Dick Clark Dick Clark

New Year's Eve signals the start of a new year, but also the presence of an old face — Dick Clark's.

The TV icon is preparing for his 36th year of Times Square ball-dropping revelry on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2009, and he's not letting anything stop him from going in front of the camera — not even his 2004 stroke.

"Obviously, I'm not able to be as actively involved as I used to be out on the street, up on a platform and interacting with the crowds in Times Square," Clark wrote the Associated Press. "Thank goodness my friend Ryan Seacrest is able to handle that end of the activity on the show these days."

Clark suffered right-side paralysis on Dec. 6, 2004, forcing him to miss the countdown to 2005 (Regis Philbin filled in). The 79-year-old, who now uses a walker or wheelchair and says speaking is still difficult, returned the next year in a diminished capacity with Seacrest at the primary helm. "I am one of the fortunate ones who survived and have been minimally impaired, so I'm just thankful I'm still able to enjoy this once-a-year treat of bringing in the New Year," Clark wrote.

Wednesday night's extravaganza will feature the musical stylings of Jesse McCartney, Natasha Bedingfield, Fall Out Boy, Ne-Yo, Pussycat Dolls, Robin Thicke and Solange. Fergie will host the Hollywood segments.

Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2009 kicks off 10 pm/ET on ABC.

What are your New Year's Eve plans? Do you have a couch date with good ol' Dick Clark?