He died of respiratory failure in Los Angeles on Friday (04May12), according to the New York Times.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Stewart served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II before taking up a career in broadcasting.
In 1956, the producer developed U.S. game shows The Price Is Right and To Tell the Truth, and he invented beloved word association TV programme Password five years later.
Stewart went on to form his own production team, Basada, Inc., and created $10,000 Pyramid, which eventually garnered nine Emmy Awards, primarily under the leadership of host Dick Clark.
Stewart retired from the business in 1991 and in 2010, he was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame by small screen legend Betty White.
Today Dick Clark passed away at 82 after suffering a massive heart attack. This is one of those deaths that touches nearly everyone in America, because everyone has some memory of him counting the ball dropping on New Year's Eve, introducing musical acts on American Bandstand, laughing with Ed McMahon on TV Bloopers and Practical Jokes, or even trying to get a contesant to figure out the last illuminated square on the $10,000 Pyramid. Everyone watched the American Music Awards and saw that familiar Dick Clark Productions logo at the end of the broadcast, shocked that the man who was eternally youthful before the camera was such a force even when he was behind the scenes.
Yes, everyone has a memory of Dick Clark, but such ubiquitous cultural figures are on the wane in America. Back when he started his career in 1956 on Bandstand, there were only three television channels to choose from and an audience of millions was almost guaranteed, even though the population was a lot smaller than it is today. Continuing through the '80s, when the show moved to syndication and eventually to USA, Dick Clark was still a cultural force, hosting the game show (a format that has fallen woefully out of favor) and other specials. He was someone everyone with a TV set knew, trusted, and probably had a good opinion of.
These days, our culture is a lot more fractured. There are hundreds of television channels, at least a few devoted entirely to music, and it's hard for most cable networks to break even a million viewers. We learn about our new music not thanks to the bands TV producers select for its rabid teenage fanbase, but through YouTube videos passed around by our friends on Facebook and Twitter. And if we can come across a game show, it's either Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, or something on the Game Show Network that gets as many pairs of eyes as cable access shows in larger markets.
Yes, there will never be another Dick Clark. Many people say that his obvious predecessor is Ryan Seacrest, who is also ubiquitous, hosts a very popular music show, produces a bunch of television programs, and has taken over the host of New Year's Rockin' Eve. But Seacrest, with his highlights and shiny face, is a host for the reality age. He's not promoting music so much as escorting contestants back and forth in a singing Hunger Games, where America picks them off one by one. He's not producing awards shows and high-caliber productions, he's helping the Kardashians take over the universe and promoting Shahs of Sunset. These are programs that may define the zeitgeist, but (with the exception of American Idol) they don't connect with the culture as a whole. And as popular as Kim, Khloe, and Ko may be, they're as despised by just as many people (if not more) as they are loved.
The country isn't as innocent or as unified as it was when we embraced Dick Clark as our never-aging older brother. While we may revel in the amount of content and the freedom of choice we have now, it's with nostalgic sadness that we say farewell, not only to an iconic announcer, host, and producer like Mr. Clark, but to a simpler, more-unified culture that we'll never experience again.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
Dick Clark Passes Away at 82
Clark Still Partying as Mr. New Years
Ryan Seacrest's Name is Added to New Year's Special
S3E2: Last week, Parks and Recreation delivered a fine season premiere. It had all the right pieces -- domineering Leslie, slacker Tom, dimwit Andy, and after all, we were introduced to the Ron Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. But looking back on "Go Big or Go Home," I probably thought the episode was a little better than it actually was. The reason? Simply, "The Flu." The most recent installment of Parks and Rec showcased itself at its finest, giving each of its characters unforgettable moments to further prove that when it's on its game, it's is one of the finest comedies on television.
"I think my allergies are acting up. I've already vomited like five times today."
Pawnee's sick with the flu. And unfortunately for Leslie, although she doesn't believe it and calls her symptoms "allergies," that means she's sick with the flu. Now, anyone else with this type of illness would take some time off from work, but not Leslie, who is, as we all know, the definition of a workaholic. She's preparing her presentation to the Chamber of Commerce. The goal? Try and get at least 80 businesses to help with the Harvest Festival. It's a daunting task, Leslie always loves a good daunting task. Unfortunately though, she's sick as a dog with a 104.1 degree temperature, and, well, she's hallucinating. Not really the best condition to give a presentation that on which your career depends. So, after pleads from everyone in the office, she ends up in the hospital under the care of Ann.
"No, I can't go home. We have to get ready for the Chamber of Secrets."
-Leslie and Ben
But of course, her stay in the hospital doesn't last long. She escapes and ends up at the town hall with Ben, where she fights through her sickness to deliver a poignant, inspirational speech to the community's businesses. And it was brilliant.
Honestly, this episode reminded me a lot of last year's "Telethon," which had Leslie staying awake for 48 hours, all while fighting delirium and hallucinations. And frankly, I'm on board any time Leslie has to push through some type of obstacle because it always leads to a hilarious outcome (like taking a good two minutes to recite her favorite Friends episode as a way to kill time during the telethon at 3 a.m.). For example, on top of the brilliant quote above, when she showed up at the town hall and the "wall and floor had switched spots," seeing Leslie attempting to balance herself as she walked through the hall was one of the funniest bits of physical humor that the show has ever done.
"You had me at meat tornado."
Now in the B-plot, since all of Pawnee is sick, that means April's sick and Ron needs someone to fill in her assistant spot. Now, who's the logical fit? As always, the dimwitted, yet lovable Andy. Ron assigns him to his desk because he knows Andy is too stupid to figure out the phones and that means Ron can spend his time doing exactly what he loves best -- nothing. But then, something happens. Andy and Ron suddenly click. They're instantly best friends, sharing secrets on meat eating, talking Colts football, and even heading outside to toss the ol' pigskin around in the parking lot. Not only was this a great moment because Andy and Ron are both hilarious characters, and in turn, make hilarious friends. But damn, as I watched, I couldn't help wonder why hadn't I thought of this before? These guys are the perfect match. Of course they're going to both love meat. Of course they're both going to love football. One of Parks and Rec's best qualities is its capability to surprise you with things that you should expect, but don't. This was a perfect example of that. Plus? We got to hear Ron Swanson scream and giggle like a little girl.
Oh, Rob Lowe. Thank you for joining Parks and Rec. In "The Flu," you had your finest episode yet. Seeing the impeccable Chris -- who's body is "like a microchip" -- curled up in the fetal position on the hospital floor was something I very much appreciated. In fact, the whole montage of Chris' downward spiral was brilliant, and credit should be given to Lowe for his hilarious portrayal of Chris, which gets better every week.
On top of just being flat-out funny, Pawnee's town flu illustrated one of my favorite aspects of this show -- and that's Pawnee as a character. Underneath all the wackiness from each individual character, Parks and Rec is ultimately about Pawnee, or perhaps more accurately, life in small town America. You have a few people who are sick? Look out! It's an epidemic! Being from a town of 10,000 people, I can confidently say that when something like this happens, it's big news. It's not a bad thing, it's just the way small towns like this work. And I like that Parks and Rec doesn't ever make fun of the situations that Pawnee creates, instead, it just embraces them and illustrates how the people inside of this world feel.
"That was... That was Leslie Knope."
Well, the inevitable is happening. It appears that Ben and Leslie have some type of romance budding. I don't know if I'm on board with this, and I'd much rather have the writers keep the characters more of a Jack and Liz versus a Ross and Rachel. But, if they DO decide to pursue a Ben-Leslie romantic plot line, I hope it continues down a similarly charming path. Ben bringing waffles and chicken noodle soup was a bit corny, but Leslie only wanting the waffles was a clever switch and pretty cute. Oh, and speaking of cute, Andy kissing April in the hospital, only to complain about her forehead being sweaty but "still liking her," was adorable. If that were any other couple on television, that'd be a strange moment, but in Parks and Rec, it works. One of this show's greatest talents is embracing its goofiness, giving it the ability to turn a wacky scene into a charming one.
Have friends who you want to watch Parks and Rec? Well, "The Flu" is the episode to show them. From Leslie's hallucinations to the Ron and Andy guy time, it delivered exactly what Parks and Recreation is supposed to be, and would be the perfect episode to show your friends. Oh, and don't forget about Ladies' Night at the Snake Hole Lounge. I'll see you there at sunset.
Dateline: 10 000 B.C. The day of the last hunt has arrived. Oh dear. If an ancient prophecy holds true a remote mountain tribe’s quiet existence is hours away from coming to a bloody end. Not that it matters to a hunting party comprised of mud-splattered Abercrombie & Fitch himbos--nothing’s going to come between them and a hot plate of woolly mammoth meat. But no sooner is dinner over than “four-legged demons” attack. Actually they’re just slave traders on horseback but they quickly make off with plenty of women and children including Evolet (Camilla Belle). This “girl with the blue eyes” just so happens to possess the tribe’s “promise of life”--whatever that is. Enter D'Leh (Steven Strait). Our would-be He-Man loves Evolet so he organizes a rescue mission with the help of tribe elder Tic’Tic (Cliff Curtis). Their destination is a place unlike anything they have seen before (because they didn’t see Apocalypto): a city with pyramids built by slaves and ruled by a purported god the evil Almighty. First though our heroes must make it there alive--which is easier said than done when there are hungry (and poorly computer-generated) saber-toothed tigers on the prowl. Forget about Belle replacing Raquel Welch as the prehistoric playmate of your dreams. It’s my sad duty to report that are we denied the pleasure of seeing Belle strike some sexy poses in an animal-skin bikini straight out of One Million Years B.C. But it’s nice to know that even in the Mesolithic period our dreadlocked damsel in distress has access to the spa services needed for her to pass as the well-scrubbed face of a Vera Wang perfume campaign. Everyone else though needs a hosing down. Besides keeping herself clean and healthy Belle’s only other responsibility is to give the occasional hard stare that emphasizes Evolet’s piercing blue eyes which she does with aplomb. The Covenant’s Strait may have the beefcake physique of a warrior but he doesn’t possess any noble qualities. He’s more dolt than D’Leh natural born leader. Just listen to the sleepy Strait’s morale-boosting Independence Day-ish speech and you’re be inspired to fall on your own spear. Live Free or Die Hard’s Curtis can barely contain his embarrassment at having to fight at Strait’s side. 10 000 B.C. doesn’t boast a villain worthy of our hisses but Affiff Ben Nadra and Marco Khan at least project some menace as at-odds slave traders. “Only time can teach us what is truth and what is legend ” intones narrator Omar Sharif with all the pomposity of Seinfeld’s J. Peterman. Fine but 10 000 B.C. is hardly the stuff of legends. There are too many problems with this serious-minded but fantastical prehistoric romp to enjoy it on its own terms or as an unintentional exercise in pure camp. Forcing the cast to speak with grating generic European accents makes the inane dialogue harder on the ears. The plot borrows too liberally from Apocalypto. Even when Emmerich stops treading on Mel Gibson’s toes 10 000 B.C. also comes across as a de facto prequel to Stargate what with its antagonist being a pyramid-obsessed supreme being. You even brace yourself for the Almighty to reveal himself to be Jaye Davidson. All could be forgivable if Emmerich delivered on the action. He doesn’t. A woolly mammoth stampede proves to be inferior to similar scenes in Jurassic Park and King Kong. A phorusrhacid attack provokes laughter because it looks like our heroes are fleeing from a pissed-off Big Bird. The climatic revolt ends as soon as it begins. No one demands much from Emmerich. Just pure spectacle. So why does 10 000 B.C. feel no bigger than a natural history museum mini-diorama?
Two teams, each composed of one celebrity and one non-celebrity contestant, compete. One team chooses one of six subject categories that are displayed on a large pyramid. Each subject contains seven related objects; one player has to relate each subject to his partner in one word clues (within a thirty-second time limit).
The player who scores highest (each plays three categories) wins the game and receives the opportunity to win money by attempting to guess seven subjects on a large board within sixty seconds.