Monday, January 7, 2013

RIP Huell Howser.

Few television figures can incite as many feelings of nostalgia and sadness as Huell Howser can. He died today and, although I am no longer a Californian and no longer paid much attention to his show, I am deeply saddened.

Huell Howser hosted a few shows about California. He'd visit weird places and interview people and he had this natural curiosity about everything. His joy was contagious. For god's sake, this guy got excited about everything. This was not some TV ruse, either. Huell was the real, happy-go-lucky deal.

There was a radio show called Conway and Steckler and they'd play Huell Howser clips and make fun of it. This was actually part of the fun of Huell's show. His child-like happiness and wonder was something to scorn and laugh at but truly, everyone I know loved Huell like crazy.

When I was a kid I saw his show as something only old person watched. I still would catch it every now and then but as I got older I appreciated it more. We lose our interest in new things as we get age and dance in sandwich costumes for the grand opening of a Subway for $6.75 an hour. Huell gave us an hour to empty our minds and be awed, not only by the quirky stuff he did but, by the way he reacted to it. Huell provided some real squeaky clean fun that wasn't available anywhere else.

"I've never seen a dog eat avocados."

I haven't either, Huell. Not until your show at least.

I'm sure the afterlife is blowing your mind.

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