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Dick Cavette is an Emmy-winning TV show host known for the button-pushing format of his shows and the controversial topics he tackles.
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Cavett's success as a comedic writer, particularly for The Tonight Show and The Jerry Lewis Show brought him work as the host of ABC's This Morning (1968) and then for ABC television's late night show (1969–75). Despite critical acclaim, he ran third in the ratings behind his former colleague Johnny Carson and Merv Griffin, which resulted in gradually less frequent airings of the show. He later attracted a loyal following with The Dick Cavett Show on WNET, New York City's public television station (1977-82).
Bobby Fischer, Groucho Marx, Lestor Maddox, Orson Welles, Gore Vidal, Marlon Brando, and Muhammad Ali. John Lennon and Yoko gave Cavett their first interview after the break-up of the Beatles in September 1971, and the couple were featured in two subsequent episodes. Lennon was facing deportation from the U.S. at the time by the Nixon administration -- fueled by drug charges and spurred further by the couple's outspoken participation in anti-war rallies. Cavett went on to testify in John Lennon's defense at his deportation hearing. It was also revealed through Richard Nixon's secret White House tapes, that the president sought to oust Cavett over a debate-style interview between anti-Vietnam War representative John Kerry and pro-war respresentive John E. O'Neill. The tapes contained an exchange by Nixon asking his Chief of Staff how they can "screw" Cavett. Since their public release, this taped conversation can be found on YouTube and other internet sites. Otherwise Engaged and Into the Woods. Other notable appearances in person or clips from his talk show were featured in films such as Annie Hall, Forrest Gump, and in episodes of television series such as The Odd Couple, Cheers, and The Simpsons.
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