Dick Clark

Producer / Host / Executive


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his one-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, Dick Clark (1929-2012) shares how he first got into television hosting, and outlines the rise of American Bandstand from a local Philadelphia show to a national phenomenon. He explains his involvement with the payola scandals of the 1950s, the origins of New Year's Rockin' Eve, and his hosting duties on the game show $10,000 Pyramid. Clark recalls working with Johnny Carson to produce Bloopers and Practical Jokes, discusses forming Dick Clark Productions, and details the role of a producer. He also describes the challenges of producing live awards shows, and speaks of what he believes to be the secret to live TV. James Moll conducted the interview on July 29, 1999 in Burbank, CA.

"The key ingredient is giving the audience what they expected to get. If I'm there to escape, let me escape. If I'm there to be taught, teach me. But, don't suck me in, thinking I'm going to escape and then teach me. You've caught me off guard. You'd say, 'I've been had,' and you'd leave."

Highlights
Dick Clark on the origins of American Bandstand
00:36
Dick Clark on the genesis of New Years Rockin' Eve
03:01
Dick Clark on similarities between American Bandstand and MTV
01:11
Dick Clark on being targeted in the music "payola" investigation
03:22
Dick Clark on forming Dick Clark Productions
01:22
Dick Clark on his legacy
00:44
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood interest in radio; on his first job in the mailroom of a radio station in New York; on working as a DJ in college at Syracuse University; on being a news anchor; on getting a job in radio in Philadelphia and the state of television in 1952; on his first time seeing television - at the 1939 World's Fair; on comparisons between television and the Internet as forms of once-new media; on his one professional regret
11:35
On his first television job in Utica, NY; on salvaging old films of American Bandstand; on Dick Clark's Caravan of Music, later renamed American Bandstand; on the origins of American Bandstand; on moving from doing the radio to television version of Bandstand, which had already been on air with a different host; on the music on the show; on the diversity of American Bandstand; on touring with musicians
12:01
On taking over the televised version of American Bandstand; on taking the show from a local Philadelphia show to a national program on ABC; on first realizing he was famous
04:24

Chapter 2

On the success of American Bandstand and being targeted in the music "payola" investigation; on the many decades of American Bandstand; on Dick Clark Productions; on the lessons about staying "young, not old" from Leonard Goldenson; on connecting with teenagers over the many decades of American Bandstand; on learning from mistakes
10:40
On his entrepreneurship; on his path in life; on working on the Pyramid game show with producer Bob Stewart; on producing Bloopers and Practical Jokes with Johnny Carson; on Merv Griffin; on producing television movies; on dealing with critics
12:41
On the challenges of being Dick Clark; on the genesis of New Years Rockin' Eve; on simplicity; on still getting stage fright
05:50

Chapter 3

On producing awards shows; on getting fired for overshadowing MTV Awards Shows when he was the producer; on producing the American Music Awards; on producing The Emmys; on the secret of producing live television shows
06:16
On game shows; on how he selects projects and seems to be in multiple places at one time; on being a producer; on doing stand-up comedy; on acting; on similarities between American Bandstand and MTV; on the ingredients for a successful TV show
11:27
On the future of television; on television distribution methods today; on historical moments for which he was present; on producing features; on his legacy; on the projects of which he's proudest
10:24
Shows

10,000 Pyramid aka 25,000 Pyramid aka 100,000 Pyramid

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Dick Clark on working on the Pyramid game shows
03:04

American Bandstand

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Dick Clark on Dick Clark's Caravan of Music, later renamed Bandstand, and on moving from doing the radio to television version of Bandstand
13:33
Dick Clark on the diversity of American Bandstand
02:29
Dick Clark on the origins of American Bandstand
00:36
Dick Clark on being targeted in the music "payola" investigation
03:36
Dick Clark on the many decades of American Bandstand
01:37
Dick Clark on connecting with teenagers over the many decades of American Bandstand
01:36
Dick Clark on similarities between American Bandstand and MTV
01:11

American Music Awards

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Dick Clark on producing The American Music Awards
02:12

Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve

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Dick Clark on the genesis of New Years Rockin' Eve
03:06

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Dick Clark on producing The Emmys
01:19

TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes

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Dick Clark on producing Bloopers and Practical Jokes with Johnny Carson
01:08
Topics

Criticism of TV

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Dick Clark on producing the TV Movie, "The Woman Who Willed a Miracle"
02:21

Emmy Awards

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Dick Clark on producing The Emmys
01:19

Fame & Celebrity

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Dick Clark on first realizing he was famous
01:32

Industry Crossroads

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Dick Clark on being targeted in the music -payola- investigation
03:36

Minorities

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Dick Clark on the diversity of American Bandstand
02:29

Television Industry

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Dick Clark on producing the TV Movie, "The Woman Who Willed a Miracle"
02:21
Dick Clark on being targeted in the music -payola- investigation
03:36
Professions

Executives

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Dick Clark on his entrepreneurship
01:34

Hosts

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Dick Clark on hosting Dick Clark's Caravan of Music, later renamed Bandstand, and on moving from doing the radio to television version of Bandstand
13:30
Dick Clark on the trick of being a good host and connecting with teenagers over the many decades of American Bandstand
01:36

Producers

View Profession
Dick Clark on his entrepreneurship
01:34
Dick Clark on producing awards shows
06:16
Dick Clark on the secret of producing live television shows
01:54
Dick Clark on the role of a producer
02:40
Genres

Awards Shows

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Dick Clark on producing The American Music Awards
02:12
Dick Clark on producing The Emmys
01:19

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Dick Clark on Dick Clark's Caravan of Music, later renamed American Bandstand, and on moving from doing the radio to television version of Bandstand
28:49
Dick Clark on the many decades of American Bandstand
01:37

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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Dick Clark on producing the TV Movie, "The Woman Who Willed a Miracle"
02:21
People

Jack Benny

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Dick Clark  on radio personalities he enjoyed
00:15

Edgar Bergen

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Dick Clark  on radio personalities he enjoyed
00:15

Johnny Carson

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Dick Clark on producing Bloopers and Practical Jokes with Johnny Carson, and his early years working with Carson
01:57

Bill Cosby

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Dick Clark on doing stand-up comedy in Las Vegas
02:02

Tom Freston

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Dick Clark on getting fired for overshadowing the MTV Awards Shows when he was the producer
00:51

Arthur Godfrey

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Dick Clark on emulating Arthur Godfrey
00:37

Leonard H. Goldenson

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Dick Clark on the lessons about staying "young, not old" from Leonard Goldenson
01:10

Merv Griffin

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Dick Clark on Merv Griffin
00:40

Cloris Leachman

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Dick Clark on producing the TV Movie, "The Woman Who Willed a Miracle"
02:21

Bob Stewart

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Dick Clark on working on the Pyramid game show; on producer Bob Stewart
03:04

All Interviews

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