Dick Cavett

Monday, November 15, 2010

Legendary talk show host Dick Cavett host of The Dick Cavett Show, which aired on ABC from 1968 to 1975 and on PBS from 1977 to 1982, discusses the great figures he has known and shares his thoughts on culture and politics today. In Talk Show: Confrontations, Pointed Commentary, and Off-Screen Secrets, he tells his best tales and he recounts great moments with the legendary entertainers who crossed his path.


Dick Cavett

Comments [23]

Stephen B from CT

Dick Cavett, very of-the-moment, but like a Cole Porter tune, with the grace of another era. The thinking man's talk show host, and never forgiven for it.

Nov. 21 2011 10:56 AM
Jim B

So many interesting comments on this show, Leonard, wish you had been able to fit some of them into the interview.

Nov. 16 2010 07:02 PM

Shadeed -- 3 cheers for your eloquence man! I want you go around saying stuff for me! ;-)

Nov. 15 2010 09:00 PM

sublime interview, up there Lenny w your interview with arthur schwartz.

Nov. 15 2010 08:58 PM
Shadeed Ahmad from New York, New York

Leonard Lopate conversing with Dick Cavett is as good as it gets in radio. These two masters of conversing put me in a state of media indulgence that made me know I was witnessing classic and professional talk show genius par excellence.

The wisdom, humor and intelligence that pervaded these two giants of their crafts as they conversed was lavish with the stuff of legend.

It was nice to have my time and attention bathed in this sophisticated engagement of the emotional and cerebral happenings of show business life, and further dressed up in meaningful auditory splendor of immense charm and intimacy that belied the fact that the show was a public affair.

I'm sure Dick Cavett's new book, "Talk Show" will make myself and many others around the world feel relieved from the heavy traffic of mundane literary encounters.

WNYC and Leonard Lopate the proof of your classiness is evident with this superior and deftly handled conversation with "The Great One," Mr. Dick Cavett.

Nov. 15 2010 07:59 PM
Patrick from Hoboken, NJ

thatgirlinnewyork -- I wasn't aware of his medical condition. I would have ommited the part of my comment that addressed his long pauses if I knew that he had medical issues. For that I apologize.
As for your critique of my personality, I will not offer an equally uninformed or nasty response. As for making my comments to Mr. Cavett's face, of course I would not walk up to him and say, "hey, you sucked on the Leonard Lopate show." Why would I do that? There are tons of questions I'd like to ask him. But I thought this forum was meant for us to leave comments regarding the show, the topic, the guest, etc. and that's why I left the comments.
And speaking of anonymity, I'm Patrick from Hoboken, you are thatgirlinnewyork from Manhattan. Which is more anonymous???

Nov. 15 2010 01:49 PM
Patrick from Hoboken, NJ

I take it back Mr. Cavett, you redeemed yourself with that last joke!

Nov. 15 2010 01:04 PM
a g from n j

i remember janice joplin and raquel welch, if memory serves me,on the same show;janice was warm and wonderful,raquel was distant wallpaper.

Nov. 15 2010 01:03 PM
thatgirlinnewyork from manhattan

patrick, there's no way to put this nicely (you seem to have an issue with bluntness yourself), but mr. cavett's suffered some minor cognitive setback due to his issues with depression and some of the remarkable lengths he's gone to to treat it.

perhaps your reaction is typical of someone who gets to comment in some level of anonymity. i'm kind of doubting you'd ask this to mr. cavett's face.

Nov. 15 2010 01:03 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Mr. Cavett, your appreciation of Leonard's mention of your gymnastic achievements reminds me of the time you performed on the parallel bars as part of your monologue!

I'm right there with you about the jazz, Mike! From the band & so many guests--it was great. And this wasn't jazz, but my high school band once played the overture to "Candide," & what made it exciting to me, of course, was that we were playing the closing theme to The Dick Cavett show!

Nov. 15 2010 01:02 PM
Patrick from Hoboken, NJ

I respect Mr. Cavett, but what's up with all of the long pauses and ridiculously cheesy comments? How can one of our most celebrated interviewers be such an atrocious interviewee?

Nov. 15 2010 12:57 PM
Mike from Tribeca

At the risk of over-posting -- my favorite Cavett Show interview was the one with Katherine Hepburn. No audience, all fun.

Nov. 15 2010 12:57 PM
Nicholas Messitte from Brooklyn

I remember that Jerry Lewis interview! I remember thinking he was a jerk, and then loving how you dealt with him: instead of telling him off, you brought up every painful thing that ever happened to him. It was hilarious. You said things like "weren't you in horrible pain for many years? And did that force you to be addicted to pain pills? And aren't you still addicted?" Priceless!

Nov. 15 2010 12:52 PM
David from Queens

My wife and I's first dance was to Fred Astaire singing "I concentrate on you" - a great song and even better performance.

Nov. 15 2010 12:50 PM
Patrick from Hoboken, NJ

I respect Mr. Cavett, but what's up with all of the long pauses and ridiculously cheesy comments? How can one of our most celebrated interviewers be such an atrocious interviewee?

Nov. 15 2010 12:48 PM
Mike from Tribeca

Though I'm from the rock & roll era, one of the things I miss most about Dick, Johnny and Merv's shows is that their bands played jazz. And you're welcome, Amy!

Nov. 15 2010 12:47 PM
thatgirlinnewyork from manhattan

much love for mr. cavett. i, too wish he still had a show. one wonders if today's audience could sit for the kind of patient and thoughtful dialogue he promoted, however.

i once had a procedure in a hospital that tied me to one place for 7 hours, with the requirement that i lie perfectly still. the team allowed me to bring a DVD, and so i rented a set of cavett's best interviews, and at times, the doctors and nurses who were attending stayed to hear the end of a conversation and marvel over what a great show it was--many of them too young to remember it in its heyday.

can't they bring it back in syndication? does mr. cavett own the rights?

Nov. 15 2010 12:47 PM
Margaret Stix from Brooklyn

I wonder how many other Dick Cavett groupies there are out there? When I was in high school, I was a regular audience member until I was threatened with expulsion by one of the security detail for moving closer to the stage. I drafted a love note but never dared to send it.

Thank you for so many hours of pure pleasure.

Nov. 15 2010 12:42 PM
Evelyn from Montclair, NJ

My favorite Dick Cavett interview was with Sly of Sly and the Family Stone. Dick followed with his mic, as Sly nodded out and slid from his seat, both almost hitting the floor.

Nov. 15 2010 12:39 PM
a g from n j

the more i hear charlie and tavis,the more i miss mr. cavett.......

Nov. 15 2010 12:37 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Joe, that's not how I remember it. I thought they never ran that show but broadcast a previous one in that time slot.

I used to sneak downstairs after what was supposed to be my bedtime to watch The Dick Cavett Show when I was in high school. I still remember moments like Willie "The Lion" Smith speaking Yiddish, Carol Burnett letting her hair down by pulling her wig off, Carl Reiner closing 1 eye smoothly while rolling the other wildly & somehow pulling his mouth into a straight diagonal line, & John Lennon talking about the State Dept's. attempts to deport him, as well as great, often intellectual discussions w/all sorts of guests. I'm a great fan & miss the levels that show reached. Haven't seen anything like it since. I'll have to check out his Times contributions (thanks, Mike!).

Nov. 15 2010 12:01 PM
Mike from Tribeca

I always look forward to Mr. Cavett's writings for the Times, which are always entertaining and thoughtful, and the public comments to his comments on the web site are usually pretty intelligent too. I especially enjoy his remembrances of magicians like the truly great Tony Slydini and my personal hero, Orson Welles. Keep up the great work!

Nov. 15 2010 11:31 AM
Joe Adams from Bergen County

Was Mary McCarthy's famous insult of Lillian Hellman on Dick's show ever recorded? If so, is the video available? It would be interesting to watch it. Also, I would like to ask about the death of J.I. Rodale on Dick's show. As I recall, that show was prerecorded. Who made the decision to play it during the actual broadcast?

Nov. 15 2010 11:12 AM

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