I was first introduced to Dick Clark over 14 years ago in The Waterboy (1998). Bobby sat in his mother’s hospital room with her on NYE and Dick Clark was hosting New Year’s Rockin Eve:
Bobby: “Look who’s on the television Mama…The Devil”
The line has always stuck with me, I at the time had no idea who Dick Clark was. I was 8 and didn’t stay up for New Years Eve, bed time was 8:30. But now I knew he was big enough for a punch line, he was a specific cultural identity. The line has always stuck with me and when I had heard that Dick Clark had died, it’s what my mind went to immediately.
Start at 8:42
I got “to know” Mr. Clark when my Mom discovered the Gameshow Network on DirecTV, despite my Dad valiant attempt to hide it from her for years with a child protection lock on the channel.
She loved the show the 25,000 Dollar Pyramid and later the 100,000 increase or inflation. And the host was none other than Dick Clark. I loved hearing his jokes in his announcer voice, he mixed his sultry tones with dialogue that was lacking at its very foundation: humor.
His puns and jests were cheesy, but they had a sincere quality mixed with vulnerability from a man who truly believed his quips were funny. And he would laugh and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself and he made otherwise boring hours with my mother completely satisfying.
But this wasn’t even the best part of Pyramid, it came after a contest had just lost out on the 25 thousand dollar prize. Dick would wander in lean up against the rail and from his John Wayne position of power would suggest better clues so that the contestant could get it right. This happened right after they had lost 25,000 dollar. He’s the best example of 20/20 hindsight in the world. In my life, when I feel I may have said the wrong thing, the Dick Clark in my head saunters over and comes up with 4 or 5 better options for lines to pick up girls or things to say during an interview.
But I think what I will most about Dick Clark is him introducing The New Year. After his stroke, which severely impaired his once iconic voice, he continued to give the intro. There was always a mix of sadness for the man and admiration. During his presentation, there are always the inevitable Dick Clark jokes about his condition.
And it isn’t as if Clark didn’t know about the criticism, but it was his New Year, it was his show, and he’d be damned if anyone was going to take that away from him.
I hope that when I get to be as old as Dick Clark was, that I’m a badass MF who doesn’t give a shit what people think because I’m doing something that makes me happy and I’ll never give that up come hell or high water. (The Dick Clark in my head told me to say that).
Thanks for the Memories and Lessons Mr. Clark, you will be missed.
The Hollywood Defender