This Was Television On July 9

1956: Dick Clark takes the helm at American Bandstand

Clark had been a regular substitute for original host Bob Horn during the first four years of the Philadelphia program’s life. When Horn was fired, Clark permanently assumed the duties and held onto them until Bandstand’s cancellation in 1989. Less than a year after Clark took over, ABC picked up Bandstand for national broadcast, catapulting him to decades of celebrity. 

Clark was famously dubbed “The World’s Oldest Teenager,” which—while certainly fitting and unique, in the way a good nickname should be—still feels like a missed nicknaming opportunity when you consider the man’s middle name was “Wagstaff.” -A.D.

Today’s BirthdaysPamela Adlon, for Louie l’amour (46); Tom Hanks, bosom buddy (56); Tim Kring, hero worshipper (55); Mitchell Musso, Hannah Montana second banana (21); Fred Savage, Baby Boomer spirit animal (36); Jimmy Smits, Bartlet successor (57); John Tesh, official composer of the NBA on NBC (60).

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