Believe it or not, Huell Howser had a life before he arrived in California. For fans of his public TV work in this state, that can be a hard concept to wrap your head around -- kind of like the childhood realization that your parents had a life before they had you. Recently, Howser's assistant and producer, Ryan Morris, began uploading videos of this early work to the Huell Howser Youtube account. For Huell fans or for anyone in love with pop culture, it's a kick to watch these. We'll be posting them here on TV Talk.
In this first video -- a segment titled "Country People," filmed for a New York CBS station back in 1980 -- Huell tours the New York penthouse of Dolly Parton. The intro also mentions joining John Ritter on a visit to the Grand Ole Opry and chatting with some regular folks, too, and while those segments don't appear in the clip, you can see the beginnings of the career that made him a star in California.
Of course, you have to stop and appreciate Huell's brilliant head of dark hair. And yes, at one point Dolly Parton does threaten that she will "get that gun of mine, and I'm going to change you from a rooster to a hen, and don't think I can't do it." That is a thing that actually happened.
Check back at TV Talk for more write-ups of Huell's pre-KCET adventures, and get more Huell Howser content at kcet.org/huell.
And if you haven't yet checked out the Huell Howser memorial page, have a look at what your fellow Huell fans had to say.