Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge is hosting a memorial for Huell Howser at 3:30 p.m. today at the Griffith Observatory.
Howser died at his home in Palm Springs during the early morning hours of Jan. 7 after a two-year battle with cancer. The Tennessee native and Los Angeles transplant was 67.
Howser began working with KCET (Channel 28) in 1985 and filmed some 2,000 television episodes, most notably for the community television station's "California's Gold." With his folksy approach to every museum, store and eatery, Howser invited viewers to take a wide-eyed tour of his favorite spots in California.
More than 100 people gathered this afternoon at the steps of the Griffith Observatory waiting for the formal tribute for Howser, which is slated to begin at 4 p.
Gloria Pink, one of the owners of Pink's Hot Dogs, is in attendance with the sign that touts the Huell Dog. She says it's among the top five dogs on the menu that customers order.
Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge proclaimed today Huell Howser Day. Actress Anne Marie Johnson was among speakers at the memorial.
Fans say no one can replace Huell Howser though Johnson quipped that LaBonge may be the next Huell.
LaBonge said actress Jane Lynch said she got to know California through Huell Howser. LaBonge also semi-joked that a high school be named after Huell Howser. The mascot: the historians!
LaBonge said today's tribute documents from local leaders will be archived at Chapman University, located in Orange.
"Huell Howser was the first social media" before FB, Twitter, etc, according to an L.A. Conservancy executive. Howser didn't do research before visiting spots because he wanted to discover it like regular people, the executive said.
An LAPD helicopter flew over in honor of Howser. LaBonge thanked the crowd for coming out because "this is California Gold."
Sunset is 5:07 p.m., so now the crowd is waiting for that moment with "California Here I Come" playing.
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