Saturday, April 21, 2012

My Tribute To Dick Clark

During a period of my life, I would spend much of my day watching game shows on the Game Show Network. I've been a game show enthusiast for longer than this, but then I realized that the Game Show Network was beginning to operate on my television. The first game show that caught my attention on this channel was the $100,000 Pyramid hosted by Dick Clark. I found heavy interest in the guessing game element to the show where celebrities would have to describe clues to the contestants and vice-versa. Plus the winner circle opportunity put another good twist to the show. Dick Clark was a natural as a host, as he kept the game under control and at the same time entertained us just as a host should. Then I realized that not only was he the host of the $100,000 Pyramid, but he had created an empire. I learned about Dick Clark's American Bandstand a few months later and watched him host New Year's Rockin' Eve on that given holiday. Goes to show you how accomplished he was. With that being said, his death was clearly shaking to the entertainment empire. A piece of our culture has gone.

Dick Clark began hosting American Bandstand in 1956, becoming the show's third, but most memorable host. During his time, all of the biggest, hottest acts went onto American Bandstand. You name it, chances are they were a part of the experience. The show was primarily focused in Philadelphia before moving to Los Angeles in 1964. It remained here until the show ended in 1989. Another empire of Dick Clark's was his annual New Year's Rockin' Eve shows that would ring in the new year. It began being held in Times Square in 1974, in order to ring in the year of 1975. Originally, the show was hosted by acts such as Three Dog Night and George Carlin before Dick Clark assumed duties himself. It was New Year's Rockin' Eve that created Dick Clark's impression on today's generation.

In December 2004, Dick Clark suffered a stroke that left him unable to host the New Year's Eve celebration. Regis Philbin took over as the host for this gig to ring in 2005. The next year, it was announced that Dick Clark would return to the show. Ryan Seacrest, American Idol's very own, would help Dick Clark out as the host in the crowd as Dick Clark would remain in the booth. Recovering from a stroke, it was evident that Dick Clark was not in the same shape. More evidently was the way he talked, but it was still incredible progress. Dick Clark was continue to ring in the new year until just this previous year. He died from a massive heart attack on Wednesday at the age of 82.

There's a ton to remember Dick Clark by. He was a successful host, an excellent personality, a sharp businessman, and the face of a franchise. As active as he was in front of the camera, he was also active behind it. He created several award programs and also created So You Think You Could Dance. Another thing that really shocked me was his age. He always came off as being incredibly young and it was obvious that he was already young at heart. Learning he was born in the 1920s was an interesting thing I had learned. While there are obvious pointers as to how someone could keep young in show business, there are plenty of people that were eventually caught up by age. Another unforgettable signature for Dick Clark was his salute as he ended programs, especially the Pyramid ones, where he would precede by saying "For now, I'm Dick Clark" and succeed with a so long. 

These are the things I'll remember about Dick Clark. A piece of the world of celebrity personalities has faded, but the legacy will continue to live on. Rest in peace, Dick Clark.

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