American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, the man most consider this generation's Dick Clark, was in awe of his friend and mentor. "He was such a good friend," said Ryan. "(I) just wanted to please him every time I got a chance to work with him."
Remembering to E's Giuliana Rancic the first time he hosted New Year's Rockin' Eve, Seacrest admitted being frightened. The year was 2005 and Clark was recovering from a stroke. Not in control of his voice and movement yet, he tapped Seacrest to host the show for him. It was Clark's only New Year's Eve absence in over 30 years.
After completing the first New Year's event, Ryan said he wanted to do it again, but with Clark. He got his wish. He co-hosted the show with the TV legend for many years. The two became fast friends and Seacrest also considered Dick his mentor. Now he must carry the torch for him.
He referred to Clark as "engaging and charming and wonderful...." He went on to say that what his mentor did for music would be impossible to do again. He called his work "groundbreaking". Dick made rock and roll cool and acceptable to mainstream AmericaÂ—something that was being fought by parents at the time. But seeing Clark enjoy on TV seemed to make it more palatable.
Seacrest admitted it was tough doing American Idol right after he learned of Clark's death. He called it "sad news for a lot of people across the country." However, he was quick to note that his "legacy will live on forever" and confessed that Dick Clark had an impact on who he'd become.
Many today compare Ryan Seacrest to Clark. In truth, however, there is no need for comparison. Both men stand on their own. However, it is clear that Clark's influence on Ryan was great. He maintains the same squeaky-clean image and always delivers whatever he does with dignity and grace, just like his mentor. Seacrest has the same winning smile and the same welcoming attitude. It's as if he's taken the best parts of Clark and merged them with the best parts of himself. No doubt Dick would be proud.