Television icon Dick Clark passed away yesterday at the age of 82 from a massive heart attack.
It doesn’t matter if you’re 17 or 77. Dick Clark has been a part of our lives whether it was during his stint on American Bandstand or his annual countdown to the new year in Times Square.
As a host and friend of Clark himself, Carson is particularly impacted by the loss and he took time out today to share some of his memories and advice that the media mogul imparted to him over the years.
Carson interviewed Dick Clark a few years ago and there’s one story that sticks out in his mind.
Carson asked him about all the memorabilia he’s collected over the decades and to everyone’s surprise, Clark shared that he owned the door to the airplane that the Beatles flew in when they began their British invasion.
“That was Dick Clark. Who else would have the door that was on the plane that the Beatles flew on?”
It seems only fitting, considering that Clark has opened the metaphorical door for most of the world’s biggest artists since the 1950s.
From American Bandstand to $10,000 Pyramid to the American Music Awards, Dick Clark did it all. Carson believes what makes Clark truly great is that he trail blazed his own genre, much like Johnny Carson did with The Tonight Show:
“Dick Clark was television…Mr. Clark created it, built the business…ABC opened the door, he slammed through it. ”
When Carson began developing the concept for TRL, he looked to Dick Clark’s career as a model:
“[TRL] was a countdown, obviously inspired by American Bandstand to some degree…This whole hour became about American teenagers. It wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about MTV. It wasn’t about anything else. It was about you being able to see your peers on TV when you got home. That’s what Bandstand was in the late 50s and early 60s. It was the first time, culturally speaking, American teenagers could view their peers on air…It was a looking glass into a generation.”
To this day, Carson lives by the advice Clark gave him years ago:
“Work. Don’t be afraid to work. I took the red eye to New York when we shot $10,000 Pyramid. Sleep later. Work and jump for the opportunities.”
-Sarah Carroll, AMP 97.1, Los Angeles