updated 05/04/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 05/04/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Clark was the Pied Piper of the Brylcreem Generation, the Great Disctator of Pop Culture. He pretty much invented teenagers as a social unit, and when he plugged a song on Bandstand, the record was more than likely to go gold. When he featured a performer, even a minitalent like Fabian, the cat became a star. When he cooed commercials for zit cream, sales flipped off the graph. One week he got a million letters, a television record, and every year he made more than a million Eisenhower dollars. After 33 seasons, Clark is still Bandstand's silk-smooth deejay—that's the longest star turn in TV history. Until recently, he emceed shows on all three networks—Bandstand on ABC, TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes on NBC, The $25,000 Pyramid on CBS—and on the side he hosted The $100,000 Pyramid for syndication. Now 59, he runs dick dark productions, turning out theatrical films (Backtrack), TV movies (Elvis!) and prime-time specials (The American Music Awards). In 1986, Forbes magazine said his net worth was $180 million. Not bad for a kid who started out doing shoe shines on the sidewalks of Mount Vernon, N.Y., for 3 cents a shoe.