The 10 Best ‘King of the Hill’ Guest Stars
In the world of King of the Hill, all roads led to Arlen. Despite being just a small town in the middle of Texas, all kinds of celebrities seemed to show up there. From musicians to athletes to movie stars, Arlen was a hotbed for famous faces — or better put, famous voices, many of whom played themselves.
There were so many great guest stars on the 13 seasons of King of the Hill that it felt wrong to pick the best ones on our own, so we reached out to the diehard fans who frequent the “King of the Hill Memes” Facebook group to weigh in, too. While it’s probably the only list in the history of the internet to include the trio of Governor Ann Richards, Brad Pitt and Snoop Dogg, it perfectly represents the breadth of talent Arlen attracted on a regular basis.
Texas Governor Ann Richards as Herself
Episode: “Hank and the Great Glass Elevator,” Season 5, Episode 11
Character Synopsis: Richards begins dating Bill Dauterive after an incident where Hank mooned the former Texas governor.
Why It’s a Dang Ol’ Classic: On the rare occasion that a politician appears on a sitcom, they usually come off as wooden — see: every political cameo on Parks and Recreation. But when King of the Hill had Richards on, a classic episode followed. According to Zane Murry, a meat cutter in Texas, “Ann Richards was a hero of ours growing up. She was the epitome of what I grew up thinking a Texan should be, and her showing up on King of the Hill and having some fun just made me — and many other Texans — love her even more.”
Jennifer Aniston as Pepperoni Sue
Episode: “Queasy Rider,” Season 7, Episode 13
Character Synopsis: Pepperoni Sue and her husband Lumpy are a biker couple on their way to Sturgis. They meet Hank and Peggy at a Harley-Davidson store and convince them to attend the biker convention on Hank’s new motorcycle.
Why It’s a Dang Ol’ Classic: “Pepperoni Sue is my favorite,” says Annette, a hospice worker in Tennessee. “This was when Jennifer Aniston was still on Friends, and Pepperoni Sue was a totally different character for her. She nailed the accent, and it really showed her range as an actress.”
Chris Rock as Booda Sack
First Episode: “Traffic Jam,” Season 2, Episode 16
Character Synopsis: Hank first meets comedian Booda Sack when he’s forced to take a defensive-driving course where Booda is the instructor. Booda also schools Bobby in the ways of stand-up, and a few seasons later, he gets a job at Strickland Propane (though Phil LaMarr takes over voicing the character).
Why It’s a Dang Ol’ Classic: Having Hank take a class taught by a comedian was funny enough, but the culture clash of him versus Chris Rock made for something truly special. According to Russell Tapken, a chef from Iowa, “It was completely unexpected for Chris Rock to show up on King of the Hill, and he made the episode with his brand of comedy. And the fact that they made Booda Sack a recurring character just added to how awesome his character was.”
Chuck Mangione as Himself
First Episode: “Luanne’s Saga,” Season 1, Episode 5
Character Synopsis: In real life, Mangione is a jazz musician who plays the flugelhorn. In the King of the Hill universe, he’s the same guy, but he’s also the spokesman for Mega-Lo-Mart, a huge department store chain.
Why It’s a Dang Ol’ Classic: For many, their only point of reference for Mangione is from King of the Hill. On Facebook, several fans even remarked that they thought he was a fictional character at first and were surprised to find out he was a real person. Overall, he made 11 appearances on King of the Hill, mostly within ads for Mega-Lo-Mart. His best appearance, though, was when Dale Gribble is on an extermination job and he discovers that Mangione is living in the local Mega-Lo-Mart, where he only comes out at night to play video games and steal food.
Alan Rickman as King Philip
Episode: “Joust Like a Woman,” Season 6, Episode 8
Character Synopsis: King Philip is in charge of the Renaissance Fair in Arlen, which he rules with impunity, forcing everyone to remain in character at all times.
Why It’s a Dang Ol’ Classic: “Alan Rickman’s character was the big shot of a Renaissance Fair, which is funny as a parody of Rickman’s role as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” says Ron Sinclair, a soldier in Hawaii. “The lines they gave him were superb, and his delivery carried them beyond that. It was perfect in both casting and writing.”
Randy Travis as Himself
Episode: “Peggy’s Fan Fair,” Season 4, Episode 24
Character Synopsis: The cartoon version of the country star squared off with Peggy, who accused him of stealing her song (which he actually did pilfer).
Why It’s a Dang Ol’ Classic: “Everybody always talks shit about Peggy, and everyone knows she’s kind of crazy,” explains Matt Ford, a plumber in Kansas. “But in this episode, Peggy was right about Randy stealing her song, and, of course, nobody believes her. Then, Dale, Bill and Boomhauer roll his trailer into a lake, almost drowning him. Peggy also punches Randy Travis! It’s such a good episode.”
Brad Pitt as Patch Boomhauer
Episode: “Patch Boomhauer,” Season 8, Episode 1
Character Synopsis: Patch is the equally mush-mouthed younger brother of Boomhauer, who comes to Arlen because he’s getting married and wants Boomhaur to be his best man.
Why It’s a Dang Ol’ Classic: Jesse Hoffman, a commercial drone pilot from Pennsylvania, remembers the first time he watched this episode, saying, “When it came on, I was just cleaning around the house. When I first heard that voice, my neck almost snapped. I recognized it, but with the colorful cadence, I couldn’t put my finger on who it was. After a few more words, I said to myself, ‘Is that Brad Pitt?’ I felt like I had stepped into some alternate reality. I haven’t seen Brad Pitt do any television, let alone a cameo on an animated show doing Boomhauer’s accent.”
Willie Nelson as Himself
Episode: “Hank’s Got the Willies,” Season 1, Episode 4
Character Synopsis: The country legend shares a duet with Hank.
Why It’s a Dang Ol’ Classic: “Willie Nelson’s appearance was amazing primarily because of Hank’s reaction,” says Derek, a vice principal in Florida. “Hank is such a wholesome character, and it was gratifying to see him meet his hero, due mainly to Bobby. This experience brought him closer to his son.”
Dusty Hill of ZZ Top as Himself
Episode: “Hank Gets Dusted,” Season 11, Episode 5
Character Synopsis: The writers decided to take advantage of the fact that Dusty Hill shares Hank’s last name, and had him serve as Hank’s cousin, who comes to Arlen while filming his new reality show.
Why It’s a Dang Ol’ Classic: “I’m a big fan of ZZ Top, and I loved the premise of Dusty Hill having his own reality TV show,” says Michael Swartz, a stay-at-home dad in Maryland. “They also included a good story with Hank’s dad giving his car to Dusty — I loved when they had to cut Dusty’s beard to get him out of the car.”
Jennyfer Watson, a stay-at-home mom in California, adds, “My favorite part is when Dusty spins Bobby like his guitar. Only people that know ZZ Top would know how funny that scene is.”
Snoop Dogg as Alabaster Jones
Episode: “Ho Yeah!,” Season 5, Episode 13
Character Synopsis: Alabaster Jones is a pimp from Oklahoma City, who comes to Arlen looking for Tammi, one of his girls. He mistakes Hank for Tammi’s new pimp and demands he return her.
Why It’s a Dang Ol’ Classic: “Snoop brought his own personality to King of the Hill as Alabaster Jones,” explains Tony, an ER nurse in Indiana. “In his music, he talks about the pimp lifestyle and he literally was a pimp in 2003, so it was perfect for him to play the pimp that comes to Arlen.”
Everyone else in the “King of the Hill Memes” Facebook group agreed with him, making Snoop their unanimous choice for the best guest star in King of the Hill history.