The Dick Cavett Show

ABC (ended 1986)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 9 : Ep 156

    April 5, 1976

    Aired 4/5/76

  • S 9 : Ep 9

    December 26, 1974

    Aired 12/26/74

  • S 9 : Ep 8

    December 12, 1974

    Aired 12/12/74

  • S 9 : Ep 7

    December 5, 1974

    Aired 12/5/74

  • S 9 : Ep 4

    October 17, 1974

    Aired 10/17/74

  • Cast & Crew
  • Dick Cavett


  • Fred Foy


  • Bobby Rosengarden

    Orchestra Conductor

  • Patricia Neal


  • Kitty Carlisle


  • show Description
  • During the late 60's and early 70's, The Dick Cavett Show was beloved by critics and hailed as an intelligent alternative to the other more frothy interview shows. In addition to the standard-fare of celebrities, he often booked controversial and opinionated guests like Gore Vidal, Timothy Leary and Georgia's segregationist governor Lester Maddox. This occasionally led to fireworks between the host and guests: Maddox stormed off when he was asked to defend his views; Cavett once said to a condescending Norman Mailer, "Why don't you fold it five ways and put it where the moon don't shine?" His late-night series also booked musical guests that shows like Tonight and Merv tended to ignore, namely rock acts. Now-legendary performers like Ravi Shankar, Paul Simon and Sly Stone appeared to sing and chat. Cavett was occasionally able to devote a whole show, or more, to one guest. This yielded memorable interviews with the likes of Groucho Marx, Katharine Hepburn, Lawrence Olivier and Orson Welles. Cavett also held the distinction of being the only show to have a guest die during it. Organic farming advocate J.I. Rodale had moved "down the couch" after his interview. Cavett, assuming he had dozed off during the chat with the next guest, asked, "Are we boring you, Mr. Rodale?". Rodale had passed away from a heart attack; the show did not air. Despite the acclaim, his series were chronically plagued with low ratings, coming in a distant third place to Carson and CBS. First was a 90-minute weekday program on ABC daytime called This Morning, Dick Cavett, airing from March 4th 1968 to January 1969. This was followed by a Monday/Tuesday/Friday ABC prime-time series from May-September 1969. Next came his best remembered program, the late-night ABC series airing weeknights from December 1969-December 1972. Beginning in January 1973, that series aired as an occasional part of the network's ABC's Wide World of Entertainment, an umbrella title for various series, concerts, and specials running in late-night. His show remained in this rotation through January 1, 1975. Next came a half-hour PBS interview program running from 1977-1982. He returned to his old home ABC one more time from September-December of 1986. Cavett's theme song, used regularly throughout the years, is part of the overture from Candide.moreless

  • Top Contributor
  • AprilFox

    User Score: 9162


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (3)

    • Dick Cavett: The fact is I don't have an opening monologue tonight because the subject of the show is quite serious, and I figured why make it more serious with one of my monologues, so I thought I would just start in. You know, I guess, who my two guests are tonight; John Kerry and John O'Neill, and they belong to Vietnam Veterans Against the War on the one hand and Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace on the other. Both of them have been on my shows in the past. Not together, however. We did two shows a couple of weeks back on Vietnam veterans, and we picked a group of Vietnam veterans to talk about their various problems. This is a very touchy subject, as you know. The whole subject of this incites people to extreme feelings. We had an unprecedented amount of mail about those two shows. We really did. You always say unprecedented, but it was finally in this case. And all kinds of opinions, and just to show you a sampling of some of the reaction to that – it has something to do with how we've done tonight's show.

    • George Burns: I make a lot of money by not singing popular songs. In fact, Irving Berlin pays me twenty-five dollars a week not to touch any of his songs. During the holidays I’m not even allowed to whistle White Christmas.

    • Dick Cavett: (reading audience member's question from a card) "My wife just lost a filling. We are tourists. Would you recommend a dentist?" Definitely.

    Notes (88)

    • News item from the New York Times: Dick Cavett may be the only Yale man to graduate to a daytime television show of his own. The writer of some of Jack Paar's monologues, among other TV literary contributions, further advanced his performing career by making his bow as host on This Morning from 10:30 AM to Noon over the American Broadcasting Company network. Dick Cavett's daily opus for housewives looks very much like a trial run of what might eventually be a show for night people, a route followed by Mr. Paar and Johnny Carson. In construction, This Morning is a carbon copy of the burgeoning confusion of talk shows that combine flirtations with weighty matters and straight entertainment. Dick Cavett struck a bold note in unveiling his program. His first guest was R. Buckminster Fuller, the doyen of the geodesic dome, who is more commonly seen as part of some in-depth study on Channel 13. Mr. Cavett, with wit and manner held the 72-year-old design engineer to a few sentences at a time, apropos of a woman's keeping a man dangling on a line like a trout on the ultimate obsolescence of politicians by technological advance. The program was enlivened by Mr. Fuller's contention that a woman is a baby factory and that a man's role is merely to press the right button. Dick Cavett was unusually gracious in questioning Patricia Neal on her recovery from a stroke and learning how to speak again. Without pressing the issue, he allowed the camera to show Miss Neal's radiance and good humor. He also chatted with Jack Albertson and Pat McCormick, comedians and also finessed the monologue of Jack E. Leonard. Dick Cavett who purposely makes light of his intelligence, but who clearly is a quick ad libber, could carve a niche for himself if the ABC minions do not insist on too many stars and allow him the stimulus and fun of talking to people in all walks of life. He has the virtue of being a good listener before phrasing his next inquiry. Dick Cavett's show ended with a desultory display of handling poisonous snakes, something Johnny Carson covered on his show only a few nights ago. Dick Cavett has enough on the ball not to be a copy cat, which he can control. But he also had enough commercial interruptions, which he can't.

    • Title of the series changes from "This Morning" to "The Dick Cavett Show".

    • Richard Lorber (20) and his uncle Ernest Fladell (42) both New Yorkers wrote a book together about their experiences when Richard moved in with his uncle in 1967. Their story was a featured cover of LIFE magazine in May 17, 1968.

    • Network rerun September 19, 1968.

    • Network rerun September 30, 1968.

    • Folk group Cashman, Pistilli and West consisted of Terry Cashman, Gene Pistilli and Tommy West.

    • This episode featured the controversial attack by Steinem and Breslin on Chicago's handling of the riots in which police overreacted and clubbed newsmen and innocent bystanders during the hippie riots.

    • The Dick Cavett Show aired a repeat on September 30, 1968 of the episode guest starring Julie and Tricia Nixon, David Eisenhower, Wally Cox, Jack Vaughn and Patachou. Original airdate unknown.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (3)

    • Paparazzi photog Ron Galella asked Brando to remove his sunglasses for just a few pictures when Brando uncorked a right hook that broke his right jaw. The run in occured on Manhattan Street as Cavett and Brando were walking towards a Chinatown restaurant after taping ABC-TV's The Dick Cavett Show.

    • This was Katharine Hepburn's first live television appearance.

    • This was Katharine Hepburn's first live television appearance.

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