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Howser conducts an interview for Visiting.
Huell's image on a milk bottle
Huell rides in a tandem IRL racecar at the 2009 Long Beach Gran Prix
Huell Burnley Howser (born 18 October 1945) is an American television personality best known for California's Gold, his travel show for PBS affiliate KCETmarker.

Early career

Howser was born in Gallatin, Tennesseemarker. He received a B.A. in history from the University of Tennessee, Knoxvillemarker, where he also served as student body president. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps and on the staff of Sen. Howard Baker, Howser's television career began at WSM-TVmarker in Nashvillemarker. He began a series of "human interest" stories for WSM. Howser became extremely popular as the host of a popular segment on what was at that time still a market-dominant station, especially with regard to local news.

Howser became the subject of controversy in the summer of 1979 when he did a story about how the former Tennessee Governor's Mansionmarker was slated for demolition to make way for a Popeye's Fried Chicken outlet. He ignored management's orders to not mention the story on-air. His defiance led to a thirty-day suspension, but before the suspension was over, Howser had secured new employment. He has often since stated that he might still be "looking for more pet pigs around Nashville" if this incident had never occurred.

After working in New York, he moved to Los Angelesmarker in 1981 to work as a reporter for KCBS-TVmarker. During 1982-83, he also served as weekend host and correspondent for Entertainment Tonight. In 1987 he joined Los Angeles PBS station KCET as a producer of "Videolog."

California's Gold

California's Gold highlights small towns, landmarks, events or places of interest throughout California which are not well known to the general public, and Howser conducting informal interviews with the locals. Howser received his first name from a conjunction of his parents' names, Harold and Jewell, as revealed in the California's Gold episode "Smartsville". He also produces derived shows including California's Golden Parks, California's Water, Visiting... with Huell Howser, Our Neighborhoods, The Bench, Road Trip, and various specials.

Other work

Articles written by Howser have appeared in Westways, the magazine of the Automobile Club of Southern California.

Howser sat down with Aaron Proctor for a lunch Q&A, documented by the Pasadena Weekly on August 20, 2008.

Political views

Howser revealed his disgust with both major American political parties, as well as his empathy for illegal immigrants, in a 1999 interview with a Riverside Countymarker newspaper.

Howser spearheaded a failed effort to save buildings at the Long Beach Naval Station by African-American architect Paul Williams from being demolished.

Howser appeared in the film Who Killed the Electric Car? as he saw a Honda EV+ get shredded. He was mocked by radio personality Adam Carolla, on The Adam Carolla Show and Loveline. Matt Groening has stated he is a fan of Howser, and has featured him in an episode of The Simpsons, where a character named Howell Huser fell off a turnip truck.


  1. Road Trip with Huell Howser articles in Westways Magazine (outside Southern California: enter zip code 90210 to access articles)
  2. Lunch With Huell in Pasadena Weekly
  3. 1999 Interview from The Press-Enterprise
  4. "Long Beach Naval Station Falls: Court throws-out celebrity appeal"

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