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  

#27 Jack Weisbrot 2017-04-21 08:06
I am an old fan of yours from the late 60's! Reading Talk Show and have an answer to a question you pose: Murray the K (NYC Wins radio disk joquey) first used a blast from the past!
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#26 JD Evermore 2017-03-27 22:25
Dear Dick,
I tried to be brief, but ran over my 1,000 characters. I've actually wanted to write you for many years. Ever since my father first told me of you coming into his shop. I had always hoped we could take you relic hunting with us sometime in search of dinosaur bones, Indian artifacts or civil war relics, but since your wife from Greenville has passed, or died, as you would probably say, I doubt you will make it back to the Delta again. I know it's been a while since she passed and you don't even know me, but I owukd neverheless like to offer my condolences...and my congratulations on finding another love in your life. I'm still on my seemingly never-ending search for the one to to around the girl in 80 ways with, as some might say. Maybe not some, I just made that up. Anyway, whenever I'm in New York I would be delighted to buy you a cup of coffee and share some stories and laughs. Looking forward to diving into old episodes of your shows now.
Best,
JD
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#25 JD Evermore 2017-03-27 22:14
Against billions of probabilities, or perhaps, in spite of, I find myself writing to you today, Dick. I have long been a fan of your humor and great mind. After not having been able to read a single book since Trump became a candidate, I'm happy to report that I picked up a copy of Brief Encounters recently and read it on a flight back to Los Angeles. Also happy to report that I laughed out loud, or LOL'd as the kids say, more than I have in a long time while reading a book. I thouroughly enjoyed reading of your varied brief encounters. Also happy to report that as odd as memory is, I would place a small wager that you can recall the day I was born, as it was the day your favorite president was elected...Richard M. Nixon. Also happy to let you know that's my father, a welder and artist named John Puddin Moore once drew directions on his steel work table, after which you asked him to help him load into your car. I'm a working tv and film actor, whose work you've probably seen. TBC.
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#24 Page 2017-03-25 21:13
Was surprised and happy to find your book in our community library, which also has such classics as Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin. I don't know how your book got in, but I kept it as long as I felt I could and then put it back for some other person to enjoy. Lovely, happy and sad and memorable. I too, miss Jonathan Winters. Keep writing forever. It was a joy to have your voice in my head, may have to go and get the book again.
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#23 Bob 2017-01-15 16:02
Dear Mr. Cavett, It is painful to see your shows in rerun and realize the era when grownups were on TV is past. No comparison with the present. I especially liked seeing Slydini long ago and Joe Venuti. It's beyond the comprehension and attention span of many people to imagine interviewing entertainers who speak in complete sentences (or interviewers for that mater) and for more than about two minutes. Your shows are unique and missed, including ones I disagreed with. I'm glad to get the chance to thank you for them. Any time you want to make a comeback it would be appreciated!
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#22 Steven Halter 2017-01-06 12:21
Mr.Cavett: As a fellow graduate of Irving Junior High School (1957), I especially enjoyed your memories of growing up in Lincoln. I well remember the furor that erupted when WJ Bryan's statue received its "bath." I, unfortunately, never achieved anything at that level, or the heights you achieved in "My Life as a Juvenile Delinquent." I hope you have more memories to share with us, and that we will be fortunate enough to see you again on television in a regular series. THANK YOU.
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#21 Joe Fab 2016-12-16 15:37
Loved the book and agree with Mel Brooks. I'm the fellow you met in your book signing line on the TCM cruise who told you about coming out of anesthesia singing "Lydia, The Tattooed Lady" to the nurses. I sat next to your very charming wife at one of the interviews you did as well and told her additional "Groucho and Me" stories that I hoped to have a chance to share with you. So many things to thank you for in the book: from the Dietrich stories (I have one of those too) to the parenthetical theremin reference (I used to have one -- more remarkably, I could actually play it. You should see the video I have of Leon Theremin's great niece playing a hora -- truly astounding! E-mail me if you're interested is seeing it). Thank you very much for the book and for being on the cruise. Your two interviews were highlights of the trip for me. My wife has had to listen to me repeat nearly everything you said! She got the jokes I remembered. She especially enjoyed the bit about Agnew's name. JF
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#19 Bruce Paxton 2016-10-24 08:54
A very good day to you. I think your show is terrific. Regards Bruce
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#18 Dan Kissane 2016-10-03 12:53
I found out Kathy Griffin, "D" lister supreme, went to Oak Park about a decade after I did. I'd love to know if the the Shadow Graphs program was going on or if there was any communal memory of it.
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