Ryan Seacrest: In five years we’ll all be working for him… or dead by his hand

Posted by Dan March 25th, 2008 at 10:41am In American Idol

The Washington Post came out with a rather horrifying profile of Ryan Seacrest yesterday, portraying him as the determined and energetic heir to the Dick Clark dynasty — a fact that he admits to in no minced words (“I had a total, 100 percent strategy to be the Dick Clark for our generation,” he says, “to be the Merv Griffin for our generation, to be the Larry King for our generation.”).


Meanwhile, who wants to be the Larry King of any generation?

Normally, when people get on TV it’s because they are really committed to a craft. Even if you think they suck. For instance, you couldn’t pay me enough to listen to a Carrie Underwood album, but you know that she got there because she was once a barefoot eight-year-old singing into a hairbrush in front of her bathroom mirror. But she got good at something and parlayed that into a (hugely) successful career — and now millions of people love her.

But the way Shales breaks it down, Seacrest was making mix tapes in the hopes of becoming Casey Kasem. And not only did he want to be Casey Kasem, he wanted to be every talent monger. Here’s the scariest paragraph of them all:

Although “Seacrest” might sound like a waterfront retirement village, there’s nothing remotely sleepy about him. It’s not that he’s multi-talented; he’s anti-talented, not a performer but a professional “personality,” the latest variation on a type as old as broadcasting: the guy who stands there and introduces the acts. He’s a low-key cheerleader who keeps the show moving and, with the judges as natural foils, allies himself with the audience and the contestants, never threatening to upstage the performers, even if he could.

The article details the psychotic organization, bordering on megalomania, with which Seacrest has built his empire (and, yes, it is a fucking empire). The radio kingdom, American Idol, the New Year’s Eve gig, being on E! 25 hours a day, etc.

I think the article wouldn’t be so disturbing if Seacrest were trying to become a real estate mogul. If he was just out to be the richest, most powerful, Trumpiest Trump that ever Trumped, then who would really care? But the fact is that he wants to hijack pop culture. And his vehicle toward success is mediocrity, accessibility and, above all, familiarity.

My gripe is that every place that Seacrest pops up is somewhere someone interesting won’t pop up. No more Kathy Griffin on the red carpet because Seacrest is there to blandly schmooze it up.  They could recruit a journalist to host E!, but sadly no. Seacrest’s malleable, vanilla “hostiness” can fill a thousand different roles and he’s taking up more than his fair share.  After all was anybody actually excited when they found out he was going to host the Emmys?

The fact of the matter is that Ryan Seacrest is not going away. Like a chicken pox scar or a traumatizing memory from 7th grade gym class, he’s just something we’re going to have to live with the rest of our lives.


  • 1. sandra  |  March 29th, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    God, get over it. The man is a huge success because he is very good at what he does. What do you do?

  • 2. Dan  |  March 30th, 2008 at 1:09 am

    I invented instant pudding.


    Because someone had to.

  • 3. TV Blog Coalition: March &hellip  |  March 30th, 2008 at 3:53 am

    […] Dan found an article on Ryan Seacrest that is one of the most disturbing portraits he’s seen in a good long while. (TiFaux) […]

  • 4. TV Blog Coalition - Link &hellip  |  March 31st, 2008 at 3:51 am

    […] Dan found an article on Ryan Seacrest that is one of the most disturbing portraits he’s seen in a good long while. (TiFaux) […]

  • 5. Around the Web in 11 TV B&hellip  |  March 31st, 2008 at 11:59 am

    […] Dan found an article on Ryan Seacrest that is one of the most disturbing portraits he’s seen in a good long while. (TiFaux) […]

  • 6. Mikey Likes TV » Li&hellip  |  March 31st, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    […] Dan found an article on Ryan Seacrest that is one of the most disturbing portraits he’s seen in a good long while. (TiFaux) […]

  • 7. tmnan  |  April 1st, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    nothing disturbing about seacrest. dick clark, larry king were not known to have any talent, but who cares. its of no significance. seacrest does his job well, and makes no claims to a talent . he shows up to work sober, works hard and does his job. nobody i know attributes seacrest with a hand in american culture or change.
    there is nothing wrong with that. plenty of people seem to be jealous of him though and that is what is really sad about the media. they want to make their personal feelings seem as a reflection of the populace. this is incorrect.


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