Merv Griffin was the anti-Trump. No matter how many riches he amassed through creating the formidably successful game-show phenom of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, this band singer turned talk-show host turned entertainment mogul turned hotel/real-estate magnate never projected an air of arrogance or entitlement. Publicly affable to the end, Griffin (who died Sunday at 82) was one of those rare talents whose success only a grinch would begrudge in part because the ubiquitous shows he's best known for continue to provide so much pleasure on a nightly basis. That lilting, nagging Jeopardy theme? He wrote it. That alone is enough to ensure him a place in the annals of TV history.But he also had a long, profitable run as a talk-show host, primarily in syndication. He was never the coolest or funniest (that would be Johnny Carson), he was never the most trenchant (that would be Dick Cavett), but he was an effortless entertainer who put the audience at ease even as he occasionally...
In the 1960s and '70s, Dick Cavett was the thinking person's talk-show host. His well-received daytime program on ABC led to a late-night stint that lasted five years. The Dick Cavett Show never challenged NBC's Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in the ratings, but its high-profile guests often generated plenty of buzz. Luckily, many of his most memorable chats are available on DVD. The Dick Cavett Show: Hollywood Greats, featuring interviews with Alfred Hitchcock, Groucho Marx, Robert Mitchum, Katharine Hepburn and others, will be released on Sept. 12, and starting that month you can also catch reruns on Turner Classic Movies. Cavett has also re-created his old show in a new hourlong sp