Home TV by Decade TV Shows - 1960s Dick Cavett Show, The

Dick Cavett Show, The

1 9 6 8 – 1 9 7 4 (USA)

Daytime, primetime, then late-night talk and variety show. Often there was only one guest.

A writer for Jack Paar’s Tonight Show in the early ’60s and host of his own late-night series by the decade’s end, Dick Cavett was alternately praised and chided for his innovative one-guest approach.

His wide range of provocative interview subjects included John Lennon, Katharine Hepburn, Marlon Brando, Janis Joplin, Fred Astaire, Orson Welles, Muhammad Ali, Woody Allen, Bette Davis, Norman Mailer, Groucho Marx and Jimi Hendrix.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono gave Cavett their first interview after the break-up of The Beatles, and when a wired David Bowie sat down with an unflappable Cavett, it led to some of the most surreal repartee in television history.

Despite critical acclaim, Cavett ran behind Johnny Carson and Merv Griffin in ratings. After his contract with ABC ended in 1975, he briefly had a summer show on CBS.

Next came a half-hour PBS interview programme running from 1977 until 1982. He returned to ABC in 1986.

His longest-running gig was on CNBC from 1989 to 1996.