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Dick Cavett Donates Talk Archive to Library of Congress

Friday was a busy day for the Library of Congress' TV archive.

In addition to the Watergate hearings being added to the American Archive of Public Broadasting, Dick Cavett has donated 2,500 of his interview programs--across multiple networks and noncommercial TV--to the Library.

The shows feature more than 5,000 guests. Cavett gained a reputation as sophisticated counterprogramming to more mainstream late night fare, and for attracting an eclectic mix of guests, from Salvador Dali and James Baldwin to Louis Armstrong, Charles Schulz and John Lennon and Yoko Ono (pictured).

“Dick Cavett turned interviewing into an art form,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden of the donation. “He could talk to anyone, and his ability to listen and make the fascinating people who sat across from him more relatable guaranteed his place in television history.”

Cavett might have had a place in history anyway given that his resume also included writing for late night icons Jack Parr and Johnny Carson.

"I’m thrilled that the Library of Congress will be the permanent repository for the collection," said Cavett in a statement. "When I see one of the old shows now, my first thought is ‘What is that starstruck kid from Nebraska doing with whoever the genius of the moment happened to be?’”

Cavett's shows appeared on ABC, CBS, USA, CNBC, USA, HBO and PBS.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.