How Dick Clark Changed Popular Culture

Apr 19, 2012  •  Post A Comment

One day after the death of television icon Dick Clark, his impact on modern culture is being analyzed throughout the media. A report by E! Online compares Clark’s impact to that of media giants such as Elvis Presley and Johnny Carson, and counts off 10 ways Clark forever changed popular culture.

Among them:

Dancing to the Hits: “In 1957, Clark’s ‘American Bandstand’ show debuted nationally. Every single weekday afternoon until 1963 (and then weekly until the early ‘80s) kids would tune in to watch their peers dancing to their favorite pop acts. The format inspired a string of descendants from ‘Soul Train’ to Britain’s ‘Top of the Pops,’” E! Online reports.

Discovering the Stars: “Any pop star who broke big between 1960 and 1990 owes thanks, in part, to Clark,” E! reports. “The alumni list includes Madonna, Elvis, John Mellencamp, Rod Stewart, Prince and Jon Bon Jovi, among many others.”

Making New Year’s Eve Cool: “Before the 1970s, New Year’s Eve was a more staid affair, at least for Americans, who were used to watching big band act Guy Lombardo every Dec. 31. Clark’s ‘New Year’s Rockin’ Eve’ changed that, bringing in younger acts. In recent years, Christina Aguilera, Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg and Janet Jackson, among many others, have joined him to watch the ball drop,” the article reports.

Pranking the Rich and Famous: “Clark co-produced the show ‘TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes,’ which debuted in the 1980s," the piece notes. "The series featured, among other gags, pranks on big stars. It wasn’t the first of its kind — ‘Candid Camera’ pulled jokes on TV, too, mostly on ordinary people — but Clark’s show was certainly one of the most influential; call it a prototype for ‘Punk’d.’ The idea is still wildly popular; ‘Bloopers’ is set to return to television this fall.”

Other items on E!’s list include popularizing Top 10 countdowns and redefining agelessness. Click here to see the full list.

Clark died early Wednesday at 82 after suffering a heart attack, as previously reported.

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