Happy New Year and Happy 40th to “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve!”

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest reaches its 40th annual edition with tonight’s Dec. 31, 2011- January 1, 2012 special. Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest will host the program starting at 10:00 p.m. (ET & PT) on ABC, and New Year’s Rockin’ Eve: The 40th Anniversary Party, hosted by Fergie and Jenny McCarthy, will air immediately before, at 8:00 p.m. Entertainment at this year’s festivities will include Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Pitbull, Hot Chelle Rae, the Band Perry, Blink-182, Christina Perri, Florence and the Machine, Gym Class Heroes, LMFAO, OneRepublic, Nicki Minaj, Taio Cruz, and will.i.am.

Dick Clark spoke about his first New Year’s special in 1959 and his inauguration of New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in 1972 (competing with Guy Lombardo who at that time “owned” New Year’s Eve on TV), when he was interviewed by the Archive of American Television on July 29, 1999:

Have a safe and happy New Year, everyone!

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