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Watch Huell Howser Explore The Hollywood Sign
"I feel like a mountain goat out here," the late great Huell Howser intones as he climbs up a dusty part of Mt. Lee towards the base of the Hollywood Sign. "But now it just gets better, because look where we are right now!"
In 2007, Howser dedicated an entire episode of California's Gold to the history of one of L.A.'s most famed monuments. In the above clip, courtesy of KCET, Howser explores the the sign with Hollywood Sign Trust chairman Chris Baumgart and Linda Barth, vice chairperson of the Trust, who also "officially represents" the city of Los Angeles, according to Howser.
The sign, as any true Angeleno knows, was first erected back in 1923 as an epic real estate billboard, advertising the Hollywoodland development. It wasn't until 1949 that it actually represented the film industry, according to Baumgart. The full episode (watch it here!) delves into the sign's history, but the above clip starts right after our friends Huell, Linda, and Chris have daringly climbed down to the sign's base by holding onto a rope and maneuvering down a drainage pipe.
Watch Howser interview the Hollywood Sign Trust crew about what the sign represents and why it serves an icon across the world, and then see him examine the sign itself ("It's just corrugated metal!" he exclaims as he knocks on the side of one of the letters).
In other amaaaazing news, KCET will be hosting a ten-hour Huell Howser marathon on New Year's Eve, and we can't wait.