Today is the one year anniversary of Huell Howser’s death last year at the age of 67 from prostate cancer. I’d always loved Huell on TV and I was glad to meet him with the Gorn back in 2009 at a AAA Travel Show and again in 2010 at the LA Times Travel Show.
When I was a teenager (and let’s be honest even today), I always wanted to have the sort of show like Huell where I got to travel all over give travel advice to people and do interviews and such. I just wish I was as enthusiastic as Huell.
There is no better way than to honor him than to watch some Huell Howser! I’ve selected some of my favorite episodes and links to watch whole or partial episodes online.
Newberry Springs – This is one of the first “Road Trip” episodes he produced. The Calgold.com describes the episode this way: “After seeing a web site devoted to all the great cultural and historic sites to see along the original Route 66 in the Newberry Springs area, Huell prints out the map and hops in his car – eager to start his next ROAD TRIP. He doesn’t find the Buffalo Ranch, Big Al’s Pistachio Plant, or the Ostrich Farm he was looking for, but Huell does meet a group of warm, interesting and generous Newberry Springs locals. And, after spending a day there, Huell discovers firsthand that the beauty and strength of a town, any town, is not in the number of its attractions or tourist stops, but in the friendliness and character of the people who call it home. As always, you’re invited to come along for the ride… its gonna be a great trip!” I don’t think this does the episode justice!
You can watch an excerpt where he visits the Bagdad Cafe on YouTube or purchase from the Huell Howser Productions Site
The Corners of California – I love it when Huell sets out to visit a series of somethings (like the California Missions series) and the Corners of California series did not disappoint. My favorite two episodes are the North West Corner where Huell discovers that a shop is technically in California and not Oregon and the North East Corner where they wander around hiking for a few hours trying to locate the monument. One special note is that the Geographer with Huell is actually the husband of my Cartography teacher at UCD.
Another Huell specialty is food – he loved to visit places to eat and two of my favorites are the Donut Man in Glendora (where we used to get donuts as kids) and In-N-Out where I still eat today! Sadly the In-n-out episode isn’t online, but you can see a preview on YouTube and even here Huell sing the In-N-Out song which I have as a ringtone on my phone.
There are so many episodes that are wonderful and these are just a few of my favorites. You can watch many many more at the wonderful Chapman University Huell Howser Archive (Huell donated all his shows and even the Volcano House he owned near Newberry Springs to the university before his passing). I also encourage everyone to check out his YouTube page which has some great treasures of the pre-California’s Gold era with Entertainment Tonight and as a reporter in Nashville. Finally, don’t forget to visit CalGold.com which has all the information about his episodes, links to donate to the California’s Gold scholarship, order DVDs of shows, and much, much more.
Miss you Huell…