'The Dick Cavett Show - Inside The Minds Of ...'
(Dick Cavett, et al / 2-DVD / NR / 2019 / S'More Entertainment)
Overview: Since 1968, Dick Cavett has been host of his own talk show, in a variety of formats and on a number of television and radio formats.
These releases were taken from episodes that aired between 1968 through 1996 and feature some of the wittiest, edgy comics of the era, including Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx and Dick Gregory.
DVD Verdict: For those not in the official know, 'The Dick Cavett Show' was an 90 minute mixture of talk and variety that ran for six astounding years on late-night prime time television on the ABC-TV network from the first telecast on May 26,1969 to the final episode of the series on August 16,1975.
This was at the time one of the most versatile performers who eventually gave us some of the biggest entertainment acts in the history of rock,and went toe to toe with the King of Late Night-Johnny Carson and eventually at the time Merv Griffin for the battle of late night supremacy.
However, Dick Cavett was one of the few television personalities ever to star or host major programs in daytime, prime-time, late night, all in quick succession.
And it wasn't about his failure to attract a large audience with any of them, because his late night talk show brought in some of the largest ratings ever for ABC at the time.
Well praised and received by the critics, his late night show was generally acknowledged to be witty, intelligent, and interesting compared to what was scheduled around them.
'The Dick Cavett Show: Inside The Minds Of....' is a wondrous 2-Disc DVD set with just over two hours of lush flashback material. Entitled Volume 3, the episodes come from the revered aforementioned PBS series.
First up is Eddie Murphy, primarily talking about Huckleberry Finn in Memphis, but also we get the now infamous moment that Cavett draws out the word "N****r" (in reference to a "big flap" in America at the time where Americans wanted the great American book removed from shelves for the use of the word within the character N****r Jim).
Comedy on the spot here as Murphy is a true comedian and riffs along with the what could have been awkward TV moment. In real life Eddie Murphy and Dick Cavett were good friends and they would do bits of improvisation with one another to get the audience's reaction.
However, his chat with Richard Pryor ... well, awkward doesn't even begin to cover this! Cavett really dug himself a huge hole here asking if white writers could write for him, a black man.
He really made Cavett look like a fool here. Decades before anyone was talking about the concept of white privilege on TV, Pryor was able to address it calmly and coolly without even getting defensive. He just let Cavett dig his own grave. Brilliant from start to finish this episode.
As for Redd Foxx, well, personally I love Redd. He was so Vaudeville great that crushes the rest, for sure. Finally, Dick Gregory is as funny, and as broad as you would have ever wished for here.
A man with an amazing perception as a sensitive and articulate every-man he also had an amazing power as a writer. Combined with the fact he was a hero of literature and of the black experience in America, he sure gave an eloquent voice to all he spoke about (and man, was he downright funny!) This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.