This past Sunday night, the Daytime Emmy Awards managed to do something that many televised awards ceremonies only try to do: create a truly moving moment.
The show set aside nearly ten minutes to honor TV personality Dick Clark and the show he hosted for nearly 32 years, American Bandstand. Friend and business associate Ryan Seacrest ushered in video clips containing words of praise from Garth Brooks, Cher, Frankie Avalon, American Idol’s Simon Cowell, and Barry Manilow, whose “Bandstand Boogie” served as the show’s theme song from the 1970s onward, and others. After Tony Orlando, Marie Osmond, Chubby Checker, the Spinners, and the cast of Jersey Boys gathered together to sing that theme, the cameras cut to Dick Clark. He was so moved that he began to cover his face with his hand to hide the tears.
As CBS cut to a commercial break, I first wondered why this was a part of the Daytime Emmys, of all shows. It was only then that I realized that years ago, Bandstand aired during the afternoon. Looking back on all of the musical history that show contained, and looking to what modern daytime TV is, I was shocked. Although there has several attempts to bring the show back since its cancellation in 1989, none of them has succeeded. In 2005, some of these efforts resulted in FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance, but that show barely resembles the original.
The real question is why we haven’t seen a similar tribute on other, music-themed award shows. The American Music Awards, produced by Dick Clark Productions, probably doesn’t want to seem like its honoring a part of itself, while the Grammy’s seem to be reluctant to link musical history with television history, despite the fact that their ceremonies are televised. Either way, The 37th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards’ have laid down the gauntlet on how tributes should be done.