Brief Encounters

BriefEncounters thumbDick Cavett, the legendary talk show host, NYTimes.com 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.

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 book is a delightful peek behind the curtain at celebrities, complex characters, and the nuances of everyday life—all told with his singular wit and style."—Publishers Weekly

"The very model of a quick-witted interviewer, Cavett … still works the crowd effectively…. [Cavett] remembers working as a gag writer for famed comedians and recalls the Broadway badinage and smart repartee that marked the well-regarded Dick Cavett Show."—Kirkus Reviews

"In the late 1960s to mid-1970s the Dick Cavett Show was a late-night TV destination. [Cavett] was known as a literate, erudite interviewer who loved wordplay, but who didn’t take any guff from his guests… Most notable are his anecdotal stories about such people as Groucho Marx, Nora Ephron, and Muhammad Ali."—Library Journal

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

Dick talks with Alec Baldwin about "Brief Encounters" at the 92nd Street Y.

 

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Comments  

#15 Dan Kissane 2016-09-11 11:51
I recently enjoyed your book “Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments, and Assorted Hijinks”.The segments called UP AGAINST THE WALL and LAST NUDE COLUMN, triggered old memories.It seems all girls (and only girls) starting their freshman year at Oak Park High School – that would make some of them thirteen –would have to participate in the Shadow Graph Program. The girls would remove all their clothes and enter a “box” about the size of two phone booths. The girls were told they were in complete shadow while their silhouette, in both profiles and from behind, was being photographed. No frontal shots were taken. On the wall behind them was a black Cartesian coordinate graph on a white background. This continued through senior year to, they were informed, “chart their progress.” (And we thought that was our job.) When the filming was finished the negatives were taken away under a guard that would make the Secret Service envious.Ain't science wonderful.Dan
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#14 Kal Wagenheim 2016-08-27 11:02
Am enjoying your book. We are the same age!
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#13 Richard Hourula 2016-08-20 22:26
Recently during lunch at work the question came up: who would you have dinner with if you could choose anyone in the world? My response was Dick Cavett. Starting in high school I've enjoyed all of your shows immensely. I have read and enjoyed all of your books. As a younger man I related to your having the same first name, same height, same hair color and love of some of the same, Groucho, Woody and Janis for example. Today I find that you are an inspiration to me as I struggle with depression and write about it on my blog. That you shared your experiences has been profound for me. I guess we'll never have that dinner but I can certainly tell you how much you have meant to me and thank you for the laughs, the stories, the writings and the honesty. Much appreciation, Richard
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#12 Barbara Occhipinti 2016-08-19 12:43
Just finished reading 'Brief Encounters' and found it very entertaining. Thanks again for the memories.
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#11 Charlotte Watson 2016-08-19 12:10
Just want to say thank you for all these memorable guest stars and other professionals on the Dick Cavett episodes, I love them all, from the 50s and onward "Thanks for the Memories"
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#10 Jeff Davis 2016-08-17 02:26
I hope "someone" will actually read this. Although much younger than the active popularity of the 70's, more than I could appreciate at the time, I now weep at the clarity/appreciation I have at 48 for The dick Cavett show and what Dick stood up for. Being the grandson of an Air Force Base commander, G.grandson of a Florida Legislator/Sgt of Arms of the House, cousin of a 78' Golden Globe Winner riding the Midnight Express, I have a greater appreciation of Dick's work and more over his mission for the telling of the truth. Thank you Dick. I'll save the "for you see" for a personal encounter one day. Keep up the good the good work.
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#9 Shirley Anderson 2016-08-16 21:48
Just finished watching your 72 encounter with Danny Kaye and Dr. DeBakey, the albatross & Julie Newmar
It was a treasure to watch- 44 years later! I will now getting your book. This is survival after losing my beloved. Thank you for these programs I now watch at prime time and earlier, the programming now is so bad, you are an old shinning star we can revisit, unless there is a william holden movies On! My new interest. Reminds me of my hubby, just a little. So, you are giving me, now age 70, a wonderful look back I was too busy in the 60's and 70's to watch much TV so, thanks AK
also to Decades for giving you and your shows to us for an enjoyable look back.
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#8 Barbara Occhipinti 2016-08-10 18:53
I'm only 22 pages into 'Brief Encounters', but I'm loving it...brings back happy memories of watching your show. My husband and I really enjoy you. We are in our mid 80's, so we have been fans since you got your start. We hope this finds you in good health and enjoying life. Can you do anything about Donald Trump...his antics are driving us mad!! Every day we think his latest lie or rude comment will destroy him, but it doesn't happen. Now we worry for Hillary's safety. He is a monster. Again, we love your unique take on life...I'll write again after I finish your book. Thanks for all the happy memories.
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#7 Van Morrow 2016-06-17 14:28
Brief Encounters is a terrific book with fun anecdotes as were his first two books. I want to mention how important his late night show was to me in 1970, the year I moved to NYC. I lived there for seven years during which I obtained a doctorate at NYU. When I first arrived with little money, I began substitute teaching in the public schools near my rented room in the East Village. I could not afford Broadway shows, so I started going to the Dick Cavett Show every afternoon after school. I had never seen celebrities up close until then. I arrived early to watch them go in and stayed late to see them leave. Tony Curtis was the guest at my first visit to the show. I was there when Hugh Hefner had a lively debate with a group of feminists. My favorite time was when Orson Welles was there. I think he stared straight at me (on the front row of the balcony) during a break. I wanted to wave but was too nervous. The worst interviewee was Rock Hudson, who wouldn't respond to Dick.
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#6 sylvia 2016-06-10 14:03
Just finished the book - thankfully I downloaded the audio book and it was a delight to hear Mr. Cavett's voice whilst reading the book. Truly wonderful! My dream job is to interview interesting people - what an inspiration Mr. Cavett is!! Thank you very much!!
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