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""For now, Dick Clark...so long." *salute*
April 18, 2012 1:01 PM   Subscribe

Dick Clark, America's's Oldest Teenager, has passed away after suffering a massive heart attack at St. John's Hospital in LA, TMZ reports (and other media outlets confirm).

Clark earned his nickname as host of American Bandstand, bringing (sanitized) rock and roll into the living room of millions and helping to bring teenagers to the forefront as a real advertising demographic.

Perennial New Year's Eve host, he stepped down to a supporting role following a stroke in 2004, replaced by Ryan Seacrest. He returned to at least make an appearance in recent years. He was interviewed as recently as March 27 by the New York Times.
posted by maryr (161 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by entropicamericana at 1:03 PM on April 18, 2012


One minute too slow. Double
posted by matt_od at 1:03 PM on April 18, 2012


Jesus, quite reminding me!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:04 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Let's go with this one.
posted by cortex at 1:04 PM on April 18, 2012


1959 "This Is Your Life" episode.
posted by merelyglib at 1:05 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by asciident at 1:07 PM on April 18, 2012


Whoa. Was feeling kind of sad about his death -- he always seemed so likable -- and then I clicked through to that NYT interview, and saw that jerky comment he made about teenagers and depression. Ugh.
posted by Gator at 1:07 PM on April 18, 2012


He lived in the most awesome house ever.
posted by mightygodking at 1:07 PM on April 18, 2012 [25 favorites]


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posted by ColdChef at 1:07 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by alms at 1:07 PM on April 18, 2012


Thanks, Mister Clark. Rest easy.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:07 PM on April 18, 2012


I saw a documentary a few months ago about these twin old ladies who seem to have some form autism that includes savant qualities, and they were absolutely obsessed with Dick Clark going all the way back to their childhood, and even got to meet him a couple of times. My first thought upon hearing this was that I felt bad for them.
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:08 PM on April 18, 2012 [13 favorites]


For now, Dick Clark, so long...

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posted by Gridlock Joe at 1:08 PM on April 18, 2012


Wow 82, I would have guess 99 going on 30.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:08 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by bitter-girl.com at 1:08 PM on April 18, 2012


He lived in the most awesome house ever.

Whoa!
posted by ColdChef at 1:09 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by Atreides at 1:10 PM on April 18, 2012


Curse you Von Helsing!
posted by PenDevil at 1:10 PM on April 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


My first thought upon hearing this was that I felt bad for them.

Mine too actually.
posted by jessamyn at 1:11 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aw man.
posted by elizardbits at 1:11 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:12 PM on April 18, 2012


How about punk? Johnny Rotten appeared on the show. Did he behave?

He was outrageous; he just ran around like a wild man. But it was all preplanned. He told me ahead of time, “I’m not going to be your usual guest.”

posted by griphus at 1:12 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 1:12 PM on April 18, 2012


New Year's will never be the same.

But how did I never know that Dick Clark lived in the Flintstones' house?
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:13 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is how he should be remembered.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:13 PM on April 18, 2012 [29 favorites]


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posted by Mittenz at 1:13 PM on April 18, 2012


that jerky comment he made about teenagers and depression.

IDK, I read that as more of a criticism of the health industry's immediate desire to pharmaceuticalize every single problem automatically, rather than a dismissive comment about the nature of teen depression.
posted by elizardbits at 1:14 PM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wait. They saved his animatronic head so he can keep doing that New Year's Eve thing, right?

I sure hope so. I'm pretty sure Gozer the Gozerian will be freed from his sealed tomb if Mr. Clark isn't there to cast the yearly incantation over the crystal sigil sphere. That would be very bad.
posted by loquacious at 1:14 PM on April 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


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posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:14 PM on April 18, 2012


well, it was pretty good, dick, i'll give you an 82
posted by pyramid termite at 1:15 PM on April 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


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posted by Renoroc at 1:16 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by kimdog at 1:16 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by Trurl at 1:16 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by JoeXIII007 at 1:17 PM on April 18, 2012


His heart; it had a beat, and you could dance to it.
posted by baconaut at 1:17 PM on April 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


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posted by hal9k at 1:17 PM on April 18, 2012


Man who does not age, dies.
posted by Bonzai at 1:17 PM on April 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Met the man and his wife once (sold them some film). Had a friendly conversation with him.

Really nice people, but boy did he look old. Very very old. He was far from America's Oldest Teenager (and this was in the mid 90's)
posted by 2manyusernames at 1:18 PM on April 18, 2012


The Mayans were right. World ends in 2012, because Dick won't be around to ring in 2013.

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posted by radwolf76 at 1:18 PM on April 18, 2012 [39 favorites]


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posted by oonh at 1:19 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by lilkeith07 at 1:19 PM on April 18, 2012


infinitywaltz and jessamyn: I also immediately thought about Flo & Kay and their love of Dick Clark. A few clips of that special about their obsession are here. ("they need food and water and Dick Clark"). I'm genuinely worried now thinking about how this news will affect them.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 1:19 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:19 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by jquinby at 1:20 PM on April 18, 2012


I guess he forgot that whole bit about not looking at that portrait up in the attic.

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posted by pjern at 1:20 PM on April 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


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posted by jessian at 1:21 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by 221bbs at 1:23 PM on April 18, 2012


He did his part to help rock and roll change the world, so thanks for that, Dick. I'm old enough to have caught the last few years of Bandstand. I remember seeing Y&T, Feargal Sharkey, and Rank & File or at least I think I do. Anyways, hope him and Ed are passing out checks in the Great Beyond.
posted by jonmc at 1:23 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I hope I make it to 82. I also hope this means the end of that "American Bandstand" themed restaurant on the New Jersey turnpike. I don't know why that thing is so depressing, but I have to look away from it every time I walk past it for a rest stop pee.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:23 PM on April 18, 2012


and then I clicked through to that NYT interview, and saw that jerky comment he made about teenagers and depression. Ugh.

It read to me like a comment about people today wanting to solve issues with pills*. Besides: INTERVIEW HAS BEEN CONDENSED AND EDITED. - according to the NYT. I don't think a single response in a fluff piece is really the hill to make a stand on re: the sort of person Dick Clark was and his opinions on teenagers and depression. I certainly hope no one ever takes a single statement of mine about a complex subject and decides that's somehow the entire story without doing a bit more research.


*arguable, but I don't see that he has a problem with depressed teenagers.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:24 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


That NYT interview is vapid. His answers seem defensive, too. Odd.

In 1999, he was interviewd by the Archive of American Television for 90 minutes. The first half hour of that interview is available on youtube. There's also a clip of him discussing the genesis of "New York's Rockin' Eve."

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posted by zarq at 1:24 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by MelanieL at 1:29 PM on April 18, 2012


[As per always the address of MetaTalk is M E T A T A L K D O T M E T A F I L T E R D O T C O M. If you need to discuss things with other commenters that have nothing to do with this thread, there is MeMail. Thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 1:29 PM on April 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


In late 1999 I had a temp job working with scripts for an "end of the century" daily radio spot that Dick Clark was doing. They focused on pop culture & news events from the 20th century, though most events seemed clustered around the '90s (our collective short-term memory and all). The spots had already been written and featured audioclips, but they were all too long. My job was to edit and shorten the scripts to around 90 seconds each, to be done while pretending to read them in Dick's voice. It was a fun short gig, though I never met him. I remember one "newsworthy event" was the Lorena Bobbitt trial, so he had to say "penis" on the air, probably for the first and last time.

(Just wanted to make the conversation a little more lowbrow.)

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posted by lisa g at 1:30 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure this means the apocalypse is actually coming, just as predicted. I mean, we can't very well have a New Year's Eve party without him!

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posted by stoneweaver at 1:30 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Seeing him come back from the stroke and make appearances these last several New Years' has made for very pointed thoughts about time passing and what the new year really holds...

I have been amazed and frankly impressed that the TV bosses let him keep coming on, even when he was in rough shape, and impressed that he wanted to. We hide our old so much, it is a hell of a thing for someone to (even be allowed to) make such a public showing of "I am old but I'm still here. This is what it looks like."

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posted by LobsterMitten at 1:30 PM on April 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Strange that Dick Clark and Don Cornelius checked out within a few weeks of each other (although under very different circumstances).
I was a music sponge in my childhood days and watched both of them whenever I could. RIP.
posted by rocket88 at 1:32 PM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


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I had the pleasure meeting Mr. Clark doing a taping of a game show called The Challengers. I was a contestant and I mentioned that I played co-ed ice hockey. At every break he would come over and ask me questions about the game, how I enjoyed playing with dudes and all sorts of details about how a girl ends up in a co-ed league. He was genuinely interested in not only me, but the other contestants and could not have been more cordial.

He was a great guy and he will be missed.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:32 PM on April 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


This is strange to say, but I always thought of him as a kind of rock and roll Mr. Rogers. No neighborhood, no cardigans, but a swinging club and a host who went out of his way to make sure everybody had a good time and respected everybody else's need to have a good time.
posted by ardgedee at 1:34 PM on April 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


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posted by Elly Vortex at 1:35 PM on April 18, 2012


There is still hope...

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posted by Fizz at 1:36 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by IvoShandor at 1:37 PM on April 18, 2012


Dick Clark - Open Letter to the Older Generation.
posted by mazola at 1:37 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I maybe be strange but for me Dick Clark's legacy wasn't Bandstand of the New Year's Eve gig. For me it was all about Pyramid. I'm not joking.

Great great game show host.
posted by Bonzai at 1:37 PM on April 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


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He was an icon. No doubt about it.

This is strange to say, but I always thought of him as a kind of rock and roll Mr. Rogers. No neighborhood, no cardigans, but a swinging club and a host who went out of his way to make sure everybody had a good time and respected everybody else's need to have a good time.

I was just thinking something similar. Such a mild and decent seeming man, and yet, a rock and roller at heart.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:37 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by luckynerd at 1:39 PM on April 18, 2012


I was just thinking something similar. Such a mild and decent seeming man, and yet, a rock and roller at heart.

"I'm not gonna sit here and tell you I did this solely to keep music alive," he once told Rolling Stone. "To perpetuate my own career first and foremost, and secondly the music."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:40 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Clark provided America continuity. I remember him in the late 70's, early 80's hosting Pyramid and being this link all the way back to the 50's. We never seemed to age for a long, long while.
posted by Catblack at 1:40 PM on April 18, 2012


I sure hope so. I'm pretty sure Gozer the Gozerian will be freed from his sealed tomb if Mr. Clark isn't there to cast the yearly incantation over the crystal sigil sphere. That would be very bad.

I'm sure he taught Mr. Seacrest, who is really as great an heir to the America's Oldest Teenager as I can imagine.
posted by maryr at 1:41 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


He, I mean... I was 28 for 6 years, but it caught up to me.
posted by Catblack at 1:41 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by hot_monster at 1:41 PM on April 18, 2012


My first thought upon hearing this was that I felt bad for them.

Flo and Kay are awesome fans of his and I can't imagine being the person that has to tell them he's gone. I hope they can handle it okay.

These leaves me sadder than I ever thought it would, like my teenage years are really far away now. Which, they are but knowing that Dick Clark was still alive made me feel a little bit younger than I am.
posted by SuzySmith at 1:42 PM on April 18, 2012



posted by m@f at 1:44 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


We hide our old so much, it is a hell of a thing for someone to (even be allowed to) make such a public showing of "I am old but I'm still here. This is what it looks like."

From the 2010 show. His ownership of the show probably has more to do with him being on the air than bravery from ABC.
posted by smackfu at 1:44 PM on April 18, 2012


he always seemed so likable

He certainly did on a screen.

I worked in the music business. I've met a lot of people who worked for, did business with, or socialized with Dick Clark. Every single person I've met that knew Dick Clark hated his guts.
posted by snottydick at 1:45 PM on April 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


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posted by Kitteh at 1:46 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by Spatch at 1:46 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by rahnefan at 1:47 PM on April 18, 2012


George Harrison on Dick Clark from an interview with Creem Magazine in the late 80's: "Dick Clark? Not him again. I’ll tell you, I don’t know what Americans think of him, but from the Beatles’ point of view, Dick Clark—I don’t know what he ever did with his own talent. Y’know, all he does is send you letters: "Can I have a clip of you doing this? Can I have a clip of you doing that? I’m making another movie about you and the history of this and that, and you’re in it and I’ll give you two dollars if you’ll let me have it in." You get to the point of saying, "Fuck off, Dick, think of your own ideas, you’re not getting any more of our shit. Just make your own films and rip off other people." Y’know, he’s a twat."
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 1:50 PM on April 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


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posted by Joey Michaels at 1:51 PM on April 18, 2012


massive heart attack? i gave it a 96. it has a good beat, and you can dance to it.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:52 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by gomichild at 1:53 PM on April 18, 2012


I worked in the music business. I've met a lot of people who worked for, did business with, or socialized with Dick Clark. Every single person I've met that knew Dick Clark hated his guts.

Interesting. It's probably a good thing for his reputation that he was basically retired by the time the Internet became the thing it is today.
posted by Gator at 1:54 PM on April 18, 2012


> Man who does not age, dies.

John Hurt is the Bizarro World Dick Clark; he's always looked like he's 70 years old.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:54 PM on April 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


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for a large part of my life, seeing dick clark on nye was always a given. was bummed out when whats-his-face replaced him. :(

with that said: hologram dick clark, coachella 2013
posted by raihan_ at 1:56 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by humanfont at 1:58 PM on April 18, 2012


That This Is Your Life show is pretty significant. In it, Dick's father comes right out and says his son was depressed as a teen and they acknowledge some of his struggles. It seems to me that that's a huge step, especially for the times. For a father to acknowledge mental illness in his son - and to say so on a public television show that's doing a biography of his celebrity son? That seems pretty huge. You can see that Dick Clark's face clouds at the suggestion - he doesn't turn to stone and he also doesn't dispute it. I think that's pretty huge.

In the NYT article where he says they probably would have put him on pills (or something to that effect), I wonder if he was talking about the tendency to medicate without addressing issues. A lot of the write-ups on Clark talk about the ways he tried to work through his depression and the support his parents gave him. And Clark publicly acknowledged his struggles with depression throughout his life. Given his age and audience, that's pretty huge.

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posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 1:59 PM on April 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


(Huge...apparently I need a thesaurus. APologies for being so emphatic.)
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 2:00 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I maybe be strange but for me Dick Clark's legacy wasn't Bandstand of the New Year's Eve gig. For me it was all about Pyramid. I'm not joking.

Totally agree. I loved the way when a contestant was stuck on a clue in the Final Round and after time was up he would come over and give them the perfect hint, like a Pyramid ninja, and console them. He really seemed to care about each contestant's performance.

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posted by Rock Steady at 2:02 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Interesting. It's probably a good thing for his reputation that he was basically retired by the time the Internet became the thing it is today.

Well, the entertainment business is what it is. It's never been a particularly well-kept secret that he had a bad reputation behind-the-scenes.

Stay tuned for lots of public quotes praising the Dick Clark legacy by famous people who privately despised him.
posted by snottydick at 2:03 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


That NYT interview is vapid. His answers seem defensive, too. Odd.

These short blurby Times Magazine interviews are always vapid and always inspire the worst in their subjects unless they know how to smooth or bullshit their way through them. Not to say that Clark might not have been defensive and snippy regardless.

Whatever you think of him, it's impossible to be of a certain age and not have had his presence as an almost inescapable part of TV and radio growing up. And the power he had in the late fifties to make or break acts (just three singles as examples that would have probably gone nowhere without his say-so and arguably his getting payola-ed for them: "Get a Job," "Sixteen Candles," "Venus" -- all of which are now staples of oldies stations everywhere), and the money he made off it -- nobody will ever have that kind of power again. And the strict white-bread laying-down of the law that he enforced on acts like Fats Domino and Lloyd Price ..... just, wow, reading about it in retrospect.

I often watch tapes of his appearances in the 80s on "The $25,000 Pyramid" on GSN as a kind of pablum comfort-food reminder of the myth of those non-existent simpler, easier times.
posted by blucevalo at 2:04 PM on April 18, 2012


massive heart attack? i gave it a 96. it has a good beat, and you can dance to it.

Too soon. More specifically, too obvious. Fish in a barrel. I give it a 72, Bob.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:04 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I only remember one AB show. 1973, Aerosmith was on and at one point Steven Tyler picks up the mic stand and, holding it like a heavy barbell, jumps around with it. My brother and I thought that was wicked funny. We laughed about it for hours, imitating how Tyler looked with broomsticks and such. Good times.

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posted by telstar at 2:05 PM on April 18, 2012



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posted by gwint at 2:06 PM on April 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


I wish there was a way to make

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a giant ball that slowly drops along with a countdown from ten.
posted by davejay at 2:07 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


The last time I remember listening to Dick Clark was New Year's Eve, 1999. I had just had my wisdom teeth out and was flying on vicodin, listening to TV while lying in bed. He was a perfect host for that experience.

Rock on, Dick.
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posted by smirkette at 2:07 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah, should have previewed. Well done gwint.
posted by davejay at 2:07 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by trip and a half at 2:09 PM on April 18, 2012


No way. There goes another bit of my childhood. Not that I ever watched American Bandstand, noooooooo.......
posted by Lynsey at 2:10 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by obeetaybee at 2:16 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by [insert clever name here] at 2:17 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by cazoo at 2:19 PM on April 18, 2012


I was unable to find a clip of the Dave Clark Five playing on Dick Clark's American bandstand, even after looking for 2 or 3 whole minutes. To bad, as that would've been hilarious.
posted by item at 2:20 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by bz at 2:22 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by shakespeherian at 2:28 PM on April 18, 2012


Dick Clark is all-American, as I learned from his walking away from questioning in Bowling for Columbine when confronted on getting labor for his burger joints at less than minimum wage. I guess he is an indelible part of Americana, now, but I won't miss his plastic, fake veneer too much.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:30 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Mayans were right. World ends in 2012, because Dick won't be around to ring in 2013

no, but his head will continue on, In a jar..
posted by ninjew at 2:33 PM on April 18, 2012


He didn't look a day over 81

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posted by Sailormom at 2:33 PM on April 18, 2012


maryr: "I'm sure he taught Mr. Seacrest, who is really as great an heir to the America's Oldest Teenager as I can imagine."

Okay, you know.... I don't mean to derail this thread, but I honestly don't think that the two are even in the same league. I've honestly never really understood Seacrest's rise to fame, or the fact that he's labeled as the "Host" of many of the programs that he's on.

Sure, a good host makes sure that the show isn't completely about themselves, but I was completely incredulous when somebody first pointed out to me that Seacrest was the "host" of American Idol. Maybe the format of the show changed, but when I've watched it, he barely has any screen presence, provides very little narration, and didn't seem to be used to establish any sort of 'arc' between the show's segments. At most, he was a correspondent who interviewed the performers after their performances...he was Simon Cowell's Vanna White .

On the other hand, the hosts of yore would provide narration, and work to build a comprehensive "story" for the show to tell, even if it was something as simple as the game show (which are frankly all boring dreck without the hosts there to inject some charisma). As the old hosts retire and pass away, nobody's really been able to replicate their success. The hosts either want the spotlight to themselves, and have built their show's brand around themselves rather than the show as a whole. Very few seem to have managed to do both simultaneously like the old guys could.

I think Seacrest comes the closest to replicating the "It's not all about me" attitude of the older generation of TV hosts, but I think that his presence more often than not comes across as too timid, and I still don't get why he's been treated as a superstar ever since he began hosting Idol; he was launched to stardom by having a good voice, being squeaky-clean inoffensive, and having the luck to fall into the closest thing that Idol had to a starring role. He's certainly competent, and the format works for Idol, but...I haven't seen him do anything to prove that he's one of the greats. He's not Carson Daily, thank God, but you just never get the impression that he's running the show.

Just like the loss of Peter Jennings left a gaping hole in the ranks of trustworthy news anchors that is unlikely to be filled anytime soon, I feel that Dick Clark will be remembered as one of the last great TV Hosts.
posted by schmod at 2:33 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by bjgeiger at 2:44 PM on April 18, 2012


Geez. Even if you didn't appreciate his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon, and a fellow who I genuinely believed would outlive us all.
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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

posted by porn in the woods at 2:47 PM on April 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Presiding over the show, which originates in Philadelphia, is Dick Clark, a well-groomed young man richly endowed with self-assurance. Mr. Clark is inclined, when expressing agreement with guests on his program to use contemporary idioms such as 'Crazy,' 'I'm with you' and 'Ah, too much.'

"During the program, the studio from which it was televised was crowded with energetic teen-agers who danced as the records were played. They were an attractive group of youngsters. The girls wore pretty gowns and the boys were dressed conservatively. There were no motorcycle jackets and hardly a sideburn in the crowd.

"The quality of the dancing, however, was poor. There was also a shortage of boys. Quite a few girls had to dance with other girls, and some of them looked grim about it." -- NY Times, August 6, 1957
posted by blucevalo at 2:49 PM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


"hardly a sideburn in the crowd."

by C. Montgomery Burns
posted by entropicamericana at 2:52 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by WestChester22 at 2:54 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by 4ster at 3:00 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by ob1quixote at 3:05 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by caclwmr4 at 3:19 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by rhizome at 3:30 PM on April 18, 2012


Despite being in the boomer demo, I have no attachment to Dick Clark. Bandstand was always too tame for me, likewise the New Years lineup. And I can't help but wonder that if there really is an afterlife, Alan Freed will be there to give him a much-needed kick in the ass.
posted by Ber at 3:30 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


The best way to read that NYT piece is to imagine the reporter ambushing him with questions in a stuck elevator.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:39 PM on April 18, 2012


Demilich phase
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:49 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


When I was a kid I used to wonder how all the adults would handle this day -- when the whole "Dick Clark is immortal" thing would come face-to-face with the reality of mortality. Now as an adult I can say with authority that as a kid I was way too fucking gloomy.
posted by Pathos Bill at 3:51 PM on April 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


shit, man, if Dick Clark can die, then...then ANYONE can
posted by Legomancer at 4:07 PM on April 18, 2012


elizardbits: "that jerky comment he made about teenagers and depression.

IDK, I read that as more of a criticism of the health industry's immediate desire to pharmaceuticalize every single problem automatically, rather than a dismissive comment about the nature of teen depression.
"

Which then stigmatizes those who need it, and causes those who might need it to refuse on account of "not giving in to 'The Man' or the 'Corporate Whore Medical Establishment' or whatever terms might come about..."

Contrast that with, say, Mike Wallace, who talks about his experiences authentically (as mkultra posted in the obit thread) and without derision.

I've already seen way too many people feel shame for needing help, and refusing to even ask because of some sick puritanical vision of long-suffering of the human condition (from the right) combined with a strong distrust of the medical-industrial complex (from the left) hitting people on both fronts so you, in the words of Thomas Jefferson "all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves".
posted by symbioid at 4:30 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pathos Bill: "When I was a kid I used to wonder how all the adults would handle this day -- when the whole "Dick Clark is immortal" thing would come face-to-face with the reality of mortality. Now as an adult I can say with authority that as a kid I was way too fucking gloomy."

Here, take this...
posted by symbioid at 4:30 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Okay, I want a goddamned concerted effort to come out of a record that isn't an up-tempo record every time I do a goddamned death dedication!
posted by ericost at 4:33 PM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


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posted by lapolla at 5:06 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by ZeusHumms at 5:07 PM on April 18, 2012


I hope the mourners count down as his coffin is lowered into its grave.

rock on, Dick, rock on.
posted by terrapin at 5:14 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by NordyneDefenceDynamics at 5:16 PM on April 18, 2012


Q: How many Dick Clarks does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: None. Dick Clark doesn't screw in light bulbs. He just waits for someone else to screw it in and then licenses the rights to it and slaps him name on it.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 5:30 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by tribalspice at 5:38 PM on April 18, 2012


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Okay, I want a goddamned concerted effort to come out of a record that isn't an up-tempo record every time I do a goddamned death dedication!

Isn't this attributed to Casey Kasem? Not sure I understand what that has to do with Dick Clark other than they both presented popular music and tried to be all hip with the kids. Kasem is still alive, btw.
posted by fuse theorem at 5:40 PM on April 18, 2012


Okay, I want a goddamned concerted effort to come out of a record that isn't an up-tempo record every time I do a goddamned death dedication!

Isn't this attributed to Casey Kasem? Not sure I understand what that has to do with Dick Clark other than they both presented popular music and tried to be all hip with the kids. Kasem is still alive, btw.


Uh, nevermind, I just got it.
posted by fuse theorem at 5:43 PM on April 18, 2012



posted by Smart Dalek at 5:47 PM on April 18, 2012


Up until recently, I didn't realize that some great bands had been on American Bandstand. Here's X, and another with Sparks. It's great that someone like Dick Clark was eclectic and helped bring these bands to the masses.

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posted by pxe2000 at 5:59 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by UseyurBrain at 6:05 PM on April 18, 2012


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posted by Halloween Jack at 6:26 PM on April 18, 2012


Did anyone on this show ever not lip their song?
posted by cccorlew at 6:30 PM on April 18, 2012


Yes, very interesting house, but made of steel covered in concrete? The same type of design in adobe/strawbale/cob would be so much more natural, traditional, authentic, environmentally aware. Well, I guess that's appropriate for the man in a perverse way.
posted by Listener at 6:48 PM on April 18, 2012


I grew up in the Philly area, when Dick Clark was just local, before Dick Clark went national. He was ours, and we knew our parents didn't get it, but we did. He gave the music a face, through his own magnetism and all the performers he featured. He was the first. There'll never will be, because it too late, another. Rest and Peace, good sir.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 7:04 PM on April 18, 2012


Did anyone on this show ever not lip their song?

the ventures?
posted by pyramid termite at 7:27 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Team Venture?
posted by maryr at 7:29 PM on April 18, 2012


Did anyone on this show ever not lip their song?

Public Image Ltd. Johnny Rotten refused and rather just sort of shouted at the crowd to "dance" along to an undanceable beat while the track played behind him. But maybe that's what you were referencing.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:36 PM on April 18, 2012


Wow, an American media/music icon, for sure. RIP, Dick Clark.

He wound up in a short-short story of mine, written several months back. I'll reprint it here:

Eduard and Vera

Absentmindedly stroking someone else's goatee, Eduardo stared past the framed photo of Dick Clark behind the bar, his thoughts drifting back to that day he first saw Vera, in her Viking helmet and thigh high bubblewrap boots. But his reverie was interrupted as the barkeep discharged a semi automatic rifle into the walls and ceiling. The fresh bullet hole in Dick Clark's forehead seemed a gateway to a better world.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:52 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man, American Bandstand was one of the only ways I ever totally bonded with my dad on an equal level. I watched whatever my parents watched growing up, so I'm totally steeped in '50s sitcoms and M*A*S*H up the wazoo and whatever contemporary sitcoms and news programs they watched (yeah, I'm a little torn up about Mike Douglas right now, the wound is raw, a surrogate grandfather lost).

But Bandstand is where my father and I met on equal terms. He watched it because why would he not watch it? It was Bandstand, and it had been around as long as he could remember. And it was Bandstand, and it was around as long as I could remember, too. We watched it together every week, probably since I was born, I certainly don't remember not watching it. After my parents divorced, we watched it together at his place on our visitation weekends and I watched it myself at my mom's house when she wasn't bitching at me to clean my room. She didn't understand, but my dad did: you listen to Dick Clark, he tells you what's up.

I'm estranged from my dad now. But I am absolutely certain that wherever he is right now, he is remembering that he used to watch American Bandstand with his little girl. Maybe he's not thinking about what it was like to see X or Madonna or whatever, but he's probably thinking of me.
posted by padraigin at 7:59 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I worked for him about a dozen times over the years. Nice man, paid well, great office Christmas party. And it's got a great beat and the kids can dance to it.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:41 PM on April 18, 2012


I met Dick Clark while in the audience at a Penn & Teller show in 1986. He struck me as very tall.
posted by sourwookie at 8:42 PM on April 18, 2012


I see now that he was 5'9" but I was only 14.
posted by sourwookie at 8:43 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I officially nominate William Shatner to take up the mantle of timeless old guy that will never die. He's 81, only ~16 months younger than Clark, and looks like a much younger man.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:14 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by lester's sock puppet at 4:12 AM on April 19, 2012


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posted by lordrunningclam at 4:34 AM on April 19, 2012


I worked for him about a dozen times over the years. Nice man, paid well, great office Christmas party.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:41 PM on April 18 [+] [!]


I heard very different stories from others, but I'm glad your experience was a good one and I'm sorry for your loss.
posted by snottydick at 7:10 AM on April 19, 2012


I guess he is an indelible part of Americana, now, but I won't miss his plastic, fake veneer too much.

You'll note I did say "decent seeming man..." I always had doubts DC was actually the fresh-faced friend of the kids his public persona suggested. But then, the history of rock and roll is a history replete with charlatan promoters, hucksters and plain garden variety a-holes, from Colonel Parker to Ike Turner. I don't know that Clark really ranks among the most important of rock history's characters, but he was one of them.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:36 AM on April 19, 2012


As mentioned above - by far my favorite ever moment on American Bandstand: Public Image Ltd.
posted by porn in the woods at 8:20 AM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by Gelatin at 8:49 AM on April 19, 2012


Did anyone on this show ever not lip their song?

allegedly, b.b. king is the only guest in the history of american bandstand who was allowed to perform live. i have been unable to verify.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:15 AM on April 19, 2012


saulgoodman: “I always had doubts DC was actually the fresh-faced friend of the kids his public persona suggested. But then, the history of rock and roll is a history replete with charlatan promoters, hucksters and plain garden variety a-holes, from Colonel Parker to Ike Turner. I don't know that Clark really ranks among the most important of rock history's characters, but he was one of them.”

Well, the guy was interesting, at least.

Any Gen-Xers like myself who want a familiar window to look through at the Dick Clark phenomenon ought to turn to a nifty little piece by Lester Bangs from 1973 which appears in Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung entitled "Screwing the System with Dick Clark." It's short, but it's a nice little interview, and gives a different side to Dick, painting him as somewhat cynical but not as dumb as one might have thought. I won't resist the urge to quote from it liberally here...
“‘... we really are coming into a carbon-copy generation. It's really unique. As a student of young people, I've never seen such a one-dimensional group of people in all my life – in thinking, in dress, even in music habits.’

I mean, did you ever! What I wouldn't give to talk, hell, write like that – what incredibly organization, what lucidity. But I suspected the facile flash of the superficial, generalized savant, so I lammed into him: Just why are you so interested in young people, Dick?

‘Sheer, unadulterated greed. That's a facetious answer; it's mostly true. It's been a very good livelihood secondarily, and I would appreciate it if you wouldn't excerpt it and just publish that part. I enjoy it. If I didn't, there's no amount of money in the world that could make me do what I do. And let's face it, it's a hell of an interesting way to make a living. You never know from day to day what young people are gonna do next...’

For some reason, Dick, hippies and counterculturites seem to think you're stodgy. I asked him if had a clue and he came back with both barrels. ‘That was very predominant about three or four years ago, but it's become passé now. It was a good institution to play games off of. Then it suddenly dawned on a lot of them that I'd been around for twenty years and was carrying the ball for them and that's the reason they were in business. I'm very cynical toward the underground press, of which you are one. I'll be here longer than you will, is my attitude. I will be very happy to have you make fun of me or do whatever you want, I really don't care...

‘A lot of the whole world that kids don't understand is politics and money. When you learn politics, money, the advertising world, you have then matured enough to stay alive. It's part of the game. And a lot of kids don't learn until they're out wandering around saying, ‘Hey, I wonder why the place I was working at went out of business.’ They told too many people to shove it. That's what happened to the Smothers Brothers. What a wonderful tool they had, except they painted one of the three major networks into a corner and said ‘There's no way for you to get out and we'll win.’ They're winning minor dollars, but it won't amount to much by the time they pay the lawyers. So one must learn to screw the system from within...’

So now how do you see yourself, the adult Dick Clark? As a moral leader for youth?

‘I'm just the storekeeper. The shelves are empty, I put the stock on. Make no comment pro or con. Irving Berlin said, ‘ Popular music is popular because a lot of people like it.’ That doesn't mean it's good or bad – that's the equivalent of arguing the merits of hot dogs versus hamburgers. What the hell difference does it make?’”
posted by koeselitz at 1:50 PM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Really nice people, but boy did he look old. Very very old.

Yeah, the legend of Dick Clark never aging only applied until sometime in the '80s. After that he started to show a lot of age, but he was already in his 50s by then. Anyway, the guy made a lifelong career in a segment of the entertainment industry which regularly discards anyone over 30, even if he had to sell himself as a grown-up teenager to do it. Bandstand was still airing when I was a kid in the '70s, and most of the time it wasn't quite my taste in those days, but even as a kid I knew that guy had a great job. Since he had already outlasted most of his contemporaries for decades, I figured he would probably be around forever. 82 isn't quite forever, but close enough for rock and roll.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:37 PM on April 19, 2012


Whoa. Was feeling kind of sad about his death -- he always seemed so likable -- and then I clicked through to that NYT interview, and saw that jerky comment he made about teenagers and depression. Ugh.

Yeah, it's too bad about that, but it's no different than a lot of people I know who have never attempted to deal with issues like depression as an aspect of mental health rather than just a phase of life which will pass. It's partly generational, and I can't fault him for it too much. Most people don't become good advocates for mental health treatment unless they've personally had to deal with it, unfortunately.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:42 PM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]



posted by nickyskye at 9:08 AM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


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