Mae West on the Dick Cavett Show

Here’s an awesome nugget! Dick Cavett interviewing Mae West in 1976. (It’s her birthday today — see my full essay on her here). I love this artifact…Cavett seems wary. It’s hard to tell if he’s (appropriately) intimidated by West, or if he’s afraid she’s going to keel over and lapse into an “episode”. Similarly, West seems reserved and halting: she didn’t give many TV interviews, and by this time (she was 83) she was very frail, both inside and out. Most of it is pretty canned, but there are a few illuminating moments.

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