‘Oh…my…gosh!’

Golly! PBS’ Huell Howser is retiring, the Sacramento Bee reported Tuesday:

“It’s not ‘amazing,’ as Howser would say, that he has decided to hang up his microphone without issuing a press release. The host of the long-running series called ‘California’s Gold’ is known for his unpretentious manner and wide-eyed amazement.”

That manner has, of course, been widely parodied, usually with affection. One favorite of mine is this video montage titled “Huell Howser Tripping” — pairing psychedelic and desert scenes with edited exclamations by Howser — that always cracks me up.

LAist has links to some short Howser video clips, including ones from Glendora’s Donut Man and the defunct Claremont Museum of Art.

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  • DebB

    I enjoy watching Huell – his accent, his quirkiness, his total-naif questions. Plus I’ve learned about some pretty interesting places over the years! Some relatives of mine were actually in an episode he did about Armenian Christmas – PBS has been showing it each year (around January 6) for the last few years.

    I didn’t know he was retiring, but hopefully they’ll keep playing his shows for a long time. After watching the psychedelic Huell, I watched an episode (on YouTube) about the various secret menu items at In ‘n Out. There were even more items than I knew about!

    • davidallen909

      Almost 11 minutes of the In N Out episode can be seen here: http://youtu.be/qAopR7sDBYQ

      • DebB

        I’ve always like the animal style. After watching Huell’s episode, I couldn’t stop thinking about those burgers, so on Saturday I headed for In ‘n Out for lunch. First time in years I’ve been to the one on Foothill in La Verne. Their walk-in area is so tiny!

  • Ramona

    He will be missed but hopefully PBS stations will continue to rerun his episodes indefinitely. I am always reminded of how long he has been broadcasting when I catch a program where is hair isn’t the nice gray it is now. We wish him much good fortune in his retirement.

    My family were at the Getty one summer when he was filming there. We didn’t approach him but watched and listened in awe. He had been a part of our viewing schedule forever and running into him was a very special surprise.

    A few weeks later we made sure to watch and tape the episode. There in the background were my granddaughter and I. We had no idea the crew was filming long shots. Our TV debut was with Huell Howser!

    • davidallen909

      Amazing!

  • http://www.facebook.com/devans1701 Doug Evans

    I’ve seen Huell Howser speak twice… Once at the Redlands Public Library and once at Chaffey College… Was interested to see that in person, he comes across as a bit more intelligent than on the show! I’m trying for a different word than “intelligent…” “Sophisticated,” maybe? Anyway, I love his TV persona, and I think it’s genuine… His actual, spontaneous “gee whiz!” response to the things he comes across… But with a prepared speech, and speaking on a subject he’s passionate about (the importance of public libraries/the community college system), he’s a little calmer than on TV (and funny as all heck!).

    I read in Wednesday’s LA Times that he might be in poor health, thus prompting his retirement? This makes me sad!

    That psychedelic clip is the best thing I’ve seen all week!

    • davidallen909

      Thanks for the insights, Doug. I’ve never met Howser but I can see how his persona might be genuine while still representing only a facet of his personality.

      Glad you liked the psychedelic clip. Here’s the weird part: I was reminded of that video recently, decided to share it, wrote a blog post about it two weeks ago and scheduled it to run this Thursday. But on Tuesday, it was announced he had retired! I rewrote the post, added the new links and published it immediately.

  • SAWZ

    I met Mr. Houser in person at the CA Plaza watercourt, several years ago. He was there to film a group of, “Mud people”, at the base of Angels Flight. I approached him and told him how nice it was to meet him in person, and asked if he would consent to having his picture taken with me. He obliged and also had his picture taken with my husband. He was so nice!! We still have the snaps–somewhere in our clutter.