The erudite Cavett hosted a number of talk shows over the years that were popular with critics but never built a large audience (by Leno-Letterman standards). A writer for Jack Paar's `Tonight Show' in the early '60s and host of his own late-night series by the decade's end, Cavett was alternately praised and chided for his innovative one-guest approach. His wide range of provocative interview subjects included Katharine Hepburn, Orson Welles, Woody Allen, Norman Mailer and Jimi Hendrix.
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A lot has changed in 20 years.