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.