The majority of our "Retro Huell" posts have explored his career before he came to Los Angeles. Today's post, however, focuses the "People Watcher" segments Huell did for L.A.'s own CBS-2 back in 1982. They're not all the different from certain "California's Gold" segments, really: Huell heads out to talk to quirky characters that his viewers might not know about. He gives you that trademark "slice of life" moment and you walk away feeling all fuzzy -- all Huelly.
This collection has Huell meeting a beloved philosopher-mailman, a troupe of developmentally challenged actors and a Watts grandmother teaching younger generations the art of sewing. All of these segments will make you feel better about life, but the absolute stand-out, in my opinion, has to be Skateboard Mama, an L.A. personality who wouldn't be out of place alongside "California's Gold" characters such as the Lint Lady and the Whistler. "Who is Skateboard Mama?" you may be asking. She's Liz Bevington, and at the time the segment was produced, Liz was a 59-year-old Westside resident who jammed around Venice Beach on her skateboard.
She'd only been skating for five years, but you can't tell by her awesomely 1982 moves. Let me tell you: You haven't seen anything this week until you watch Skateboard Mama skateboard-dance to the beat of Yaz's "Situation."
If you're in a rush and only have time for one segment at the moment, I strongly urge you to skip ahead to the 2:51 mark to watch Skateboard Mama in all her glory.
Some viewing notes:
- 0:01: Connie Chung!
- 0:29: Can you tell where in West L.A. this neighborhood is? It looks familiar but I can't place it.
- 3:00: Connie Chung!
- 3:25: It's important for our nation's children to realize how comically large portable music players were back in the early '80s.
- 4:08: This quote is great anyway, but it sounds all the better with a German accent -- "Some kids call me Skateboard Mama. The others ones say 'Hi, Grandma!' The other ones say 'Sidewalk surfer! Right on!'"
- 4:20: Why isn't the Grandma Slalom an Olympic sport yet? It really should be.
- 6:05: Not Connie Chung. And wow -- this lady is putting all shirt collars everywhere to shame. Can we reflect on this for a moment?
- 9:05: Connie Chung!
- 10:14 Something about her pronunciation of the sentence "That's my middle name" tickles me. She has just the hint of a smile when she does it.
Read previous "Retro Huell" posts:
- Dolly Parton
- George Burns
- Zelda Rubinstein
- Luciano Pavarotti
- Richard Simmons
- John Ritter
- Tony Danza
- a leopard
- Hulk Hogan & Mr. T
- The Eagles
- Minnie Pearl and Porky the Pet House Pig
- Dolly Parton (again)
- David Hockney
- Tammy Wynette
- The Junebug Lady
- Ed Koch
- Barbi Benton
- Huell in Nashville, 1979
- Dolly Parton (a third time), Willie Nelson and Honey Alexander