New Year’s Eve lost some of its luster in April.
Dick Clark, the music and TV mogul and frequent personality, died then, ending more than half a century in television. Part of his video legacy is “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve," a late-night mainstay since the 1970s, with Clark long the host and the show even adding a prime-time component.
After he suffered a stroke in 2004, Clark missed that year’s telecast; he returned in 2005 but with a reduced role — and Ryan Seacrest as the de facto host. In 2008, the show was renamed “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest." That will still be the name again this year, and Clark will be part of the programming.
At 8 p.m. Monday, ABC will present the two-hour special “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve Celebrates Dick Clark," which promises to revisit “through clips and reminiscences, the legendary television personality who rang in the New Year for four decades and launched and nurtured the careers of countless artists." It will be followed at 10 p.m. by an hour of “Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest," then a break for local news before “New Year’s Rocking Eve" at 11:30 p.m. rolls on until 2:12 a.m. Tuesday.
Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jep-sen and Flo Rida are among the scheduled performers, but I will be thinking about Clark. I admired Clark’s indomitable determination to come back to “Rockin’ Eve" after his stroke — that, as I said after his 2005 return, his presence was a reminder to people that a stroke may slow you down, but it doesn’t necessarily stop you.