Hawaii Stars was the inspiration of then Senator Mike McCartney (currently, President of the Hawaii Tourism Authority). In 1992, Karaoke was all the rage and Mike was thinking it would be great to have a TV program showcasing the talent he believed was hidden away in offices, warehouses and karaoke bars. He thought the time was right for a local show that was positive and uplifting! Bingo! He contacted Carole Kai (whom he did not know) and she in turn contacted a young up-and-coming director, Dirk Fukushima. They agreed to working on this concept. But first, they needed sponsors. In three days, Carole came back to Dirk with a few sponsors and said, “What do we do now?” “Find a television station!”, said Dirk.
After several stations rejected the trio, they decided to approach the number one station at the time - KHON. KHON graciously sold them a Saturday afternoon time slot. So, in the Spring of 1993, with Carole and Kimo Kahoano as co-hosts at Ala Moana Centerstage, Hawaii Stars was born! Originally expected to run for only 13 weeks, the show was an instant hit! KHON moved the show to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday where Hawaii Stars continued to grow in popularity. Over the next eight years, Hawaii Stars was the #1 locally produced show, and consistently ranked in the top Five shows on KHON. *Dirk and Carole bought out Mike in 1997 so he could pursue other interests.