Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Go
January 13th, 2009
My Comedian Hero
Dick Cavett
Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Dick Cavett: He had such a great time being Bob Hope.  And when I would get him on a show of mine– I’d see him and come on with me and– of course with Johnny and Jack and everybody.  And– he always– swapped gags.  He had– got a bunch of gags– ready and he came on and ready to do.  And about current stuff. And I thought– as many people have wondered– was there anyone underneath the Hope façade– the great comic picture that he was covered with.  And– was there anything under the covers?  So I would– intentionally not steer him into something I’d knew he’d do a joke on. Sometimes it was fun, too.  As in, “Were you really a bad boxer back then?  And you knew you were gonna get– I was on the canvas so much they called me Rembrandt.  And I was the only fighter carried into the ring.”  He– he would come right up with them like– a machine or like a computer.  But– so I would ask him to talk about himself.  And I got one show– it’s also on the DVD.  It’s the one where I got so conversational with him without his doing gags, that at one point he stated some fact about himself.  Oh, he talked to him when he was a kid– but he got a scar– the scar– “Little scar you can see– ’cause I got that from protecting my dog. And it was some– guys were throwing rocks at my dog and I went up– “  And he didn’t have a punch line for it.  But he was charming as hell just talking.  At one point he said something– he said, “Hey, would you rather have a gag on that one?” And I said, “No.  That’s just fine.  That’s fine.”  Amazing man.

  • Mark Craig

    If you ever want to see comedy greatness, with a great interviewer, watch Dick Cavett’s collection of shows featuring the great comedians that he has interviewed. It is classic comedy bliss, it features Groucho Marx, Bob Hope, Carol Burnett, Bill Cosby, Jack Benny and much more. I wish I had the money to buy it. I had to borrow it from the library. Weel worth the time.

  • John Bialas

    Mark speaks the truth. Cavett was never better than when he was interviewing showbiz veterans. They loved doing his talk show because he was sensitive and sincere, and he never competed with them for laughs. His box set belongs in every comedy historian’s library.

Produced by THIRTEEN    ©2014 Educational Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.