Brief Encounters

BriefEncountersBrief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments, and Assorted Hijinks
Dick Cavett
Henry Holt and Co. (October 28, 2014), 286 pages
Kindle Edition $12.99, Amazon Hardcover $19.71

This is a book for Dick Cavett fans. Others might find it mildly interesting or perhaps be somewhat put off by the narcissism that shows through at times. It is also, the potential buyer should be aware, recycled material. All of the essays come from Cavett’s New York Times blog.

I myself am a dedicated Cavett fan. I only caught his late-night show on ABC in its very last days. However, I was a committed viewer of his PBS program in the early 1980’s. I found this book a most enjoyable diversion.

Cavett writes about the people he knew in his heyday. He writes about his encounters with Groucho Marx and Muhammad Ali. He describes the time he spent visiting Stan Laurel in Stan’s later years. He writes about writing for Jack Paar and the guest hosts filling in after Jack and before Johnny Carson. Surprisingly, his mentions of Carson are few and passing, even though he wrote for Johnny for some time.

He also write about Yale, returning home to Nebraska, and class reunions. (Did you know that the men and women of Ivy league schools, before those schools went co-ed, had to pose for nude posture shots each year? How humiliating.)

Brief Encounters is pleasant, enjoyable reading for the Cavett fan.

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