Supernaturally affable human being and multi-decade veteran TV host Huell Howser will no longer make new episodes of California’s Gold for the public airwaves, The Los Angeles Times reported this morning, unable to confirm whether the 67-year-old is seriously ill. Either way, local broadcasting has lost a big dose of folksy charm.
Howser is best known for his easily imitated Tennessee accent and a tendency to be quickly amazed—or distracted. At least one YouTube clip claims to show him aiding an illegal border crossing in San Diego with his signature low-tech interview; at other times, environmental factors (say, a whole lot of insects) send his show on awesome tangents.
Exploring his adoptive state of California by filming strange but just-down-the-road attractions, neighborhoods and, above all, other ordinary people, Howser has left a bright mark on the entire region that won’t soon fade. Presumably, he will now spend more time in his desert volcano lair. No, really.
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