[[caption-width-right:300:For now, Dick Clark... so long.]]
->''"'''Dick Clark''' is the most important man on the planet. Without his intervention each ''New Year's Rockin' Eve'', the calendar would be unable to turn from December 31 to January 1, and time would become stuck at midnight."''
-->-- '''Dick Clark''''s [[http://web.archive.org/web/20090105172941/http://teeveepedia.teevee.org/index.php/Dick_Clark page]] at [=TeeVeePedia=]

Richard Wagstaff Clark (November 30, 1929 -- April 18, 2012) was an American TV and radio personality who was affectionately known as [[CoolOldGuy "America's Oldest Teenager"]]. Born in 1929 Clark would be the man that introduced many Americans to rock & roll and his signature program on New Year's Eve made him a face of the holiday.

Clark began work at a New York radio station in 1945 as a morning DJ, and during his college years he interned at a few different radio and television stations. His career would take off in 1952 when he would move to Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania and in 1956, took over as the host of ''Series/AmericanBandstand'' when it moved to national television. With his time on the series, Clark introduced a new generation of teens and their parents to rock & roll. His success came from his clean and family friendly image along with his image to teenagers.

Clark would expand to hosting game shows in 1964 with his most famous run being on ''Series/{{Pyramid}}''. By 1972 he would venture into his second famous role by creating ''Series/NewYearsRockinEve'' and creating his company Dick Clark Productions to produce the show. Clark wanted to challenge the New Year's Eve Special produced by Guy Lombardo, since he felt its big-band music was too old timely. Clark would host his first edition of the show in 1973 and it would become popular enough that it became the single program that defined New Year's Eve in America.

In 2004 Clark suffered a stroke that left him unable to host New Year's Rockin' Eve for 2005. He returned the following year to continue his traditional countdown to midnight, all despite the stroke leaving his speech slurred for the rest of his life. Clark died on April 18, 2012 following a heart attack, but his presence on New Year's Eve was still a stand-out at the time of his death.
!!Programs hosted by Dick Clark:
* ''Series/AmericanBandstand''
* ''Series/TheChallengers''
* ''Series/NewYearsRockinEve''
* ''Series/{{Pyramid}}'' (every incarnation, save [[Creator/BillCullen one]], from 1973-1988)
* ''Series/{{Scattergories}}''
* ''Series/TVsBloopersAndPracticalJokes''
* ''Series/WinningLines''

!!Programs created and/or produced by Dick Clark:
* ''Series/{{Greed}}''
* ''Series/TheWeirdAlShow''
* ''The American Music Awards''
* ''Series/AmericanDreams'' (which famously had ''American Bandstand'' as a FramingDevice and a ShowWithinAShow)
* ''Series/NewYearsRockinEve'' (which he created as a competitor to CBS's New Year's Eve special, feeling it did not attract younger viewers.
!!Tropes invoked by Dick Clark
* BigBrotherMentor: During his final years, he shared a beautiful bond with Ryan Seacrest, who admired him beyond words.
* CoolOldGuy: Easily one of the coolest old guys of all time.
* GameShowHost: See above.
* GoodWithNumbers: Averted. This was something of a running gag on ''Pyramid'', where Dick's troubles with math were often on public display.
* OlderThanTheyLook: Part of the reason he was known as America's oldest teenager, until his stroke in 2004.
** Referenced in a song by Benny Mardones titled, appropriately enough, "American Bandstand".
--> ''On American Bandstand''
--> ''You look just the same and''
--> ''You're not growing older like everyone else and I'm wondering''
--> ''You might be a spaceman, Mr. American Bandstand''
--> ''Cause you're not growing older like everyone else and I'm wondering''
--> ''Could it be that rock 'n' roll music made you stay so young, those rock 'n' roll songs?''
* TheCameo: Dick appeared as himself in several shows, including:
** ''[[Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air]]''
** ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' [[spoiler: -- he rings in the year 3000 in the show's pilot]]
** ''Series/PoliceSquad''
** ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}''
** ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''
** He portrayed (as a character, not as himself) the owner of an auto racetrack in an episode of ''[[Series/AdamTwelve Adam-12]]''.
* SelfParody: Dick would occasionally play along with humor that was related to how young he looked, despite his age.
** This was taken to an unusual extreme in a quick sketch shown during Jay Leno's original ''[[Series/TheTonightShow Tonight Show]]'' run, in which Dick, wearing Egyptian garb, hosted ''[[AffectionateParody The 25,000-Year-Old Pyramid]]''.
* SigningOffCatchPhrase: "For now, Dick Clark... ''[[[MilitarySalute salutes]]]'' ...so long."
* SophisticatedAsHell