character whom Letterman would once have approached with rigorous Everyman sarcasm, and in their conversation, the rapper provided plenty of opportunity for eye rolls, like when he said he would know his work was done when there was world peace." Zinoman also pointed to last week's revealing WTF podcast interview with Marc Maron, noting that Letterman "sounds like he’s looking for a new, redemptive chapter in his storied career, someone who now grasps there are more important things than comedy."