Dick Clark

So last night the wife and I spent New Years Eve with a bunch of friends. Great times, amazing food, tons of Coke Zero (hey, I’m soft). We paid no attention to the TV until 11:55, when everyone gathered around to catch the annual ball drop.

There was Dick Clark. Slurring. Again.

Some people started making fun. And giggling. Others just watched in stunned disbelief. One or two expressed a good-for-him outlook.

Me? I’m not so sure. Initially, I felt bad for the man. You’re Dick Clark. You’re 81. You’ve had an insanely succesful career; an iconic career. You’re one of the most famous people in the world, and you’ve got all the money you could possibly need. Why, oh, why, would you tarnish your legacy by, post-stroke, slurring and mumbling your way through a show that makes you look old, feeble and sad? (The awkward manhug with Ryan Seacrest was downright painful). I mean, what’s the point? Why not just kick back on your yacht and live large?

This morning, I woke up feeling differently.You’re Dick Clark. You’re 81. You’ve had an insanely succesful career; an iconic career. You’re one of the most famous people in the world, and you’ve got all the money you could possibly need. You know what—fuck the stroke. Fuck those who laugh and giggle. Just because a man is impaired doesn’t mean he should stop living; stop doing; stop being. I don’t know Clark’s motivation, but perhaps he continues to appear on New Years because, frankly, he wants to. Not to prove a point or stand up for stroke victims—but to live. To exist.

If so, I say bravo.


23 thoughts on “Dick Clark”

  1. This is exactly how I feel, Jeff. I was the only one at the party standing up for Dick! It’s not acceptable to make fun of people with any type of disability – but it’s okay to poke fun at Dick’s slurred speech. Just because he had a stroke he shouldn’t be on TV? Good for him. Yes.

  2. Thanks. The Show Must Go On. Fuck the stroke. That’s life. Even with all his fame and $, Dick Clark is still battling something he couldn’t plan for, and the best doctors in the world have a hard time treating.

  3. I guess I agree with the author. Good for DK as i can only imagine he is doing the Eve thing as he has love for program and his craft. Yes, it was awkward to watch. That was probably my own insecurity about dealing with physical break down and death.

    That aside, good for this guy. He enjoys what he is doing and he is living life. Too, I imagine the producers of the show would not put him on unless he was adding value to the program.

    He is not my guy, and overall seems quite dated, however from a humanistic perspective good for him.

  4. No one who ever worked for Dick Clark is shedding a tear for him. His profanity-packed, red-faced rages are all to familiar to them. He is today nothing more than a bitter, feeble old man. Karma’s a bitch, ain’t it?

  5. My dad always says “The funniest things in life are also the most tragic.”

    That being said, he does a mean Dick Clark impression . . . <.<

  6. I thought Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve was great this year. The whole show was fun. About Dick Clark himself… okay, so he slurs a bit. So what?! He was actually noticeably better than he was the past couple of years. I think his show is a great New Year’s Eve tradition and I always like to see him. I hope he does it for as long as he can, which could very well be many more years. He is only on for a few minutes here and there, with Ryan Seacrest doing most of the work. But the show still bears Clar’s name and he still has a presence. I wish him many more years of health, and many more years doing this show. I was able to hear his very clearly and despite a little bit of slurring, he was quite comprehensible. While the stroke was obviously the cause of the slurring, it is quite evident that his mind is as clear as a bell. If you listen to what he was saying, he sounds every bit like the Dick Clark of 20 or 30 years ago. He just voice his words as smoothly as he used to. But the show is still great!

  7. Dick Clark produces the show, hires the host, and is generally responsible for the broadcast’s quality. I don’t think many viewers applaud his decision to feature himself as host.

    Is a New Years Eve Show hosted by a stroke victim the right place to make a positive statement for others suffering from this tragic disease?

    He can be an inspiration for many but this isn’t the right venue.

    He’s either stubborn or arrogant to insist on performing a role he can no longer perform in a way that makes for a comfortable audience.

    Take good care of yourself Dick. I hope to be seeing you soon in a more appropriate role.

    Tommy J

  8. Nice reflection Jeff. I feel Mr. Clark as the host is just a bit of ‘reality TV’ and a testament to the idea of carrying on a tradition. He obviously enjoys doing the show and if viewers are uncomfortable with the effects of aging they can change the channel. Carry on Mr.Clark!

  9. Many years ago when interviewed, Dick Clark himself, said “it’s just another night…” Well Dick, if it didn’t mean much to you when you where in good shape, why does it mean so much to you now? To be involved with the show in your condition is not healthy for anyone, especially you. After the countdown, they cut to you drooling and trying to catch your breath. It is time to move over and give the job to someone else who deserves a chance. You have had a great career, why end it tarnished. Just think if Oprah stayed on until the end? She is leaving at the top…perhaps you can learn something from her.

  10. Well, put! My husband and I had the exact same conversation as this blog. We went back and forth on the subject, but one thing remains…Dick Clark is an American icon. When he’s gone, and he will be soon, we’ll miss him dearly…until then…Do your thing Dick!

  11. Don’t know if I can possibly follow aroused Bruce here … I think Dick Clark is the Boomer’s Guy Lombardo, and like their parents, who took comfort in the familiarity of his dreary version of Auld Lang Syne, they take comfort in the familiarity of seeing the host of American Bandstand, even as he follows the lead of the Boomer’s parents in the Department of Declining Health. This is just my opinion but I’m also a Boomer, and over the course of nine depressing years, I watched my mother die slowly from a massive stroke. Therefore, I’m not compelled to laugh at Dick, but I don’t tune into him, either. If anything, on some level I relate to the youngsters that must loathe seeing Dick standing alongside Ryan, who is patiently waiting to be the next generation’s annual New Year’s countdown camera hog.

    Great blog! My brother always said that if you want to read the best writing in journalism, read the sportswriters.

  12. We weren’t laughing at all. we were shocked that he would be on the show. He/they need to recognize when it is painful for the audience to watch.

  13. Clark’s a prick. He gave names and informed on people during the so-called payola scandal all to save his own ass and to annihilate the competition. The karma thing – what Donna said.

  14. Also, after reading some of the others mean-spirited posts, I hope that future generations are kinder to us (than we are to Dick) when we are old. Geez.

  15. I don’t know the man so I won’t comment on the “karma thing” that Donna and Brian allude to. BUT, as a viewer on NYE, I don’t want to see a guy that brings me down – I want eye-candy. Seeing Dick Clark takes me out of the moment.

    But then again, I can’t concentrate on the news when it’s being delivered by an ugly old woman either.

    Totally ironic? Just a little taste of truth? Complete asshole? You decide.

    Happy New Year to all.

  16. Dick Clark’s show was drek. He never allowed people to perform on his show, instead it was lip sinking. After his awful show left the air, he concentrated on pushing lousy magazine sweepstakes and then opened greasy spoon mall restaurants that did not provide employees with a living wage, or health benefits. Clark is a sleaze and if you want to waste your New Years Eves watching him, you ought to have your head examined.

Leave a Reply