Saturday, September 04, 2010

Dick Cavett Show

I have been watching many of the old "Dick Cavett Shows" on DVD. While the shows are quite entertaining, I still haven't completely warmed to Cavett himself. Cavett always seems like a beginning comedian on open mike night trying out new material as he stutters and stammers through jokes.

The amazing thing is that Cavett is actually quite witty and amusing, but never seems to quite get it across to his audience or his guests. I suppose he's better than Ed Sullivan, but he veers dangerously in that direction. As a result, Cavett does come across as more charming.

Take, for example an episode featuring George Harrison. Cavett doesn't really have anything important to ask Harrison and so George kind of sarcastically goes through the interview, which makes George look good, but Cavett look like he didn't do his homework.

On another episode with different participants of Woodstock, Cavett is sitting next to the Jefferson Airplane's Grace Slick and when Cavett comes up with one of his multiple witticisms, Slick is usually dumbfounded with a "what?" coming from her lips. This is not to say Slick didn't get it, it's more that Cavett is trying SO HARD to be witty that his "In" jokes have "In" jokes and they feed upon themselves and self-destruct.

But, as usual, it is fascinating to see these shows for all of the wonderful guests, and to see them when they're young and/or alive.

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