1952: Goes to work at WFIL in Philadelphia
Upon graduating from Syracuse University with an advertising degree, young Clark moved to Pennsylvania and took a disc-jockey job at a local radio station.
1956: Takes over Bob Horn’s Bandstand
Clark occasionally filled in as host of an afternoon teen dance show on WFIL’s TV affiliate. After Horn was arrested for drunk driving, Clark assumed hosting duties permanently.
1957: American Bandstand debuts on ABC
A phenomenon in Philly, Bob Horn’s changed its title and went national, airing daily until 1963. The first song under Clark’s tenure? Jerry Lee Lewis’ ”Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.”
1966: Appears in the final episode of Perry Mason
Whodunit? Clarkdunit. The host/sometime actor was revealed to be the killer in the last courtroom scene.
1972: New Year’s Rockin’ Eve debuts
Clark began producing his live New Year’s Eve special, which he’d start hosting two years later. ”When we started in 1972, I was perched on top of a Times Square building accompanied by my wife and a lone cameraman,” Clark told EW in December. Almost instantly the show became a universal symbol for NYE.
1973: Creates the American Music Awards
His production company, Dick Clark Productions, developed an alternative music awards show for ABC after the network lost the rights to air the Grammys. The company would go on to produce a number of other awards shows, including the Daytime Emmys, the Academy of Country Music Awards, and the Golden Globes.
1973: Becomes host of The $10,000 Pyramid
Clark presided over the CBS game show, which moved to ABC, went into syndication, and later became The $100,000 Pyramid, winning Clark three Daytime Emmys for Best Game Show Host.
1979: Elvis, starring Kurt Russell, premieres on ABC
Dick Clark Productions’ first movie was a made-for-TV biopic about Elvis Presley; Clark & Co. would produce more than a dozen TV movies.
1982: Spoofs himself in the Police Squad! episode ”Testimony of Evil”
Clark lampooned himself by bribing a street shoeshiner in a back alley for a refill of ”secret-formula youth cream.”
1984: TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes debuts
Clark and cohost Ed McMahon created this comedy show for NBC, which inspired a number of imitators on other networks (a reboot of the series is planned for syndication this fall).
1992: SNL‘s David Spade premieres his snooty Dick Clark Productions receptionist
David Spade played a discriminating gatekeeper for Clark’s production company, refusing a wide variety of well-known guests access to the boss. ”And you are…? He would know you from…?”
1997: The Weird Al Show debuts
Clark produced a Saturday-morning show for ”Weird Al” Yankovic that featured cameos by celebrity comedians (and Clark himself), but the CBS series was canceled after 13 episodes.
1998: Total Request Live premieres on MTV
MTV debuted its daily music-video countdown program, which gave the Bandstand format a modern twist. Under host Carson Daly, the show revitalized the record-request genre for the digital age.
1999: The Simpsons sends up Clark with ”Treehouse of Horror X”
In a classic Halloween episode, an animated Clark hosted New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in Springfield, but a Y2K computer glitch at midnight revealed that the ageless host was a robot. Finally, an explanation!
1999: Friends episode ”The One With the Routine” airs
Monica (Courteney Cox) and Ross (David Schwimmer) realized a lifelong dream by landing a spot on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, where they performed a brilliantly awful dance routine in hopes of getting camera time.
2001-03: Cohosts talk show The Other Half
Intended as the male equivalent of The View, the daytime chat program featured Clark, Mario Lopez, Danny Bonaduce, and Dorian Gregory as cohosts.
June 2002: Reality TV juggernaut American Idol debuts with Ryan Seacrest
Idol introduced the country to Seacrest, who would go on to emulate Clark’s career as host, TV producer, and overall media personality.
September 2002: American Dreams premieres on NBC
Paul D. Roberts played Clark (who served as exec producer) on the period drama about a teenage Bandstand dancer and her family in mid-1960s Philadelphia.
October 2002: Clark clashes with Michael Moore in Bowling for Columbine
Clark refused to be interviewed by Moore, who confronted him about employees’ long hours and low pay in the Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill restaurant chain.
2003: Appears in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
Clark popped up in interviews in George Clooney’s 2002 film about his former personal assistant Chuck Barris, who worked on Bandstand and other game shows while moonlighting (he later claimed) as a CIA assassin.
April 2004: Reveals his type 2 diabetes on Larry King Live
After publicly discussing his health problems, Clark became an advocate for diabetes awareness.
Dec. 8, 2004: Hospitalized in Los Angeles after suffering a stroke
The then-75-year-old Clark had been hospitalized for what was initially termed a minor stroke.
Dec. 13, 2004: Drops out of New Year’s Rockin’ Eve for the first time
It was announced that Clark would be unable to host the New Year’s Eve broadcast due to health issues after his stroke. Regis Philbin stepped in as a substitute.
2005: Ryan Seacrest takes on cohosting New Year’s with Clark
Clark returned to Rockin’ Eve the following year. Though his speech was impaired, he held court with cohost Seacrest, whose role on the show would increase each year as Clark’s health declined.