Dick Cavett, Woody Allen
Credit: The Dick Cavett Show: ABC/Photofest

The Dick Cavett Show: Comic Legends

Scratch a comedian and you’ll find a philosopher — Cavett knew just where they itched. The ex-Tonight Show writer/nightclub comic approached comedy from an insider’s perspective: He preferred finding out what made his guests tick to steering them through a few canned anecdotes. Though Cavett gets comfy with contemporaries Bill Cosby and Woody Allen, the best of The Dick Cavett Show: Comic Legends‘s 12 episodes pay tribute to his forebears like George Burns, Bob Hope, Jack Benny, and Lucille Ball. Groucho Marx gets the most affectionate treatment, reminiscing at length, proposing marriage to Truman Capote, and warbling his way through ”Lydia.”

EXTRAS A half-hour clip package retrieves highlights from Cavett’s lost late-’60s morning show. He sits for episode intros and retrospective interviews with Curb Your Enthusiasm director Robert Weide, but the highlight is Cavett’s buttoned-down stand-up routine from a 1966 Ed Sullivan Show, which makes the most of the disparity between his Nebraska upbringing and Ivy League education.

The Dick Cavett Show: Comic Legends
  • Movie