America and the world lost 82 year-old Dick Clark yesterday to a heart attack, which means that the title of “the world’s oldest teenager,” is now up for grabs. Clark made a name for himself by bridging generational gaps through American Bandstand and New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. The $100,000 Pyramid, not so much.
With Clark’s death, the claim to “world’s oldest teenager” is up in the air, and there is no shortage of celebs to take the title. So, let’s reflect fondly on Clark’s youthful exuberance during all stages of his life, acknowledge his contributions in ushering in a type of music that, without him, would have been marginalized for many more years, seeing off artists as diverse as Buddy Holly, Madonna, and Run DMC. That, my friends, is what we in the industry call “tenure.”
However, tomorrow brings a new day in which many, many, many celebs, deserving and otherwise will attempt to win the hearts and minds of America on their crusade to become the new “world’s oldest teenager.”
Seacrest has pretty much has followed the Dick Clark playbook since the beginning of his career, establishing footholds in singing competitions, radio programs, and of course, New Year’s Eve specials. It could be argued that this “kid” has been groomed to take Dick Clark’s place for quite some time now. He also looks like a teenager that has suffered an accident in a tanning factory. (Tanning leather, not skin. Actually, wait. Both.)
However, this choice is a little “on the nose.” I feel that the title of World’s Oldest Teenager shouldn’t be something you’re groomed for. It should be something that you effortlessly slide in to. I also don’t think that Ryan Seacrest is the guy that the kids go crazy for. Rather, I think he’s the guy that middle-aged people go crazy for because they think he’s the guy that kids go crazy for. It’s all very complicated, but I’m gonna put him at:
For the past ten years, the now-28-year-old Hill has been playing teenagers, and with the success of both Superbad and the more recent 21 Jump Street adaptation, there’s little sign of him slowing down on this front. I realize that in 21 Jump Street, he was playing a high school graduate who became a cop who became a high school student again, but in my book, that means he actually played TWO teenagers in this film. How long can he keep it up? Probably not long. With the weight loss, Hill is starting to take on a bizarre appearance that I don’t think anyone would ever confuse with “youthful.” He’s got it right now, but looking down the road, I don’t see him existing in this space for very long.
While we’re at it….