David Letterman and his new beard went for a run. A photo emerged. Now he's owning retirement like we could only hope to. When the retired late-night comedian, 68, slipped on his banana yellow sports shorts and coordinating headphones for some morning exercise, we first kinda had no idea who that was. We’ve seen the post-retirement beard before in some photos — but Letterman seemed more recognizable before with his signature glasses and all.
Upon a closer look, Letterman’s jolly jogging (or is it just power walking?) photo is teeming with lessons about life, fashion, and the pursuit of a beard.
We’re cheering for him. He’s killing this whole retirement shtick. Get a beard, go to St. Barts, and generate some exercise-induced endorphins while running on the beach. It’s a happiness hat trick of sorts.
In celebration of Letterman, we give you our Top 10 list of lessons we learned from the bald, but bearded, comedic legend's jog that rattled the internet like Eric Clapton sitting in with Shaffer and the gang.
You have to mimic this look! The only way to do it? Spend more than three decades working really hard for it. You don’t just grow a beard — it’s earned. Every single whisker of it.
Pursue the beard. In an act of foreshadowing last year, Letterman told the Whitefish Review, a Montana publication, that he was sick and tired of shaving. “I had to shave every day, every day, for 33 years. And even before that, when I was working on local TV. And I just thought, The first thing I will do when I am not on TV is stop shaving,” he said in the interview.
Your friends will knock it. But don’t mind them. Letterman, in the same interview, acknowledged that everybody hates the beard, his inner circle — wife and son — included. The more people implore him to shave, the stronger his resolve is not to shave, he said.
Embrace the weird. It can work, as long as you have an open attitude. “I’ve kind of developed a real creepy look with it that I’m sort of enjoying,” Letterman told the Whitefish Review. So, it’s no big deal that side-by-side memes of him and Making a Murderer’s Steven Avery started popping up on Twitter.
Speaking of comparisons, enjoy them. Twitter is having loads of fun drawing comparisons. (He looks like Santa Claus; he looks like God told him to build a boat; is he auditioning for the The Revenant?)
Wear brighter colors. Color psychologists say yellow is the color of happiness, cheerfulness, and fun. David Letterman confirms that. Those yellow shorts? So much yes. Those headphones? Who cares if we suspect they’re connected to a Sony Sports Walkman circa 1990.
Support your alma mater, always and forever. Letterman threw on a Ball State volleyball T-shirt. He’s consistent. The Late Night legend has been a longtime supporter and donor of the university. He began his broadcasting career at Ball State University. According to the school, a young Letterman launched “Make it or Break it” in 1965 on the Ball State radio station WBST. He played rock 'n’ roll on a station that was devoted to classical music. Listeners call in to relay their thoughts, and, if they didn’t like the music he was playing, Letterman would literally break the record.
Start your day with a run. With music. On a Caribbean beach. Doing so will help unlock a special level of happiness.
Then, go shopping for fresh strawberries. (Letterman was also pictured hauling the fresh fruit out of a market at St. Barts.)
Alas, be like Letterman. And live your life however you damn well want to live it.