The Good

Filled with such comedic legends as Woody Allen, George Burns, Bill Cosby and others, this four disc set is truly one worth owning.

The Bad

Some of the special features were a tad unnecessary.

I was very excited to be able to review The Dick Cavett Show: Comic Legends. Filled with enjoyable interviews featuring the likes of Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Jerry Lewis and Woody Allen, this four disc set is fourteen hours worth of genuine DVD entertainment. What I love about this package is how it never gets old. Cavett seems to have a natural rapport with his guests where he can start an interview, they can seem to riff on a few things and then they might even go into an act that takes up the rest of the interview. The best part is the way he seems to extrapolate information from these comics by giving them a long leash with which they can do their thing, but he always manages to bring the conversation back to it's center.

Dick Cavett never minds that his guests are funnier or more popular than he is. He doesn't seem to be asking questions with any preconceived ideas. It's as though the people he has on his show are genuinely his friends, and he wants to engage them in a way that regular people may not be able to.


Disc One

Here's Dick Cavett

This is a bunch of interviews that from what I understand, where taken from the first version of The Dick Cavett Show. Shot in black and white, while not showing us anything that amazing, is still interesting to look at from a historical perspective.

Cavett Remembers the Comic Legends

Dick Cavett sits down with Bob Weide (director of Curb Your Enthusiasm) to talk about the comics that appear on these discs. In my opinion, the most interesting part of this is getting Cavett's take on who these people are.

Alternate Opening

A lost monologue has been found from a show on September 5th, 1969 with Groucho Marx. While I don't know how necessary it is to have something like this on the DVD, I always find Cavett to be pretty engaging so I did enjoy this. In fact, sometimes I think a talk show host's monologues are actually better than his shows at times.

Disc Two

Outtake Segment

This is an unbroadcast "overtape" segment in which Woody Allen and Dick Cavett fielded questions from the audience on October 21, 1971. While Cavett doesn't seem to have changed over the years, it is really nice seeing the old Woody Allen on this disc. He was so full of life and really knew how to work any audience which is so much different from the persona he shows the world today.

Joanne Carson Interview

Cavett is interviewing Johnny Carson's wife (who from what the booklet for this DVD states, used to be Cavett's former employer) in this segment. While I know that this has a lot of historical significance for some people, personally I didn't really get why it's included here. I wish the interview would have been with Johnny himself instead of through a filter.

Disc Three

Dick Cavett On the Ed Sullivan Show

It is things like this that really add to the value of The Dick Cavett Show: Comic Legends box set. Seeing Cavett talk with Sullivan, while I think Cavett is a much a better interviewer, really puts the whole history of talk shows like this in their proper perspective.

Disc Four

Cavett Backstage

Cavett looks at The Dick Cavett Show with Bob Weide and Tom Whedon (who worked on such shows as Benson and Captain Kangaroo). This is a behind the scenes look at how Cavett came up through the ranks as a writer and comedian himself. It gives us a little more insight into the man who got many insights from his guests.


Full Screen. Of all the DVDs I have ever reviewed, this one clearly looked the worst. However, when you consider how old these shows are and that they were probably recorded on previously used tapes, I think it stands to reason that they were not the greatest assets from which to make DVDs from. That said, the quality of the picture isn't the greatest but thankfully all the comedy comes through.


The kind of audio employed on these discs isn't listed on the DVD box art, but something tells me that it's of the mono variety. I mean lets put two and two together, this was TV and much of it was culled from the late 1960s early 1970s. The audio is quite good. I didn't hear any any hiss or other noises that impeded my listening enjoyment. In fact, it seems like the quality of these DVDs has been bumped up as much as possible, regardless of how the source material has been preserved.


Orange and white are the predominant colors of this front cover box art. There is a drawing of Cavett as well as a list of the guests that appear on these discs. The back cover features some small shots of people like Groucho Marx, Bill Cosby and Lucille Ball. There is a well written description of what is contained on these discs and a listing of the comedians on the twelve episodes. The artwork pulls out of the box art in one piece that contains four trays for each disc. There are some pictures on the artwork and an index of all the content as it pertains to each disc. There is even a nice booklet in which Cavett talks about the show and the episodes and the extras are further broken down. All in all the Shout Factory has done a great job with this well put together set.

Final Word

I have often wondered if and when they are going to start making Johnny Carson's or Jay Leno's shows available on DVD? I know that they have made sets available, or various bundles of interviews, but could you imagine if they tried to make an entire season available? Would that even be possible? Something tells me that with the advent of HD and Blu-ray DVDs, discs that can hold more content than had ever been available before, we might just start being able to see these things on store shelves.

I really have to give the Shout Factory credit. I had the pleasure of reviewing The Dick Cavett Show: John and Yoko Collection, and I was very much taken with Cavett's ability to really talk to his guests. It isn't like these people are on the show to shill for their projects (even though they were probably there for other career-minded reasons), and because of that the bantering seems genuine and entertaining.

The Dick Cavett Show was released .