I think I can honestly say that I never thought of American culture without Dick Clark being there. Whether he was on American Bandstand, $24,000 Pyramid, TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes, The American Music Awards, or Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve; he has been in our living rooms since 1952.
I remember watching American Bandstand as a kid and wanting nothing more than to be there, dancing and having a great time. The show ended before I ever got old enough to wake that dream come true, but that show lived on in my heart for years after. Now with Youtube, I get to relive some of those dreams all over again.
Dick Clark is one of those pop culture icons that will never completely disappear from the American psyche, nor should he. He helped shape the musical taste for generations of Americans and has earned not only our respect but our love as well. He will be missed.