Dick Cavett’s Watergate aired last night on KOCE, the local (i.e., Costa Mesa) PBS station. I missed it, but I figured “no big deal…I’ll find some kind of VOD way to see it this weekend.” Actually, no. I thought everything was VOD-accessible these days. A recent L.A. Times review says it runs 90 minutes. But this morning I called John Scheinfeld, director of the Cavett/Watergate show as well as Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talking About Him)?, and asked if I can get the 90-minute version, and he said that the 55-minute version is the final deal. Dick Cavett’s Watergate is such a smooth and delicious recollection. Those old Watergate junkie highs come rushing right back into your system.
In an interview with Times Picayune reporter Dave Walker, Cavett acknowledged that “a lot of potential viewers have no idea what Watergate was about.
“It doesn’t bother me,’ Cavett says. “I’m very much aware that there are a lot more people, uncomfortably young, who don’t know whether it refers to a scandal or a hotel or a novel or a porno film. And I know that some of them are eager to know. I’ve talked to a couple who are college-age now who said, ‘I welcome this opportunity to get to know about it. We had a president who should have gone to jail?’ And I said yes.
“And I think that fact alone is dramatic enough to make it interesting to anybody. And those who remember it, remember what somebody called ‘getting his Watergate fix’ every morning, how you couldn’t wait, if you recall, to get the latest news.
“It was just virtually all you could think about. Hard to imagine now. Two other events in my life are the same, the Army-McCarthy hearings and the O.J. trial. There might be another one, but Watergate’s the king of them.”