The Dick Clark Show

The Dick Clark Show (also known as Dick Clark's Saturday Night Beechnut Show) was an American musical variety show broadcast weekly in the United States on the ABC television network 7:30-8 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Saturdays from February 15, 1958, through September 10, 1960, sponsored (except for the first two shows) by Beechnut Gum.

The Dick Clark Show
Also known asDick Clark's Saturday Night Beechnut Show
GenreMusical variety
Presented byDick Clark
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes136
Executive producersLouis M. Hayward
Charles Reeves
Production locationsLittle Theater (Manhattan)
New York
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time22–24 minutes
Production companyDick Clark Productions
Original networkABC
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseFebruary 15, 1958 (1958-02-15) –
September 10, 1960 (1960-09-10)


Given that the show ran continually year-round for over two-and-a-half years, resulting in 136 episodes, there were no seasons as such. However, the "first season" of 29 shows could be said to have run from the premiere through August 30, 1958, the "second season" of 53 shows, September 6, 1958, through September 5, 1959, and the "third season" of 54 shows, September 12, 1959, through September 10, 1960.

Dick Clark, hosting throughout the entire series, introduced musical guests, who sang/performed (or, more often, lip-synced) their latest popular hit. Often, after a performance (and sometimes before), Clark interviewed the musician(s). Between performances on some shows, he also interviewed non-musical celebrity guests, usually a television or movie star — Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, Tony Randall, and Chuck Connors, among others.

The show was typically staged live, in New York City, at Manhattan's Little Theater (now the Helen Hayes Theatre), 240 West 44th Street. For the Manhattan broadcasts, the audience sat in theater seats, rather than standing and dancing as in Clark's concurrent pop-music show, American Bandstand — this distinction is the best method to identify whether a video recording of an artist's performance is from this show, or from American Bandstand.

The show was occasionally broadcast from remote locations across the United States. The May 30, 1959 show was broadcast from the Sheraton Hotel in Binghamton, New York.[1][2] Three shows, spanning from August 22, 1959 through September 5, 1959, were broadcast remotely from Hollywood, California. Another set of five shows were broadcast remotely from various locations across the country, between June 11, 1960 and July 9, 1960.

Top TenEdit

At the end of each show, Clark would announce the ten most popular songs from the current Top 40 in reverse order from #10 on down to #1, as the "American Bandstand Top Ten". On the first show, Clark played a brief soundclip from each top ten record as its title was announced. On each subsequent show, Clark played the soundclip only for those records which were "new" on the Top Ten that week. This ritual became so embedded in American culture that it was imitated in many different media and contexts throughout the years - a most-notable example being a nightly satirical piece during David Letterman's two late-night talk shows, Late Night and Late Show.

First showEdit

The first show was broadcast February 15, 1958,[3] with no sponsor — Beechnut began sponsoring the show the third week.[4] Guests on the first show were:


Guests included almost every popular American singer of the 1950s. Jackie Wilson and Bobby Rydell were the most frequent guests, each appearing on fourteen different shows. Frankie Avalon and Paul Anka, each with ten appearances, were the next most frequent guests. Next was Jack Scott, on nine shows. Bobby Darin, and Dion and the Belmonts were next with eight appearances each; Johnny Maestro (both solo and as a member of The Crests), Annette Funicello, The Four Preps, Freddy Cannon, and Fabian were next at seven times each. At six times each were Neil Sedaka, Anita Bryant, Conway Twitty, Lloyd Price, Duane Eddy, and Jimmy Clanton.

Excluding the names listed above, at least seventy-five other singers and musicians appeared on two or more shows.[6] Among them, along with a sampling of the songs they sang (and when), were:

  • "A Lover's Question" on the November 15, 1958, show
  • "Since You Been Gone" on the July 4, 1959, show
  • "Tears on My Pillow" on the August 23, 1958, show
  • "So Much" on the November 29, 1958, show
  • "Shimmy, Shimmy Ko-Ko Bop" on the January 2, 1960, show
  • "Lollipop" and "Mr. Sandman" on the February 22, 1958, show
  • "Lollipop" and "Zorro" on the April 26, 1958, show
  • "No Other Arms, No Other Lips" on the March 28, 1959, show
  • "Mama Don't Allow It" on the May 17, 1958, show
  • "Little Bitty Pretty One" on the August 13, 1960, show
  • "The Class" on the May 23, 1959, show
  • "The Twist" on the August 6, 1960, show
  • "I Cried a Tear" on the January 10, 1959, show
  • "I Waited Too Long" on the May 16, 1959, show
  • "Baby Talk" on the September 5, 1959, show
  • "White Tennis Sneakers" on the April 16, 1960, show
  • Baby Talk" and "We Go Together" on the June 25, 1960, show
  • "Pink Shoelaces" on the February 28, 1959, show
  • "Miss Lonelyhearts" on the August 22, 1959, show

Among the single-appearance guests were:

Notable episodes[7]Edit

  • February 22, 1958
Dick Clark interviewed Johnny Carson.
  • March 8, 1958
Dick Clark announced that viewers could receive in the mail an "autographed"[8] 45 RPM single of Jerry Lee Lewis's latest hit Breathless by sending in five Beechnut Gum wrappers and fifty cents for shipping and handling.[9] 48,000 requests were received.[10] Sun Records sent out the promotional records, the song moved further up the Top 40, and sales of Beechnut Gum increased — the deal made between Dick Clark and Sam Phillips of Sun Records for this promotion drew some criticism and accusations of payola, but resulted in no scandal and no indictments.[11]
  • May 10, 1958
Dick Clark interviewed Bob Hope — together, they lip-synced the Hope/Crosby song "Paris Holiday".
  • November 29, 1958
Because the show was being filmed the day before Dick Clark's birthday, Bobby Darin and other singers wished Dick Clark a happy birthday (but did not sing the "Happy Birthday To You" song).
  • January 3, 1959
David Seville and The Chipmunks performed "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" — on the eighth day of Christmas.
  • May 3, 1959
A Western-themed show, with Dick Clark and guests in cowboy attire. Paul Anka ("Lonely Boy"), Jesse Belvin ("Guess Who?"), Ronnie Hawkins & The Hawks (featuring drummer Levon Helm) ("Forty Days"), Johnny Horton ("The Battle of New Orleans"), The Skyliners ("Since I Don't Have You" and "This I Swear").
  • May 30, 1959
Remote broadcast from Binghamton, New York, filmed outdoors. Duane Eddy ("Rebel Rouser", "Forty Miles of Bad Road"), Annette Funicello ("Lonely Guitar", "Wild Party"), The Four Preps, Billy Storm
  • 1959 summer-series of three consecutive remote shows broadcast from Hollywood, California
  • December 31, 1959
Dick Clark hosts a special edition of the show on New Year's Eve, despite that day being on a Thursday. Because of the show's cancellation, it would not be reprised the next year. Clark would later return to ABC's New Year coverage in 1974, when he brought New Year's Rockin' Eve to the network; Clark remained in that role until his death, and that show still bears his name.
  • 1960 summer-series of five consecutive remote shows
  • August 6, 1960
Chubby Checker introduced "The Twist" to America.

Final showEdit

The last show was September 10, 1960.[3] Highlights of the series were shown from past shows:[7]


  1. ^ "Clark Show Had Local Setting, Cosmopolitan Flair". The Sunday Press. 31 May 1959.
  2. ^ "Media Reports" (PDF). Broadcasting. 25 May 1959. pp. 78–79. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  3. ^ a b Brooks, Tim and Marsh, Earle (Edition 7 — 1997), The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows: 1946—Present, Random House Inc., page 537, ISBN 0-345-45542-8
  4. ^ a b Sam's Television Appearances/The Dick Clark Saturday Night Show Archived 2016-04-08 at the Wayback Machine on the "Sam Cooke Fan Club" website
  5. ^ Clip of 1958 Jerry Lee Lewis performance on YouTube
  6. ^ Full Credits for "The Dick Clark Show" at the Internet Movie Database
  7. ^ a b Dick Clark Saturday Night Beechnut Show entry on
  8. ^ "...autograph was done with a rubber stamp and green ink..." Archived 2010-08-24 at the Wayback Machine, on the "Jerry Lee Lewis in the 1950s" website
  9. ^ Poore, Billy (1998) "Rockabilly: A Forty-Year Journey", Hal Leonard Publishing, page 11 ISBN 978-0-7935-9142-8
  10. ^ Bundy, June "Mail Pull Rates Clark a Topper in TV Promotions", Billboard Magazine, (November 10, 1958), page 46
  11. ^ Martin, Linda and Segrave, Terry (1993) "Anti-Rock: The Opposition to Rock 'n' Roll", Da Capo Press, p. 100, ISBN 0-306-80502-2

External linksEdit