Huell Howser memorial set for today; 'The Simpsons' pays tribute
Those wishing to honor California public television personality Huell Howser will have the opportunity to do so Tuesday at a sunset memorial at Griffith Observatory.
City Councilman Tom LaBonge organized the ceremony, which will begin at 3:30 p.m. at the steps of the observatory. Speeches will be given in tribute until 5:07 p.m., when there will be a sunset salute.
"Huell had a tremendous enthusiasm for California landmarks like the Griffith Observatory," LaBonge said in a statement. "And now we must say goodbye to our own California landmark, Huell Howser."
As host of the programs "California's Gold," "Visiting," and "Road Trip," Howser, who died Jan. 6, was known for his down-home demeanor and contagious enthusiasm ("Would you look at that!") for the subjects he covered, which ranged from well-known California travel destinations to obscure roadside attractions and intriguing everyday people.
Fans and public figures alike have shown an outpouring of appreciation for Howser following his death. Even "The Simpsons" took a moment to remember Howser, showing an animated image of the television host in Sunday's episode with the words: "In memory of Huell Howser. Friend of The Simpsons and Friend of California."
It wasn't the first time Howser was mentioned on the show. In 2005, TV host "Howell Huser" appeared on the show and declared Springfield the "worst town ever." Four years later, Howser played himself in an episode.
"Simpsons" creator Matt Groening explained his admiration for Howser in a December interview with KPCC's "Off-Ramp," saying he recorded his favorite episodes of "California's Gold."
"He's beloved," Groening said. "And people like to say that, 'Yeah, he's beloved.' But he's even more beloved than that."
— Kate Mather and Wesley Lowery