Historical Events  TV
Dick Cavett

Guest dies on air

MMDE: The Dick Cavett Show aired an episode where a guest died on air

Current: The Dick Cavett Show never aired an episode where a guest died on air

An amazing video showing a Mandela Effect has was recorded in 2010 - way before the term even existed. It's been available on YouTube since then, and it fits the definition perfectly, because it describes an event which has very strong evidence for never occurring being remembered the same way by groups of people.

This concerns an episode of the Dick Cavett Show, which was supposedly aired in 1971. The recording is of Dick Cavett himself  recorded in 2010, describing the death of a guest on his show which, in his own words, many people have asked him about since claiming they distinctively remember seeing it. Yet, there is clearly no-one more authoritative than Dick himself, who insists it was never aired. 

The Dick Cavett Show

Cavett's career had an unlikely start when he was striving to become an actor in New York in the late 1950's. He was an extra on the Phil Silvers show in 1959, and a few bit parts around then in shows such as the DuPont Show of the Month, and as an extra in a TV remake of the movie Body and Soul. This wasn't working out, so he even tried to chance tack into a magic act, using skills he'd been self-teaching for years. He was forced to make do with jobs such as a typist and even a mystery shopper for some popular stores. Meanwhile, his girlfriend was becoming more and more successful on Broadway. Whilst working as a gofer at Time magazine, he became inspired to write to Jack Parr who was hosting The Tonight Show when he read about Parr's fear about having to constantly find new material for his opening signature monologue on the show. Cavett put some jokes in an envelope, usefully marked "Time", and went to Paar's office when he personally handed them to him. After using them, Parr requested more and soon hired Cavett. He was now officially in the talk show business, and the rest is history.

His many legendary guests are too numerous to mention. Here he is with Muhammad Ali:

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Death of guest

On the 8th of June, 1971, Jerome Irving Rodale was a guest on the Dick Cavett show. He was the founder of Rodale, Inc. and well known as an early advocate of the newly emerging sustainable and organic farming industry. He became known as the originator of the word "organic" when describing such produce. Unfortunately, he suffered a heart attack during the filming of the show and died soon after upon arrival at the hospital. He was 72.

The Mandela Effect is that people claim to have seen this, whilst Cavett himself is adamant it was never aired. This is the classic pattern, and appears to have been hidden in plain sight as such for years before the term became popular. It's well-known amongst chat show fans of the day, and has often been covered since.

Whilst Cavett is sure the episode was never aired, speculation that copies of the incident were made and could have been taken from the studio by someone in the production team. If this ever surfaced externally, whilst being in seriously bad taste, it could at least provide an explanation as to how some outside the TV station claim to have seen it. No evidence for this has emerged.

Hidden in plain sight

Eight years after the incident it was brought up in another show. Cavett again says the show was never aired, but doesn't mention anyone claiming it was. His guest, Alan Arkin, appeared on  29th June 1979 and made light of the inclident, jokingly acting out dying himself. This adds to the evidence of the Mandela Effect, because it documents how even though Cavett's story has been consistent throughout, the number of people recalling it differently down the years has grown.

TV broadcasts

There are other incidents of people claiming to have seen a TV broadcast which the TV company themselves say never happened. Examples include NASA broadcasting a building on the moonThe Mike Tyson ear bite and the Steve Bartman catch. No doubt others exist, but the difference here is the documented evidence of the key definitive source of the incident in many instances since it occurred. One must not forget the mildly-nsfw answer to the quiz master's question "where's the most unusual place you've ever made whoopie", which also fits the ME pattern but is left for the broad-minded only to check out here.

If one was seeking an explanation for these and the Dick Cavett Mandela Effect, it could be along the lines of more and more people hearing about the incident as the years went by, and a form of urban myth starting around what is known to have happened, i.e. the death itself. Stories became embellished, then grew a life of their own, until there was this crowd of people claiming the saw it originally, with some even coming to convince themselves they did because so many others are saying so too. The story then grown exponentially until it is as much a "fact" as the incident which spawned it. People subsequently researching it find the "partial truth" and also complete the rest themselves.

Pinky Lee

It turns out the incident being misremembered on the Dick Cavett show isn't the earliest of it's kind. Pinky Lee, the children's entertainer from the 1950's, had a heart attack and collapsed on live TV. He recovered, and lived until 1993 when one actually killed him, but in there are many who are sure he died that day on TV in 1955. This has spooky parallels with the Mandela Effect itself. It had quite an impression on millions of young minds, since he was at the height of his fame at that time and his show was seen as the go-to treat for many kids of the day. He was suddenly off-air for a year and a half. Could this memory be the one which became conflated in these young minds to morph into one where, years later, the facts he collapsed and wasn't seen again for so long made the leap to becoming one where he actually died? Studies of these fascinating phenomena, especially when so many have the same "false" memory would give a great insight into the Mandela Effect, if whatever is behind is it purely physiological, of course.

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