Ryan Seacrest: Icon, Non-Scientist, Pipe

By Lisa de Moraes
Wednesday, January 11, 2006

PASADENA, Calif., Jan. 10

 A hundred years from now, when viewers are watching documentaries about the early 21st century, we are going to be defined by Ryan Seacrest.

Think about that.

Seacrest is the face of the most watched program on television, "American Idol," and don't underestimate the importance of his role on that show. He also has replaced both Casey Kasem and Dick Clark -- two cultural icons of the past millennium -- as host of the world's most popular radio countdown show, "American Top 40," and as host of "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" on ABC.

And, most recently, he signed a deal to become the face of cable network E! as managing editor and lead anchor of "E! News" and executive producer of the "Live From the Red Carpet" specials.

How fitting, then, that E! Networks President and CEO Ted Harbert trotted Seacrest out for the first day of Winter TV Press Tour 2006 -- during which, for maybe the first time in press-tour history, a bit of on-air talent actually said, "What I do for a living is not rocket science."

Which made us like Seacrest better.

In fact he went even further, likening what he does on the air to an air traffic controller's job: "My role is more as a conduit than anything else."

After taking a few questions -- When was the last time you talked to former "American Idol" co-host Brian Dunkelman? How do you feel about being the butt of so many late-night monologues? -- Harbert introduced fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi and Giuliana DePandi, who will cover the red-carpet arrivals with Seacrest at the Golden Globes on Monday.

Mizrahi noted right off how thin Seacrest is, telling the reporters, "Clap for that." He also said he really liked the way actress Selma Blair looks in clothes because she's always 20 pounds underweight, which, he explained, is a lot better than being 10 pounds underweight. The fashion industry is wonderful, isn't it?

Though apparently pro-anorexia, Mizrahi noted sniffily that he is definitely "anti plastic surgery."

"Me, too," said Seacrest.

CONTINUED     1           >

© 2006 The Washington Post Company