One argument about television is that it features too much sex and violence, and that this causes those problems on the streets. Television talk show host Dick Cavett was asked about violence on television, and he answered in October 1977:
“I don’t know if violence on tv causes violence in the streets. Comedy on tv has not resulted in comedy on the streets.”
Cavett’s quip has been a much-cited statement on the topic, even if not everyone believes the logical argument.
Wikiquote: Dick Cavett
Richard Alva Cavett (born 19 November 1936) is a television talk show host known for his conversational style of in-depth discussion on often serious issues.
There’s so much comedy on television. Does that cause comedy in the streets?
. Mocking the TV-violence debate, as quoted in Life, Vol. 18 (1995), p. 8
6 October 1977, Scottsdale (AZ) Daily Progress, “Cavett returns to weeknight tv,” television sec., pg. 2, col. 4:
On television violence: “I don’t know if violence on tv causes violence in the streets. Comedy on tv has not resulted in comedy on the streets.”
10 October 1977, Boston (MA) Globe, “Television & Radio” by William Henry 3d, pg. 91:
Asked about TV violence, he (Dick Cavett—ed.) said in deadpan dismissal: “I don’t know that comedy on television has caused comedy in the streets.”
Google News Archive
25 November 1977, Evening Independent (St. Petersburg, FL), “People! .Designer Queried About The Stars” by Aaron Gold (Chicago Tribune), pg. 12-B, col. 3:
... And Dick Cavett, who turned 41 on Nov. 19, when asked if violence on TV promoted violence in the streets, replied, I don’t know, but comedy on TV hasn’t created an outbreak of comedy in the streets!”
(Originally published in the Chicago Tribune on November 18, 1977—ed.)
4 May 1994, Aberdeen (SD) American News, pg. 2A, col. 4:
“There’s so much comedy on television. Does that cause comedy in the streets?”
Mocking the TV-violence debate
America’s War on Sex:
The Continuing Attack on Law, Lust, and Liberty
By Marty Klein
Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, LLC
As talk show host Dick Cavett said about TV causing violence and other social problems, “There’s so much comedy on television. Does that cause comedy in the streets?”