David Letterman is ditching the signature striped ties and spectacles that he once wore as host of “The Late Show,” and he's returning to the small screen with a whole new style.
When Letterman retired after 33 years in the business in May 2015, the late night veteran admitted he felt a sense of relief.
"I thought I would have some trouble, some emotional trouble, or some feeling of displacement, but I realized, 'Hey, that’s not my problem anymore.' And I have felt much better," Letterman said in a 2015 interview with the Whitefish Review. "It’s something for younger men and women to take on. So I haven’t missed it, the way I thought I might. And I do little things here and there to sort of keep me up and moving.”
He wasn’t kidding. From fishing with family to partnering with streaming giant Netflix to launch a new series, Letterman has made the most of his time away from late night.
Here’s what the television veteran has been up to since retirement.
He worked on a Netflix interview series
Letterman’s new Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, premieres Jan. 12. The six-episode series will feature in-depth conversations and in-the-field segments with a single guest.
First up: former president Barack Obama.
“You never know when you might learn something,” Letterman announced in a trailer for the show. “And that’s what this is about for me. These are people that I admire.”
The remaining guest list includes: George Clooney, Malala Yousafzai, Jay-Z, Tina Fey and Howard Stern.
The comedian will reportedly pocket a whopping $2.5 million for each hour-long episode.
He completely changed his look
The 70-year-old is bald, bearded and lovin’ it.
Photos of the star jogging along a beach with a bushy white beard while vacationing in the Caribbean island of St. Barts went viral in March 2016, with headlines dubbing the star “unrecognizable.”
Despite the mixed response to his new look, Letterman says he’s going to keep it.
“I’ve kind of developed a real creepy look with it that I’m sort of enjoying,” Letterman told the Whitefish Review. “I can tell that people are off-put by it. And the more people implore me to shave, the stronger my resolve is to not shave.”
He was honored at the Kennedy Center
In October, Letterman received the 20th annual Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in Washington, D.C., following in the footsteps of comedy legends such as Carol Burnett, Jay Leno, Eddie Murphy and last year's recipient, Bill Murray.
The award, which recognizes great comedians, was given at an event highlighted by performances from an array of high-profile humorists, the Kennedy Center described in a statement.
"What better time than now to insist on looking like a Confederate war general?"
The night was filled with laughs (mostly at Letterman's expense) as celebrities took the stage to pay tribute to the former late night host.
"What better time than now to insist on looking like a Confederate war general?" Steve Martin joked, poking fun at Letterman's thick beard.
He participated in a web series
Letterman joined former Sen. Al Franken in the Funny or Die web series called Boiling the Frog with Senator Al Franken, which aims to raise awareness for climate change.
In the series, Letterman and Franken discuss the "fossil fuel empire" of the Koch brothers, inaction in Washington, pollution and more.
“I’m very frustrated, because at my age, and I have a young son, I would like to have something tangible to at least think about that offset all of the pessimism that is built up in me on the topic of climate change,” Letterman told Franken on the show's second episode.
He tested out new hobbies
Shortly after retiring from the "Late Show," Letterman sat down for an interview with the Indianapolis Monthly to discuss some new hobbies he planned to explore while he has the free time.
"I love fishing with my son. Any kind of trout fishing where you can stand in the river is just delightful. I don't know what I'm doing, but I can stand in the river. I'm pretty good at that," he told the magazine.
Letterman said he also gave cycling a try, but that's a hobby he doesn't plan on sticking with.
"I do [bike] on occasion. But as I get older, I'm starting to realize that I don't want to be found dead in a ditch somewhere," Letterman joked. "I'll leave cycling to younger men."