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David Letterman reveals he feels 'most secure' when he's with his son

The late-night TV icon sat down with Sunday TODAY's Willie Geist to talk about wanting to be his son's best friend.
/ Source: TODAY

David Letterman came out of retirement last year to launch his Netflix series, "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction," but even with a second season set to premiere soon, it's nothing like the grueling schedule he left behind in 2015.

The former late-night TV fixture said so long to the daily on-air grind after 33 years, and it wasn't easy to walk away from — at least it wouldn't have been, if he hadn't had a much better way to spend that time.

In an interview with Sunday TODAY's Willie Geist, Letterman opened up about his real passion in life, his son, Harry.

Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist - Season 32
David Letterman opens up about his career and his relationship with his son, Harry.Mike Smith / NBC

When Willie asked the 72-year-old broadcasting legend if he misses his old gig, the answer came to him instantly — as did a great quip at Willie's expense.

"The first year I sure did — you know, when they wise up and let you go, you'll go through it — because you get into a rhythm," he said. "And so I miss that."

But the benefits far outweigh the nostalgia for the old days.

"The best part is that I get to do stuff with my son," he said of Harry, the teen he shares with wife Regina Lasko.

Honoree David Letterman greets his son, Harry, during the show at the 20th Annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 22, 2017.AFP-Getty Images

It's a relationship that means the world to him.

"People always say, 'Well you're not going to be the kid's best friend. You're going to be his ...' And I say, 'Screw that! Look at me. How much longer am I going to be around?'" Letterman remarked. "I want to be the best friend."

There's just one problem with that. His soon-to-be 16-year-old is ... a typical soon-to-be 16-year-old.

"He's not keen on me being his best friend," he said with a resigned laugh.

But he remains undaunted.

"At my age, and this is no breakthrough or revelation, but the most secure I ever feel is when I'm around my son," Letterman added.

Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist - Season 32
Willie Geist and David Letterman did a lot more than chat when they got together for Sunday TODAY.Mike Smith / NBC

As the clip and photos reveal, this interview isn't the usual sit-down affair. It's as much an outdoor adventure as it is a chat. And that's exactly what Letterman wanted.

"Let's do something fun," he told Willie before their meeting. "Let's not just sit in a room and talk. Come up, and we'll go fly-fishing together."

Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist - Season 32
David Letterman suggested the fly-fishing adventure to Sunday TODAY's Willie Geist.Mike Smith / NBC

According to Willie, there were about two hours of fly-fishing and an hour of talk — and if you want to hear more from it, just tune in to Sunday TODAY.

The new season of "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman" hits Netflix May 31.