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When Lily Tomlin stormed off “The Dick Cavett Show” after Chad Everett referred to his wife as his ‘property’

I featured Chad Everett as the Morning Man Classic on Sunday because he was an early crush and because he played a gay roles late in his career on the CBS series Cold Case. I didn’t mention in my post, because I was not aware of it, an infamous incident on The Dick Cavett Show in 1973.

Everett oddly referred to his wife as “the most beautiful animal I own.” Fellow guest Lily Tomlin gasped and said, “You own?” She then said, “I have to leave” and walked off the set.


Everett then sounded really creepy when he said after Tomlin left that his wife “is very happy being taken care of by a man. She has no aspirations to be taken care of by a woman.” Then he added, seeming to refer to Tomlin, “But that’s her kind of woman.”

Eeeeeew. He was clearly rattled by Tomlin’s departure and said: “Gee that was a disturbing thing to do. I’m sorry she did that. She’s having fun, right?”

Actually, it was the only thing to do.

It all starts at the 6:30 mark on the video.

Everett died July 24, 2012, at his home in Los Angeles after an 18-month battle with lung cancer. He was 75 years old. He was cremated and his ashes were combined with the ashes of his wife, Shelby Grant, who he stayed married to until her death a year earlier.

FILE UNDER: Controversy


(All comments are reviewed before being published, and I review submissions several times per day.)

5 Remarks

  1. Whoa, a generational building block for MAGA administration.

  2. You are so right about his sounding creepy after Lily walked off, but if you watch the whole show again — or at least the part where she talks about her impressions of California when she first moved there– you’ll see why Everett brought that gag gift of the brassiere. He was clearly trying to provoke her with veiled references to her being Lesbian. He was hostile from the get-go.

  3. Trying to be funny, yes, but not hostile. She had every right to walk off, in protest. In retrospect, he had a 45 year loving marriage. How many in Hollywood can say that? And although I like her, has Lily been with anyone that long?

  4. “he had a 45 year loving marriage. How many in Hollywood can say that? And although I like her, has Lily been with anyone that long?“ seriously? You don’t know that lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner have been a couple for 49 years?

  5. My first thought watching this was that he was a closet case. He was trying mighty hard to show what a he-man he was, or hoped to be, by denigrating Tomlin and what he knew to be her sexual orientation. By putting down her orientation, he could position himself as the polar opposite. This is old hat. Lots of studies out there about how homophobes and those who blatantly and vocally oppose homosexuality/lesbianism are often self-hating and very much running from who they really are.

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