Before talk shows disintegrated into the abrasive carnival side shows they have become in recent years, The Dick Cavett Show was on the air to demonstrate the power of the form. Inherently likable and equal parts enthusiastic and charming, Cavett persuaded some of the true legends of cinema to sit down opposite him for lengthy, spontaneous, and very often hilarious chats. There is no "pure shock value" tactic used on this talk show, so you will not see any paternity tests or kids being shipped off to boot camp for insolence that has become the hallmark of contemporary series that misuse their title of "talk show"; the dramatic sparks are provided courtesy of the legends that best represented Hollywood at the time the show was filmed between '70 and , and lived to tell the tale. In our time, the only other hosts who can get their hands on such talent of equal importance, think Larry King, Oprah Winfrey, David Letterman, and Jay Leno are rank, star-struck amateurs compared with Nebraska native and Yale grad Cavett. His special brand of easy-going, engaging banter and his clear love of his subjects represents the host all others should aspire to.
Growing up in Nebraska, Dick Cavett never dreamed that the movie stars he worshipped on the silver screen would someday be guests on his show. But that's exactly what happened. Fred Astaire sang and danced.
The Dick Cavett Show was the title of several talk shows hosted by Dick Cavett on various television networks , including:. Cavett taped his programs in New York City. ABC pressured Cavett to "get big names," although subsequent shows without them got higher ratings and more critical acclaim. A well received prime-time three show a week summer replacement series led to the memorable late-night talk show that ran from December 29, to January 1, opposite NBC 's The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.