NEW YORK -- As a little kid, Ryan Seacrest would spend every New Year's Eve watching the legendary Dick Clark count down to midnight.
Flash forward to today, and the TV personality is celebrating his "Sweet 16" hosting "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" in New York City's Times Square.
He will count down to 2021 with the help of actors Lucy Hale and Billy Porter. Ciara will cohost from Los Angeles, and Big Freedia will count down in New Orleans. Jennifer Lopez is also scheduled to perform from New York, and president-elect Joe Biden and wife Dr. Jill Biden will give their "last interview of the year."
In a Wednesday morning interview with "Good Morning America," Seacrest joked that he hopes he can keep this gig forever.
"If any of the bosses are watching, I'm pitching myself for forever right now," he joked.
The broadcast is closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic but a select group of front-line workers have been invited to watch.
"It may feel a little different on the ground, but I think on the air it's still going to have that celebratory component to it," said Seacrest. "Most of us can't go anywhere, so we're going to really try to put on a good show."
He's so comfortable with hosting that Seacrest gets a thrill out of the curveballs that can pop up. He also admits he's hoped for bad weather during past New Year's Eve broadcasts because it would pose a challenge and "gives you something to talk about."
Even though 2020 was one of the country's most challenging in recent history, Seacrest said he believes it's still important to have a celebration.
Don't miss "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2021" on ABC beginning at 8 p.m. ET | 7 p.m. CT on Thursday, Dec. 31
The Associated Press contributed to this report.