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Carson Daly's career spans a multitude of media - from cable to radio, from network television to the recording industry. He is, of course, host of the extremely influential "Total Request Live." He also hosts the nationally syndicated radio program "Carson Daly Most Requested," broadcast in 140 markets by Premiere Radio Networks. In 2002, Carson became the host of NBC's hottest late-night talk show, "Last Call with Carson Daly," as part of an overall deal with NBC. In addition, the internationally recognized personality will host, develop or appear on other programs under the NBC umbrella, such as Macy's Fourth of July Spectacular and interview specials. As Host and Executive Producer of MTV's "Total Request Live," Carson has interviewed such diverse celebrities as Tom Cruise, Madonna, Britney Spears, Janet Jackson and Adam Sandler. He began his television career on MTV in the summer of 1997, and has hosted many successful MTV and non-MTV related specials, including the Millennium Celebration in Times Square, MTV's Spring Break and TRL at the Superbowl. Carson is becoming a dominant figure in the music industry as well, recently announcing he was launching a record label in partnership with Jon Rifkind. Daly's new imprint, 456 Entertainment, enables him to develop promising talent from across the world, in genres ranging from rock to hip-hop. Carson was raised in Santa Monica, California, with his sister Quinn. He developed an early knowledge of the entertainment industry, due in no small measure to his mother being an actress and radio personality.
After graduating from Santa Monica High School, Carson enrolled at Loyola Marymount University, his father's alma mater. An avid golfer, Carson was also a regular on the amateur golf circuit. He became an intern at a Palm Springs radio station, KCMJ, and after a short stint in the radio trenches, he was promoted to producer of the morning show.
In less than three years, Carson rose through the ranks of radio in four different cities. In the summer of 1996, he landed one of the most coveted positions in radio-that of the early evening voice at Los Angeles' influential and top-rated KROQ-FM. MTV soon recognized his talent and brought him to New York.
Carson Daly currently resides in New York City.
New Year's duel between Daly and Seacrest
With an ailing king, two would-be successors and a ubiquitous substitute, New Year’s Eve on television has more subplots than a party with three ex-girlfriends.
Dick Clark and his "New Year’s Rockin’ Eve" on ABC has been the go-to party for 32 years, but he’ll be away from Times Square this Friday as he continues recovering from a stroke. Regis Philbin will fill in for him.
NBC is launching its own party show from Rockefeller Center with Carson Daly. Ryan Seacrest, in his third year for Fox, is bringing his show east to New York for the first time. Even gray-haired hipster Anderson Cooper will emcee a CNN New Year’s show from Times Square with the rock band Green Day.
Both Daly and Seacrest were booked before Clark took ill, an indication of an approaching generational shift. Much like Clark took over from Guy Lombardo as television’s most popular New Year’s Eve host, Daly and Seacrest are jockeying to be the next in line.
"When it’s time to say, ‘OK, here’s the show and the guy that is going to be around on New Year’s Eve for years to come,’ I would definitely like to be the one that the baton gets passed to," Seacrest said.
Don’t expect Clark, health permitting, and ABC to give it up easily. "New Year’s Rockin’ Eve" is annually ABC’s second most popular entertainment special after the Oscars.
The ABC New Year’s Eve special will run three and a half hours, starting at 10 p.m. EDT, breaking after an hour for local news and returning from 11:35 p.m. to 2:05 a.m. Besides Simpson, performers include Big & Rich; Ciara; Earth, Wind & Fire; Fabolous; Kenny G; Billy Idol; Los Lonely Boys and Simple Plan.
Daly and Seacrest are both big fans of Clark. They’ve used his career as a model, and speak of him ever-so-respectfully.
"Things could perhaps be up in the air now in light of the recent circumstances, the unfortunate circumstances with Dick," Seacrest said. "They had to put Regis in at the last minute, and I’m not quite sure what that show will be like or feel like without Dick Clark. He certainly will be missed by America. It really won’t feel the same without him in Times Square," he said.
Seacrest, now a radio host of "America’s Top 40," will run his show (airing from 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. ET) like a countdown. Not only will the year’s best songs be played, he’ll incorporate pop culture lists like the top five bitter breakups of the year. It’s his first year as executive producer, and Seacrest is looking for ways to make the show distinctive.
Hoobastank and Evanescence will perform, and the show will include the world premiere of a 20-minute Usher video featuring four of his hits.
Usher fans may be delirious, but there’s a danger others could see that time as a huge indulgence. But Seacrest points out it will happen after midnight, when many people stop paying attention to these shows or can’t see straight anyway.
Daly spent five years as host of MTV’s New Year’s Eve party (which, by the way, has Lindsay Lohan as host this year) before taking last year off. He has re-emerged to inaugurate NBC’s pre-party, which airs from 10 to 11 p.m. Jay Leno will have a live "Tonight" show when the Times Square ball drops. If Daly is disappointed at leaving the air an hour before midnight, he’s not letting on.
"I didn’t really look past the fact that they said ‘you’ll be on the air live from 10 to 11 and here’s the money,"’ he said. "Maybe next year." He wants the chance to establish himself as a potential New Year’s Eve franchise for NBC.
"This is not about me trying to steal something from Dick Clark," he said. His show will feature performances by Avril Lavigne, Maroon 5 and Duran Duran. Ever the good corporate soldier, Daly will also include a guest shot by "The Apprentice" star Donald Trump via satellite from Trump’s own New Year’s party in Florida and an appearance by "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams.
The closest Daly comes to trash talking with his rivals is calling Duran Duran a bigger act than "White Wedding" singer Idol, who’s on ABC. "There will be something younger and, in my opinion, a little cooler to watch that night," he said.
Cool. That’s the territory that Fox and Seacrest is also trying to stake out.
Could a New Year’s duel be far behind?
Since Seacrest will be in Times Square and Daly a few blocks away in Rockefeller Center, perhaps they could duke it out somewhere in the middle - say, Sixth Avenue.
"He’s much taller and a little bit bigger than me," Seacrest said. "I think he’d probably be able to beat me up."
Carson Daly Stakes His Claim to New Year's
After spending years hosting New Year's bashes on MTV, Carson Daly found himself in an unusual situation as 2003 became 2004. Vacationing in St. Barts, Daly ushered in the new year without the presence of a single television camera and without the screaming hordes of New York's Times Square. Daly missed the buzz.
"I just kept standing around looking at my watch, figuring, 'When do I go live?'" Daly laughs. "It was really bizarre. I'm trained that night to work."
Daly will return to the New Year's real estate for "NBC's New Year's Eve with Carson Daly," a primetime special which will air live on Friday night at 10 p.m. ET. On his MTV specials, Daly used to routinely poke fun at venerable Times Square figure Dick Clark and while he publicly professes nothing but respect for the legendary host, he clearly sees his special as a necessary alternative.
"We wanted to be a little smarter than MTV, yet cooler than Dick Clark," he says.
Clark, of course, will be missing New Year's Eve as he recovers from a recent stroke, but Daly has desired the real estate for some time.
"He really has had a bit of a monopoly on New Year's Eve and it's something that I've always had my eye on," he says. "When I got to NBC, I immediately expressed that there were things at the network I wanted to do other than just develop a late night show and that included the territory of New Years."
The former "Total Request Live" host will deliver an impressive line-up of musical stars, featuring performances by Avril Lavigne, Maroon 5, and Duran Duran. Daly will also dedicate plenty of time to pleasing his NBC overlords. Donald Trump, Conan O'Brien and new "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams are just a few of the NBC personalities expected to drop by -- live or, in the case of Trump, via satellite -- to plug. Things won't be dull on the Rockefeller Center set.
"The quintessential shot of the night that we've seen for as long as Dick's been on the air... is just an hour or more straight of watching a million people stand around in Times Square waiting for a ball to drop," Daly notes. "It's obviously a historic occasion when it does and it's kinda the money shot you want to see at 11:59 when it turns the stroke of midnight, but as far as we're concerned, there's still 99 percent of a television show occurring around that event."
Daly doesn't have any plans for the hour between when his show goes off the air and the moment the ball drops, nor does he have any ambitious plans for where this new tradition goes next.
"Our thing was basically let's try and just hit a double," he says. "If we can put together a fun and entertaining special this night and do OK, then we'll talk about what the future is for this franchise the very next day."
Carson Daly and other young celebrities enhance appeal of Bob Hope Classic
Engaging fans, golfers across generational lines strengthen famed tourney. Organizers of the 2005 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic have kept in mind the Coachella Valley’s expanding youth population in attracting -- again -- MTV personality Carson Daly. Nice job.
It is another impressive effort to steer the tournament to attract the valley’s growing youth population.
Daly’s invitation -- for the second consecutive year -- is recognition that youth play a vital role here and should be brought into the fold of the event.
And there is still room to add more celebrities in the coming weeks who appeal to the valley’s youth.
A move toward celebrities who can attract a younger generation of fans began in 2001 when singer Justin Timberlake of ’NSync, A.J. McLean of the Backstreet Boys and wrestler Bill Goldberg were invited.
In 2002, the Classic invited singer Trevor Penick of the pop group O-Town and BMX freestyle bicycle champion Dave Mirra to be part of the tournament’s celebrity field.
Last year, it was Daly.
A consistent effort to attract celebrities who can appeal to the younger generation could do for the classic what Tiger Woods has done for golf -- draw unprecedented interest. Daly should be a sure-fire drawing card in this valley, where the youth population far outpaced the growth of adults during the past decade.
Between 1990 and 2000, the number of valley residents under the age of 18 grew by 48 percent, while the number of adults grew 34 percent.
Other celebrities in the field who will play in the pro-am tournament are Kurt Russell, George Lopez, Andy Williams, Joe Pesci, Yogi Berra, Ahmad Rashad, Maury Povich, Michael Bolton, Alice Cooper, Tom Dreeson and Cheech Marin.
The celebrities, along with defending champion Phil Mickelson, offer a winning ticket that offers a tantalizing mix of sports, Hollywood, and familiar standbys, all of which should help stimulate the economy, as the Classic always has.
In tourneys past, more than $32 million flowed into desert communities through accommodations, meals, merchandise, entertainment, transportation and other purchases during the week-long event.
The Classic always has aligned itself with its roots, whether it be the players, some of the original golf courses on which the tournament was played or the reputed millions it has generated annually for charity.
Since the tournament began 46 years ago, more than $34 million has been donated to local charities and nonprofits such as Eisenhower Medical Center.
Its sense of history is what has made the Classic, well, a classic.
The younger generation of celebrities is a welcome addition, but it is equally comforting to know the Classic remembers its roots.
Carson Daly gets help from palsQ: What about going up against Dick Clark's holiday show?
A: I respect the man and the franchise he created for New Year's Eve programming. He has been a mentor, and he's been on my show a bunch of times. Ever since I started at MTV, people have brought the Dick Clark thing up. I always say, "It's great for me, but it sucks for him." He's so busy, but people call and ask, "What about this Carson Daly guy?" He has always been very gracious in putting up with the paper trail of what I've been trying to do. There's a whole demographic between MTV and Dick Clark, and that's what we're shooting for here.
Q: Was there any competition in booking New Year's Eve acts?
A: We just went for people who represent the vibe we want to give off. We made a wish list and just went down it, and we never got into a booking conflict at all. Everybody we asked to be a part of this is a part of it.
Q: Did you find the music-world contacts you made at MTV to be helpful?
A: I'm very fortunate that way. I have great relationships with people because of my backgrounds in radio and at MTV, but I also think it transcends that. I've made great friends in the business; they know I'm very cognizant of their careers and where they are, and I think they respect that. I never put any musician in a bad situation.
The exciting thing is getting someone like Brian Williams, who certainly has his plate full. The fact he agreed to do this is where I feel there's been a real victory, because he certainly doesn't need to waste his time with a punk like me. I'm really thrilled there's that angle to the show, not to mention Donald Trump and some of the other things we're doing. The musicians, I kind of "get," but I just don't know the other people that well. I feel like I'm creating relationships.
Q: Does your New Year's Eve strategy parallel your "Last Call with Carson Daly" guest formula intentionally?
A: Most of the big guys -- Leno and Letterman and Jimmy (Kimmel) and Conan and Jon Stewart -- are all very funny, and the epicenter of their hosting stems from their being comedians. I'm a guy with a lot of interests, and we try to exploit that in the show.
Carson Daly to host New Year's Eve show
Carson Daly will host NBC's first ever New Year's Eve primetime special, the network confirmed today. Daly is host of Last Call, which is now in its fourth season. The show is part of NBC's late night lineup.
"I am thrilled to be hosting and producing NBC's New Years Eve show and starting a new and lasting tradition here," said Daly today. "We are looking forward to kicking off NBC's New Year's Eve celebration with some of this year's most exciting talent and special guests."
Daly's show will air 10-11pm ET live from Rockefeller Center in New York City. Jay Leno's Tonight Show will air live from Burbank, California at 11:35pm ET, followed by Late Night with Conan O'Brien counting down to the New Year in the central time zone.
Carson Daly takes on Dick Clark
NBC is sending Carson Daly to go head-to-head against Dick Clark on New Year's Eve.
The MTV host will anchor NBC's first New Year's Eve special — featuring a batch of pop music stars — from Rockefeller Center.
Dick Clark's annual show has been a holiday fixture for more than 30 years — and, until now, has been pretty much unchallenged.
Daly has often been compared to Clark because they both hosted afternoon music shows — albeit in two different eras.
Carson Daly new show ''Last Call''
It's 1:30 am and the barkeep just yelled "last call" -- you've got ten minutes to make or break your night. You don't have time to waste. You have to do whatever it takes. Carson Daly's new late-night talk show, "Last Call with Carson Daly," has thirty minutes to do the same. The show has no set format and New York City is its playground.
Carson's guests range from musicians to politicians, from Ja Rule to Gwyneth Paltrow. The show's content varies from bands premiering new songs to candid interviews with actors. The interviews and music may take place in the studio, but Carson and his guests also do remote pieces from all over New York City.
Last Call airs at 1:35 am Monday through Thursday, following Late Night with Conan O'Brien. It features one or two guests, and frequently a musical performance. The show is taped in front of a live audience in NBC's famed Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center. On the first show airing January 7th, 2002, Grammy award nominee Alicia Keys stopped by to talk about life, music, and her upcoming tour. Click here for a full list of Alicia's upcoming tour dates.
Currently, Carson Daly hosts TRL, MTV's most popular show, and a syndicated morning radio show.