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Remembering Boomhauer's Houston Sojourn

Hank, Dale, Bill and Boomhauer will soon quaff their last 12-pack of Alamo Beer in the alley behind their houses and Peggy will dominate her last Boggle match: Fox has

announced

that the last episodes of

King of the Hill

will be aired in the 2009-10 season.

Just which major Texas city Arlen was in the exurbs of was always intentionally obscured, but it can be said with certainty that it was not Houston, as Hank and his buddies favored Dallas teams in all sports over Houston ones.

And on the rare occasions when Houston figured into a plot, the show’s writers displayed a typically Austin perspective of H-Town.

Take “Naked Ambition,” episode # 75, in which Boomhauer falls asleep in an inner tube in what looks like a Central Texas lake and drifts downstream (in what looks a lot like Buffalo Bayou) to Houston.

The Bayou City depicted is one of limitless concrete, foul waterways, menacing graffiti, and non-stop police sirens. Boomhauer wanders these mean streets sunburned and clad only in his tiger-print weenie bikini and nobody here can understand his accent. He is picked up by the authorities and locked in a mental institution, a development which probably gives our mental health infrastructure a little too much credit…

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At any rate, King of the Hill had a good run. Who can forget Alabaster the baddest white pimp in the OKC (voiced by Snoop Dogg)? Whereas The Simpsons degenerated pretty much into slapstick and unbridled snark, the very best episodes of King of the Hill were often poignant as well as funny. Like all Mike Judge productions, there’s a sweetness at the core of all the cynicism.

And even though the show apparently took a dim view of Houston, Arlen could just as easily have been Pearland, Tomball, or Katy as it could Pflugerville, Arlington or Frisco.

“I’ll miss Peggy Hill,” says longtime King of the Hill fan Greg Ellis. “Unless she gets elected vice-president of the United States, and if that’s what it takes to keep her around, then I don’t think it’s worth it.”

John Nova Lomax

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