Thursday, August 28, 2014

Some observations about Huell Howser...


I've been watching too much Huell over at the Chapman University archive.  Here are some things I've noticed.

1)  Huell is kind of a troll.  He likes to stick the mic in the faces of elderly people eating ice cream and ask them questions that either have no good answer or maybe only one good answer.  He thinks he can hide behind his hokey facade, but I think he's trolling people just enough to entertain himself without being too obvious about it.

2)  Huell fucks with cops.  He never misses an opportunity to sort of highlight the fact that the cop is just standing around doing nothing. Of course the cop is just standing around, because Huell just found a random cop on the street to interview. 

3)  Huell's on an existential adventure.  He's not just documenting random California events/locations/history.  There is a sense of urgency about each episode. 'There's a lot to do and a lot to find so we gotta get going.'  Huell  is looking for his own 'California's Gold', something that gives meaning to his own life. I've seen a few episodes where Huell finds 'it'.  The Ferndale episode is one.  I'm surprised he didn't move there.

4)  I love it when the local experts/historians jizz themselves with excitement about being in a Huell episode.  This is their moment to shine.  When their eagerness to dump their knowledge of the subject is amplified by Huells enthusiasm the result is an iridescent, golden flow of obscure California history. 

1 comment:

Huge Larry said...

He looks so young and vibrant in that photo, although perhaps not as large nor as in charge as he looked later in life. I've always wondered if his unbridled enthusiasm would immediately shut down off camera. I imagined that he might then find a corner in which to smoke, sip whiskey from a flask, and curse the world.