Wednesday, April 18, 2012

PolitiJim’s Personal Meeting and Memory of Dick Clark


We knew this was coming.  Honestly, I was already shocked he made it to last New Year’s Eve.

He had a long fulfilling life.  I give it an 82. Plus a bonus of sweet 16 making it a 98.

Like many I grew up watching AB every Saturday afternoon.  He never laughed at my ridiculous attempts to repeat the steps I saw on ABC unlike Cornelius who I swear had “LMAO” imprinted on his knuckles ala/ JAKE or ELWOOD.

To me he was the “cool” of Fonz before Happy Days existed.

I had a deal with Dick Clark Productions at one time and a pending deal for another.  I only got to spend a few minutes with him and despite rumors of an abrasive ego found him to be the most down to earth, straight forward guy I had met in Hollywood.  (Not that that was a high bar mind you).

He was gracious but straight to the point and had a really unique way of not making me feel like a total moron while he shot holes in the obvious problem areas of the project.  (It was a special event TV series along the lines of the Charlie Brown shows.)

I also remember his producer immediately following up on every little nuance of the areas we discussed and being grateful to “see how it’s done.”  It had become second nature to them but they were straight forward and I never felt like they would try to steal the concept although they could have in a heartbeat.

Dick Clark was an amazing businessman.  Few understand the hustle to find anything he could get on the air.  Few realize that he OWNED most of the shows he was on including Pyramid, TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes and of course, Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve.

He learned that by owning the show, you could control the content, make more money and never again have to answer to the “suits” who didn’t even know the audience you were entertaining.

The thing that amazed me about my interactions with DCP was how broadly and widely they cast their net.  They CREATED the American Music Awards, just to have something to televise.  They looked at nearly every form of merchandising eventually creating restaurants, movie theaters and more.

And they could pinch a penny tight enough to give Abraham Lincoln a headache.  They budgeted, cut, scrimped and haggled every penny of a production budget and rewarded their producers to do the same.

I hadn’t been in their offices for about 10 years, but the last time I was, it was the same very humble building Clark had been in since he landed in Burbank.  A big office but not ostentatious at all.  “Comfy,” is what I remember.

The other thing I remember is even as he was obviously dealing with health problems, how sharp and intuitive he was.  I didn’t know him or his producers the past 10 years or more, but he never seemed one content to STOP building, producing and entertaining.

I have no idea of his political views at all.  The producer I worked with was a conservative Christian and didn’t ever seem to be shunned for his ideas that were overtly Christian. I admired his ability to take calculated risks and do the “menial” game show and award shows many felt was “beneath them.”

And I don’t recall a Dick Clark Production that ever glorified violence or stooped to the baser instincts of the business.

I know some other stories that aren’t flattering – and have no idea if they were true or not.  I don’t really care.  He was married to his third wife for over 30 years and gave me a shot at an idea I’m not sure even I understood.

I pray at some point He gave made my Savior, his.  Despite all of us falling short of the glory of God, he was way too good for the devil.  Or the excessive Hollywood of today that holds political agendas.

Just saw this other great article about Dick Clark’s stand during civil rights:

Dick Clark, Sam Cooke, and the Klan


I watched Dick Clark/AB for years. He loved young people and the music industry.

I hope he will have the eulogy he deserves as a great individual and a lover of life.

Hope he is now at peace.

Thank you for writing that. I'm of the American Bandstand generation too...he was an American entertainment legend...and much higher caliber than most.

Netanyhu has also been married three times. He is still a great soldier, statesman, leader. This year, he has started having Bible studies in his home.

Sometimes things don't work out. Thankfully, God does not forsake those who seek Him with all their hearts. Angels rejoice when we repent, return to the only true place of rest: our true Father's arms.

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