One of the treats of being sick as a kid was staying home from school and being able to watch The Dick Cavett Show. He was a talk show host unlike any other, with a gentle, intelligent demeanor free of snark, smugness, or sarcasm. Josh Jones of Open Culture wrote a nice piece about Cavett, and include links to selected episodes of his show.
Born in Nebraska in 1937, “the only persona [Cavett] bothered to, or needed to, develop for working on camera was of a boy from Nebraska dazzled by the bright lights of New York,” as Clive James writes in an appreciation of the TV host. As he interviewed the biggest stars of late sixties, seventies, and eighties on the long-running Dick Cavett Show, Cavett’s easygoing Midwestern demeanor disarmed both his guests and audiences. He kept them engaged with his erudition, quick wit, and breadth of cultural knowledge.
Watch Cavett handle a cagey, combative Marlon Brando in 1973, making him open up a bit: