Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Created by Beavis and Butt-Head's Mike Judge and The Simpsons' Greg Daniels, the weekly, half-hour animated series King of the Hill was a genial "redneck" comedy set in the fictional burg of Arlen, TX. The central character was Hank Rutherford Hill, a 40-year-old salesman for the Strickland Propane Company. Staunchly conservative and fiercely macho, Hank might have been described as the head of the Hill household were it not for his iron-willed wife Peggy, a substitute teacher. Also living under Hank Hill's roof was his 12-year-old son Bobby, an overweight underachiever who was never quite able to live up to Hank's lofty standards of manhood; and Hank and Peggy's niece Luane Platter, who'd been living with the Hills since her trailer-park mom killed her dad during a brouhaha over "that last beer." Hank spent most of his spare time hanging out with his good ol' boy buddies, among them rabid conspiracy theorist Dale Gribble (whose wife Nancy was cheating on her husband with a Native American masseuse named John Redcorn, who in turn was the real father of the Gribbles' son Joseph); Bill Dauterive, a divorced barber who worked on a nearby military post; and self-styled Lothario, Boomhauer, who never spoke when muttering incomprehensibly would do. Also in the neighborhood was a Laotian couple, Kahn and Minh Souphanosuinphone, whose daughter Connie was Bobby's best friend. It would have been distressingly easy to poke derisive fun at the Southern-fried characters and their knee-jerk attitudes, but the producers displayed a touching fondness for the follies and foibles of the Hills and their friends, and in so doing imbued King of the Hill with a warmth and depth often lacking in prime-time cartoon shows. Debuting January 12, 1997, the Emmy-winning King of the Hill was second only to The Simpsons as the Fox network's most successful and longest-running animated series.