Dick Cavett’s Vietnam
Premieres nationally Monday, April 27, 10-11 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), as part of a special block of programming related to the Vietnam War.
Iconic Talk Show Host/Author/Columnist
In 1968 ABC signed Dick Cavett as the host of a morning talk show, which eventually led ABC to give Cavett his own late-night program opposite The Tonight Show. Cavett was the host of The Dick Cavett Show, which won three Emmys and aired on ABC from 1968 to 1975 and on PBS from 1977 to 1982. He also hosted talk shows on the USA, HBO, and CNBC cable networks. The Dick Cavett Show aired for six seasons on CNBC. He hosted many other shows, including Faces of Japan, a series for PBS, as well as two HBO specials on magic and three HBO series: Time Was, Yesteryear, and Remember When. He appears frequently on Imus in the Morning, HuffPost Live and other interview programs, including Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and The Dave Hill Explosion; he was nominated for his eleventh Emmy Award in 2012 for the HBO comedy special Mel Brooks and Dick Cavett Together Again.
Dick Cavett was born in Kearney, Nebraska, in 1936. Growing up in Lincoln, Nebraska, Cavett won national fame as a trophy-winning teenage magician and was a state champion in gymnastics on the pommel horse. In 1954, he earned a scholarship to Yale University, where he majored in English and drama. At Yale he appeared in numerous radio and stage productions, while spending his summers working at the Oregon and Stratford (Connecticut) Shakespeare Festivals and the Williamstown (Massachusetts) Theatre Festival.
He enjoyed making numerous appearances with his fellow Nebraskan and friend Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, where he started as a joke writer for Jack Paar. Twice the host of Saturday Night Live, he also appeared on two Kraft comedy specials with George Burns and Groucho Marx, and over the years he has made guest appearances on such television programs as The Odd Couple, Cheers, Kate & Allie, Kraft Music Hall, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Carol Burnett Show, The Dean Martin Show, The Bob Hope Show, The Simpsons, All My Children, The Edge of Night, HBO’s Bored to Death, and TBS’ Are We There Yet?
He is renowned for his success on game shows in their golden age. He was the host of the highly controversial VD Blues in the early ’70s on PBS. He has appeared in a dozen feature films, including Beetlejuice and Forrest Gump. More recently, he has appeared on many of the current radio and television interview shows, and is frequently sought for voice-over and emcee work.
On the stage, Cavett made his Broadway debut in 1977 playing the leading role in Otherwise Engaged, a British comedy by Simon Gray. Cavett returned to Broadway in 1988 in the role of the narrator in Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. From October 2000 through January of 2002 Cavett appeared as the narrator in the Broadway production of The Rocky Horror Show. He starred in an off-Broadway production of Hellman v. McCarthy in 2014.
In addition to his performing career, Cavett has — in collaboration with Christopher Porterfield — written two books: Cavett (1974) and Eye on Cavett (1983). His latest book, published November 2010, is Talk Show: Confrontations, Pointed Commentary, and Off-Screen Secrets. A new book, Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments, and Assorted Hijinks, will come out later in 2014. His work has been widely published in The New Yorker, TV Guide, Vanity Fair, and elsewhere. Cavett has written an online opinion column for the New York Times since 2007. Cavett lives in New York City and Montauk, New York, with his wife, Martha Rogers, Ph.D., and his adorable shelter dog, Riley.
Wesley K. Clark
General Clark serves as Chairman and CEO of Wesley K. Clark & Associates, a strategic consulting firm; Co-Chairman of Growth Energy; senior fellow at UCLA’s Burkle Center for International Relations; Advisor at the Blackstone Group; Director of International Crisis Group; Founding Chair of City Year Little Rock/North Little Rock; Chairman of Enverra Inc., a banking and strategic advisory firm; as well as numerous corporate boards. General Clark has authored three books and serves as a member of the Clinton Global Initiative’s Energy & Climate Change Advisory Board, and ACORE’s Advisory Board, and Chairman of the Little Rock Airport Commission.
Clark retired a four star general after 38 years in the United States Army. He graduated first in his class at West Point and completed degrees in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University (B.A. and M.A.) as a Rhodes Scholar. While serving in Vietnam, he commanded an infantry company in combat, where he was severely wounded and evacuated home on a stretcher. He later commanded at the battalion, brigade and division level, and served in a number of significant staff positions, including service as the Director Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5). In his last assignment as Supreme Allied Commander Europe he led NATO forces to victory in Operation Allied Force, saving 1.5 million Albanians from ethnic cleansing.
His awards include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Defense Distinguished Service Medal (five awards), Silver star, bronze star, purple heart, honorary knighthoods from the British and Dutch governments, and numerous other awards from other governments, including award of Commander of the Legion of Honor (France).
Fredrik Logevall is the Stephen and Madeline Anbinder Professor of History at Cornell University, where he serves as vice provost for international affairs as well as director of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. He is the author or editor of nine books, most recently Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam (Random House, 2012), which won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for History and the 2013 Francis Parkman Prize, awarded by the Society of American Historians to the book that “exemplifies the union of the historian and the artist.”
It also received the 2013 American Library in Paris Book Award and the 2013 Arthur Ross Book Award from the Council on Foreign Relations. Logevall’s commentary has been featured on CBS, BBC, CNN International, and National Public Radio, and his reviews and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Politico, and Foreign Affairs, among other publications. He is immediate past president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.
Timothy Naftali is the head of Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University. Naftali was director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, a division of the National Archives and Records Administration.
As the first director of the federal Nixon Library, Naftali oversaw the release of an estimated 1.3 million pages of presidential materials and 600 hours of Nixon tapes and the creation of nearly 150 video oral histories. He wrote and curated the library’s widely praised multi-media Watergate Gallery, which opened in 2011.
A native of Montreal, Naftali holds a B.A. from Yale, an M.A. in American Foreign Policy and International Economics from Johns Hopkins, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history from Harvard. He has taught at the University of Hawaii, Yale, the University of Virginia, and is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor at NYU. At the University of Virginia, he was the founding director of the Presidential Recordings Program at the Miller Center of Public Affairs, which transcribes and analyzes the John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon tapes.
Naftali is currently completing a presidential biography of John F. Kennedy. He is the author or co-author of four books, including One Hell of a Gamble: Khrushchev, Castro and Kennedy, 1958-1964; Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism; George H.W. Bush: The American Presidents Series: The 41st President, 1989-1993; and Khrushchev’s Cold War: The Inside Story of an American Adversary, which won the Duke of Westminster medal for military literature in 2007.