Brief Encounters Conversations, Magic Moments, and Assorted Hijinks

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-10-28
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
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Dick Cavett is back, sharing his reflections and reminiscences about Hollywood legends, American cultural icons, and the absurdities of everyday life

In Brief Encounters, the legendary talk show host Dick Cavett introduces us to the fascinating characters who have crossed his path, from James Gandolfini and John Lennon to Mel Brooks and Nora Ephron, enhancing our appreciation of their talent, their personalities, and their place in the pantheon. We tag along as Cavett spends an afternoon with Stan Laurel at his modest apartment in Los Angeles, spars with Muhammad Ali at his training camp, and comes to know a young Steve Jobs—who woos him to be Apple's first celebrity pitchman. He also offers piquant commentary on contemporary politics, the indignities of travel, the nature of comedy writing, and the utter improbability of being alive at all.

On his talk show, Cavett welcomed the leading figures from film, music, theater, literature, comedy, and politics, and engaged them in conversation that made viewers feel that the discussion was taking place in their own living rooms. Jimmy Fallon, the host of The Tonight Show, has called him "a legend and an inspiration" and has written a foreword that makes clear the debt that today's talk show hosts owe to Dick Cavett.

To spend a few minutes, or an hour, or even a whole evening with Dick Cavett is an experience not to be missed, and now there's no reason to deny yourself. Enjoy the conversation!

Author Biography

Dick Cavett was the host of The Dick Cavett Show on ABC and PBS, and he also hosted talk shows on the USA, HBO, and CNBC cable networks. He appears frequently on Imus in the Morning, HuffPostLive, and other interview programs, and he was nominated for his most recent Emmy Award in 2012. He is the author of Talk Show and the coauthor of Cavett and Eye on Cavett, and he writes an online opinion column for The New York Times. He lives in New York City and Montauk, New York.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Jimmy Fallon xiii
Dreams, Let Up on Us! 1
The Windows of the Soul Need Cleaning 4
Art Did the Darndest Things . . . ​to Your Jokes 8
A. Godfrey: A Man for a Long, Long Season 11
More of Our Man Godfrey 15
Real Americans, Please Stand Up 19
Dear Fellow Improbable . . . ​ 23
Further Improbables 27
The Titan and the Pfc. 31
Match Him? Not Likely 36
I Wrote It, Must I Also Hustle It? 39
Lennon's Return 42
A Bittersweet Christmas Story 45
Sauce for the Goose? Take a Gander 49
The Wrath of Grapes 53
How Do You Open for a Mind-Reading Horse? 57
My Life as a Juvenile Delinquent 62
My Liz: The Fantasy 67
In Defense of Offense 71
The Week That Was 75
The First Shall Be Last­or, Anyway, Second 79
Waiting (and Waiting) in the Wings 83
I Owe William Jennings Bryan an Apology 87
Sorry, W.J.B., to Bring This Up Again 93
Flying? Increasingly for the Birds 97
The Great Melvino, or Our Mr. Brooks 101
Tough Sell 106
Up Against the Wall 109
Last Nude Column (for Now, at Least) 113
Deck the Halls with Boughs of Nutty 116
Marlene on the Phone 120
Should News Come with a Warning Label? 125
Schooling Santorum 128
Road to Ruin 132
Groucho Lives! (In Two Places) 137
They Dressed Like Groucho 142
Pyramid Power, Over Me 148
You Gave Away Your Babies? 154
Vamping with Nora 158
Comedy Pain and Comedy Plea­sure 162
The Fine Mess Maker at Home 167
Can You Stand Some More Stan? 173
How Are the Mighty Fallen, or Where's My Friend? 177
Ali, Round Two 181
Back When I Was Packing 186
More on Guns, with Readers 190
And the Oscar Doesn't Go to the Oscars 194
To­night, To­night, Its World Is Full of Blight 198
With Winters Gone, Can We Be Far Behind? 203
Missing: Jonathan Winters. Badly. 207
Hel-LO! You're . . . ​Who Again? 214
Good Night, Sweet Soprano 225
As Comics Say, "These Kids Today! I Tell Ya!" 230
More Sex, Anyone? 235
Tough Way to Lose a Friend 239
Cavett on Booze, Again 244
Only in My Dreams? 249
Acknowledgments 255
Index 257

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