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Clark success no blooper

Glen Phillips Published: February 24, 1985

Looking back on 1984, Dick Clark admits it was a notable year.

After all, his production company did about $40 million volume that year. His staff had rights to and were working on 34 program ideas.

But most importantly, '84 was a watershed year for Dick Clark because he he's now a Californian ... he's lived there longer than anywhere else.

"I was talking to my wife the other day and commenting we've lived in California for 21 years," Clark explained in a phone interview.

"We lived in New York for 20 years and Philadelphia for 12. Allowing for some traveling time, that accounts for my 54 years."

"Of course, we still keep an apartment in New York," he said.

"And, we get back there every few weeks. But, it's not as often as it used to be. Recently we figured up I'd covered 4.5 million miles in the air ... and most of that's between New York and California, although it would include a lot of little trips here and there, too."

Clark has reason to be happy. His TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes keeps "bubblin' right along" just like most of his projects.

"You know ... we had become the Red Adair production company of TV.

When we were doing the blooper specials, NBC used us as a stick of dynamite they could light and throw at anything. We might extinguish a hot spot (on another network) or we could certainly damp it.

"When the network came up with a problem spot on Monday night, they came to us. We combined the blooper concept with Johnny Carson's practical jokes, which we thought was a pretty compatible idea, and came up with the series," he went on.

Admittedly Call to Glory was a problem early in the season when it was rolling strongly on momentum from its early Olympics send-off. But Clark seems to have weathered the storm, though his ratings are down a little from the top-20 spot he was holding earlier.

"As long as the hour is holding its spot in the ratings," Clark said. "We like to think no particular segment of the show is indispensible. We try to keep a full selection of what we bring to the table."

While admitting competition early in the season was trampling all over the blooper concept, Clark remained strong on the basic idea.

"The supply of outtakes is bottomless ... because it's going on every hour of every day."

"But, we wanted to put other things in the show, too. ... We wanted to cater to the audiences tastes ... and short attention spans. I liken the show to eating peanuts from a jar. If you get a good peanut (or a good segment), you think "Hey, that was OK, I'll have another one.' "However, if you get a bad peanut (or segment), you don't worry because the next one is immediately at hand and it'll probably be a good one," he went on.

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