Last year, the girls and I gave it the ole Chez Copa try to celebrate New Years, despite my early shift the following morning. Assuming the challenge, the girls busted into my bedroom, slamming a champagne flute into my hand, dragged my half awake, stumbling self in front of the television only to watch the infamous Dick Clark slurring special.
This year I have a more humane schedule and will gratefully pass on this American of watching the painful countdown with this once legendary announcer.
LOS ANGELES — Four years after a stroke, Dick Clark is relishing the prospect of another New Year's Eve celebration, determined to appear for his 36th year in Times Square. And he's hardly surprised by the current state of the music industry he helped build _ he predicted this, after all.
Clark, who turned 79 last month and has been in front of the cameras for 61 years, said in a recent interview by e-mail that his involvement in "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2009," diminished though it may be, is a labor of love and "not really a job."
"Obviously, I'm not able to be as actively involved as I used to be out on the street, up on a platform and interacting with the crowds in Times Square" in New York, Clark wrote. "Thank goodness my friend Ryan Seacrest is able to handle that end of the activity on the show these days.
ABC-TV's 3 1/2-hour live extravaganza will include performances by Natasha Bedingfield, Fall Out Boy, Jesse McCartney, Ne-Yo, Pussycat Dolls, Solange and Robin Thicke. Fergie hosts the Hollywood segments.
Clark woke up with right-side paralysis on Dec. 6, 2004 _ "Your life changes overnight," he said. (Regis Philbin filled in for Clark on the New Year's Eve show that year.) Clark still uses a walker or wheelchair, and speaking is difficult.
"I am one of the fortunate ones who survived and have been minimally impaired, so I'm just thankful I'm still able to enjoy this once-a-year treat of bringing in the New Year."
The "American Bandstand" icon and longtime producer of the American Music Awards, Academy of Country Music Awards and Golden Globes has long considered them "my television kids."
He's also watched their ratings plummet in recent years.