Cavett Emptor

                                                           Last Friday, my wife and I were flicking around on the tube and came across a Dick Cavett - Mel Brooks "sit-down" show where they just talked and told stories, bouncing things off each other.  It had us on the floor and Cavett told a couple of really funny stories that surprised us with their risque-ness and ripe language, he was always so dry and suave on his old talk show, a gentleman. One of them was about Talullah Bankhead and Chico Marx.  Talullah Bankhead had taken New York by storm overnight in the 1920s with her sensational Broadway performances.  She was an outrageous personality, her favourite things were sex (with both men and women), cocaine (of which she said "Cocaine is not habit-forming - I should know, I've been taking it for years") and swearing.  This was in stark contrast to her background and early public image as a grand, aristocratic Southern belle, she was from a rich and powerful old Alabama family, a real lady. The Marx Brothers were famous for their sexual promiscuity and oddly, Chico was the most prolific (I would have thought Groucho, but never mind.)  Chico was a real wolf, a quick and crude worker in his approach to propositioning the ladies, he didn't believe in "beating around the bush."  The brothers were at a cocktail party for Talullah and Chico was warned to be on his best behaviour around such an elegant, grand more [...]