David Letterman's new Netflix talk show kicks off with Obama

The hour-long, monthly show launches on Jan. 12 with former President Barack Obama. Future guests include George Clooney, Jay-Z and Tina Fey.

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Joan E. Solsman

Former President Barack Obama will be the first guest on David Letterman's monthly interview show on Netflix. 

Joe Pugliese/Netflix

David Letterman is back, and he's keeping his giant Santa Claus beard. 

The veteran late-night host will launch a monthly, hour-long interview show on Netflix next Friday, kicking off the six-part series by interviewing Barack Obama . It will be the former president's first talk-show appearance since leaving office. 

The show marks another format experiment for the streaming-TV service, as well as the latest high-profile comedy special that Netflix hopes will lure in global subscribers. The company -- which has recruited top-dollar comics like Dave Chappelle, Jerry Seinfeld , Amy Schumer and Chris Rock to make stand-up specials -- is still trying to find its legs in the kind of recurring programming you don't just binge all at once. Its talk show with Chelsea Handler struggled to find its rhythm, switching from a daily format to a weekly show in its second season before it was cancelled in October. 

The Letterman program, called "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman," will also feature interviewees George Clooney, Malala Yousafzai, Jay-Z, Tina Fey and Howard Stern. The first episode will stream on Friday, Jan. 12, and a new episode will be made available each subsequent month.

The interviews take place both inside and outside a studio setting, and Netflix says "the conversations are intimate, in-depth and far-reaching, with the levity and humor Dave's fans know and love."