It was a rather special time, if you think about it. All the stars of the era were available, as well as many stars from the golden age, sometimes booked simultaneously- Dick Cavett once had Jack Benny and Bill Cosby on a show together.
Tonight we watched The Dick Cavett Show (2.21.74) with Carol Burnett as his guest and it was fascinating- he was a masterful interviewer, practically just chatting with her rather than asking *the questions*, but he was able to work *the questions* into the discussion in an friendly and organic manner that seemed almost like watching two friends pick up again after years apart at a cafe rather than a talk show.
They started with a discussion about humor and comedy, which they followed with a duet of "A Fine Romance", which is followed later in the program with "Two Sleepy People". She also talked about growing up with alcoholic parents and how she was raised by her grandmother. Cavett asked her if having alcoholic parents would affect her allowing her children to drink, she pointed out at the time that all three of her children were under thirteen.
Maybe because it was Dick Cavett and maybe because it was the seventies, there was a graciousness and civility to their conversation that seems lacking in this horrible shouty era we're living in.
And yes, I know the Dick Cavett show wasn't always roses- here's a terrific clip with Gore Vidal and Norman Mailer feuding with each other... but really, feuding best selling authors? Isn't that cooler than feuding rap stars any day?