Discover the enduring friendship between “Groucho & Cavett” on AMERICAN MASTERS – Dec. 27 at 8 pm

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American Masters: Groucho & Cavett

Premieres nationwide Tuesday, December 27 at 8 p.m. on PBS, and the PBS Video App.


American Masters: Groucho & Cavett explores the enduring friendship between Emmy Award-winning television personality Dick Cavett and iconic comedian Groucho Marx. Cavett, a writer for Jack Parr on The Tonight Show, met Marx at the funeral of playwright George S. Kaufman in 1961. When Cavett made the transition from writer to comedian in 1965, he was encouraged and mentored by Marx. In 1968, Cavett became the host of his own talk show and Marx became a frequent guest capturing what Cavett calls, “the last of Groucho’s greatness.” American Masters: Groucho & Cavett chronicles the pair’s relationship through new interviews with Cavett, footage from Marx’s visits to The Dick Cavett Show and other rare recordings.

Groucho Marx and Dick Cavett - 1967
Groucho Marx and Dick Cavett – 1967


Dick Cavett, writer, comedian and award-winning television host

Archival footage and interviews from The Dick Cavett Show:

Groucho Marx, comedian, actor and writer

Jack Paar, comedian and television host

George Burns, comedian and friend of the Marx Brothers

E.Y. Harburg, composer

Erin Fleming, Groucho Marx’s companion and manager

Dan Rowan, comedian and actor

Phyllis Newman, actress and singer

Shelley Winters, actress

Truman Capote, author

About Dick Cavett:

Dick Cavett, a three-time Emmy Award-winning television host and author, started his writing career with The Tonight Show in 1961. Cavett’s writing for the show impressed hosts Jack Paar and Johnny Carson, in addition to interim host Groucho Marx. Cavett began writing material for himself and became a stand-up comedian in 1965. He landed his own morning talk show – The Dick Cavett Show – in 1968, which moved to late night in 1969. As a late-night program, his show was recognized as a smarter, more controversial alternative to The Tonight Show. After his show was cancelled by ABC in 1974, Cavett hosted an interview series for PBS from 1977 to 1982. On his later programs on CBS, USA and CNBC, Cavett continued to engage his guests in various topics ranging from the political to the personal until 1996. He has also had an active career as an actor, appearing on Broadway in shows such as Into the Woods and The Rocky Horror Show. Cavett’s film appearances include Beetlejuice, Annie Hall and Forrest Gump. On television Cavett has appeared on The Simpsons, Cheers, The Odd Couple, Saturday Night Live and numerous other shows.

About Groucho Marx:

Dick Cavett and Groucho Marx on the Dick Cavett Show, April 1968.
Dick Cavett and Groucho Marx on the Dick Cavett Show, April 1968.

Groucho Marx, a writer, comedian and film actor best known as the wisecracking leader of the Marx Brothers, made 13 iconic films with his brothers between 1929 and 1950. Groucho first went on stage in 1905 as a singer and eventually the Four Marx Brothers – Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Gummo – became the biggest act in vaudeville. With Zeppo replacing Gummo they moved to Broadway for three hit shows before beginning their movie career. Their success in Hollywood continued after Zeppo’s departure made them a trio. Groucho made a handful of solo films and also performed without his brothers on radio and television, most notably on the hit game show You Bet Your Life. Groucho was also an accomplished writer and wrote several books. He cut back his performance schedule in the 1960s but returned to the stage for a tour of his one man show An Evening with Groucho in 1972. The tour included Groucho’s famous performance at Carnegie Hall. In 1974 he received a special Academy Award for his film work with the Marx Brothers. He passed away on August 19, 1977 at the age of 86.