With ''Dick Clark's Primetime New Year's Rockin' Eve'' celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, we asked the titular host to share some of his most memorable Times Square moments. (Two words: naked partygoers)


New Year’s Rockin’ Eve has always been a pleasant and memorable night for me. When we started in 1972, I was perched on top of a Times Square building accompanied by my wife and a lone cameraman. Since then, our crew and show have grown considerably.

I always remember the weather, because strangely enough, we were always standing out in the elements and were not able to go into a studio as we are today. Over the years, there were many nights we had torrential rain, heavy snow, or gusty winds to deal with during the show. The coldest New Year’s Eves I remember were in 1976 and 1996, when the temperature dropped to 15 degrees and the windchill factor was minus 14! One chilly New Year’s Eve, I was somewhat distracted by the stage manager standing beside my camera, directing me. He, the cameraman, and several stagehands were paying no attention to me whatsoever but were fascinated with the off-camera sight taking place directly behind me. Much to their amusement, high atop Times Square in an office building, they were being entertained by an office full of naked celebrants, who were dancing, partying, and celebrating the arrival of the new year.

On a more serious note, Dec. 31, 2001, followed the tragic events of 9/11, but the New Year’s Eve celebrants were undeterred and brought in 2002 in grand fashion…proving, once again, if you want to ring in the new year in an upbeat frame of mind, the place to be is Times Square.

Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve

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