Ryan Seacrest is set to mark a 15-year milestone as host of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, and he is recalling two pieces of advice that late emcee Dick Clark gave him before he passed him the torch.
Seacrest, who will host the TV party from Times Square in New York City alongside Lucy Hale, stepped in to aid Clark after the American Bandstand icon had a stroke in 2004, and he took over the reins of the show completely when Clark passed away in 2012.
In an interview with Parade, Seacrest revealed that his earliest images of New York City were from watching Clark host the New Year’s Eve special live from Times Square when he was a kid. Clark debuted New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in 1972, two years before Seacrest was born.
Seacrest also revealed that once he met Clark and started working with him, the TV legend told him that as host it is important to make the job look “really easy” and that the production should run seamlessly. But Clark’s biggest tip was in regard to the iconic ball drop.
“The other thing he said was, when it hits midnight, shut up, don’t say anything,” Seacrest revealed. “Let the pictures and the ambiance tell the story, because it’s such an incredible energy and an incredible moment where people are embracing each other.”
Seacrest said that for 2020, new plates of Waterford crystal had to be added to the gigantic ball to form the right side numbers “two” and “zero.” The star also reminded fans that the musical performers who are live in Times Square do their songs, and then they come over and stand with the hosts under the ball drop, so it is one big emotional moment as everyone on the show rings in the New Year together.
In an interview on Good Morning America, Seacrest admitted he was “terrified” during his first year as host of the New Year’s Eve extravaganza more than a decade ago.
“I was stepping into a show that is such a franchise with a legend Dick Clark — all I wanted to do was prove myself that year and be invited back,” Seacrest admitted.
Seacrest was indeed invited back, and now he’s synonymous with the franchise that Clark made famous more than 40 years ago.
In addition to Seacrest and Hale in New York City, the 2020 celebration will feature singer Ciara as the host for the festivities from the West Coast, while Broadway star Billy Porter will host the Central Time Zone celebration live from New Orleans.