King of the Hill

For the 1993 Steven Soderbergh film, see King of the Hill (film). For other uses, see King of the Hill (disambiguation).
King of the Hill
Genre Animated sitcom
Slice of life
Created by Mike Judge
Greg Daniels
Voices of Mike Judge
Kathy Najimy
Pamela Segall Adlon
Brittany Murphy
Johnny Hardwick
Stephen Root
Toby Huss
Opening theme "Yahoos and Triangles" by
The Refreshments
Ending theme "Yahoos and Triangles" (Reprise)
Composer(s) Roger Neill
John O'Connor
Greg Edmonson
John Frizzel
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 13
No. of episodes 259 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Mike Judge
Greg Daniels
Richard Appel
Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger
John Altschuler
Dave Krinsky
Producer(s) Mark McJimsey
Editor(s) Lee Harting
Kirk Benson
Don Barrozo
Mark Seymour
Mark McJimsey
Leo Papin
Louis Russel
Nick Gribble
Running time 21–23 minutes
Production company(s) Anivision
Film Roman
3 Arts Entertainment
Deedle-Dee Productions
Judgemental Films
20th Century Fox Television
Distributor 20th Television
Original network Fox
Syndication (episodes 255–258)
Picture format 480i (4:3 SDTV) (1997–2008)
720p (16:9 HDTV) (2009, 2010)
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Original release January 12, 1997 (1997-01-12) – May 6, 2010 (2010-05-06)
Related shows Beavis and Butt-head
The Goode Family

King of the Hill is an American animated sitcom created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels that ran from January 12, 1997, to May 6, 2010 on Fox. It centers on the Hills, a middle-class American family in the fictional city of Arlen, Texas. It attempts to retain a realistic approach, seeking humor in the conventional and mundane aspects of everyday life.[1][2][3]

Judge and Daniels conceived the series after a run with Judge's Beavis and Butt-head on MTV, and the series debuted on the Fox network as a mid-season replacement on January 12, 1997, quickly becoming a hit. The series' popularity led to worldwide syndication, and reruns aired nightly on Adult Swim. The show became one of Fox's longest-running series (third-longest as an animated series, after Family Guy and The Simpsons), and briefly held the record for the second longest running animated sitcom in history. In 2007, it was named by Time magazine as one of the top 100 greatest television shows of all time.[4] The title theme was written and performed by The Refreshments. King of the Hill won two Emmy Awards and was nominated for seven.

The series had a total of 259 episodes over the course of its 13 seasons. The series finale aired on the Fox Network on September 13, 2009. Four episodes from the final season were to have aired on Fox, but later aired in syndication on local stations from May 3 to 6, 2010, and on Adult Swim from May 17 to 20, 2010. King of the Hill was a joint production by 3 Arts Entertainment, Deedle-Dee Productions, Judgemental Films, and 20th Century Fox Television and syndicated by 20th Television.

Series synopsis

King of the Hill is set in the fictional small town of Arlen, Texas. The show centers around the Hill family, whose head is the ever-responsible, hard-working, loyal, disciplined, and honest Hank Hill (voiced by Mike Judge). The pun title refers to Hank as the head of the family as well as metaphorically to the children's game King of the Hill. Hank is employed as an assistant manager at Strickland Propane, selling "propane and propane accessories". He is very traditional and moral, and he takes exceptionally good care of his dog, Ladybird, which he treats, more often than not, as a member of the family and as a human. Hank is married to Peggy Hill (née Platter) (voiced by Kathy Najimy), a native of Montana, who is a substitute Spanish teacher, although she has little grasp of the language; she has also found employment as a freelance author, Boggle champion, notary public, softball pitcher and real estate agent.

Hank and Peggy's only child, Bobby Hill (voiced by Pamela Adlon), is a husky pre-pubescent boy who is generally friendly and well-liked, but not very bright, and often prone to making bad decisions. Throughout the series, Peggy's niece, Luanne Platter (voiced by Brittany Murphy), the daughter of her scheming brother Hoyt (guest voiced by MTV stuntman Johnny Knoxville in "Life: A Loser's Manual", the 12th season finale) and his alcoholic ex-wife Leanne (voiced by Adlon in "Leanne's Saga"), lives with the Hill family. Naïve and very emotional, Luanne was originally encouraged to move out by her Uncle Hank, but over time, he accepts her as a member of the family. Over the course of the series, Luanne works as a beauty technician and puppeteer at a local cable access TV station. Luanne later marries Elroy "Lucky" Kleinschmidt (voiced by Tom Petty).

Hank has a healthy relationship with his mother, Tillie (voiced by Tammy Wynette, later Beth Grant and K Callan), a kind woman who lives in Arizona. Hank is, at first, uncomfortable with his mother dating Gary (voiced by Carl Reiner), a Jewish man, but he is more reasonable when she marries Chuck (voiced by William Devane). In contrast, Hank has a love/hate relationship with his shin-less father, Col. Cotton Hill (voiced by Toby Huss), a hateful veteran of World War II. He verbally abused Tillie during their marriage, leading to their divorce. Cotton, who spends most of his time at strip joints, later marries the much younger Didi (voiced by Ashley Gardner), a candy striper who attended kindergarten with Hank. Together, Cotton and Didi have a son, "G.H." ("Good Hank"), who bears a striking resemblance to Bobby.

Other main characters include Hank's friends and their families. Dale Gribble (voiced by Johnny Hardwick) is the Hills' chain-smoking and paranoid next-door neighbor. He owns his own pest control business, Dale's Dead Bug, and he is also a licensed bounty hunter and president of the Arlen Gun Club. Dale is married to Nancy Hicks-Gribble (voiced by Ashley Gardner), a weather girl, later anchor woman, for the Channel 84 news. The only Gribble child, Joseph (voiced by Brittany Murphy; later Breckin Meyer), one of Bobby's best friends, has obvious Native American features, but neither Dale nor he seem to realize it. For more than 15 years, Nancy had an affair with John Redcorn (voiced by Victor Aaron; later Jonathan Joss), a Native American healer, who is the biological father of Joseph. Dale never realizes that Redcorn is having an affair with his wife; Dale considers Redcorn to be one of his best friends. Neither does Dale seem to question Joseph's parentage much and is the man on hand raising him; a point Hank eventually makes as to who was there for Joseph from birth.

Jeff Boomhauer (voiced by Mike Judge), known simply as "Boomhauer", lives across from the Hills. Boomhauer is a slim womanizer whose mutterings are hard to understand to the audience, but easily understood by his friends and most other characters. Despite his gibberish speech, he can sing clearly; he can also speak fluent Spanish and French. His occupation is not explicitly stated; it was hinted, early in the series, that he worked as an electrician, but in the series finale, he is shown to be a Texas Ranger. His given name, "Jeff", was not revealed until the 13th and final season. Also living across from the Hills is Bill Dauterive (voiced by Stephen Root), an overweight, divorced, and clinically depressed man. Bill is unlucky in love, though he finds near-success with several women, including former Texas Governor Ann Richards. He is attracted to Peggy, and despite his popularity in high school, he is now seen as a loser. Bill is in the United States Army, where he gives haircuts to soldiers.

Early in the series, a Laotian family moves in next-door to the Hills, the Souphanousinphones, consisting of the materialistic Kahn (voiced by Toby Huss), his wife Minh (voiced by Lauren Tom), and their teenage daughter, Kahn, Jr., or "Connie" (voiced by Lauren Tom). Kahn is often at odds with his neighbors, believing them to be hillbillies and rednecks.

Other minor characters include Buck Strickland (voiced by Stephen Root), Hank's licentious boss at Strickland Propane; Joe Jack (voiced by Toby Huss) and Enrique (Danny Trejo), Hank's co-workers at Strickland; Carl Moss (voiced by Dennis Burkley), Bobby's principal at Tom Landry Middle School; and Reverend Karen Stroup (voiced by Mary Tyler Moore, later Ashley Gardner), the female minister of Arlen First Methodist.

Following the show's slice of life format, which was consistently present throughout its run, the show presented itself as being more down to earth than other competing animated sitcoms, e.g. The Simpsons, due to the way the show applied realism. Critics also noted the great deal of humanity shown throughout the show.[5]



The design of King of the Hill was based on Texas suburbs from the 1950s like Richardson.

In early 1995, after the successful first run of Beavis and Butt-head on MTV, Mike Judge co-created the show King of the Hill with former Simpsons writer Greg Daniels.[6] Judge was a former resident of Garland, Texas, upon which the fictional community of Arlen was loosely based, but as Judge stated in a later interview, the show was based more specifically on the Dallas suburb Richardson.[7][8] Judge conceived the idea for the show, drew the main characters, and wrote a pilot script.

Fox teamed the cartoonist with Greg Daniels, an experienced prime-time TV writer.[7] Daniels rewrote the pilot script and created several important characters who did not appear in Judge's first draft (including Luanne and Cotton), as well as some characterization ideas (e.g., making Dale Gribble a conspiracy theorist).[9] While Judge's writing tended to emphasize political humor, specifically the clash of Hank Hill's social conservatism and interlopers' liberalism, Daniels focused on character development to provide an emotional context for the series' numerous culture clashes. Judge was ultimately so pleased with Daniels' contributions, he chose to credit him as a co-creator, rather than give him the "developer" credit usually reserved for individuals brought onto a pilot written by someone else.[9]

Initial success

After its debut, the series became a large success for Fox and was named one of the best television series of the year by various publications, including Entertainment Weekly, Time, and TV Guide.[10] For the 1997–1998 season, the series became one of Fox's highest-rated programs and even briefly outperformed The Simpsons in ratings.[11] During the fifth and sixth seasons, Mike Judge and Greg Daniels became less involved with the show.[9] They eventually refocused on it, even while Daniels became involved with more and more projects.[9]

Format change

Over time, series co-creator Mike Judge took a reduced role in the production of episodes.

Judge and Daniels' reduced involvement with the show resulted in the series' format turning more episodic and formulaic.[9] Beginning in season seven, John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky, who had worked on the series since season two, took it over completely, tending to emphasize Judge's concept that the series was built around sociopolitical humor rather than character-driven humor.[9] Although Fox insisted that the series lack character development or story arcs (a demand made of the network's other animated series, so that they can be shown out of order in syndication),[9] Judge and Daniels had managed to develop several minor arcs and story elements throughout the early years of the series, such as Luanne's becoming more independent and educated after Buckley's death, and the aging of characters being acknowledged (a rare narrative occurrence for an animated series).[9] Lacking Judge and Daniels' supervision, the series ceased aging its characters and even began retconning character backstories; in the episode "A Rover Runs Through It", Peggy's mother was abruptly changed from a neurotic housewife with whom Peggy shared a competitive relationship to a bitter rancher from whom Peggy had been estranged for several years.

Facing cancellation

Because it was scheduled to lead off Fox's Sunday-night animated programming lineup, portions of King of the Hill episodes were often pre-empted by sporting events that ran into overtime; in season nine especially, whole episodes were pre-empted. Ultimately, enough episodes were pre-empted that the majority of the series' 10th season—initially intended to be the final season,[12] consisted of unaired ninth-season episodes.

The 13th-season episode "Lucky See, Monkey Do" became the first episode of the series to be produced in widescreen high definition when it aired on February 8, 2009.[13]


Although ratings remained consistent through the 10th through 12th seasons and had begun to rise in the overall Nielsen ratings (up to the 105th most watched series on television, from 118 in season 8), Fox abruptly announced in 2008 that King of the Hill had been cancelled. The cancellation coincided with the announcement that Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy and American Dad!, would be creating a Family Guy spin-off called The Cleveland Show. This was coupled with the announcement that Cleveland would be taking over King of the Hill's time slot.[14]

Hopes to keep the show afloat surfaced as sources indicated that ABC (which was already airing Judge's new animated comedy, The Goode Family) was interested in securing the rights to the show,[15] but in January 2009, ABC president Steve McPherson said he had "no plans to pick up the animated comedy."[16]

On April 30, 2009, it was announced that Fox ordered at least two more episodes to give the show a proper finale.[17] The show's 14th season was supposed to air sometime in the 2009–2010 season,[18] but Fox later announced that it would not air the episodes, opting instead for syndication.[19] On August 10, 2009, however, Fox released a statement that the network would air a one-hour series finale (which consisted of a regular 30-minute episode followed by a 30-minute finale) on September 13, 2009.[20]

The four remaining episodes of the series aired in syndication the week of May 3, 2010, and again on Adult Swim during the week of May 17, 2010.

During the panel discussion for the return of Beavis and Butt-head at Comic-Con 2011, Mike Judge said that no current plans exist to revive King of the Hill, although he would not rule out the possibility of it returning.[21]

Television ratings

Season Time Slot (ET) Season premiere Season finale TV season # of episodes Ranking Estimated viewers in millions
1st Sundays 8:30 pm January 12, 1997 May 11, 1997 1996–97 12 #43[22] 8.6
2nd September 21, 1997 May 17, 1998 1997–98 23 #15[23] 16.3[23]
3rd Tuesdays at 8:00 pm September 15, 1998 May 18, 1999 1998–99 25 #104[24] 7.9[24]
4th Sundays at 7:30 pm September 26, 1999 May 21, 2000 1999–2000 24 #77[25] 8.7[25]
5th October 1, 2000 May 13, 2001 2000–01 20 #68[26] 9.5[26]
6th November 11, 2001 May 12, 2002 2001–02 22 #90[27] 7.7[27]
7th November 3, 2002 May 18, 2003 2002–03 23 #68[28] 9.5[28]
8th November 2, 2003 May 23, 2004 2003–04 22 #118[29] 6.4[29]
9th Sundays at 7:00 pm November 7, 2004 May 15, 2005 2004–05 15 #110[30] 4.8[30]
10th Sundays at 7:30 pm September 18, 2005 May 14, 2006 2005–06 15 #111[31] 5.2[31]
11th Sundays at 8:30 pm January 28, 2007 May 20, 2007 2006–07 12 #109[32] 5.5[32]
12th September 23, 2007 May 18, 2008 2007–08 22 #105[33] 6.6[33]
13th September 28, 2008 May 6, 2010 2008–10* 24 #95[34] 6.0[34]

*Includes the four unaired episodes that eventually aired from May 3, 2010, to May 6, 2010, on local TV stations.

Setting and characters

Opening theme

The opening theme is "Yahoos and Triangles" by the Arizona rock band The Refreshments. For season finales there is a slight variation for seasons 1–12. Season one's finale featured an opening guitar riff one octave higher. Season two's finale added a "yeehaw" to the beginning and the 3–12 finales accompanied the "yeehaw" with a dinner triangle. Season 13 and the series finale used the regular theme song. Some Christmas episodes also featured jingle bells in the background. The intro is a montage of Hank, Bill, Dale, and Boomhauer drinking, starting at dawn; the recycling bin fills with their beer cans while other main characters are doing daily activities all around them. Although the opening was reanimated when the show began using high definition, the content never changes throughout the series as Buckley, who died in season two, is still shown picking up Luanne on his motorcycle.


King of the Hill has explicit parodies of local Texas staples, like restaurant Luby's (corporate headquarters pictured)
The Hill family. From the left: Peggy (back), Bobby, Hank, and their dog, Ladybird.

King of the Hill is set in the fictional town of Arlen, Texas, which is comparable to Arlington and Allen.[35] As seen in the episode, "Hank's Cowboy Movie" the town has a population of 145,300 people. Though the location is never really defined in the show, Arlen is supposed to be located just north of the Brazos River in central Texas.[6] Yet, the show constantly puts Arlen at various places like three hours from Houston or a couple of hours from Dallas, while showing a 409 area code on the trucks of Strickland Propane (Area Code 409 is in southeast Texas covering Galveston and the Beaumont-Port Arthur area), thus never really defining Arlen's location. In the Season 12 episode "Raise the Steaks" Hank receives a letter with his ZIP code 74301 which in real life is the town of Vinita, Oklahoma. In the episode "Hank's Choice" the ZIP code was 78104 which is actually Beeville, Tx. In a 1995 interview prior to the show's debut, Judge described the setting as "a town like Humble" (a suburb of Houston).[36] In a more recent interview, Judge has cited Richardson, Texas, a Dallas suburb, as the specific inspiration for Arlen.[37] Time magazine praised the authentic portrayal as the "most acutely observed, realistic sitcom about regional American life bar none".[4]

Arlen includes settings such as Rainey Street, where the Hills and other major characters reside, and Strickland Propane, Hank's employer. Also included are parodies of well-known businesses, such as Mega-Lo Mart (a parody of Walmart), Luly's (a parody of Luby's), Want-A-Burger (a parody of Whataburger), Bazooms (a parody of Hooters), 61 Flavors (a parody of Baskin-Robbins) and Pancho's Mexican Buffet. Hank's friend and neighbor Bill Dauterive is a barber at Fort Blanda, an army post (similar to Fort Hood) near Arlen. Most of the children in the show attend Tom Landry Middle School (named after the former Dallas Cowboys coach). Not long before the series premiered, an elementary school named after Tom Landry opened in Irving, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, where the Dallas Cowboys have played. Likewise, the local elementary school is named after Roger Staubach. Early in the series, the school is referred to as being in the Heimlich County School District (according to markings on the school buses), though in later seasons this is changed to Arlen Independent School District. The school's mascot is a longhorn steer. The local country club is the Nine Rivers Country Club, though this club's membership is almost exclusively made up of Asian-Americans. The "Devil's Bowl", where Lucky races his truck, is actually a race track in Mesquite, TX, a suburb of Dallas. When Bobby tries to impress Connie's delinquent relative Tid Pao in "Bad Girls, Bad Girls, Whatcha Gonna Do?", he takes her to The Pioneer Woman's Museum, a parody of the real-life Women's Collection Archive permanently housed at Texas Woman's University whose flagship campus is in Denton, Texas. In Season One, Hank plays golf with Willie Nelson, who is from Abbott, Texas, at the Pedernales Golf Course, which is a reference to the Pedernales River in the Texas Hill Country in Central Texas.


King of the Hill depicts an average middle-class family and their lives in a typical American town. It documents the Hills' day-to-day-lives in the small Texas town of Arlen, exploring modern themes such as parent-child relationships, friendship, loyalty, and justice.[6] As an animated sitcom, however, King of the Hill's scope is generally larger than that of a regular sitcom.

Hank Hill Hank Rutherford Hill, the family patriarch, is the assistant manager of Strickland Propane, and a salesman of "propane and propane accessories." He is obsessed with his lawn, propane, the Texas Longhorns, and the Dallas Cowboys.[6] Embarrassed and ashamed of his narrow urethra,[38] he is uncomfortable with intimacy and sexuality; despite this, he has a healthy relationship with his wife and the rest of his family. Hank's catchphrase is "I tell you what," typically tacked onto the end of a sentence; other common utterances include "bwah!" when startled, "That boy ain't right" when disappointed by Bobby, a sotto voce "ugh" when disgusted, and "I'm gonna kick your ass!" when angered, though he is rarely moved to the point of actual physical violence. In contrast to his emotional distance from members of his family, he dotes unashamedly on his aging bloodhound dog, Ladybird, as well as his pickup truck. Hank can be viewed as naïve, such as when Peggy invites a prostitute (unbeknownst to the Hills) to stay at the Hills' residence until she can get back up onto her feet. Hank doesn't realize that she is a prostitute until many major hints have been dropped, and when her pimp, Alabaster Jones, (voiced by Snoop Dogg) paid Hank a visit.[39] Hank is voiced by series co-creator Mike Judge.
Peggy Hill Margaret J. "Peggy" (Platter) Hill, a substitute Spanish teacher who has a poor grasp of the language (she pronounces it phonetically (for an English speaker) as "es-puh-nole"). She has won the Tom Landry Substitute Teacher of the Year award for 3 consecutive years.[40] Peggy is also a freelance newspaper columnist, real estate agent, notary public, and Boggle champion.[7][41] She often displays her naiveté and arrogance with an inflated sense of her intelligence and appearance. She considers herself knowledgeable, clever, and very physically attractive, although she has on occasion noted her self-consciousness of her unusually large (US women's size 16.5) feet. More often than not, Peggy's ego will preempt better judgment, leading to actions that, while initially "helping" her, ultimately lead her down a path of agonizing realization of what she has done. In the first season, Peggy's everyday shirt was white. From the second season forward, the shirt changed from white to green. Peggy is voiced by Kathy Najimy.
Bobby Hill Robert Jeffrey "Bobby" Hill, the son of Hank and Peggy, is an overweight 13-year-old who aspires to be a famous prop comic. Although he is not particularly attractive or intelligent, Bobby has an excellent sense of self-esteem; he is not ashamed of his body or his often sub-par performance in sports or other activities. Bobby lacks his father's athletic prowess and dislikes most sports, but has participated in wrestling, baseball, and track at Tom Landry Middle School and has also attempted to play football and soccer. He is, however, an excellent rifle marksman and has won second place at the annual father–son shoot off. He has an offbeat sense of humor that clashes with Hank's more collected, conservative manner. Such sentiments are fueled by Bobby's interest in activities more traditionally considered to be feminine, such as cooking, rose gardening, high fashion, and dolls. Hank's discomfort with Bobby's proclivities is a regular narrative element in the series, and is manifested with remarks like "That boy ain't right."[42] Bobby is shown to date Connie, his neighbor, who is Laotian. Bobby is shown to be Connie's boyfriend from season 3 to season 6 after breaking up. Bobby has also displayed interest in Fruit Pies, commonly mentioned throughout the series. In the episode, "Death of a Propane Salesman", Hank is shown to make Ladybird sniff a fruit pie to track down Bobby's scent. Pamela Adlon provides Bobby Hill's voice, a role for which she won an Emmy for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance in 2002.[43]
Luanne Platter Luanne Leanne Platter (named after Luby's "Lu Ann Platter") is Peggy's niece. Sensitive and a bit of an airhead, her conflicts most often stem from her inability to think for herself and from her naiveté, which allows others to take advantage of her. She follows a very specific pattern in the men she dates, which are usually all the wrong kinds. She grew up in a trailer park and came to live with the Hills after her mother, Leanne, was sent to prison for stabbing Luanne's father (Peggy's brother) with a fork. Her full name is Luanne Leanne Platter, as is heard on the episode "Edu-macating Lucky". Late in the show's run, she marries Elroy "Lucky" Kleinschmidt and has a daughter, Gracie, with him. Luanne's character voice was provided by Brittany Murphy, who died on December 20, 2009, at the age of 32, roughly 3 months after King of the Hill's last episode aired on September 13 of that year. She wears red shorts and a lime green crop top.
Dale Gribble Dale Alvin Gribble is Hank and Peggy's next-door neighbor and also Hank's best friend from high school. He is an exterminator, bounty-hunter, chain-smoker, gun fanatic, and paranoid believer in almost any conspiracy theory. Because of his distrustful nature, he frequently uses the alias "Rusty Shackleford". The name "Rusty Shackleford" comes from Dale's third grade classmate who he believes died, but in the episode "Peggy's Gone to Pots," Dale finds out that Rusty simply moved. Dale also claims that he has the birth certificate of Rusty; however, it is unknown if the document is legitimate. Dale is married to Nancy Hicks-Gribble and is oblivious to the fact that she cheated on him for most of their marriage; their son Joseph was actually fathered by John Redcorn. However Dale has a strong bond with his son. Dale has an unsuccessful pest-extermination company, Dale's Dead Bug. Some of Dale's catchphrases include "s'go" (shortened from "let's go"), "Shi-shi-shi-shaa-haa" when he feels accomplished, "wingo!" when he becomes excited, and "gih!" when surprised or frightened. Voiced by Johnny Hardwick, Dale is named after Dan "Gribble" Costello, a close friend of Mike Judge.
Bill Dauterive William Fontaine "Bill" dela Tour Dauterive (referred to as Bill Dauterive) is one of Hank's best friends from high school and now lives across the alley from him. In high school, Bill was extremely fit, athletic, and competent, with a full head of hair; now he is overweight, balding, and emotionally needy. He holds the fictional MOS of barber in the U.S. Army. Eternally melancholy and lovelorn, he pines constantly for his ex-wife, Lenore, and is attracted to Peggy. He often uses pity as a device to garner attention from his friends and neighbors. He occasionally gets involved in crazy schemes, either by himself or with Dale, Boomhauer, or both, which often end badly for him. As a Louisiana native, Bill speaks fluent Cajun and has only one surviving male blood-relative: his cousin, Gilbert and one female blood cousin: Violetta. It is mentioned that he has previously changed his name (though whether from or to William Fontaine Dauterive is not stated). Bill is voiced by Stephen Root.
Boomhauer Jeff Boomhauer (who always goes by simply "Boomhauer") is another of Hank's high school pals; he now lives across the alley from Dale (the location is inconsistent through the series: in the series finale, the address on Boomhauer's driver's license is shown as being on Rainey Street, which would place him on the same side of the alley as Hank, Dale, and Kahn). He has a deeply suntanned complexion and speaks in a rapid-fire, nearly incomprehensible mumble—although he is clearly understood when he sings. According to the "Pilot" episode DVD's commentary, Boomhauer's unique speaking style was inspired by a voicemail left on Mike Judge's answering machine. Additionally, Boomhauer speaks French fluently and clearly. Like Hank, he often tacks "I tell you what" to the end of his sentences; he also uses "dang ol'" and "daggone" liberally when he speaks. He has a brother, "Patch", who speaks in a similar fashion, voiced by Brad Pitt. Boomhauer is a committed bachelor, shown to be quite promiscuous with his many girlfriends. In the series finale "To Sirloin with Love", it is revealed that Boomhauer is a Texas Ranger. Prior to this, he was hinted to be an electrician on workers' compensation. Mike Judge provides his voice.
Cotton Hill Cotton Lyndal Hill, Hank's father, is a deranged, politically incorrect misogynist with a hair-trigger temper. His shins were blown off in World War II by a "Japan man's machine gun" and his feet were attached to his knees, resulting in a short height (as revealed in "Cotton's Plot", he was taken from 6'4" ft to 5'0" ft in height) and stilted gait. Despite his disability, he eventually reaches the rank of Colonel in the State Militia, and is addressed as such by his friends and Dale Gribble (Dale always praises him, referring to him as "The Colonel"). In episode "Returning Japanese (Part 1)", it is revealed that Cotton became romantically involved with a Japanese nurse during his service in World War II resulting in the birth of his first son, Junichiro. After divorcing Hank's mother, Tilly, he marries a much younger, soft-spoken, busty blonde candy striper named Didi, a kindergarten classmate of Hank's. Didi later gives birth to Cotton's third son, who he names G.H., or "Good Hank"—implying that his middle son is "Bad Hank". Thoroughly contemptuous of Peggy, he always addresses her as "Hank's wife". Cotton often refers to his possibly dubious wartime heroism, including his killing of "fitty (fifty) men". Despite his less-than-amiable personality, Cotton seems to have a softer side for Bobby, frequently proclaiming that he's proud of him and even taking the blame when Bobby accidentally burns down a church. Cotton spends most of his free time playing checkers and hatching absurd schemes (such as taking a speedboat to Cuba to kill Fidel Castro) with his war buddies at the local VFW. By the middle of the series, Cotton is shown to have outlived all of his war buddies. Cotton himself dies, not once but twice, in episode "Death Picks Cotton", after first suffering severe burns, then an allergic reaction to shrimp during a tirade at a Japanese restaurant. In the episode "Chasing Bobby", Peggy states that Hank's greatest fear is that Cotton will die without telling Hank that he loves him, which is exactly what occurs. Cotton's dying wish, to destroy Hank's new shed, is carried out by Dale after Cotton's death. In the episode "Serves Me Right for Giving George S. Patton the Bathroom Key", Hank completes a list of embarrassing tasks left to him by Cotton, including his last request to have his cremated remains flushed down a toilet that General George S. Patton once used, which Hank and his friends honor. Toby Huss voices Cotton Hill.

Main Article: List of guest stars on King of the Hill

King of the Hill also featured numerous celebrity guests during its run, including Alan Rickman, Burt Reynolds, Michael Keaton, George Strait, Andy Dick, Dale Earnhardt, Trace Adkins, John Force, Renée Zellweger, Owen Wilson, Topher Grace, Brad Pitt, Johnny Knoxville, Nathan Fillion, Lindsay Lohan, Lucy Liu, Reese Witherspoon, Jeff Goldblum, John Ritter, Jerry Lambert, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Corbett, Tim Westwood, Laura Linney, Johnny Depp, Ben Stiller, Billy Bob Thornton, Yakov Smirnoff, Charlie Daniels, Dax Shepard, Meryl Streep, Debra Messing, Jennifer Aniston, Maura Tierney, Brendan Fraser, Kid Rock, Snoop Dogg, Christina Applegate, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Bernie Mac, Wyatt Cenac, David Cross, Kelly Clarkson, Lisa Edelstein, Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Rue McClanahan, Drew Carey, Danny Trejo, Matthew McConaughey, Don Meredith, Green Day, No Doubt, Willie Nelson, Dennis Hopper, Chuck Mangione, Stephanie Hodge, Milla Jovovich, Danny Masterson, Laura Prepon, Alyson Hannigan, Jamie Kennedy, Randy Travis, Pamela Anderson, Carmen Electra, George Foreman, Marg Helgenberger, Tone Lōc, the Dixie Chicks, Christopher Lloyd, Randy Savage, ZZ Top (with Dusty Hill playing himself as Hank's cousin), Carlos Alazraqui, David Herman, Michael Shulman and Jason Bateman. In the later seasons, Tom Petty had a recurring guest role as Elroy "Lucky" Kleinschmidt, who married Luanne and had a daughter with her.

Home media

The first six seasons were released on DVD by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment from 2003 to 2006. The seventh season was originally going to be released in late 2006, but, most likely due to poor sales of the DVDs, the release was cancelled. However, in 2014, Olive Films got the sub-license to release future seasons of the show, seasons seven and eight were released on November 18, 2014, with nine and ten released on April 7, 2015,[44][45] eleven released on August 25, 2015, twelve released on September 22, 2015, and thirteen released (also Blu-ray) on October 20, 2015.

The complete series is available for streaming on Amazon Video in the United States. Netflix also streamed all episodes, but stopped streaming on October 1, 2013. In November 2011, all seasons became available for download on the iTunes Store.

Title Episodes DVD release date Blu-ray release date
(Region A)
Region 1
Region 2
Region 4
The Complete First Season
July 1, 2003 March 13, 2006 March 15, 2006 TBA
The Complete Second Season
November 11, 2003 March 13, 2006 May 23, 2006 TBA
The Complete Third Season
December 28, 2004 August 28, 2006 September 26, 2006 TBA
The Complete Fourth Season
May 3, 2005 January 15, 2007 June 19, 2007 TBA
The Complete Fifth Season
November 22, 2005 February 26, 2007 April 23, 2008 TBA
The Complete Sixth Season
May 2, 2006 July 27, 2015 TBA TBA
The Complete Seventh Season
November 18, 2014 July 27, 2015 TBA TBA
The Complete Eighth Season
November 18, 2014 August 24, 2015 TBA TBA
The Complete Ninth Season
April 7, 2015 August 24, 2015 TBA TBA
The Complete Tenth Season
April 7, 2015 February 29, 2016 TBA TBA
The Complete Eleventh Season
August 25, 2015 February 29, 2016 TBA TBA
The Complete Twelfth Season
September 22, 2015 March 28, 2016 TBA TBA
The Complete Thirteenth Season
October 20, 2015 April 4, 2016 TBA October 20, 2015


King of the Hill received critical acclaim over its 13-year run. Early reviews of the show were positive. Diane Holloway at the Chicago Tribune considered it the "most Texan television series since Dallas," and praised the show's "sly sense of humor and subversive sensibility."[46] At the Los Angeles Times, writer Howard Rosenberg suggested that the show "totes a few smiles, but [there's] little to bowl you over, and it takes a spell getting used to."[47]

At the show's conclusion, James Poniewozik at Time opined that it had "quietly been the best family comedy on TV," calling the show's ending "one of the most moving things I've seen on TV this year."[48] Alan Sepinwall of The Star-Ledger described it as "sweeter and more human than the great majority of live-action sitcoms that overlapped its run."[49] Genevieve Koski of The A.V. Club described the program as a "steadfast, down-to-earth series," while noting "the show saw its fair share of silly conceits and contrived setups—and got fairly repetitive in the final seasons."[50]

Many writers have examined the show through a political lens. "It's not a political show," said Mike Judge in 1997. "It's more a populist, common sense point of view."[46] In 2005, Matt Bai of The New York Times Magazine called it "the most subtle and complex portrayal of small-town voters on television."[51] A 2016 reappraisal from The Atlantic dubbed it the "last bipartisan TV comedy," with writer Bert Clere noting the program "imbued all of its characters with a rich humanity that made their foibles deeply sympathetic. In this, King of the Hill was far ahead of its time, and the broader TV landscape has yet to catch up."[52]

King of the Hill is currently ranked #27 on IGN's "Top 100 Animated TV Series".[53] In 2013, TV Guide ranked King of the Hill as one of the top 60 Greatest TV Cartoons of All Time.[54]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result
1997 Annie Awards Best Animated TV Program[55] 20th Century Fox and Film Roman Productions Nominated
Best Individual Achievement: Directing in a TV Production[55] John Rice
for "Keeping Up with Our Jones"
Best Individual Achievement: Voice Acting by a Female Performer in a TV Production[55] Brittany Murphy
as Luanne Platter
Best Individual Achievement: Voice Acting by a Male Performer in a TV Production[55] Mike Judge
as Hank Hill
Best Individual Achievement: Writing in a TV Production[55] Paul Lieberstein
for "Luanne's Saga"
Alan R. Cohen and Alan Freedland
for "Shins of the Father"
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less)[43] Greg Daniels, Mike Judge, Howard Klein, Michael Rotenberg, et al.
for "Square Peg"
TCA Awards Outstanding Achievement in Comedy King of the Hill Nominated
1998 Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Primetime or Late Night Television Program[56] 20th Century Fox Television, Deedle-Dee Productions, Judgemental Films, and 3 Arts Entertainment Nominated
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Television Production[56] Kathy Najimy
as Peggy Hill
BMI Film & TV Awards BMI TV Music Award[57] John O'Connor, Roger Neill, and Lance Rubin Won
Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Cartoon King of the Hill Nominated
Golden Reel Award Best Sound Editing – Television Animated Specials[58] "The Unbearable Blindness of Laying" Nominated
Best Sound Editing – Television Animation – Music[58] King of the Hill Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less)[43] Greg Daniels, Mike Judge, Howard Klein, Michael Rotenberg, et al.
for "Texas City Twister"
1999 Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Television Program[59] 20th Century Fox Television Nominated
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Writing in an Animated Television Production[59] Jim Dauterive
for "Hank's Cowboy Movie
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less)[43] Greg Daniels, Mike Judge, Howard Klein, Michael Rotenberg, Richard Appel, et al.
for "And They Call It Bobby Love"
2000 Annie Awards Outstanding Individual Achievement for Directing in an Animated Television Production[60] Kyoung Hee Lim and Boo Hwan Lim
for "Won't You Pimai Neighbor?"
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Television Production[60] Brittany Murphy
as Luanne Platter in "Movin' on Up"
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Male Performer in an Animated Television Production[60] Mike Judge
as Hank Hill in "Hanky Panky"
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Writing in an Animated Television Production[60] Garland Testa
for "Aisle 8A"
2001 American Comedy Awards Funniest Television Series – Animated King of the Hill Nominated
Annie Awards Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Television Production[61] Kathy Najimy
as Peggy Hill in "Luanne Virgin 2.0"
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Writing in an Animated Television Production[61] Garland Testa
for "Chasing Bobby
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming Less Than One Hour)[43] Greg Daniels, Mike Judge, Richard Appel, Howard Klein, Michael Rotenberg, et al.
for "Chasing Bobby"
2002 Annie Awards Outstanding Writing in an Animated Television Production[62] Norm Hiscock
for "Bobby Goes Nuts"
Kit Boss
for "A Man Without a Country Club"
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Voice-Over Performance[43] Pamela Adlon
as Bobby Hill, Clark Peters, and Chane Wassanasong in "Bobby Goes Nuts"
Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming Less Than One Hour)[43] Greg Daniels, Mike Judge, Richard Appel, Howard Klein, Michael Rotenberg, et al.
for "Bobby Goes Nuts"
2003 Annie Awards Outstanding Writing in an Animated Television Production[63] Tony Gama-Lobo and Rebecca May
for "Reborn to Be Wild"
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Individual Episode (In a Series Without a Regular Gay Character) "My Own Private Rodeo" Nominated
WGA Awards Animation Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck
for "My Own Private Rodeo"
2004 Annie Awards Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production[64] Brittany Murphy
as Luanne Platter in "Girl, You'll Be a Giant Soon"
Writing in an Animated Television Production Etan Cohen
for "Ceci N'est Pas Une King of the Hill"
WGA Awards Animation Tony Gama-Lobo and Rebecca May
for "Reborn to Be Wild"
2005 Annie Awards Best Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production[65] Johnny Hardwick
as Dale Gribble in "Smoking and the Bandit"
2006 Annie Awards Best Animated Television Production[66] 20th Century Fox Television Nominated
Teen Choice Awards TV – Choice Animated Show King of the Hill Nominated
2007 People's Choice Awards Favorite TV Comedy – Animated King of the Hill Nominated
WGA Awards Animation Jim Dauterive
for "Church Hopping"
2008 Annie Awards Best Animated Television Production[67] 20th Century Fox Television Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite Animated TV Comedy King of the Hill Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming Less Than One Hour)[43] Mike Judge, Greg Daniels, John Altschuler, Dave Krinsky, Jim Dauterive, Garland Testa, et al.
for "Death Picks Cotton"
WGA Awards Animation Jim Dauterive
for "Lucky's Wedding Suit"
Tony Gama-Lobo and Rebecca May
for "The Passion of the Dauterive"
2009 Prism Awards Comedy Episode "Dia-BILL-ic Shock" Won
WGA Awards Animation Jim Dauterive
for "Strangers on a Train"
Dan McGrath
for "Life: A Loser's Manual"

See also


  1. Unlike other animated programs, plots were often cumulative, much like a prime-time drama.
  2. In addition, the show was known for its dramatic cliffhangers during season finales.
  3. This style of storytelling was unusual for an animated program at the time King of the Hill aired.
  4. 1 2 Poniewozik, James (September 6, 2007). "The 100 Greatest Television Shows of All Time". Time. Time Inc. Retrieved 2008-01-02.
  5. "'10 episodes that made King Of The Hill one of the most human cartoons ever'". July 3, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "The Wittliff Collections: King of the Hill". Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  7. 1 2 3 "Milestone: 'King of the Hill'". May 11, 2006. Archived from the original on October 8, 2007. Retrieved 2009-03-30.
  8. Shattuck, Kathryn (April 26, 2009). "It Was Good to Be 'King,' but What Now?". The New York Times. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "A Brief History of King of the Hill". October 31, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-30.
  10. "The New Classics: TV". Entertainment Weekly. June 17, 2007. Retrieved September 7, 2009.
  11. "TV Ratings: 1997–1998". Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  12. Goodman, Tim (January 26, 2007). "King of the Hill kept alive by Fox, is in its prime. Long live the king". San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst Communications. Retrieved 2008-01-02.
  13. "Lucky See, Monkey Do". CBS Interactive.
  14. "Reign ends for 'King of the Hill', Replaced By 'Family Guy' Spin-Off". CNN. Associated Press. November 1, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  15. Hibberd, James (November 3, 2008). ""King of the Hill" could reign at ABC". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-11-04.
  16. Schneider, Michael (January 16, 2009). "ABC Aiming for a Comedy Comeback". Variety. Retrieved 2009-01-17.
  17. "King of the Hill Originals still on Tap for next Season". The Futon Critic. April 30, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-30.
  18. "King of the Hill on Fox". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  19. Schneider, Michael (August 6, 2009). "Rice meets the press". Variety. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  20. ""King of the Hill" Serves Up Texas-size [sic] Series Finale Sunday, September 13, on Fox". The Futon Critic. August 10, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  21. "Comic-Con 2011: Beavis And Butt-Head Are Back And Funnier Than Ever". Television Blend. July 21, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-24.
  22. "Complete TV Ratings 1996–1997". Retrieved 2010-01-09.
  23. 1 2 "The Final Countdown". Entertainment Weekly Published in issue No. 434 May 29, 1998. May 29, 1998. Retrieved 2010-01-09.
  24. 1 2 "TV Winners & Losers: Numbers Racket A Final Tally Of The Season's Show (from Nielsen Media Research)". GeoCities. June 4, 1999. Archived from the original on February 13, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-17.
  25. 1 2 "Top TV Shows For 1999–2000 Season". Variety. Retrieved 2010-01-09.
  26. 1 2 "The Bitter End". Entertainment Weekly Published in issue No. 598 Jun 1, 2001. June 1, 2001. Retrieved January 9, 2010.
  27. 1 2 "How did your favorite show rate?". USA Today. May 28, 2002. Retrieved 2010-01-09.
  28. 1 2 "Rank And File". Entertainment Weekly Published in issue No. 713 Jun 6, 2003. June 6, 2003.
  29. 1 2 "I. T. R. S. Ranking Report: 01 Thru 210". ABC Medianet. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved May 25, 2007.
  30. 1 2 "Primetime series". The Hollywood Reporter. Nielsen Business Media. May 27, 2005. Archived from the original on June 22, 2008. Retrieved September 12, 2009.
  31. 1 2 "Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Nielsen Business Media. May 26, 2006. Archived from the original on July 16, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-03.
  32. 1 2 "2006–07 primetime wrap". The Hollywood Reporter. Nielsen Business Media. May 25, 2007. Retrieved 2009-07-03.
  33. 1 2 "Season Program Rankings from 09/24/07 through 05/25/08". ABC Medianet. May 28, 2008. Archived from the original on April 13, 2010. Retrieved 2009-07-03.
  34. 1 2 "Season Program Rankings from 09/22/08 through 05/17/09". ABC Medianet. May 19, 2009. Archived from the original on March 14, 2012. Retrieved 2009-07-03.
  35. "Mike Judge's `King' Has A Real Texas Air – Chicago Tribune". 1997-02-08. Retrieved 2013-04-26.
  36. Westbrook, Bruce (October 15, 1995). "Remote control: Back home in Texas, Mike Judge keeps 'Beavis' clicking". Houston Chronicle. p. 8.
  37. Shattuck, Kathryn (April 29, 2009). "It was good to be 'King,' but what now?". The New York Times. p. AR22.
  38. "Bio of Hank Hill – from King of the Hill Quotes". Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  39. "Ho Yeah! (episode)". Retrieved October 26, 2013.
  40. Bai, Matt (June 26, 2005). "'King of the Hill' Democrats?". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2009-04-10.
  41. "Will you marry me/save this series?". May 22, 2006. Retrieved 2009-04-10.
  42. "King of the Hill". Archived from the original on August 18, 2010. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  43. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "King of the Hill". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  46. 1 2 Diane Holloway (February 8, 1997). "Mike Judge's King Has A Real Texas Air". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  47. Howard Rosenberg (January 10, 1997). "'King of Hill' Drawn With a Drawl". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  48. James Poniewozik (September 11, 2009). "TV Weekend: American Dad". Time. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  49. Sepinwall, Alan (September 11, 2009). "'King of the Hill' says goodbye - Sepinwall". Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  50. Genevieve Koski (July 3, 2013). "10 episodes that made King Of The Hill one of the most human cartoons ever". The A.V. Club. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  51. Bert Clere (June 26, 2005). "King of the Hill Democrats". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  52. Bert Clere (February 22, 2016). "King of the Hill: The Last Bipartisan TV Comedy". The Atlantic. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  53. Sands, Rich. (September 24, 2013). "TV Guide Magazine's 60 Greatest Cartoons of All Time". TV Guide.
  54. 1 2 3 4 5 "25th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (1997)". ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  55. 1 2 "26th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (1998)". ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  56. "BMI Film/TV Awards: 1998". Broadcast Music, Inc. January 1, 1998. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  57. 1 2 "Motion Picture Sound Editors, USA (1998)". IMDb. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  58. 1 2 "27th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (1999)". ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  59. 1 2 3 4 "28th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2000)". ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  60. 1 2 "29th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2001)". ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  61. "30th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2002)". ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  62. "31st Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2003)". ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  63. "32nd Annual Annie Nominations and Awards Recipients". ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  64. "33rd Annual Annie Nominations and Awards Recipients". ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  65. "34th Annual Annie Nominations and Awards Recipients". ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  66. "36th Annual Annie Nominations and Awards Recipients". ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 2013-05-21.

Archival sources

External links

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