• Talk Show

  • By: Dick Cavett
  • Narrated by: Dick Cavett
  • Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (280 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

For years, Dick Cavett played host to the nation’s most famous personalities on his late-night talk show. In this humorous and evocative book, we get to hear Cavett's best tales, as he recounts great moments with the legendary entertainers who crossed his path and offers his own trenchant commentary on contemporary American culture and politics.

Pull up a chair and listen to Cavett's stories about one-upping Bette Davis, testifying on behalf of John Lennon, confronting Richard Nixon, scheming with John Updike, befriending William F. Buckley, and palling around with Groucho Marx. Sprinkled in are tales of his childhood in Nebraska in the 1940s and 1950s, where he honed his sense of comic timing and his love of magic.

Cavett is also a wry cultural observer, looking at America today and pointing out the foibles that we so often fail to notice about ourselves. And don't even get him started on politicians.

A generation of Americans ended their evenings in Dick Cavett's company. Talk Show is a way to welcome him back.

©2010 Richard A. Cavett (P)2010 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Talk Show

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Dick Cavett Remembers

I’ve was never a fan of Dick Cavett. I tried and tried to watch his talk show. He got terrific guests. But all that unrestrained wit and unbearable, never ending cleverness was too distracting for words. I couldn’t figure out who he was trying to impress – the celebrities, his audience, the crew, himself? Maybe if he had an English accent it would have been easier to take. But Dick Cavett the writer is another matter. He’s got great stories to tell and he tells them with the same wit and style I found so tedious on television. A few of the anecdotes are dated and boring but that’s what the fast forward button is for. Most of his tales are truly wonderful and he reads them in a warm, relaxed conversational manner. Its almost as if he were sitting next to me in the car. He’s a lot more likable that way.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Witty, wry and wonderfully entertaining...

As a long time fan of Dick Cavett, his memoir "Talk Show" took me down memory lane of some of my literary heroes, television greats, political silly people and the golden era of live television. Mr. Cavett's intelligent insights and observations of those familiar faces and public figures enlighten his readers/listeners with his humor and his understanding.
I especially enjoyed his analysis of the Imus firing situation, perhaps because I agree with it. I wonder if Mr. Cavett's respect of the I-man remains after his "defection" to Fox Speak...more's the pity.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Dick is too smart for you!!!!!

This book is basically a compilation of all of Dick's columns for the NY Times. Cavett spends so much time complaining about George W. Bush's mispronounciation of the word NUCLEAR that one wonders how he ever had a career before Bush was president. He spends so much time bashing Bush(Probably helped get the gig at the NYT) that it makes you wonder how he has survived the last president's 2 terms without killing himself. Here is a good breakdown of the book: 10% Dick Cavett TV show memories 15% Dick telling you how stupid you are(He loves to use quotes in foreign languages and references to Shakespeare to get this point across) 15%Dick telling you about who he knows/knew and his great adventures with them 60% conservative bashing. Yes, Dick does show some kindness to John McCain, but McCain is not very popular with the conservative base. The book has some interesting moments such as when Dick describes the death of a guest on his show and his adventures as a child, but most of this is a series of trashy, condescending columns compiled into a "book." Read at your own risk, but remember you will always be a small person and too stupid to hang with Dick.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A delightful time spent!

What made the experience of listening to Talk Show the most enjoyable?

By far the best part of this adventure was hearing it told in Mr. Cavett's own voice, infused with his characteristic wit and intelligence. This reminded me of both how much of an influence he was on my life over the years, and how much I miss that now.
The book is a treasure-trove of backstage glimpses, wry observations on life, political commentary, and some very memorable jokes.
And, thank you Dick Cavett, for coming to the rescue of the English language!!

Any additional comments?

As soon as the audiotape ended, I raced over to my computer to see if his autobiography had been recorded by him here. Disappointed to not find it! What do you say, Audible?

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Pretend he's not being pretentious, & you'll enjoy

I rarely watched Cavett's show (he always seemed TOO full of himself), and yet I've seen brief clips of many of the shows I missed and have thoroughly enjoyed them. Maybe that's the answer...Cavett in small doses is manageable. At least I found MOST of these columns to be either interesting, humorous (the ones about Richard Nixon, George Bush) or downright poignant (the one about Paul Newman brought tears). I DID NOT enjoy learning he was not only friends with - but GOOD FRIENDS with - the irksome William F. Buckley. And Cavett seems to get far too much enjoyment remembering tales of his childhood/teen vandalism, minor though it may have been.

His writing skills are exceptional, and he's a pleasant narrator

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Exceeded My Expectations - Considerably

Would you consider the audio edition of Talk Show to be better than the print version?

Yes. I have a preference for books read by the author.

What other book might you compare Talk Show to and why?

Since this is one of the very few memoirs I've read, it's hard to compare, although I did listen to Michael Caines most recent and Cavett's compared more than favorably.

What does Dick Cavett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Obviously, his voice (tone, modulation, inflection, etc.)

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The John Wayne segments. A pair that is hard to imagine

Any additional comments?

I bought the audio thinking it would be a straight forward memoir. At first I was disappointed at it being a reading of his blogs. However, after I got into the pattern, I was very pleased. As to Mr Cavett himself, I found him to be more agreeable and empathic than I thought. That said is absolute intolerance of folks addicted to food and alcohol was a bit disconcerting.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fascinating...

I used to watch Dick's talk show & liked it since he didn't just stick to film stars, but brilliant people like Bill Buckley. This is a real find-the fact that Cavett narrates the book & very well too, enhances the experience. As other reviewers have said, it is like he is in the room with you. I was enthralled through all of it. I would almost bet a fiver that you will not be bored. Bravo!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

GREAT listening! Quite a bit is “dated” however.

If there ever was a book that needed to be HEARD, rather than read, this is it! When you listen, you’d swear that Cavett does not have a printed page in front of him. Having only heard the audio – via the Audible version – and not seen the book, I can’t tell if he is adding some asides or not. Hey, I don’t care. This is “user friendly” Dick, who is among one of the top people I’d love to have a long conversation with. He is witty and funny and SMART! I was a big fan of all his TV shows and loved his first book, Cavett, which he wrote 30 years ago.That said, in all honesty, I have a problem giving the book 5 stars and I’ll explain why in a minute. As you may – or may not – know, this is a collection of essays that Cavett wrote for the New York Times in 2008 and 2009. They are read in chronological order. Cavett covers a large variety of subjects (just like his TV talk show; hence the book’s title) from celebrities he’s known (especially Groucho Marx) to the misuse of the English language. He tells about his high school reunion and going to magic conventions. These are all great! But then he discusses politics. I’m very much on Cavett’s side of issues and, if they were current, this would be great to read (and hear). But most of the columns were originally written during 2008 before the Presidential election and so Cavett spends a lot of time talking about John McCain, George W. Bush and Sarah Palin, among others. Barack Obama is hardly mentioned until after the election and, even then, he was newly in office. The Iraq War is covered but in a “time capsule” of what was happening then.
Even though this is only 2 ½ years after the columns were printed, the political columns are stale. The book was published in late 2010 and, in my opinion, should have been edited to reduce the number of “dated” columns. Not every column need to be included. even though I listened to the whole book all the way through, I feel I need to deduct one star because of the old material.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Love it!

I just love this audiobook. I always enjoyed Dick Cavett.....it's refreshing to listen to someone so intelligent and articulate. I've missed his TV show and was thrilled when I learned of this book. He kept me company on a long car trip. It felt like he was in the passenger seat telling me stories. Since I've returned home, I've played several for my husband and some friends, and I enjoy them the second time through just as much as the first. He's brilliant!

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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I Truly Could Not Take This Any Longer

Would you try another book from Dick Cavett and/or Dick Cavett?

That's a good question. I really thought this would have been more about his talk show and the business of show.

Instead, it was a series of his columns, read by the author.

Now, I *do* like Dick Cavett. Except for a few really good and funny moments, this book was just boring.

The part I did like best, however, was when he was talking about his experiences with his publisher. Quite funny.

But, it wasn't enough to salvage the book. I stopped listening to it after that.

What was most disappointing about Dick Cavett’s story?

I understand he is an "intellectual". But, Dick, do you really need to sound like such a fop?

And, all the political bashing of Bush just went on and on. Just made you sound like a typical liberal intellectual pining away for the current guy's "third term". Ugh.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Pretty much. It's Dick's delivery, which is fine. I'm okay with it. But the stories about Mailer and such... sooo boring.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I was very disappointed. Sorry, Dick.

2 people found this helpful

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  • JayD
  • 07-23-22

Very, very funny

Witty and devilishly incisive, kind and at times barbarously honest, one is left to envy Mr Cavett’s closest friends. Thought-provoking and hilariously funny from beginning to end, I only wish it had been longer.