King of the Hill was an animated show created by Mike Judge who previously created the show Beavis and Butt-head. Following his moderate success with the Beavis and Butt-head, in 1997 Judge decided to create a new animated show centered around a suburban family in Texas. King of the Hill premiered on Fox where over the next 13 years it became a successful show among the rest of Fox’s animated hits. Shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy, Futurama and American Dad ran along side King of the Hill for years and put Fox on top in terms of adult animated shows.
While King of the Hill never became the monumental success that The Simpsons, Family Guy or even Futurama did, it was successful and differentiated itself from all those shows. It was much more grounded and realistic while still remaining hysterical. It seemed to have attained a success higher than cult status but just under mainstream. The show revolves around the Hill family, a small family of four living in Arlen Texas. Hank Hill, an assistant manager at a propane store, Peggy Hill, a substitute teacher, Hank’s niece Luanne Platter, a white trash Teen and Bobby Hill, Hank’s 11-14 year old son.
What makes this show so interesting and unbearable yet hilarious is the law abiding, bland, and super conservative Hill family. The situations the Hills have with their unique neighbors and friends make for some truly hysterical moments. Throughout many of the seasons Hank spends considerable time drinking in the alley with his friends/neighbors who are real characters in every sense of the word. Bill is a fat, depressed, balding army barber and Dale is a gun enthusiast, exterminator who believes in every government conspiracy in existence and then there is Boomhauer. Boomhauer is a women chasing, bachelor who doesn’t seem to have a job and speaks so fast in an incomprehensible speech pattern that it will cause anyone watching to burst into laughter. He also surprisingly serves as the man of wisdom and intelligence among the group even though we cannot understand him 90% of the time. These three men often cause problems and funny situations that drag the straight and narrow Hank in to solve them and make peace among the group. King of the Hill focuses on simple to unorthodox ideas like Hank selling Propane at Strickland Propane and young Bobby being caught trying a cigarette. This leading to a punishment that Bobby must smoke an entire carton causing the entire family to become addicted to cigarettes. Other episodes focus on ideas like Bill becoming a steroid using bodybuilder and Dale chasing aliens UFOs in the desert, which makes for some great moments. By the end of every episode everything works out due to Hank’s common sense and refusal to become as dumb and open minded as the people in his life.
Each King of the Hill episode is just filled with great and hilarious sayings and situations that make so many episodes memorable and quotable. Hank’s trademark “I tell you what” and his proud “I sell propane and propane accessories.” Boomhauer’s barely understandable words of wisdom that everyone seems to understand, Dale’s numerous conspiracies ideas and Peggy’s atrocious attempts at speaking Spanish is just plain entertaining. King of the Hill is and is not your typical show. Episodes like “Hank’s Back Story” where Hank finds out he has diminished gluteal syndrome and has to participate in a lawn mower race show how bland ideas can be so funny. Then there are episodes like “Tankin’ It to the Streets” where Bill steals a tank after he learns he was a secret army science experiment and Peggy obsesses over getting a free ice cream sundae, that demonstrate how insane the show can get. These combinations of random ideas make for some really funny and unique episodes that stand the test of time and prove King of the Hill is one of the greatest animated shows ever made.