King of the Hill: Frequently asked Questions

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Q: What was the name of that song in the "Buckley's Angel" episode?
Q: Who does the voices on the show?
Q: What's with that kid who calls Dale "dad?" Is he adopted?
Q: Is Arlen a real town in Texas? Is it based on a real town?
Q: Who's Chuck Mangione? Why Chuck Mangione? What's with Chuck Mangione?
Q: What is the Hills' address?
Q: What are the full names of the characters?
Q: How do you spell Hank's neighbors' names? How do you spell their daughter's nickname?
Q: Where do the characters' names come from?
Q: Was there a "Monsignor Martinez" spinoff from the show?
Q: What's the name of that kid who talks like Butt-Head? What about the big kid with the weird hair?
Q: Didn't John Redcorn use to have a different voice? What about Joseph Gribble? Hank's Mom?
Q: Why wasn't Stephen Root credited on the show for the first few years?
Q: Any in-jokes on the show?
Q: Who runs the show?
Q: I have an idea for an episode. Can I send it to the show?
Q: How can I write to the people who work on the show?
Q:
Why doesn't the season 3 DVD set have any extras?


Q: What was the name of that song in the "Buckley's Angel" episode?
(This is by far the most frequently-asked question on KotH boards.)
A: The name of the song in the angel episode ("Wings of the Dope") is "Life in a Northern Town," by Dream Academy.


Q: Who does the voices on the show?
A: The main voice cast is:
Hank Hill: Mike Judge
Peggy Hill: Kathy Najimy
Bobby Hill: Pamela Segall Adlon
Luanne Platter: Brittany Murphy
Bill Dauterive: Stephen Root
Boomhauer: Mike Judge
Dale Gribble: Johnny Hardwick
Nancy Gribble:
Ashley Gardner
Joseph Gribble: Brittany Murphy (seasons 1-4), Breckin Meyer (season 5 -)
Kahn: Toby Huss
Minh: Lauren Tom
Kahn Jr.: Lauren Tom
Cotton Hill: Toby Huss
Buck Strickland: Stephen Root
John Redcorn: Victor Aaron (season 1), Jonathan Joss (season 2 - )


Q: What's with that kid who calls Dale "dad?" Is he adopted?
A: Joseph John Gribble's father is actually John Redcorn, who treated Nancy Gribble for "headaches" for fourteen years (until she broke up with him in the episode "Nancy's Boys"). Dale thinks Joseph is his own son, and the closest he ever came to figuring out the truth was in "Of Mice and Little Green Men," when he became convinced that Joseph was fathered by an alien.


Q: Is Arlen a real town in Texas? Is it based on a real town?
A: Arlen is not a real town. There are two primary inspirations for Arlen. One is Garland, Texas, a town near Dallas, which was the town Mike Judge has said he had in mind when he first pitched the show. The other primary inspiration is Austin, Texas, which is where Mike Judge lives and where the writers go every year to do research for story ideas.


Q: Who's Chuck Mangione? Why Chuck Mangione? What's with Chuck Mangione?
A: Chuck Mangione is a jazz musician who plays the flugelhorn (that instrument Robert Preston kept talking about in The Music Man). He's had a long career (performing since the '50s) but his biggest hit came in 1977 with the album Feels So Good, whose title track hit # 2 on the pop charts. He never had a hit of that magnitude again, but by the '90s he was starting to be remembered again; the movie Fargo, in 1996, used "Feels So Good," and may have influenced Mike Judge and Greg Daniels when they were looking for a B-list celebrity to be the Megalomart spokesman (though I'm just speculating there). "Feels So Good" can be heard in several KotH episodes including "Luanne's Saga," "I Remember Mono," and "Megalo Dale."


Q: What is the Hills' address?
A: The Hills live at 84 Rainey Street, Arlen, Texas. The address is taken from Johnny Hardwick's old address in Austin.


Q: What are the full names of the characters?
A: Henry Rutherford Hill (Hank). Robert Jeffrey Hill (Bobby). William Fontaine De La Teur Dauterive (Bill).


Q: How do you spell Hank's neighbors' names? How do you spell their daughter's nickname?
A: Kahn and Minh Souphanousinphone (Kahn, not "Khan"). Their daughter, Kahn Jr., is nicknamed "Connie" (spelled that way in the scripts).


Q: Where do the characters' names come from?
A: Bill Dauterive is named after KotH writer (and Texas native) Jim Dauterive.
- Dale Gribble is named after the late Mike Gribble, co-founder of the "Spike and Mike" Animation Festival in San Diego, which premiered Mike Judge's first two Beavis and Butt-Head shorts.
- Luanne Platter is named after a discount special, the "Luann Platter," served at the Texas restaurant chain Luby's (which was also the inspiration for the restaurant "Luly's" on the show).
- The local minister, Reverend Karen Stroup, gets her name from a female minister at Central Christian Church in Springfield, Tennessee.
- Kahn, of course, is just an anagram of "Hank."


Q: Was there a "Monsignor Martinez" spinoff from the show?
A: In 2001, Fox ordered a live-action pilot called "Monsignor Martinez," based on the lead character of Hank and Peggy's favorite Mexican soap opera. The pilot starred Argentinian actor Ivo Cutzarida as Monsignor Martinez, and the supporting cast included King of the Hill's David Herman. The pilot was written by longtime KotH writer Jim Dauterive (who came up with the Monsignor Martinez character in an episode he wrote called "The Son that Got Away"), directed by Mike Judge, and executive-produced by Dauterive, Judge and Greg Daniels. The pilot was not picked up as a series. David Herman recalled in an interview that the pilot was very funny and full of social commentary but that "I don't think they [Fox] wanted a Catholic priest going around shooting at people."


Q: What's the name of that kid who talks like Butt-Head? What about the big kid with the weird hair?
A: The kid who talks in a deep monotone voice ("I peed in some kid's locker") is named Stuart Dooley. Mike Judge does his voice, of course. The big kid with the ponytail is named Clark Peters. His wheezy voice is provided by Pamela Segall Adlon.


Q: Didn't John Redcorn use to have a different voice? What about Joseph Gribble? Hank's Mom?
A: In the first season, John Redcorn was voiced by Victor Aaron. Aaron was killed in a car crash shortly after the recording of season 1 ("The Order of the Straight Arrow" is dedicated to his memory), and in subsequent seasons, Jonathan Joss has provided the voice.
- Joseph Gribble was voiced by Brittany Murphy for the first four seasons. At the start of season 5 the show did an episode where Joseph goes through a growth spurt and emerges with facial hair and a deeper voice. Since then, the voice of Joseph has been done by Breckin Meyer, who played opposite Murphy in Clueless -- meaning that Joseph has always been voiced by someone from Clueless whose initials are B.M.
- Tammy Wynette voiced Hank's mother, Tilly, in "The Unbearable Blindness of Laying" and "Peggy's Turtle Song." Wynette died shortly thereafter. Beth Grant has voiced the character in all her subsequent appearances.


Q: Why wasn't Stephen Root credited on the show for the first few years?
A: Root was co-starring in the situation comedy "NewsRadio" on NBC, and his contract with NBC prevented him from being credited as a regular in a show on another network. After "NewsRadio" was (alas) cancelled, Root was able to take onscreen credit for his work on KotH.


Q: Any in-jokes on the show?
- In "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret Hill," when Hank finds Peggy masquerading as a nun, he says "At least Whoopi Goldberg was being chased by gangsters when she pretended to be a nun." Kathy Najimy (who voices Peggy) had a role in that movie, Sister Act.
- As previously mentioned, the Hills' address is taken from Johnny Hardwick's old address; and Bill lives on "Milton Street," which is a reference to the character Stephen Root (Bill) played in Mike Judge's Office Space.
- At the beginning of "Westie Side Story," the mover is a caricature of Mike Judge.
- Ward Rackley in "Witches of East Arlen" is named after a production assistant on King of the Hill (and, I'm told, looks somewhat like the original); the convict in "Death and Texas," Wesley Martin Archer, is named for KotH directors Wes Archer and Martin Archer.


Q: Who runs the show?
A: King of the Hill has had the following showrunners:
- Seasons 1 & 2: Greg Daniels
- Seasons 3 & 4: Greg Daniels & Richard Appel
- Season 5: Richard Appel
- Season 6: Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger
- Seasons 7, 8 & 9: John Altschuler & Dave Krinsky


Q: I have an idea for an episode. Can I send it to the show?
A: No; King of the Hill cannot accept or read unsolicited scripts or story ideas (this is the case with all current shows, partly for legal reasons).


Q: How can I write to the people who work on the show?

A: The official contact address for the show is:

King of the Hill
PO Box 900
Beverly Hills, CA 90213-0900

Also, to contact animators on the show, you can write c/o the show's animation studio, Film Roman, at:

Film Roman
12020 Chandler Blvd
Suite 300
North Hollywood, CA 91607


Q: Why doesn't the season 3 DVD set have any extras?

A: The first two seasons didn't sell well, and the third season was expensive to release because a lot of the episodes used popular songs that had to be licensed for the DVD release. Fox initially wasn't going to release any more seasons; finally they agreed to release season 3, but without extras (which add to the cost). If season 3 sells better -- and reportedly it is selling better than the previous set -- then the other seasons will follow. On the bright side, all the music in the season 3 episodes is intact, which isn't always true of shows that get released on DVD. And with 25 episodes available for $27.99, the cost amounts to little more than a dollar per episode. So I would advise buying the season and hoping that it sells well enough to justify some special features on future season sets.


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