Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dick Clark, "Unofficial Emcee of American Broadcasting" Has Died

LA Times obit here. NY Times' here.

From Media Decoder, NBC Broadcasting chairman Ted Harbert shares an anecdote that reveals the cunning TV producer-edge to that sunny public persona:
One of his most brilliant coups, Mr. Harbert said, was how he assembled the New Year’s Eve show.
“The dance-party portion of the show was put together at a studio on Radford in Los Angeles in August,” he said. “You would go out there and see all these people in their New Year’s Eve outfits getting a smoke outside in 100-degree heat. That’s how he got the stars to turn up on a New Year’s Eve show. He taped them in August. It was genius.”
Even though it's been years since Dick Clark was omnipresent on television the way he used to be in the 80s on  American Bandstand, TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes, Pyramid  and of couse Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve his influence on the medium is undeniable. He's the grandfather of MTV, putting radio stars in America's collective living room long before videos had a chance to kill them and he was "punking" ordinary people before Ashton Kutcher was doing it from underneath his trucker hat.

Here is Clark on Bandstand in 1983 with James Brown. His obvious reverence for the "inimitable" Mr. Brown's stage presence is what made Clark an inimitable TV host. Watch:

And are you also struck by the deaths of the two greatest ambassadors of music on television the world has ever known occurring within mere months of each other? RIP Don Cornelius.