Ryan Seacrest: I've no problem being vanilla

Radio and TV host Ryan Seacrest. CBS

Ryan Seacrest is best known as the host of the most-watched television show in the nation, "American Idol." But this is one host - with a HOST of other interests. Tracy Smith has a Sunday Profile.

If you've ever wondered what the perpetually happy Ryan Seacrest does in his down time ... here's a clue:

When we met him last month, the busiest man in show business was making the rounds at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where he had young patients smiling and singing.

It's more than a photo op: Seacrest is building "the voice" in as many hospitals as he can: high tech TV-radio studios designed to give young patients something to take their minds off the business of fighting for their lives.

"Even though this isn't like a cure or it's gonna give me my hair back when it falls out, it's something," said Richie Suarez who has cancer, "just a little thing to get you through the day and give you something to look forward to."

In fact, it's become a highly emotional mission for the entire Seacrest family - mom Connie, dad Gary and sister Meredith.

"I mean, honestly, when we even walk through the hospital today, just seeing the impact that it has on the children," Meredith said. "It's such a delight."

At every encounter, he makes it a point to introduce himself, but for Ryan Seacrest, introductions are hardly necessary.

Seacrest is the host of one of the biggest shows in history, "American Idol." He's also, among other things, the host of a top L.A. morning radio show, and co-host of cable TV's E News, all done in a smooth, cheerfully bland style.

"It is not my goal to be controversial. It it's never been my strategy to be that person," he told Smith. "So in a way, yeah. I get up every day thinking, 'Let's be vanilla.' I have no issue with that.

"I don't feel like I've gotta push a button today or I've gotta create a headline or be controversial. I have no problem being considered just 'there,' you know? You're just there," he laughed. "And letting the things, the moving parts around me, be in the spotlight."

"You've done vanilla pretty well," said Smith.

"It's good. it goes with everything, right?" he replied.

Click on the video player below to watch Ryan Seacrest discuss his need to keep busy.

And these days, "everything" includes an ambitious slate of projects he doesn't host: He's the executive producer and the driving force behind such reality TV hits as "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," and the spinoffs "Khloe and Lamar," and "Kourtney and Kim Take New York."

And yet, there's more: Every New Year's Eve, Seacrest is in Times Square. Every Oscar night, he's a fixture on the red carpet ... a multi-millionaire in perpetual motion.

Maybe more impressive still, is that he started out about as far from Hollywood as you can get.

Born on Christmas Eve in 1974, Ryan John Seacrest was raised in Dunwoody, Ga., the son of an attorney and a homemaker.

Young Ryan seemed an unlikely candidate for future stardom.

He said he was overweight as a kid. His mother said Ryan didn't eat the healthy lunches she packed for him: "He traded for cupcakes!"

That taste for cupcakes was eventually replaced by a passion for radio. He started on the air with a local station, then took his act to L.A.

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