Talk Show

  • by Dick Cavett
  • Narrated by Dick Cavett
  • 9 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For years, Dick Cavett played host to the nation’s most famous personalities on his late-night talk show. In this humorous and evocative book, we get to hear Cavett's best tales, as he recounts great moments with the legendary entertainers who crossed his path and offers his own trenchant commentary on contemporary American culture and politics.
Pull up a chair and listen to Cavett's stories about one-upping Bette Davis, testifying on behalf of John Lennon, confronting Richard Nixon, scheming with John Updike, befriending William F. Buckley, and palling around with Groucho Marx. Sprinkled in are tales of his childhood in Nebraska in the 1940s and 1950s, where he honed his sense of comic timing and his love of magic.
Cavett is also a wry cultural observer, looking at America today and pointing out the foibles that we so often fail to notice about ourselves. And don't even get him started on politicians.
A generation of Americans ended their evenings in Dick Cavett's company. Talk Show is a way to welcome him back.


Audible Editor Reviews

Dick Cavett's new collection of essays, drawn from his recent weekly column in The New York Times, does exactly what you expect, exactly as well as you expect it to. After 50 years in the talk show business, he has many great stories to tell and a sizable but casual wit with which to tell them. As a selection of his columns, this book collects not only the many historic moments in television that Cavett had a hand in, but also an array of amusing anecdotes from his childhood, and also his general opinions on contemporary politics and pop culture.
The essays are not arranged chronologically, and the ever nimble Cavett jumps from scene to scene with the ease of both the person who has been there, and the person who is accustomed to discussing it. Cavett reveals hilarious bits of his childhood, from an obsession with illegal firecrackers to the military precision with which he studied to become a magician. He weighs in on recent news headlines as a staunch liberal, including his thoughts about Sarah Palin, among other political figures. Of course, his behind-the-scenes look at writing material for Groucho Marx and Johnny Carson is fascinating, and his tales of celebrity horror are hilariously personal without getting too gossipy.
To have Cavett himself narrating the book is immediately and unmistakably a real treat. This experience feels like having Sunday dinner with your grandfather, except your grandfather is a deeply literate and highly animated character with a vast stockpile of friends in high places. Of particular delight are his terrifyingly good impersonations of Katharine Hepburn and John Wayne. Cavett tells of listening to Nixon strategize about how best to ruin him, the time a fitness expert died on stage in the middle of a taping, and his effort to contain an extended feud between Gore Vidal and Norman Mailer that famously boiled over during a live show. Spanning five decades and essentially covering highlights of the entire history of commercial television programming, there isn't a tedious moment in the whole book and you'll definitely want to pass these stories along. —Megan Volpert


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Dick Cavett Remembers

I’ve was never a fan of Dick Cavett. I tried and tried to watch his talk show. He got terrific guests. But all that unrestrained wit and unbearable, never ending cleverness was too distracting for words. I couldn’t figure out who he was trying to impress – the celebrities, his audience, the crew, himself? Maybe if he had an English accent it would have been easier to take. But Dick Cavett the writer is another matter. He’s got great stories to tell and he tells them with the same wit and style I found so tedious on television. A few of the anecdotes are dated and boring but that’s what the fast forward button is for. Most of his tales are truly wonderful and he reads them in a warm, relaxed conversational manner. Its almost as if he were sitting next to me in the car. He’s a lot more likable that way.
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- Anthony Freyberg

Dick is too smart for you!!!!!

This book is basically a compilation of all of Dick's columns for the NY Times. Cavett spends so much time complaining about George W. Bush's mispronounciation of the word NUCLEAR that one wonders how he ever had a career before Bush was president. He spends so much time bashing Bush(Probably helped get the gig at the NYT) that it makes you wonder how he has survived the last president's 2 terms without killing himself. Here is a good breakdown of the book: 10% Dick Cavett TV show memories 15% Dick telling you how stupid you are(He loves to use quotes in foreign languages and references to Shakespeare to get this point across) 15%Dick telling you about who he knows/knew and his great adventures with them 60% conservative bashing. Yes, Dick does show some kindness to John McCain, but McCain is not very popular with the conservative base. The book has some interesting moments such as when Dick describes the death of a guest on his show and his adventures as a child, but most of this is a series of trashy, condescending columns compiled into a "book." Read at your own risk, but remember you will always be a small person and too stupid to hang with Dick.
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- Guy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-09-2010
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio