Even though Ryan Seacrest took over the main hosting duties for “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve” several years ago, the man himself, Dick Clark, still tries to make an appearance every year. 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of the Times Square special and to celebrate, ABC has put together a look back, which will air Dec. 31 before the live New Year’s Eve festivities begin.
When asked if the on-air tribute to the show indicates it is Clark’s last year appearing on the program, Mark Shapiro, the chief executive of Dick Clark Productions, tells the New York Times, “That’s a great question, and the only one that knows that answer is Dick himself.”
Clark later said in an email, “I hope not.”
The only year Clark missed was in 2004, when he suffered a stroke shortly before New Year’s. Regis Philbin was the host that year and in 2005, Ryan Seacrest officially took over as the main host, though Clark did join him and says that year was probably his most memorable New Year’s Eve.
“Though I hadn’t conquered language difficulties and walking, it was good to be back at my old stand,” says Clark, of the 2005 celebration.
And Shapiro thinks it’s a positive thing for people to see him on the show every year, saying, “People truly appreciate the beacon of light that he is” and it’s “comforting to see a familiar face who has been there for the past 40 years.”
We couldn’t agree more. Here’s to many more years, Dick.