Return to 'The Happy World of Huell Howser'

If you've read our Retro Huell posts, you may remember the first about "The Happy World of Huell Howser," a strange trip through a rabbit hole that drops you in 1970s Nashville. Here's another episode of this gleefully weird show. Think of it as folk art.


By the way, can I nominate this series as the show whose theme song most perfectly captures the spirit of the show? It's not just the music -- carnival sounds that build into something you might hear in an old educational film that then verge on frantic -- but the special effects, too. They're just so of-the-era in the best possible way. And then there's the ending, with Huell arm-in-arm with his special guests -- Miss Rebecca and Miss Rosa, who need no introduction, truly -- as he escorts them from WSM-TV motor home and onto the set of the show.

Go ahead and give the above video a click. It's well worth the 27 minutes you'll spend watching it. (Think one of Huell's Videologue collections, only with more accents.) If you're in a rush, however, here are the highlights of this strange but wonderful trip into Huell's past.

1:55: "I'm just going to sit here and rock all my troubles away. ... These are much better than tranquilizers. This is great." The tranquilizing effect may explain the ladies' rather blasé take on the gas shortage.

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3:32: And then this:

You see this, Smartcar drivers? Mrs. Hattie Lyles was doing this whole thing back in '73. Mrs. Lyles' explanation for her choice of automobile has something to do with Long Beach. Please, someone tell me if there was a time when the elderly roamed the streets of Long Beach in these.

8:42: You can't make up names like these.

10:57: Though that previous caption is maybe surpassed by this one:

11:24: "Everybody calls 'Miss Rebecca,' so that's all right; you can too. And everybody calls my husband 'Mr. Rebecca.'"

14:20: "I never had such a fish. I knew I had a monster. And when I wound that thing in and got it in the boat, it was snapping his teeth and popping and got a couple of buttons off my bib overalls. And I'd never seen such a fish. And I tried to string it, it had Hollis' teeth in his mouth, believe it or not." But the reality of what the fisherman describes is actually kind of nightmarish:

17:06: Really, if I made this names up, you'd accuse me of overdoing the Tennessee-ness of it all.

22:30: I actually have no idea what's being explained here, exactly, but I'm nonetheless eager to see where it goes.

23:44: "I was so impressed, I just up and laid an egg." And with that statement, I conclude that these ladies are awesome, and I hope whatever senior center I end up frequenting during my golden years has women half as cool as these.

23:56: And... I'm back to not understanding what's happening. In a good way.

Read previous "Retro Huell" posts:

See more on Huell's official YouTube page. And if you haven't yet, take a moment to sign Huell's memorial page.

About the Author

Drew Mackie, associate producer of new media, liked shows about old British people before it became fashionable. He also says silly things on Twitter.
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