Man about L.A. Chris Nichols ran into Huell Howser the other day at a 7-11 and wound up getting the details on Howser's new radio commercial for Galpin Ford. He writes about the encounter here at his Los Angeles magazine blog. An excerpt:
Huell says he was sitting at home watching TV and saw an ad for the Ford Edge. “I said ‘That’s an interesting car’ and walked in to Galpin Ford.” Owner Bert Boeckmann spotted the very spottable TV host and came down to meet him. “I told him I was looking for a new agency to underwrite California’s Gold and he helped do that.”
The brother of Super Dave Osborne and comedian Albert Brooks, Cliff Einstein has been running West Hollywood ad firm Dailey and Associates for more than 40 years and Ford is a longtime customer. The automaker sponsored Howser’s show, but Einstein says “You can’t run commercials on public broadcasting so we made an opening and closing about the betterment of America and so forth.” The ad men had been working on a series of testimonial commercials from regular folks and contacted Howser. “We called him and he said ‘I love my car! I’ll do it!’ and we just paid him the SAG/AFTRA minimum.” “He’s a great symbol.” Says Einstein. “He’s the core of America, a small town guy who’s interested in everything. He’s the only celebrity in this whole campaign.”
Above, my favorite photo of Huell Howser ever -- a shot of him in the 1970s with Eddie Money.