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For 40 years, veteran broadcaster Dick Clark has helped Americans rock into the New Year with his annual New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.
Clark died on Wednesday at the age of 82 after suffering a massive heart attack. In his memory, THR takes a look back at five iconic moments from the landmark show.
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve was created by Clark in 1973, the first installment ringing in 1973 on NBC. The broadcast moved to its current home at ABC two years later. Ryan Seacrest joined Clark as co-host in 2006, taking over completely in 2009. Clark had missed only one broadcast in his career (the result of a stroke in December 2004, which led to Regis Philbin filling in), making appearances until this year’s edition. In 2012, the show celebrated its 40th anniversary with a two-hour retrospective special.
1973’s Inaugural Broadcast: Before the annual countdown became a national tradition, Clark simply said: “It is now 1973, as of now.”
1987 Promo Spot: ABC plugged its upcoming special in this 30-second commercial. Scheduled that year were The Bangles, Smokey Robinson, The Commodores and Miami Sound Machine.
Addressing 9/11: Clark had comforting words for his audience as New York City celebrated its first New Year’s Eve since the horrific World Trade Center attacks of 2001. “It was not the happiest year in America’s life,” he said, “but we are pressing on.”
The Origins of NYRE: In a 1999 interview for the Archive of American Television, Clark recalls his first year hosting the series.
Clark’s Final Appearance: Clark stepped in front of the camera during the 2012 broadcast for a brief moment in what would become his final appearance on the show.
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