Richard Wagstaff “Dick” Clark was 82 years old when he died today of a massive heart attack. Depending on your age, you will have different memories of him. If you are under 40-years-old you will know Dick from ABC’s Dick Clark New Years’ Rockin’ Eve party in New York City’s Times Square. If you are older you will know Dick Clark as the host of American Bandstand, a dance show which brought Rock and Roll to mainstream America. In the show, clean-cut teens danced to the latest and greatest tunes while Clark walked around and spoke to them and asked them about the music.
What you may not have known about Clark are some of these facts:
- The Museum of Broadcast Communications figures that Dick Clark Productions has turned out more than 7,500 hours of television programming, including more than 30 TV series, 250 TV specials, and more than 20 movies for theatre and TV.
- Clark has won: Emmys, Grammys, been induction in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- In March 2012, Clark and his 3rd wife whom he married in 1977 put one of their homes on the market, asking $3.5 million. The house was an one-of-a-kind house on 22 acres in Malibu, modeled after Fred and Wilma’s house on “The Flintstones.” It was recently featured as being one of real estate’s most unique houses
- Clark would sign off his shows by saying “For now, Dick Clark…so long,” which he delivered with a military salute.
- Clark suffered a significant stroke in 2004 which required Clark to teach himself how to walk and talk again, yet he returned to his New Year’s Rockin’ Eve show in 2005. Regis Philbin took over the show for him in 2004.
- American Bandstand was credited with introducing many artists to national audiences, including Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly and Chubby Checker.
- Shortly after taking over American Bandstand, Clark also ended the show’s all-white policy, and introduced numerous black artists, such as Chuck Berry
- Clark did not include the Beatles or the Rolling Stones on his show when they came to America, thinking they would not become significant groups
- Clark later became host of The $10,000 Pyramid, which premiered on CBS March 26, 1973 (the same day as The Young and the Restless). The show continued through 1988.
- From 1985 to 1988, Clark hosted both the CBS $25,000 version and a daily $100,000 Pyramid in syndication with the daytime version winning nine Emmy Awards for best game show. It also won Clark three Emmy Awards for best game show host.
- In 1973, Clark created the American Music Awards show – which he produces annually.
- In 1984, Clark produced and co-hosted with Ed McMahon TV’s Bloopers and practical Jokes.
- Amazing statistic: For a period of several years in the 1980s, Clark simultaneously hosted regular programs on the 3 major American television networks: ABC (Bandstand), CBS (Pyramid) and NBC (Bloopers).
- In July 1985, Clark hosted the ABC prime time portion of the Live Aid concert.
- Clark did a brief stint as announcer on The Jon Stewart Show, in 1995
- From 2001 to 2003, Clark was a co-host of a daily mens talk show called The Other Half, meant to offer a male perspective to the wildly success show The View.
- Clark was featured in the 2002 documentary film Bowling for Columbine in which Michael Moore criticized him for hiring poor, unwed mothers to work long hours in his chain of restaurants for little pay. The significance is that the mother in particular works over 80 hours per week and is unable to make rent and gets evicted which results in her having her son stay at his uncle’s house. At his uncle’s house the boy finds a gun and brings it to school where he shoots another first grader. Clark refuses to answer any of Moore’s questions, shutting the car door and driving away.
- On November 13, 2002 Clark was appointed as a director of Krispy Kreme U.K. Ltd.
- In The Simpsons 1999 Y2K episode “Treehouse of Horror X,” at midnight a computer glitch causes Dick Clark to melt and he is revealed to be a robot.
What is your fondest memory of Dick Clark?