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Talk Show

Confrontations, Pointed Commentary, and Off-Screen Secrets

Dick Cavett

Times Books

The legendary talk show host's humorous reminiscences and pointed commentary on the great figures he has known, and culture and politics today

For years, Dick Cavett played host to the nation's most famous personalities on his late-night talk show. In this humorous and evocative book, we get to hear Cavett's best tales, as he recounts great moments with the legendary entertainers who crossed his path and offers his own trenchant commentary on contemporary American culture and politics.

Pull up a chair and listen to Cavett's stories about one-upping Bette Davis, testifying on behalf of John Lennon, confronting Richard Nixon, scheming with John Updike, befriending William F. Buckley, and palling around with Groucho Marx. Sprinkled in are tales of his childhood in Nebraska in the 1940s and 1950s, where he honed his sense of comic timing and his love of magic.

Cavett is also a wry cultural observer, looking at America today and pointing out the foibles that we so often fail to notice about ourselves. And don't even get him started on politicians. A generation of Americans ended their evenings in Dick Cavett's company; Talk Show is a way to welcome him back.


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Introduction

Do you want to try it?

Always a provocative question, in any context. And one containing an implicit dare.

It was an inquiry from the New York Times about writing an opinion column, online. The phrase "penal servitude" leapt to mind, spoken by a friend who was driven just short of the madhouse by agreeing to turn out a punishing number of newspaper columns at painfully close intervals. Increasing insomnia and alcohol intake forced him to quit and take up gardening.

Given pause by his experience, I asked how often. Two a week. This sounded deceptively easy,

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  • Talk Show by Dick Cavett--Audiobook Excerpt

    Listen to this audiobook excerpt and hear Dick Cavett read from his book Talk Show: Confrontations, Pointed Commentary, and Off-Screen Secrets. For years, Dick Cavett played host to the nation's most famous personalities on his late-night talk show. In this humorous and evocative memoir, we get to hear Cavett's best tales, as he recounts great moments with the legendary entertainers who crossed his path and offers his own trenchant commentary on contemporary American culture and politics.

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REVIEWS

Praise for Talk Show

“Breezy, incisive and amusing—nice to have you back, Dick.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“In his beguiling profiles of celebrities . . . Cavett proves himself a solid writer as well as a talker.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“Do you know that age-old question, If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, living or dead, who would it be? Well, assuming Santa Claus is unavailable, my answer would be Dick Cavett. After reading Talk Show, you could just imagine what a conversation with him would be like: pleasant, insightful, and oddly erotic. Dick Cavett is a legend and an inspiration to me.”--Jimmy Fallon

“There’s never been a talk show to equal Dick Cavett’s.  His guest list was miraculous, the conversations dazzling, and it’s a pleasure to relive much of it in this wonderful book.”--Woody Allen
 

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Dick Cavett

  • Dick Cavett was the host of The Dick Cavett Show, which aired on ABC from 1968 to 1975 and on PBS from 1977 to 1982. He also hosted talk shows on the USA, HBO, and CNBC cable networks. He is the coauthor of Cavett and Eye on Cavett, and since 2007 he has written an online opinion column for The New York Times. He lives in New York City and Montauk, New York.

  • Dick Cavett Oscar A. Zagal
    Dick Cavett
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Talk Show

Confrontations, Pointed Commentary, and Off-Screen Secrets

Dick Cavett

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Times Books

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