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September 17, 2014

Dick Clark comes back to TV: What did you think?

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 1st 2006 3:30PM
Dick Clark comes back to TVWell, we've speculated. We've discussed. We've conjectured. But last night, we actually got to see Dick Clark on our TVs for the first time since he had a stroke in December 2004. This AP story (via Yahoo) details the appearance.

Well, let me say right off that I was happy to see Dick back out there, and I was happy to see that, at least outwardly, he looked like the same Dick Clark we remember; considering strokes often leave one side of a person's face and body paralyzed, it was good to see that, outwardly, his face and body were in good shape. Now, we didn't see him walk, but I'm pretty sure if Dick had a problem with that, he could work around it; heck, Bill Cullen hosted a zillion game shows and viewers never saw what was a fairly severe limp, so I'm sure Dick could hide any issues easily.

But his voice... oh, my.

As an on-air personality, Dick Clark's bread-and-butter has always been his voice. Indeed, Dick's voice is so familiar to millions of people, there was more concern over how he'd sound than over how he'd look. Ryan Seacrest, maybe in an effort to quell speculation, told AP Radio that, while his voice isn't quite the same, that "it definitely sounds like Dick."

Well, not quite. As soon as I heard Dick's voice, a feeling of sadness came over me. His speech was badly slurred, and the slurring was more pronounced the faster he spoke. He was hoarse at times, and did not have the breath to complete some words. At the top of the broadcast, Clark mentioned that the stroke left him in bad shape, that he had to learn how to walk and talk again; the fact that he was even able to make it to air and be even moderately understandable is a great feat, and speaks to Dick's work ethic and determination. But last night was a realization that the ever-youthful Dick who hosted American Bandstand, Pyramid, Bloopers, and a ton of other memorable shows, is gone forever. I really do hope Dick works some more and comes back next year sounding better than he did this year.  I'm sure he will. But it won't be the same.

What did you think of Dick's appearance? Should he just go behind the scenes now and do what he does best, which is produce shows and mint money? Let me know in the comments.

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Doug

Painful, fucking painful.

January 04 2006 at 11:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adam

Keep on plugging, Dick. You did a great job!

January 04 2006 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave

Sad. Shocked. Why was he not seen before this? That was a mistake. To be suprised on that show, at that time felt akward. My enjoyment of the evening was put on hold by the shock of how bad his speach was. We all aged that night.

January 04 2006 at 10:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
G. Peluso

Hey Bob H. (Comment # 37) Ignorance must be bliss for you,too.

January 03 2006 at 10:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
G. Peluso

Hey Susan B.(Comment # 36)How would you like to be told that YOU are not an inspiration to anyone, as you have said about Dick Clark? or be told to stop performing your job after fifty years? Dick Clark is an announcer?
Ignorance is bliss.

January 03 2006 at 10:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Hickstein

Bravo:-)

January 03 2006 at 6:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Susan B.

Dick Clark is an announcer, not a beloved American icon. I thought it was callous of ABC to put him on the air in his condition, whether he wanted to be there or not. The man can't speak anymore. It was painful to listen him. He's not an inspiration, he's a man who can't announce anymore. Everyone stop wallowing in "good for him" and face facts. He has a huge production business, he can stick with that and stay behind the camera now.

January 03 2006 at 2:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cocoa Hill

More indications I've read that Dick Clark's comments were prerecorded:

- the artful use of balloons and signs to mask what was going on outside the studio window

- the frequent cutaways to completely irrelevant live shots during Dick's comments to create the illusion of live coverage

- the fact that nobody--not Seacrest, not Mariah Carey--took the time to visit Clark in the Times Square studio, just minuts away, to pay their respects

This is not to take anything away from Dick Clark, whose appearance--however it was done--took real courage. It just wasn't necessary to present it as live.

January 03 2006 at 11:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Delaforce

Dick Clark's performance on New Year's Eve is inspirational. Pity the self-centered clods who think they won't age in the future. We "baby boomers" are looking ahead to a seniors' life that faces all these challenges. The comments offered here give us a hint of how we'll be treated. Be ready for it, be defiant & perseverant, life (like Dick Clark's) does not end with adversity - but makes us stronger & more worthy of honor.

January 03 2006 at 11:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordy

I don't know. You all seem very supportive here, so I won't share my thoughts. I'll just say I was not in a kissing mood at midnight (though, I did).

I have a friend that survived 2 strokes within months of each other a couple of years ago. He looks, walks, and talks fine now. God's speed Mr. Clark.

January 03 2006 at 9:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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