James Adomian pays tribute to a fallen icon and impersonation: Huell Howser

James Adomian is a master of impersonations, particularly of comedians. Included in his arsenal of voices, however, was one person that you might not have known much about, unless you were a Californian.

Huell Howser, the longtime host of PBS series California’s Gold via Los Angeles station KCET-TV, died Sunday in Palm Springs. He was 67.

Adomian wasn’t the only comedian to love pretending to be Howser — Adam Carolla and Dana Gould also riffed in the travel host’s voice — but his was perhaps the best and most sincere effort. In fact, Adomian wrote a tribute to Howser in today’s LA Weekly, saying of Howser:

“His voice is so familiar to me and so closely tied to his love of the state that it might as well be the voice of California itself in my mind. So when I got into sketch comedy I felt compelled to do an impression of Huell because he was such an innocent and joyful character to mimic, and it was fun to get to play him for a few minutes on stage.”

Adomian starred as Howser in a Funny or Die series, “California’s Lost Gold.” Here is the first episode.

And here was the real thing, from the “Yosemite Firefall” episode, which Admonian wrote: “This is the ending to my all-time favorite episode of California‚Äôs Gold, where Huell explores the legendary firefall of Yosemite. It may be my favorite ending to anything ever on TV.”

Roll the clip.

You can read James Adomian’s full tribute to Huell Howser in LA Weekly.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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