Dick Cavett couldn’t help noticing Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal were engaged in a tit-for-tat feud played out in print media. So, he invited two towering intellectuals to face each other on his show in 1971.
It was vicious. At one point, Mailer accused Vidal and the rest of the panel of being intellectually inferior to himself. It was then that Cavett suggested that Vidal might like two other chairs to contain his giant intellect. By the end, the entire audience vociferously turned against Mailer. Cavett made some enemies during his tenure, but that’s expected for any late-night chat show host.
This happened a while ago. In 2003, Jennifer Garner came on "Late Night" with Conan to talk about "Daredevil ." The host, clearly impressed with the actress’s work in the film and the martial arts techniques she uses, is sidelined when Garner tells him he misused a word. She points out that "snuck" isn’t a word, and Conan went to Harvard, so he should know that.
Conan, dejected, facetiously admits he went to Harvard driving school. He didn’t let it go. Later in the interview, Conan pulls out a dictionary and points to the word “snuck,” laughing maniacally like an evil supervillain. Yikes.
Stephen Colbert welcomed late-night host Bill Maher to the show during the 2016 presidential elections. It started out okay, but Colbert asked Maher a specific question one too many times. Maher screamed at Colber to stop asking that, totally creeped out. Colbert wouldn’t stop. At one point, the "Real-Time" host threatened to abandon his seat after the break.
Later, sarcastic sweet nothings like “baby doll” by Maher and “sweetheart” by Colbert dot the conversation as they try to get along for the rest of the segment. It ends with Colbert demanding a better guest. This is what happens sometimes when one host interviews another one.
Bill Clinton surprised everyone as the first sitting president to make a late show appearance. By 2003, Arnold Schwarzenegger would take politics and celebrity to a new level when he went on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno to announce his run for governor of California.
He told Leno that he supports the recall of the current governor, and then he announced his plan to unseat him. As would be expected, yet shocking at the time, Schwarzenegger went full Terminator on the California governor. Let's face it, has there ever been a late-night chat show interview involving "The Governator" that wasn't hilarious?
Jeff Goldblum, talking to Cavett in 1992, had starred in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” “The Big Chill,” and “The Fly,” long before he would lead the "Jurassic Park" franchise. It's safe to say that he was already a huge name, and things were only going to get bigger for him after this interview.
Goldblum was caught off guard in this interview when Cavett informed him that writers often describe him as “gangly.” Cavett attempted to soften the question by describing the time a man ridiculed him for his short stature, but the conversation was slow to start after that “gangly” remark.