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Archive for June 26th, 2018

DICK CAVETT title card

By Robert Hornak

There’s a simple comfort in watching someone you like talking to anyone, even in the distancing, quasi-glib tones of the professional raconteur. This is the reliable through-line of Dick Cavett’s entire run on television. But there’s also the reliable surprise factor, like the joy of hearing an aging Elsa Lanchester call Isadora Duncan an “untalented bag of beans.” And then there’s the tightrope feeling you get when you see Cavett-turned-fanboy, welcoming guest John Huston onto the stage with the awe-struck anticipation of a high school reporter, only to watch the host’s flop-sweat drop when the great film director only wants to dole out single-syllabic blurps through his broad, cigar-puffing grin. But whether you’re watching for the love of Cavett or his guests, what you typically get is a healthy serving of smart, refined conversation, usually in doses much deeper than the pre-packaged, eight-to-ten-minute dollops served by your Carsons, Lenos, and Colberts. Especially today, in the era of YouTube clips in steady drip on a Facebook feed, all tantamount to unsatisfying sound bites, kicking your feet up for a Cavett interview is like washing your brain with a college blue book. (more…)

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