Friday, April 20, 2012

R.I.P. Dick Clark

Dick Clark is someone I knew my entire life. I first saw him on Saturday afternoons. When the cartoons that had been on all morning finally ended, it was time for Dick Clark and AMERICAN BANDSTAND.  

AB was on so long, I was convinced it was a permanent fixture. By the late sixties, I was really into AM radio so Dick Clark was a regular in our house.

He even made movies! Not GOOD ones but...

Realizing the need for a more youth-oriented version of Guy Lombardo's traditional New Years Eve show, Dick created NEW YEAR'S ROCKIN' EVE in the early seventies with Three Dog Night as the headlining group (pre-recorded) on the first show. I was up late watching!

He joined the ranks of favorite game show hosts soon afterwards with the long-running game show THE $10,000 PYRAMID (which kept pace with inflation in the ensuing years).

He put out this jilarious album of radio bloopers (real ones. Not those Kermit Schafer re-creations) and then, along with Ed McMahon, went on to host years of specials of TV bloopers, too. 

A stroke slowed him but didn't stop him and he continued to return to Times Square year after year, right up to the opening moments of 2012.

Along with a reputation as an astute businessman, a nice guy, and a calm and collected host who could recognize trends a mile off, Clark was frugal to the point of being cheap, peppered his off-screen language with frequent vulgarities and somehow came out smelling like a rose in the payola scandals of the early sixties. I doubt anyone will ever be as successful, loved, respected and lucky as Dick Clark.

Rest in Peace.

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