[21 November 2007]
PopMatters Contributing Editor
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. His special brand of easy-going, engaging banter and his clear love of his subjects represents the host all others should aspire to. Fred Astaire, Marlon Brando, and Groucho Marx are but a mere sampling of some of the mythological figures of Hollywood’s Golden Age that are collected in The Dick Cavett Show: Hollywood Greats, the fifth in a nicely put together collection from this series (also culled from Cavett’s show are Rock Icons, The Ray Charles Collection, John & Yoko Ono Collection, and Comic Legends). 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.