Dick Clark died today at the age of 82. The cause of death was a heart attack, according to various sources, including The Hollywood Reporter; his family has stated that Clark had checked into St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica for an outpatient procedure.
Everyone in entertainment has given their condolences and stories about Clark, including Joan Rivers, “Wierd” Al Yankovic, Joel McHale, David Boreanaz and, of course, Ryan Seacrest, who has been groomed by Clark since he became the new host of “Rockin’ New Year’s Eve” in 2006. Along with Hollywood, Americans who grew up with and watched Clark on television throughout his expansive music and television career. I happen to belong in that group.
Of course, being 23 years old, I haven’t grown up with Clark per se–I never got a chance to see “American Bandstand–but I have grown up watching him on television, particularly every New Year’s Eve, on which watching the “Rockin’ New Year’s Eve” is basically a must. Also, seeing him on almost every entertainment magazine/talk show or award show growing up–The Daytime and Primetime Emmys, “Entertainment Tonight,” “Access Hollywood,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Larry King Live,” “Last Call with Carson Daly,” and plenty more– as well as on sitcoms like “Dharma and Greg,” “The Simpsons” and “The X Files” along with countless others, and even cartoon specials like “Recess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street,” made Clark seem like one of my distant family members.
Indeed, a lot of us probably felt like we knew Clark even though he only entered our homes through our television screens. He was a pervasive fixture in American entertainment, and the entertainment landscape has gotten a little smaller and a little less fun without him in it. Thanks for all of the memories, Clark, and good luck rockin’ the afterlife.