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Janelle Dvorak

I love Cavett, and the Burton interview was one of my favorites. I also remember the night when W. H. Auden, Lily Tomlin and Chad Everett were on the show. Auden blanched when Everett wanted to read him one of his poems, and Lily Tomlin stormed off the set when Everett referred to his wife as "one of his most beautiful possessions". Good times, good times.

Leo Leahy

Thanks for posting that. Burton was a great man entirely, and worthy of two separate marriages to Elizabeth Taylor, even if he never was much of a coal miner.


Love the review; makes me want to read the book. But I have to correct one thing: Imus insulted the Rutgers University women's basketball team, not the University of Connecticut. I hope the mistake is your's, not Cavett's, because if he confused the two, that weakens his argument.

Lance Mannion

Sherri, the mistake was most definitely mine and I don't know what I was thinking. Thanks for catching it. I made the correction.

JVD, Chad Everett. Now that's a name I haven't heard in a long time. A long time.

Leo, Re: Burton and the coal miners. :)


Cavett was and is a treasure. I was too young to see his show, but watching clips online is just fascinating, what amazing guests, and what a congenial, smart host. Interesting juxtapositions: silent-movie queen Gloria Swanson on with counterculture rock-queen Janis Joplin. (Swanson treating Janis with haughty disdain, Janis smiling and taking it in stride.) Seeing two ages, eras touch like that..Cavett hosted legends from a huge chunk of the twentieth century, we're lucky that we can still see many of them now.

Thanks for the very thoughtful review Lance, it was one only you could write, and a joy to read. Off to buy the book now. And, looking forward to yours someday. :)


[Groucho] didn’t think of funny things first and then say them. They were reflexive, almost unconscious responses, and it was fun to see his surprised enjoyment of them at the same moment as ours.

So I've been doing it wrong all these years????

Kevin Wolf

Dick Cavett has always been on that list I carry in my head of "important" television figures from an age that has definitely passed (as Cavett's book seems to prove). Parr, Sevareid, etc. Wish I'd been exposed to more of his work when younger. Now I want to see every available Cavett show.

Chris G

When I was a teenager and Cavett had a show on CNBC my dad recorded a two-part appearance by Isaac Asimov. Dad was so pleased with himself for having caught that. I was pretty impressed myself! Mainly I remember Asimov reciting a limerick of his: There is something about satyriasis/ That arouses psychiatrists' biases,/ But we're both very pleased/ We're in this way diseased/ As the damsel who's waiting to try us is.

Sam Gwynn

I wish I had a dvd of that Tomlin, Everett, Auden show. Or at least a transcript. After Tomlin left, Chad read a really terrible poem about his wife, then tried to engage Auden in conversation about poetry. I'd love to see if my memories from 43 years ago are correct.

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