PETE FORNATALE INTERVIEWS DICK CAVETT. THE INITIAL PART OF THEIR DIALOGUE IS PRIOR TO THE FORMAL INTERVIEW:
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 0:00
I was happy to stand there knowing Groucho was inside
Pete Fornatale 0:03
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 0:03
And he stayed till the end
Pete Fornatale 0:07
I wonder if that was the last generation that will approach it that way?
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 0:13
Well, that's what I was thinking that I was caught by myself mentioning the Marx Brothers to some people that age now.
Pete Fornatale 0:27
Oh, oh no.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 0:31
Old Time movies stars
Pete Fornatale 0:33
Oh That's scary.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 0:36
When I was a kid or in college. I knew quite a number of things that took place before I was born. But nobody does anymore.
Pete Fornatale 0:47
I don't know. I wonder if that's another another consequence of the super information highway or?
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 0:53
Yeah, I wonder I don't know. I just, I just know that I knew. I knew that Weber and Fields was a comedy act and anything. They were way before my birth, but like,
Pete Fornatale 1:08
I at a public station now. And much of the staff are young people college age, or just out of out of college. And it's a real reality check for me. Anytime I mentioned a name. You know, it runs the gamut from Henry Fonda. Oh, that's Jane's dad.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:29
Worked for years to become Jane's dad/
Pete Fornatale 1:34
But you know, it is a good reality check. And I feel that it's part of my mission, I sometimes wonder if they talk about me behind my back as this teller of old school tales.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:46
The old guy who knows names no one ever heard of. who knows names no one ever
Pete Fornatale 1:48
Right but you know they do see, when we connect on something that has managed to, you know, hang on by the fingernails to the current popular culture, there is that feeling of some sort of a bond? Absolutely.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 2:03
I think how far ahead of me, the Marx Brothers were. I only heard of 'em because my father mentioned him a lot of times. And I said, what do they do? And he said, Well, they did a movie called Coconuts. And when it hit this town, this was Grand Island, Nebraska, there were people who could not stay in their seats from laughing and it was screaming and nobody was prepared for it. Nobody had seen anything like it. Well, that was quite a ways ahead of me, but I knew about it.
Pete Fornatale 2:31
But that's what I was trying to say on the way back from the coffee machine to have gone from that to meeting then working with then becoming a pen pal. I mean, it's impossible. It's, it's it's fiction. That's the stuff of fiction. By the way, I had the presence of mind to take this on to say
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 2:52
where did you pick that up
Pete Fornatale 2:53
off my bookshelf at home?
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 2:55
Pete Fornatale 2:55
and my intention was to have you autograph it. And this was Saturday.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 3:00
But what happened? What went wrong?
Pete Fornatale 3:01
I picked it up and read it from cover to cover
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 3:05
Pete Fornatale 3:05
I spent the entire day yesterday.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 3:07
You know, it is a funny book and it reads well.
Pete Fornatale 3:09
It is. Well, it's wonderful. I mean, talk about
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 3:13
I forgot how good it was in the same way.
Pete Fornatale 3:16
What did they call these squibs? Or uh
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 3:19
Pete Fornatale 3:24
Well, you know, we're gonna talk. You know, we oughta get started! I think we already have but I don't know that we're, we're recording.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 3:31
You mean we wasted all that All that good stuff!
Pete Fornatale 3:33
Do you have any deadlines?
Unknown Speaker 3:35
You have a car at 3:30?.
Pete Fornatale 3:37
Oh, wonderful, wonderful. Let's get rolling. Let's go.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 3:40
All right, why the hell not.
Pete Fornatale 3:41
We got a lot of good stuff to do.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 3:43
What does this clock say?
Pete Fornatale 3:48
I've got the sneak preview but, uh, let me see the actual
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 3:51
So it is
Pete Fornatale 3:52
That you refer to. and we can use the actual performances from the disk that was this is basically a music show.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 4:05
Pete Fornatale 4:05
So I constructed it around the things that are on here. In fact, why don't I tell you that because I usually run down the music with the with the musically performing guests. In the first segment in the intro, I'm going to introduce you introducing Janis Joplin performing Move Over. That's how the show will open.
Pete Fornatale 4:25
I can handle that.
Pete Fornatale 4:26
We'll pick it up, that is the first segment, we'll do our talking points and I will lead you to from Sly Family Stone that's on the DVD and then it's "thank you for letting me be myself again" That's this performance that will end the first segment. I'll pick up from the imaginary break and all of that will be done in post production by the way, so we'll just keep talking.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 4:50
Pete Fornatale 4:51
The second segment will open with second segment I'm going to concentrate on talk shows, the ones that came before you, the ones of your era. And the ones that have succeeded you.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 5:06
I may need notes on that.
Pete Fornatale 5:08
Well, well, well, you know we can play uh, what's that, off the top of your head.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 5:13
I was usually working for the ones that came before me. Yeah. Well, good. I usually think of just jack and Johnny. But there was also Merve, there was
Pete Fornatale 5:27
There was Merve. That was right that was your first talking on the way in and I made the point to my friend, Chris here, that by virtue of being an employee of the show, it was probably harder for them to look at you as a performer who might go out and do stand up. So that's why your debut was Merve not not, Johnny.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 5:49
Yeah, and uh, the Tonight Show had come down and have them see me at the bitter end and said I wasn't ready.
Pete Fornatale 5:57
You know the person, it wasn't that famous, uh
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 6:00
Pete Fornatale 6:02
No i'm thinking of the NBC guy who's job was basically to take care of Johnny
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 6:07
Somebody once called him David Tibbett RN
Pete Fornatale 6:18
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 6:20
Pete Fornatale 6:21
Oh, oh, actually standing for the real RN. Glen Is this working better for your for your sake, in that segment? Well, I think at the end of that segment, I'm going to ask you about the Rolling Stones, which was not done in the studio, you went on location.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 6:44
We outsmarted them by going through the garden
Pete Fornatale 6:47
was that the 1972 tour?
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 6:49
Never asked me a date
Pete Fornatale 6:51
I'm checking with Jenny. I think it must have been okay.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 6:56
72 Was it in fact?
Pete Fornatale 6:57
Yeah. Yeah. And then my memory was that Stevie Wonder opened. Open that tour for them. So that in the third segment, we'll start off with the Stevie Wonder performance that's on the DVD. Which Which one is that Jenny?
Pete Fornatale 7:22
Great. I don't think we'll go with that
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 7:28
Wait a minute. Am I on television here? What is this
Pete Fornatale 7:37
This is this is a web a web camera.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 7:40
What is that?
Pete Fornatale 7:42
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 7:43
for the internet. Oh yeah, I just wondering why I didn't have any makeup on.
Pete Fornatale 7:48
And the last song in the show should be Bowie because that's the latest. The latest performance was from 74 December 5 74. Bowie performs his 1984 and Young Young Yong Americans, I think will close will close with the Boeing young Americans
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 8:14
Pete Fornatale 8:18
Is that right? wow
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 8:20
That's the one I was trying to think of. Yeah.
Pete Fornatale 8:25
What have you done so far? What other things
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 8:29
Pete Fornatale 8:32
What other what other dates is Dick doing to promote the video? DVD?
Pete Fornatale 8:52
Pete Fornatale 9:16
We already ran all over DC and Philadelphia.
Pete Fornatale 9:20
Do you still have a place in the city or are you mainly on the center? Is it the same place that Woody's former apartment that
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 9:29
Pete Fornatale 9:30
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 9:30
How do you know this stuff?
Pete Fornatale 9:31
Wow, that's amazing.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 9:33
One has no secrets left. I've taken the old Woody Allen place in Hollywood they say we've taken the old best wherever you place Harold Flynn place. I'm talking about that to Mike Nichols and he said we've taken the old do grocery place when you when you say your own name, you stress on Ultima.
Pete Fornatale 10:01
I stress on on a silent e Fornatale. My son who is who speaks Italian fluently and lived over there for two years, he says Fornatale
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 10:15
Well, sure, that's a beautiful beautiful way
Pete Fornatale 10:18
I was Americanized from out of the womb and never you know never bothered
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 10:24
to stress is that that boom.
Pete Fornatale 10:27
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 10:31
Oh, that was the part I was looking most forward to
Pete Fornatale 10:39
Oh, I see Pete Fornatale
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 10:46
Fornatale rhymes with fornapal. well, you're off the hook.
Pete Fornatale 10:55
Do you want to do that first Linda and get it over with if you don't mind.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 11:00
How do we that doesn't matter where I look. I hope no. Do I get cute or am I anytime? We're Hi, this is Bob join the Peace Corps hope. Hi, this is Pete Cavit and you're listening to Pete Fornatale on mixed bag radio. Wise you are
Pete Fornatale 11:30
we're on Alright, let's
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 11:31
Did you catch any of that on the tape?
Pete Fornatale 11:36
You know the joke Ready when you are sleeping?
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 11:39
I had it happen to me.
Pete Fornatale 11:42
That's good point. Something new that has to be asked at a recession. I have 2:28 and we're going to begin in 10
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 11:50
Oh my God, what's my name?
Pete Fornatale 11:54
Five. I'll tell you
INTERVIEW BEGINS-SEGMENT 1:
Pete Fornatale 12:00
Hello again, everyone and welcome to another edition of mixed bag radio. This is Pete Fornatale at the Gibson Baldwin showroom in New York City. My guest today is one of the most familiar faces in American television history. But since this is Radio, I'm going to have him introduce the first musical performance on our show today. Ladies and gentlemen, Dick Cavett.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 12:23
Thank you very much. I couldn't resist that when you told me where
Pete Fornatale 12:29
we're gonna go to something along the lines of hang on to the roof whenever she performs Janis Joplin. Oh, Janice will sing and we'll be coming out of Janice way. That's Janis Joplin and a live performance of move over that she did shortly before her death in 1970. on The Dick Cavett Show on ABC Television, Dick is my guest today on mixed bag radio to discuss the DVD release of rock icons. Many of the great once in a lifetime appearances on his late night network television show, including David Bowie, David Crosby, George Harrison, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Joni Mitchell, The Rolling Stones, Ravishankar, Paul Simon Sly and the Family Stone, Stephen Stills and Stevie Wonder that could you get any names?
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 13:21
We tried. I wanted to say you're making this up. I never I never thought of myself as the person on television who's the host of The Rock people. I just had one on and that worked nicely and had another one on and people thought I was eccentric for talking with them or trying to, but that seems to continue to work. And then a good bit of time passed and I realized I kept more dead rockstars on tape and anyone. It was just a fact not an opinion. And, and then rapidly were added deaths of Janice and then Hendricks
Pete Fornatale 14:04
Yeah, very short order. You know, it's funny. I had planned to ask you this earlier, but we should get into it right now. You know, you were born to a different musical era than rock and roll.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 14:18
I was yes, Bah.
Pete Fornatale 14:19
Were you dragged kicking and screaming into this? And also was it a way of distinguishing yourself and that show from what Johnny was doing with the Tonight Show and those days?
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 14:34
I never thought about I ever ever thought of Johnny into tonight's show, except in the sense that I have great affection for him and was on his show a lot of times, and never nothing ever did in television I thought would last five weeks so I couldn't be hurt. You know?
Pete Fornatale 14:51
You were head to head competitors though.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 14:54
We were Yeah, but I never thought about all the things to waste energy on it would be thinking how you're doing doing with your competition and trying to book for this or that I did actually learn in relatively recent years when somebody used the phrase, whenever you did better on a night than we did someone from the tonight show and I said I did. I would Oh, yes, currently. And Johnny would be saying why didn't we get Sophia Loren and I have only good thoughts about Carson. And I never thought of the rock people as a distinguishing thing. I didn't even know necessarily that it would go on for very long and they seem to kind of come our way after a time. Maybe I don't even remember who it was. Maybe Janice was first or maybe Grace Slick was the first. But the word seemed to get around. That it was then the thing to do to be seen doing doing my show.
Pete Fornatale 15:56
It was the only place to see those people perform and talk on on network television.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 16:03
I think so are strictly some of them probably appeared on hullabaloo and some of those shows but, but certainly they never. They never produced the astonished looks that I did when Sly and the Family Stone finished and I invited him to come join the conversation. There were I never followed one of the damnedest stretches of my life with Sly Stone. I decided watching it recently that though everybody had said, it's Oh, it's weird. You can't understand you. You didn't understand anything he was saying. And even they're saying is that isn't true. It played in fact, I could write a small essay, that this was in fact, an Outstanding Performance by a skillful Media Manipulator of hosts, and that he did every one of his lines with shrewd and perfect timing. But people would rather think oh, he was so stoned out.
Pete Fornatale 16:59
And the the intermingling on that occasion of Sly with Debbie Reynolds and Pancho Gonzalez,
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 17:06
who were together again. We should call that night.
Pete Fornatale 17:11
Yes, absolutely. There are others that we'll get to.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 17:15
There are Yes
Pete Fornatale 17:16
but I wanted to say to you, it's a warm day in New York, as we are recording this. So if I said to you, I'm a big fan of yours. Could you give me the same answer that Groucho gave you when you first met him on the street of New York?
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 17:33
Well if it gets any harder, I could use a big fan
Pete Fornatale 17:37
That's exactly it. And that's, that's as good a place to start as any.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 17:42
I suppose. That was a red letter day in my life. I don't know what that was. But if I had to know I would only have to check the death of George's Kaufman because it was the great Georges Kaufman's funeral. The man whom Groucho said is my God. That I got to meet Groucho as the funeral was breaking up. I heard woman's voice saying hi, Groucho. I'm Edna Ferber. Wow, I thought him a long way from Nebraska. And right after that, I didn't introduce myself to Groucho. And he took me to lunch for God's sake. And I just thought, well, they'll probably kill me now because nothing better can ever happen. Lunch with Groucho saying to the waiter. Is there any fruit in the kitchen? I don't mean the chef. And he were, he was something else. Did you know that during the blacklisting, Groucho was among those checked out by the FBI? No, yeah. And he had, he didn't belong to any of the organizations didn't like them. But in this he wrote some letter, and in the letter was a prize. It ended with these are my principles. And if you don't like them, I've got some more.
Pete Fornatale 19:10
So many, so many classic lines associated with him the one about the country club, the country club that
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 19:20
but yeah. Yeah, what's the beginning of that? Anyway, they're around the pool. And somebody comes around and reminds them that it is in that ancient, ancient euphemism, or political correct phrase restricted. And Groucho was said to have said, well, my daughter is only half Jewish. Could she go in up to her waist? Now I've seen that printed as could she go in after her knees and I think that would get a laugh too. But some demos have put ended it was the worst of all. My daughter's only half Jewish could she go waiting? See in the tin here for jokes a famous I'll get off Groucho in a moment. But it's famous columnist appeared to Groucho and me in Lynn knees once ago said, Oh God, here he comes. And he said, the famous columnist, famous for his inaccuracies. He said, Say something funny Groucho imagined, no jury would convict you if you knocked him over the head. Say something funny. Well, Groucho talked a bit and something funny came out. And he went away content man. And I said, you know, he'll probably screw it up. And he said, I know. The only way to get him to print a joke, right is to tell it to him wrong. That's a finer mind working.
Pete Fornatale 20:55
Absolutely.There are two other one of my sources, of course, was the great book that that you wrote in the 70s. With Christopher Porterfield. Is he still around?
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 21:03
You knew that we wrote it. I hope because people, Chris that I failed to make it clear at the beginning, I assumed everybody knew we were it was a written book. But we use the conversation format, because it's, but every word was written, quoted and taped,
Pete Fornatale 21:20
and it works like a charm. And there are two essays by Christopher
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 21:25
Christopher Porterfield, Chris Porterfield, Chris is he's still active as Yeah, well, actually, he's retired at Time Magazine for but at time, you can stay on a few years. They have a nice deal. There. We have an office and you can and you write for the magazine, and he's been doing that. But that book, it made the bestseller list and neither of us can remember how long and what position or how far but Groucho wrote that wonderful blurb for it on the back, which must have helped. Anyway, if you don't have a copy, and it's no longer 1974 Go to Dick Cavett under eBay, and you will see quite a number of people selling there. They didn't care for them.
Pete Fornatale 22:07
I noticed that you don't have a website. Is that
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 22:11
No, I don't. should I have a website?
Pete Fornatale 22:13
You should Johnny. Johnny does? Well, he does. I mean, you know, that's another it's a new form of immortality. Yeah, you're aware. But Parr has a website. Johnny has a website.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 22:26
Now who engineers these?
Pete Fornatale 22:29
Well, I think you've got to be led into that Wonderland by the hand of a child. You know, it's one of those kinds of things.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 22:39
But anybody can get a website.
Pete Fornatale 22:41
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 22:42
Yeah, but the stars in Hollywood, you can if you can pay for them.
Pete Fornatale 22:47
It does have its satisfactions though. Tom Snyder, he's just closing his down because I understand that he's ill
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 22:54
I'm sorry to hear that.
Pete Fornatale 22:55
But he after leaving the post Letterman Show. He started up a website called colortini.com. Oh, yeah. Based on that phrase he used to use for his CNBC show where you were mates for a while if I'm remembering
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 23:13
Yeah, we used to run into each other. Over there. He did a funny thing when I was on his show. And he said something about Johnny and I said, How Johnny treats me and I said he's to me, he's avuncular I guess Tom thought that was an insult because he immediately leapt to Johnny's defense. And allowed me to say he's still not going to have you on the show. Because somebody had said that he had vowed he would never have him on. I don't know why we're here to what. But it was. It was fun doing Snyder's show because he was he was hip and he was pleasant and professional and all kinds of good things.
Pete Fornatale 24:05
Absolutely. Anyway, he used his website as a platform to get his opinions out on things that were going on, and I'm sure
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 24:13
Well he didn't get them to me.
Pete Fornatale 24:17
I have to tell you, I hope you appreciate this the way I did. When CNBC launched that lineup of superstars, Phil Donahue, Dick Cavett, Tom Snyder, there was a fourth or fifth there. They launched it with a panel discussion where the five of you were on a Deus and people were calling in with questions.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 24:41
I'm gonna take your word for this
Pete Fornatale 24:42
okay. Here's the humor comes from the most unexpected places one of the caller's and I it didn't feel mean spirited, it felt affectionate which is why I feel okay telling you. He called up and he said I want to congratulate the carpenters that CNBC for constructing a Stage Two for constructing a platform strong enough to carry the weight of all those egos
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 25:10
I don't see anything to argue with there.
Pete Fornatale 25:14
No, it was just one of those lovely moments.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 25:17
Once I got to sit on one of those kinds of things. Roger Ailes won't be here tonight. He's He's ill, Roger Ailes. And about 1/5 of the people in the room got it. Well, well, they might have gotten it not cared for it. Some people can work it out.
Pete Fornatale 25:34
One of one of the problems with you one of the criticisms of you is that often material that you came up with just flew miles over the head of some of the people hearing and listening by it.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 25:51
Well if I had known it were that it would have been a fool to do it. But other times it's fun to know that only a segment of the people as they're gonna get,
Pete Fornatale 26:01
and it's so bonding with the people who do get it you instantly feel very one of your lines in the book was something about a you were using the word exegesis and and it came out exegesis saves. Pardon the
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 26:17
yes, that's one who was the British author who wrote me a note having enjoyed being on the show, and we had also had lunch and she had said, most of all, thank you for exegesis saves. And she said, Do you mind if I use it in England? I think they'll get it. And you should remember that.
Pete Fornatale 26:40
In our third segment, I've got a whole number of you have a gift. Do you still have the gift for wordplay and anagrams and all of that stuff?
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 26:50
It's I don't think a lot of it has been lost to senility. I pretty much that gift or whatever you call it. Our curse of anagrams is one of the strangest people I know who are brilliant, more so than I am by a good measure like Chris Porterfield and others in the field of writing and other places cannot imagine how you could look at the word cat and see act This it it just seems magic to them. And when I looked at Alec Guinness and saw genuine class, wow. Like that, and and networking it out writing, not looking at the words at all, except on the marquee Alec Dennis. It's a bizarre thing. And it comes and goes it comes out needs exercise sometimes. And I remember sitting on the show and thinking I'm doing an anagram of this guy's name. And I don't know what the hell he's talking about. Listening,
Pete Fornatale 27:55
I was trying to explain this talent of yours to my partner on the way in. And I reference the one where you had a guest on. Now this isn't an anagram This is a spoonerism you had a guest on about whom you said, what do you call a man who crucifies members of the Church of Latter Day Saints.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 28:19
Oh Mormon nailer.
Pete Fornatale 28:24
That is just
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 28:26
I wonder if the other members of my peculiar strange race that I belong to are
Pete Fornatale 28:31
will invite them. If they hear this broadcast, we will invite them to send their cards and letters and we will pass them along to you.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 28:40
Please do we'll get together in a camp somewhere.
Pete Fornatale 28:43
It is quite a gift indeed. And we will get back to it. But right now, I want to go back to the notion of odd combinations on your panel. I remember one night and it was one of the Hendrix appearances. One of the other guests promoting his ABC number one hit show was Robert Young. Robert Young was on with Henry with Hendrix Marcus Welby was on with Jimi Hendrix. And, you know, your your mind would tell you on the surface that there's no way this is gonna work. And yet it did you know, either because they were both in the, you know, because they wanted I guess in that context, they want to present their the best images of themselves. So there was some sort of a rapprochement between Hendrix and Marcus Welby.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 29:35
I had forgotten who had been over at Hendrix, but I I do know that looking at certain Republican types sitting in the audience disapproving of his silk band, around his head and his sissy shirt, and his other one around his waist. I particularly pleased me to say tell about when you're in the paratroopers and people laughed. They laughed as if I've made that up. I remember Woody Allen was hosting a Tonight Show years ago. And what's his name? And I cannot think of it made a slightly anti semitic remark. And he was known for his somewhat ambisextrous image. And what he said, what branch of the armed services were you? And it was as if you'd ask Liberace the same. But yeah, Hendrix was very nice and very well spoken. And I just loved making him think he can't have been a paratrooper.
Pete Fornatale 30:45
We talked a bit about that other odd combination of Debbie Reynolds, Pancho Gonzales and Sly and the Family Stone. Why don't we listen to slides performance on that program that can be found on the new DVD The Dick Cavett Show rock icons, this is Sly and the Family Stone. Thank you for letting me be myself again.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 31:10
You're entirely welcome.
PAUSE FOR A MUSICAL PERFORMANCE EDITED IN LATER
Pete Fornatale 31:12
Sly and the Family Stone performing live on The Dick Cavett Show
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 31:16
hey they sounded good
Pete Fornatale 31:18
they did then they it's available on DVD. That's called Rock icons from the shout factory. This is Pete Fornatale on mixed bag radio I'll have more with the Cabot in just one minute
PAUSE FOR A COMMERCIAL BREAK
CASUAL CONVERSATION IN BETWEEN SEGMENTS:
Pete Fornatale 31:28
one down two to go the first song was move over by Janice the second one is thank you for letting me be myself by sly well, they were going to take them from the from the DVD dICK, Are you okay with coffee or water?
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 31:48
Pete Fornatale 31:54
That's easy enough. Factory
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 32:02
remind me to pee after the next one even if before it becomes urgent.
Pete Fornatale 32:11
This is the one where a talk shows the ghost of talk shows past present and future.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 32:17
Yes. Sometimes I'll think I wonder what Lee J Cobb must have been like to talk to I saw reread a Death of a Salesman the television. And then I read Kenneth Stein and saying lee J. Cobb who looks like Lear while eating a sandwich in a Broadway cafe. And he does look like just wondered what he'd be like, I guess. I suppose I could have had him on but about a month later, I find an eight by 10 photograph of me talking to Lee J Cobb on the show. Oh my and then I realize I can kind of summon but it's thing with Carson came up with that but memory and remember guest I think a lot of what you do at the theater stays there at the studio. And that you then relax back into the person you are more than the one. Since the one we allow to be seen on television isn't really us. It's almost as if you didn't do certain things. I wonder if if you were in a studio and we were calling shows you did in studios years before because of the presence of the mics and the camera and everything we do remember more of them than you would if you're in San Jose's
Pete Fornatale 33:48
site. The site sense does trigger things the
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 33:52
Pete Fornatale 33:55
As you're speaking, that happens in this room. I mean, we've done countless numbers of these things in this room and I don't really hear them until the show is finished produced and on the radio somewhere
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 34:09
Pete Fornatale 34:10
It's amazing. It's an eerie part of let's not lose any of this stuff. Let's get into segment two.
SEGMENT 2 OF INTERVIEW:
Pete Fornatale 34:17
Pete Fornatale back with you on mixed bag radio with my guest today Dick Cavett celebrating the release of the three disc DVD box set rock icons. Dick I'm going to ask you about to famous jokes from your stand up comedy days. See you still still have them sharp
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 34:37
hope I get them.
Pete Fornatale 34:38
Me too. One of them has to do with a Chinese German restaurant.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 34:44
Oh yeah, that was it was hard to write for yourself. Everybody has told me it would be what he said it is really hard as working work for morning to get a job for it's so great. You can write 10 Pages for anybody else. Famous or infamous or unfamous without any trouble. I was just noticing there were some restaurants and really had two nationalities in their title. Not just Spanish, Mexican, whatever. But in one case, it was an odd combination. And I thought it would be another one. Chinese German food. That's about as ridiculous you could get. Yes. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. It's all right. But an hour later, you're hungry for power. And I realized I had you. Alan had also told me you re you realize when you have a good joke. Twice, he said to me, great joke. The other one was the Oh, the ball. Where was it? We get asked me when you have to have
Pete Fornatale 35:52
I have one here. Yeah, it was a wedding where the bride was pregnant.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 35:57
Oh, and they threw puffed rice. Yeah. That usually were and a piece I did about going to a snooty wedding in Westchester somewhere. But I suspected they were doing it on the cheap. Wait a minute. I don't know much about caviar. But I do know you're not supposed to get pictures of ballplayers. Well, you just heard the highlight of my act. Highlights extended.
Pete Fornatale 36:33
Woody liked that, did he
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 36:34
Very mich. did he very much
Pete Fornatale 36:35
Where did you two first cross paths.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 36:39
The night before I met Groucho. I met Woody.
Pete Fornatale 36:42
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 36:43
Isn't that weird?
Pete Fornatale 36:43
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 36:44
Becuase later I was the muscleature whatever conduit to bring the three of us. I've never heard anyone say this about anyone else in the business. He said I really had to meet Groucho. So I arranged it. We went to Lindy's. And sometimes what I think about it. The people at the other tables - why aren't they just splitting in half with thrill. They are this close to Groucho Marx. Realizing that all people feel the same about celebrities as I do, of course, they wouldn't be able to go anywhere. And I wanted to, when I met Woody, I should quit the business now. Nothing better can happen. I've met Groucho Marx. Or Tom Cruise. Sorry about that.
Pete Fornatale 37:42
Is it an ongoing friendship?
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 37:44
Oh, yeah, as far as I know, we haven't had any recent fights. We were walking in Central Park behind the Metropolitan Museum one day, it was very nice day. And there's a kind of a low wall, it follows that curving sidewalk. And I said, Oh, God, you know what I just realized the other day. You and I are the age Spencer Tracy was when he made Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?And of course, we and Woody said sort of pointing to the wall, can we sit down for a moment? And we did. But now of course, Tracy was very ill at the time. But it's nothing prepares you in life for the time shockers that are gonna happen to you?
Pete Fornatale 38:47
Absolutely not. Absolutely not.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 38:51
Forever expecting everybody and everything on earth to be exactly as it was when I last saw it. And in the state of somebody has the little fellow about a cousin, a person's son that you met sometime back and he'll say the little fella was Chief of Surgery now Honolulu Hospital.
Pete Fornatale 39:13
I'm gonna I was going to ask you at some point during your visit about a Rilke quote that you were very fond of. A long time ago and I'm wondering if it has changed its meaning for you over the years. Do you know the one I'm thinking of?
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 39:33
V se German Elka
Pete Fornatale 39:36
that very one? Yeah.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 39:37
I don't know what it is at this moment. You have the advantage of
Pete Fornatale 39:41
Okay it is the notion of time coming in.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 39:45
Oh, yeah. There isn't a real story I think is where somebody is just sort of flattened backwards that the idea of time rushing past him so fast that it's deafening in his ear. As in is that in some, one of your better read viewers maybe can let us know.
Pete Fornatale 40:07
Well, if you do the talking for a second, I'll find it.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 40:11
Okay. The idea of time being a force like a horrible wind. Perhaps his character went mad, because you weren't if you always had that feeling, having that,
Pete Fornatale 40:24
I think he ends up just going to bed. Yeah. And, and giving up.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 40:30
There's no index on that. There should have been. I hate any book that doesn't have an index, too bad. Marlon Brando. I gave him a copy. And he said, I guess you can tell him surreptitiously trying to find the parts about me as we were talking. He's certainly in there.
Pete Fornatale 40:52
And well, he should
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 40:56
The guys was overwhelmed by the passage of time rushing past his ears. Yeah. Some of the rivers west of the Mississippi or I'm just trying to fill for your here
Pete Fornatale 41:11
No, I know, I think we're gonna rely
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 41:13
once he once was.
Pete Fornatale 41:17
On the ON THE AUDIENCE MEMBER
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 41:18
I could tell thereonce was a lady from Wheeling. Even in a room full of hairy man. It's so
Pete Fornatale 41:29
Rilke, it does give the name of the story that it's from. And in fact, it's referenced twice in the book, it comes back.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 41:35
Oh I think I'd bring it up. And Chris clears up what it is.
Pete Fornatale 41:40
Okay. We might do a pick up on that later. But
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 41:43
only because we didn't know whether to take credit for writing like people talk or convincingly talking like people, write. And it would always pick us up and somebody would say, now did you edit the tapes, but
Pete Fornatale 41:58
I can still ask the larger question about whether that notion of passing time has has altered for you accelerated for you gotten better gotten worse.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 42:08
I think I have a totally, totally unrealistic Sense of, of time. I keep doing that thing where I say where's the little fellow? And they said, He's the head of something over and over. And I feel like they took somebody's taken about 25 years out of my life. I can't account for that know what that is.
Pete Fornatale 42:38
That's where the editing took place. Somebody clipped 25 years out.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 42:43
It doesn't and they damn well better give it back. Two can play it this game
Pete Fornatale 42:51
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 42:51
who said, Man will not be free. Until the last king is strangled with the guts of the last priest.
Pete Fornatale 43:01
Wow I don't know. But that's great.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 43:04
That was Tom Cruise I don't think what is I think it's Diderot. And I've sort of always had a vague feeling of who Diderot was I know his name when I see it. And then I remember that he did an encyclopedia for about 26 years about turning at vast amounts of correspondence and one of those people you'd think it'd be in the same room where they would suck up over here. I'm gonna be nice.
Pete Fornatale 43:36
I will bow to you on Diterot? Oh, no, no contest.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 43:39
Okay, I may be making this up, you know
Pete Fornatale 43:40
that's okay. First talk show you ever remember seeing on the tube?
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 43:47
Wow. Well, it would. Oh, it was Steve Allen. I went over to pick up a girl to go out for the evening. I was in high school. And she had this and she said you know when maybe we ought to stay home and watch this. And she said watch him in the other room and I watched Steve Allen and I thought it was fabulous and hilarious. I did see some Jerry Lester with Dagmar
Pete Fornatale 44:19
Broadway open house.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 44:20
Broadway open house? Yeah. And then of course I saw Jack Paar. Fact a friend of mine wrote me a letter. I think it was Porterfield and he said I'm knocking off for the evening out here in Minneapolis. I think I'll see what Jack Paar is doing and then go to bed. And I thought maybe I should be seeing what Jack Paar is doing. I'd seen him on a daytime show that virtually no one remembers and they say you must be wrong. I mean this medium and I don't remember a daytime show which began with four mugs of coffee live with names of Jack and the rest of the cast. Coffee being poured. and the theme was typically to get to the Jack Jack Jack took a look at the deck, and I can't find anybody else who who remembers it.
Pete Fornatale 45:09
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 45:10
Could I have invented it? No, it was it was morning Morning. Morning because of the coffee. And it might have been on opposite to the today's show. But talking about trivia.
Pete Fornatale 45:23
Well, the the icons of late night television all for for a moment there in time, all four were still living. And now of course three, three are gone. And I probably
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 45:38
Time has not been kind. who were the Well, Jack Johnny and Jack
Pete Fornatale 45:42
Well I was bringing an Allen, Allen, Paar,Carson. Yeah. And Leno only because he's the current host. I wouldn't. Well, I don't want to jump into your opinion. But I wouldn't put him on the same playing field with any of those three.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 45:59
Everything was better in the past.
Pete Fornatale 46:01
Well, but let's take them one at a time because now there's a famous story of how you passed a joke to Jack Paar walking to the men's room at NBC
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 46:14
Jack made it the men's room in later years to make it a better story.
Pete Fornatale 46:17
Is that right?
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 46:18
more plausible story
Pete Fornatale 46:20
in the hallways of 30 rock.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 46:22
Yeah, and this is such this is an off told story. But he mentioned it even somebody says is that really true? Because a columnist wrote a line in her column that Jack Paar worried more about his monologue than anything in the show. And I copy boy was at times copy desk, and he happened someone happened to leave that paper open the Herald Tribune, I think it was good. To Marie Torres column she went to jail for and protecting a source. This would have been 1960 I guess. I went home and I don't know what quite possessed me. To not doubt that I could write a monologue for Jack Paar. So blessed with that. Ignorance I did, like the bumblebee that can't really fly. And I wrote about two pages, maybe 17 18 jokes and gotten the get on the subway got off under Rockefeller Center. And this is corny. As I went through the turn style. I said to myself, this could be a turning point. And then sort of laughed at How corny that was. But I felt strongly that it was and I guess I would have to admit, I was pretty sure I would get up the back elevators, no security in those days of insecurity, I would never, he'd be talking to an empty chair. And here comes Jack, perfect. Just like you'd want to script it. I knew to put it in a time envelope, Jack that caught Jack's eye and I said I've written some material for you, Mr. Barber, I'm not part of Time Magazine, which he hated at that point. And he used it. I mean, he took it and went and sat in the audience all full of myself and he came out and took out folded paper. And it's gonna read my monologue and he's gonna say this all in an instant in the mind. This kid came up to me I don't know who he was and and he gave me his jokes. And they're better than my own writers. Give me I'm sorry. And I'm going to read them to you. But no, it was some good about traffic and when I thought I gotta get out of here. And then one of my lines came out in ad lib. And then another one. Pirate Ship had some people stranded in the post in the news had pirate ship on their front pages. I said it must have been startling to have a voice come over the loudspeaker saying this is your pirate speaking. No, I often still wonder why some people that because there's someone pointed out to me later some little prig. It's usually this is your captain speaking. But it worked. It got a huge hand and managed to meet him in the elevator going down. And he said you want to write down a kid? And I said yes. Although I didn't particularly. I just wanted to meet Jack Paar and I didn't want to say that to him. So he hired me like book guests and I illegal eight for a time then they had an opening of the writers staff and I got it.
Pete Fornatale 49:43
Was it already a goal of yours that that would be the ultimate format to pursue for you
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 49:50
No, all I thought was I've gotten to the place I probably most want to be in the world on the staff of the Jack Paar show. And if I hadn't gotten job I would have probably stood outside and watched him come out. But I, at this moment I can't think when did I first even picture myself? Behind the Desk? Usually it's been a desk because even noticed, not always. I never, never never thought of that. So I was kind of adrift in my unlikely success as a writer.
Pete Fornatale 50:30
Johnny inherited you as a writer in the transition?
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 50:34
You Know I'm not entirely certain I remember that. I think I was sent. Oh, no, I do remember. He was doing an Emmy show hosting an Emmy show from New York. And he was new and pretty much unknown, except for the game show that he did. And I said, Oh, I know Carson. He's from Nebraska. And I'm from Nebraska. And I met him when I was a kid and magician. And he would remember that but so I went over to remember going over to his apartment and he was wearing a t shirt. And I thought, I've never seen a big star in a t shirt before. I mean, you know, white underwear shirt. And I wrote for him for that. And he knew me from that and I went on to the tonight show staff. This is on with with Johnny,
Pete Fornatale 51:29
this is a forgotten little piece of television history. But I think it's important because not many remember that there was like a six month gap between paar leaving tonight. And Johnny taking it over
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 51:43
Isn't that funny. It's been my experience that nobody remembers that. And they'll say So when did Johnny Come on? They say Well, Jack left and Johnny came on to talk about it would have been a very dumb career move for Johnny I think you know, far loyalists a taken it away. And look he isn't very good at it.
Pete Fornatale 52:02
Was there any stupid decision than the one for Johnny to finish on a Friday night? Leno to take over on on the following Monday and not acknowledge him? Oh, my God,
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 52:16
I kidding. No. Forgot to mention didn't
Pete Fornatale 52:19
forget his his is. What's the word dragon lady manager, now deceased advised him not to.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 52:27
Well, that was stupid. Oh,
Pete Fornatale 52:28
my God. He's been paying penance for that ever since. I like Jay. But I don't
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 52:34
make a point of not admitting the King who just abdicated. Isn't that absurd? And you're on his property.
Pete Fornatale 52:43
But let's go to the other end of Johnny's reign. There was six months in there where it was catches catch can. You didn't know who you were gonna say MERV did
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 52:51
it you're telling me I wrote. That's you. You wrote for those people. There was one I remember Ronald Reagan was either the guest host or a guest panel. And he got into an argument William Bendix of the other Hollywood right, who had been planted in the audience, and they had an actor who was a very convincing communist, Russian Soviet Communist and began to spout propaganda sitting on the aisle. And I remember looking at and watching Reagan was already on his feet. Yes, hands defiantly on his hips. Yes. And so it was William Bendix, who was even to the right of him that and was Linklater possibly hosting? Very quick, very well. Could be Yeah, it was in California. It might have been Bob Cummings, who he was the first week. Wow. But before that, yeah, they nearly had apoplexy there. It was a commie.
Pete Fornatale 53:50
It was amazing. I mean, the stuff i You don't even know if stuff like that was erased if it exists anywhere.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 53:57
That'd be interesting to know, did they save any of those shows? There wasn't much worth saving, I must say.
Pete Fornatale 54:02
Well, the next one I'm gonna mention was very noteworthy because the gentleman in question was invited to do one week and was so hysterical and so loose and terrific, that they brought him immediately back for a second week, Griffin. Jerry Lewis.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 54:18
Oh, Jerry Lewis. Yes. Yes. Jerry Lewis. Oh, god, yes. He gave us all Dunhill $100 certificates. Everybody on the staff. And because of those fabulously funny, that fabulously funny fortunate they ABC they came up with the Jerry Lewis show two hours, who knows what he's going to do. He's totally free. It's all live will be many, many guests. And Jerry will sit at a console desk, where by pushing buttons he can change the scenery, change the lighting change that never eventuated of course, but that's the way it went. And I don't know whether I was the one who had when the catastrophe finally reached its apogee or parody when it hit bottom nadear I never can remember the nadear good, thank you. It was the sense that a bomb had gone off in an enlarged sense it had. It was just awful. And Kennedy had just been shot. Yes, show straggled on a few more weeks. And somebody said why I could see them all innocently bleeding. Why didn't this work? He was so funny those two nights and these he would come out with a headache. And I had a hilarious opening idea for him for his very first show that he would be discovered at a corner. And he would come down vine as a voiceover pretentious or it said tonight, this man steps into an arena that has never been equaled in history. And that anything goes to the Jerry Lewis theatre and gets the door and goes to going in. The door won't open. The automatic lock system has gone on over and it's live. I was praised and licked up one side of the face and down the other for this great idea that solved all their problems for an opening. And instead at about eight minutes before air, he decided to come out and sing make someone happy. Oh, ouch. And I think that spelt the end. To me to Randy was on that show. It was the Titanic of it was just awful. And I said, Why don't you see Jerry, tearing up his own living room isn't terribly funny. This is his show. This is where he lives, so to speak. And if he throws a grapefruit through a monitor, it isn't very funny here, but it was when he did it in New York on someone else's show. You don't mess up your own house, the comic goes and messes up somebody else's out. And it didn't see any any of that or what I was trying to say or talking about.
Pete Fornatale 57:26
Well, you survived it. And I guess went back to let's see that show.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 57:31
Oh, yeah. They threatened not to pay me they call them wanted me to take half my salary for the remaining seven weeks or something. And I said that's, in effect, the opposite of what I'm going to do. So I finally got all my pay. Great, big bruising woman who headed the Writers Guild back then it was wonderful. And she came to my rescue in this specific case and said if they weren't every buddy else on the show, shut down. And remember the writers good. All the Writers Guild members. Don't do it. You're right they're wrong
Pete Fornatale 58:10
Nice to have that kind of support. Back to Johnny still in New York. So I guess you came home to New York worked on The Tonight Show for a while. Yeah. Now is the idea of percolating for your own show.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 58:22
Oh, no. No, I said something I would never think of any more than I would think of leading the Philharmonic or something.
Pete Fornatale 58:30
When did that happen? Was it the morning show in 68
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 58:34
it's funny, I only found out recently, I had forgotten this. I did a show with Woody Fraser, who's one of my producers that but before that I was ever having a show. I did a show in five parts called the star in the story. And Ben Johnson was the star who nobody was a bigger star than Ben Johnson in those earlier days and
Pete Fornatale 59:00
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 59:01
Yes silly Red Sox. But he was a wonderful guy. He was pleasant to be around for the five days that we did these half hours and maybe it was fewer they brought his hypnotist in. She said go into your van and didn't think explored his childhood friends. That's pretty entertaining idea, but ABC hated it but wanted to know if they could get the guy who was hosting it. Wow. That was little me.
Pete Fornatale 59:30
Wow. So that was the morning show and 68
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 59:35
did they call it the morning show or what did they call it? The daytime? I don't know. It was in the morning. And I remember my first laugh,
Pete Fornatale 59:43
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 59:43
rigid with fear and nerves. I went out to do the first show woody Fraser producing. And what was it? Elmer burrs B. I thought it was a wonderful name out of James Thurber, isn't it? Yes, Elmer birds B was an afraid owl was an ant expert. And Elmer Brisby was on the show along with other guests, of course. And he had those thin plastic things that you can see the ants tunnels in and all and he spoke about them and so on. So they put me there, I was still rigid. And he was my first guest. And when they came back and cued me, I heard myself say, no show is complete without an ant expert. Broke up my producer and of segment of the audience. It was important because I remember that feeling. Does this mean I know how to do this? That's what Johnny does. Comes out and thinks of something and gets
Pete Fornatale 1:00:52
apocryphal or not on the day, Bobby Kennedy was killed. You call Johnny for advice?
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:00:59
Oh yes, you're right? Why would I forget that? Yeah, I did. I just said, I don't know what the hell you're supposed to do. was obvious. You couldn't. That was assassination season. There. It was in that period of America's history. And I just thought I better ask him. I remember thinking he might like to be asked, but that I really wanted to know. Do you remember any? I don't remember exactly. But whatever. He said it was the right thing. He said, You have to have to go out there and do the show, Richard. And you don't have to avoid the subject. It's another show. sort of have to make yourself do it on these occasions. And I think just his avuncular advice was, What do you mean by that? I wouldn't name it you. But yeah. And it was nothing unnatural about calling him and we were both from Nebraska.
Pete Fornatale 1:02:08
I have another
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:02:09
I have a wonderful article that I've written about Carson and I don't know where to put it.
Pete Fornatale 1:02:15
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:02:16
Ans don't Say where the moon don't shine. I really don't.
Pete Fornatale 1:02:20
That's the first thing on your website. That'll be the first thing you put on your Website
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:02:25
Pete Fornatale 1:02:26
That's what that's what will make
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:02:27
I had more like the New York Times or Vanity Fair in mind
Pete Fornatale 1:02:32
Dick cavett.com No, I'm sorry.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:02:34
it's a website I guess
Pete Fornatale 1:02:35
I have another strange memory. And I'm gonna get these all out today, because it was it took this long to get here. I don't know when the next will be. I seem to remember that on the Friday night before you began your late night show on ABC in December of 69. That you guessed hosted Carson. Am I totally crazy that the last time that you did a guest hosting job, or were a guest with Johnny was literally the Friday night before your Monday debut?
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:03:11
Gee that's worth checking. I don't I can I recall hosting that show once from New York. I recall hosting it two nights in a row in California. Always when I didn't have a show of my own. And
Pete Fornatale 1:03:33
this will involve a trip to the New York Times.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:03:36
It will suppose there any websites that have all this may be you know, it just may be it strikes me as very strange that it would happen to me to maybe the atmosphere was different in those very different everybody. But
Pete Fornatale 1:03:49
the competitiveness was not what it was today that sense of you can't take a goddamn vacation day. Yeah, that exists. Now.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:03:59
I did that with a one with I think we were PBS show we are and I didn't want my secretary informed me one day, this is the 365th day from your last vacation and you haven't had any. And I missed it by a couple more weeks. Because I said okay, if I go with it won't be here. It'll all have been a mistake. There was that, but never did I picture myself in the hot seat, hosting a show. Until after that started the story business and ABC happened to be looking for something to do in the daytime. And there I was
Pete Fornatale 1:04:43
well it's like the checkerboard here. We're now jumping to you replacing Joey Bishop which is really what happened.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:04:50
That happened while I was in London. My first trip to London I couldn't have been more thrilled. And we went to the theater One night. I don't remember what we saw. But a woman in the row behind me said congratulations and I thought thank you and then intermission came and I said, By the way, for what? And she said, well don't you know and I said, No, you're replacing Joey Bishop. No one told me or asked me did I want a late night television show for I made Carson laugh once genuinely hard on the air. And that was such a good feeling. Because I really thought he was wonderful and the idea of breaking him up not in a phony one you know, the person goes off their chair and pounds the floor and end of the show. I was the least significant guest. I was moved down to the end of the couch. And Johnny asked what are you doing next Able and he said, Oh, I got I'm doing a new movie called such and such and Arlene and Arlene had a new series coming along. And Jeff had a fabulous thing coming along. And what about you, Richard? I didn't Have anything I said, I'm working on it. I'm working on a sort of sitcom it's a humorous version of Gilligan's Island Well yes, he exploded Johnny likes to joke that had a target somebody or something he raises he was so good at himself.
Pete Fornatale 1:06:42
He raised the bar he set a standard that no one will no one will ever come close to correct
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:06:49
I don't know exactly how and less some some great in a manger somewhere. Successor
Pete Fornatale 1:07:00
Nebraska probably. in some fashion. We sometimes take u turns in this show. I think I want to play Bette Midler's
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:07:09
Pete Fornatale 1:07:10
good by to to Johnny that last week of his reign on The Tonight Show
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:07:14
that gets to me watching it i
Pete Fornatale 1:07:17
on mixbag radio.
PAUSE FOR A PERFORMACE LATER EDITED IN
CASUAL CONVERSATION BETWEEN SEGMENTS (AUDIO CUTS OUT)
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:07:19
can we talk
Pete Fornatale 1:07:21
Do you want to switch and you want to do a turn? Yeah. Do you want to boy wish?
SEGMENT 3 OF INTERVIEW:
Pete Fornatale 1:07:47
Top of the head answers.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:07:48
Pete Fornatale 1:07:49
things in for the third segment. Are we rolling, okay, I can. We've been all over the media map with Dick Cavett. But his main purpose in being here today is to talk about The Dick Cavett Show rock icons, three DVD set that's just been released by the shout factory you can find out more about it at shout. factory.com One of the things it includes is your 1972 encounter with the Rolling Stones.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:08:18
Yes, it is true to his pity. We couldn't get him to come on the show. I thought certainly it said well, why don't we Why don't we hit him with the idea of doing it at the at the garden where they're going to be playing. And surprisingly enough that came back positive. I knew Mick a bit before that which might have helped. And it was I got to spend I got to see two entire Rolling Stones concert in I think it was the same day. And memorable moment was something came streaking out of the sky but garden way higher up the ceiling, and down looking like it was on a collision course with mic's head. But it missed his head by few inches and shattered on the stage into almost powdered glass. Wow. It was a coke bottle. Boy. And he handled it very coolly. Just the way any of us would. He said don't throw no fucking Coke bottles on the stage. He puts put on more accent than he really has.
Pete Fornatale 1:09:34
I just said to a friend of mine that they're they're out on tour again this year. And there will be a day when the Rolling Stones will not be touring. And that'll be a very sad day. I'm thrilled that they're still out there doing it. Is there a musical performance on the DVD?
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:09:50
Pete Fornatale 1:09:51
Which song do we know?
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:09:52
Dick doesn't know. But he's usually reliable. Not jumping jacks Flash, doesn't it say oh me thing
Pete Fornatale 1:10:05
looking looking looking, Rolling Stones Rolling Stones
Unknown Speaker 1:10:14
it's a bit sort of couple songs.
Pete Fornatale 1:10:15
Okay the number we're gonna listen to a track from the Stones album that was out that year on mixed bag radio. That way we'll cover it. Rolling Stones guests on Well, if you can't go to the mountain bring the mountain to you Dick Cavett interviewing the stones at Madison Square Garden on the new three DVD set rock icons.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:10:38
Yeah I stuck to a couple of stones. But Mick before and after is it's kind of fun to see him go to be taken backstage and see how he's introduced into the into the car. And people who are trying to get backstage but he was out of there and up the street while the applause was still on. Wow. Which took a kind of almost rehearsal
Pete Fornatale 1:11:02
Pete Fornatale on mixed bag radio. I'll have more with the Cavett right after this. Pete Fornatale I'm back with you on mixed bag radio with my special guest today, Dick Cavett Dick our time is rapidly running out on us.
Pete Fornatale 1:11:15
So let's play free association
Pete Fornatale 1:11:18
let's play free association. Does the Rodale tape exist? Will it ever be seen?
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:11:22
I would doubt that it would win I will. I'm pretty sure it exists. And I know engineers copied it right away to give their girlfriends a chilling, fright. Those who may not know what we're talking about Rodale was the Rodale Press, by the way, and they're behind somebody very surprising. This book that's just that, but he helped publication was his life Prevention Magazine, you've run across and then foot doctors coffee table. And he was very funny. We booked him at the last minute. He was the head of Rodale. He was a health and food and nutrition expert. And he looked like Trotsky and was much funnier than Trotsky. Probably funnier even than Stalin. And but seriously, folks, I had made a mental note to have him back. He was really funny for this full half hour of airtime. And he died. Right there. Pete Hamill, the columnist, was in the other in the main chair gesture. And he said this looks bad as he went off and slumped. And about from this point on when I tell this story at a college lecture, it's a we're personalizing. The laughter begins. And it's so it probably won't be clear now How could usually it's because I've said, Someone died in your show. Yeah, he was a health expert laugh in four or five laughs Come in, right about this point. And then it gets serious again. When I say that I I looked in there he was lying on the floor, with on his back with his chest pulled open I mean, his shirt and his pants for emergency administrations. And I had that odd image of here's this man, they're pounding on his chest. And right next to him here is a cameraman focusing to get a slightly better picture of what's going on. And that I later had several objects in my pants pockets that I didn't own. And they were all things that he is I don't know how I got them. I'll guess I'll never remember. Somebody makes it. Maybe you should take these but I don't remember it. And he was DOA at Roosevelt Hospital. I thought of asking a member of the Rodale family once in fact, they did broach it. What if we put this on even now? And then had two doctors sitting there and saying, How many of us really know what to do? If somebody flops over like this? beside you? Do you know where to go with it? Do you know what to do? Do you know what you grab and what you don't and so on? So on and get some it'll certainly be memorable.
Pete Fornatale 1:14:29
Probably useful, too. But,
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:14:31
but you know, her fate and things have a weird sense of humor. Now they do. Oh, yeah. It keeps you amused and amazed at the same time, but it was neither. Not any of us until watching it. weeks later. remembered that he had said I plan to live to be 100 And I never felt better in my life and He had some asparagus boiled in urine, which he offered me at the end of the last segment in which he was alive. And I said, I think I'm gonna wait. Oh, what an evening I remember who was on that night.
Pete Fornatale 1:15:14
But what a lesson for you as a host of how life goes on television goes on you tell a story in the book about Hugh downs and you almost getting hit by a car.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:15:24
I know what you mean, somebody sped past us while we were looking the other way on Central Park West where you live. And we were both sort of shaking ourselves loose from the moment. And he said, you know, what's, what's funny about this is that tomorrow with the office, and we're sad here about Dick and Hugh and he'll say, Hey, have you had lunch yet? You know, we all hate to think of that, but it's just well, it's gonna
Pete Fornatale 1:15:56
Oh blah dee oh blah daa life goes on to two last quick things DickI once heard you, I think interviewed on the today's show. And you said that you had total visual recall a radio, but none of television.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:16:10
Yeah, that's true, isn't it? I mean, think about it. And the memories and things that a theme song from an old radio show will give you I hate to repeat what I hope is finally going to be someday dead and buried cliche. Radio gave you imagination. It's like any of you guys show on comics on the old David Susskind. And it's something somebody's gonna say, you know, where jokes come from prisons. And the logic was that prisoners don't have anything to do so they make up jokes. But what if that turns out to be true that all jokes do come from prisons? What was that? It didn't finish?
Pete Fornatale 1:16:56
No, no visual recall of television.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:17:00
Yeah The the the cliche is true. Of course, the whole difference is that a medium that comes at you through your ears hits you far deeper than a screen with a picture on it.
Pete Fornatale 1:17:17
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:17:18
Yeah, that was they found out by the way, the hard way. And in some cases that the visual gags people tuned in to see, because they were on the show like a man whose closet dumped out 4000 pounds of junk when you saw it, and Benny, even with all his wisdom made that mistake, that won't be great. We'll be here Jack Benny go down into his vault where his money is and where the alligator is in the moat. And in each case, everyone had his image of that, and none of them match the one that never could be. radio hits you deeper. That's for sure.
Pete Fornatale 1:17:55
This is a serious question. As I intended to ask you today Dick Did you peak too soon and too young? And once you've been there and had that platform? Are you always chasing after it the rest of your life in some way?
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:18:09
I don't seem to be but then I don't seem to be the type that would bring out a DVD when people ask me every damn day. Can we ever see Janice again? Or can we ever see when Jimi Hendrix I don't know I think these things happen when they do like the strange chance of my running into Jack Paar and all the other things in that day falling into place including the time I read the face about he needed a model he worried about his Well, I don't think I were having any control over anything of that sort. And in my life,
Pete Fornatale 1:18:50
Are you at peace with your place in television history?
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:18:54
As it was when I'd like to go back and rewrite some of it? No, I am. But and the other days, I think I've just got to do a show again. There's stuff I want to say. And it'd be funny and it'd be flat funnier than that was. But it doesn't consume me as it might. Probably has some other
Pete Fornatale 1:19:17
I am. I am very happy to hear that you make the point in your book that that that Groucho and WC Fields, probably never could quite grasped the meaning that they had in other people's lives. So before I let you out here today, I just want to assure you of the meaning that yours has had in mine
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:19:39
Oh my god,
Pete Fornatale 1:19:40
thanks for being with us.
Dick Cavett (JJ-209) 1:19:45
Do you want me to cry on you? That's the nicest thing I've ever heard.
Pete Fornatale 1:19:47
Oh God, no, I hope I hope I hope that's not the nicest
FORMAL INTERVIEW CONCLUDES. CASUAL CHATTER AS PETE FORNATALE AND CREW PACK UP. PETE ASK'S DICK TO AUTOGRAPH A BOOK OF HIS.
Description: groucho, thought, johnny, day, guest, wrote, remember,funny, jokes, good, it, great, dvd, jack paar, jack, janice, mixed bag, segment, carson
Keywords: Jay Leno
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