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Brief Encounters by Dick Cavett

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“Funny and poignant stories and essays about [Cavett’s] life, his career, family, politics – it’s all here. So intelligent and witty and charming and innocent. Kind of like Dick Cavett himself. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this book. I know I did.” —Jimmy Fallon

Dick Cavett, the legendary talk show host, columnist and raconteur, is back with a new collection of provocative essays, of his reflections and reminiscences about Hollywood legends, American cultural icons, and the absurdities of everyday life in BRIEF ENCOUNTERS: Conversations, Magic Moments, and Assorted Hijinks (Henry Holt; on sale October 28, 2014).

In his signature charming prose, Cavett introduces readers to the fascinating characters that have crossed his path. He recounts meeting John Lennon and Yoko Ono in bed at the St. Regis; sparring with Muhammad Ali; being wooed by Steve Jobs to be Apple’s first celebrity pitchman; and flirting with the ultimate Hollywood star, Elizabeth Taylor. Other notable figures that cross Cavett’s path in these pages include James Gandolfini, Mel Brooks, Nora Ephron, Tony Curtis and Groucho Marx. Delightfully, Cavett also shares his youthful – and not so youthful – escapades, including his first violent hangover and a few instances when he almost found himself in the county jail.

Jimmy Fallon, the host of The Tonight Show, has called him “a legend and an inspiration” and has written a foreword to BRIEF ENCOUNTERS that makes clear Cavett’s sizeable footprint on today’s talk show hosts.

“The best bathroom reading ever written! Each story takes just the right amount of time.” —Mel Brooks

You can leave a comment about the book here.

Hellman v. McCarthy has LA Run

10b4304cfe0ad66c9b36d2563b559d9bLiterary Legends Declare War

“We premiered the play in 2014 at a prestigious Off-Broadway Theatre. As soon as the New York Times review came out two days into our run, it sold out. The two wonderful actresses who are working with me in the Los Angeles production, Flora Plumb and Marcia Rodd, create two formidable characters, Lillian Hellman and Mary McCarthy.
On my television show, Mary was very straightforward in her disdain, declaring, ‘Every word [Hellman] writes is a lie, including and and the.’ Well this resulted in my being sued for $1.2 million by Miss Hellman, along with her suit against Mary McCarthy and PBS. The suit went on for four years and didn’t end until the death of Lillian. In the play, there is an imagined actual confrontation between Mary and Lillian that didn’t happen in real life but is brilliantly conceived by our playwright. The show is a real audience pleaser.”

Dick Cavett (pictured above with Marcia Rodd) portrays himself in the play Hellman v. McCarthy, scripted by Brian Richard Mori, directed by Howard Storm, running through Feb. 28 at Theatre 40’s Reuben Cordova Theatre on the campus of Beverly Hills High School.
Dick Cavett stars in the west coast premiere of the critically acclaimed play by Brian Richard Mori that Mr. Cavett appeared in New York City and on PBS.
Date: February 6th to February 28th with one additional performance at The Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills on March 1st
Time:8:00 and 2:00pm matinees. Check the Web site below for specific times and dates and to order tickets.
Location: Theatre 40 241 Moreno Dr. Beverly Hills, Cal. 90212
Pricing:$34.75 per ticket - 310 - 364-3606 or

Hellman v. McCarthy on WNET

cavett smallHellman v. McCarthy aired on WNET Thirteen, Thursday, October 9th at 10pm and was re-broadcast on Sunday, October 12th  at 10:30pm.  Recorded during its original off-Broadway run you can watch the streaming version here.

The greatest literary feud in modern American history began on January 25, 1980 when author Mary McCarthy appeared as a guest on “The Dick Cavett Show” and declared that “every word [playwright Lillian Hellman] writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’” Hellman went ballistic and sued McCarthy for libel, sparking a lawsuit that spanned more than four years. Brian Richard Mori’s Hellman v. McCarthy, a roller coaster ride filled with comedy and pathos, features Emmy Award-winner Dick Cavett, as he recreates his role in the actual events. Directed by Jan Buttram. With Roberta Maxwell, and Marcia Rodd.

Dick Cavett's Watergate

With the exception of the nightly network news shows, no one on television devoted more airtime to Watergate than talk show host Cavett. From 1972 to 1974, America watched the Watergate scandal unfold on “The Dick Cavett Show” as Cavett interviewed nearly every major Watergate figure — on both sides of the crisis — including John Ehrlichman, Alexander Haig, G. Gordon Liddy, Jeb Magruder and members of the Senate Watergate Committee: Senators Howard Baker, Daniel Inouye, Herman Talmadge, Lowell Weicker, and more.

Unfolding through interviews with people who were directly involved, DICK CAVETT’S WATERGATE documents the critical Watergate milestones with new insight and perspective. New interviews with Cavett offer personal insights into the key Watergate personalities and provide historical context for the featured clips. On a more intimate note, Cavett reveals his reaction on discovering he was mentioned in the White House tapes — not once, but 26 times.

The documentary, featuring interviews from “The Dick Cavett Show” library — many not seen since the 70s — and new interviews with Carl Bernstein (Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist), John Dean (former White House counsel), Timothy Naftali (Watergate historian) and Bob Woodward (Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist) You can watch the show on the PBS Web site. You can purchase a DVD of the show from the PBS Web site.

The Dick Cavett Show

Dick Cavett hosted "The Dick Cavett Show" on multiple networks for more than 35 years while interviewing a wide range of guests, from authors and politicians to musicians, actors and other creative types. He often featured controversial people and topics which weren't the norm for the variety talk shows that were airing at the time. He won three Emmy Awards for his work and is currently is a contributing blogger to the New York Times.

Clips from Dick Cavett Show interviews are now available for licensing. Contact our Licensing Manager for information about licensing clips from the Dick Cavett Show.

View a selection of episodes and guests here.

The Dick Cavett Show has been on various television networks over the years:

  • ABC daytime (March 4, 1968–January 24, 1969) (originally titled This Morning)
  • ABC prime time (May 26–September 19, 1969)
  • ABC late night (December 29, 1969–January 1, 1975)
  • CBS prime time (August 16–September 6, 1975)
  • PBS (October 10, 1977–October 8, 1982)
  • USA prime time (September 30, 1985–September 23, 1986)
  • ABC late night (September 23–December 30, 1986)
  • CNBC (April 17, 1989–January 26, 1996)
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