Richard “Dick” Clark, the famous American radio/television personality, passed away in early April at age 83 from a severe heart attack.
He began his career in 1945 when he was only 16 years old. He worked in the mailroom at a New York AM radio station owned by his father and his uncle. Very soon after, he was asked to fill in as the weatherman and then a few months after that, he was announcing station breaks.
Clark attended Syracuse University where he worked at an AM country music station. After graduation, Clark moved on to bigger and better things: television.
He hosted several country music programs before eventually landing a hosting position for American Bandstand. His debut as host in 1957 was kicked off with an interview with the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. When the show was cancelled in 1987, it was the longest running show in TV history.
Clark’s shows were some of the first to have desegregated audiences and to have whites and blacks perform together on the same stage. Famous singer Paul Anka said that Clark’s shows were responsible for creating a “youth culture”.
Clark also hosted game shows, including The Object Is, Missing Links, and The $10,000 Pyramid. Pyramid won 9 Emmy Awards for Best Game Show and Clark won 3 Emmy Awards for Best Game Show Host.
However, for our generation, Clark is probably best known for his New Year’s Eve show. He hosted the famous countdown held in New York every year. Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve aired in 1972 and was hosted by Clark every year until 2004, when he had a massive stroke. Despite the stroke, he was back on the show the very next year. He continued hosting the show until the year of his passing.
Clark was introduced to Ryan Seacrest several times throughout his more recent career. Seacrest was a co-host on the New Year’s Eve countdown and was next in line to host the show if anything were to happen to Clark. After his stroke, Clark and Seacrest co-hosted the show together.
Today, Seacrest is an American radio personality, television host, and a network producer. He hosts On Air with Ryan Seacrest, a Top 40 radio show, American Top 40, E! News and American Idol.
Seacrest seems to follow in the footsteps of Dick Clark when it comes to his career. With similar occupations and personalities, many believe that Seacrest is becoming the “new” Dick Clark.
While no one can ever fill the shoes of Clark, it looks as though many people are expecting him to do so.