Comedian James Adomian parodies Huell Howser perfectly here (but you’ll have to click over to YouTube to watch it):
Howser was an institution on public television in California, going around the state interviewing people. Homosexual and originally from Tennessee, he died on Monday evening at the age of 67. Here he was doing his thing for real:
And here’s one more parody:
I attribute Howser’s popularity to two things:
- the friendly, sympathetic, and open way that he brought his curiosity to the world; and
- his provocation to viewers to notice and find fascination in even the simplest things. It is as if he was saying all the time, “Look, look. Don’t just move through the world by force of habit, missing what’s interesting and beautiful. What I find exciting, you can find exciting too! Tag along with me, won’t you?” This was Howser’s implicit provocation, and why people loved him. He was a nonthreatening, enthusiasm infectious teacher; a poet of the quotidian and of margins; Virgil walking Dante, not through Hell, but through California’s Gold.