Johnny Hardwick Recorded ‘A Couple’ KING OF THE HILL Revival Episodes Before His Passing

Reboots and revivals have been everywhere lately, allowing fans a chance to reunite with their nostalgic favs. But while fictional worlds can start and stop with ease, the real world also plays a role in the proceedings. Hulu’s King of the Hill revival has been in the works for a long time, since 2017. And finally, the return to Texas seemed to be on track to becoming a reality. In January 2023, ABC Entertainment announced that the King of the Hill revival would move forward and would bring with it the original voices of key characters. Fans of the Hill clan and friends rejoiced, and the show seemed slated to release in 2024. Unfortunately, Johnny Hardwick, a King of the Hill stalwart, who was set to reprise his role as Dale Gribble in the revival, recently passed away at the age of 64.

King of the Hill's Dale was meant to return in the Hulu revival, but actor Johnny Hardwick passed away, though he did record a couple of episodes.
20th Television

Hardwick appeared in 257 of King of the Hill‘s original 258 episodes and also worked as a writer, producer, and more on the show. His passing has left the show’s viewers sorrowful and wondering how the revival will move on. For now, 20th Television Animation and Hulu have shared the following statement. The studios note:

Johnny Hardwick was an incredibly beloved member of the King of the Hill family, whose tremendous talent, brilliant humor and friendship will be deeply missed by all who were fortunate enough to work with him over the past 25 years. Our deepest condolences go out to his friends and family as we mourn the loss of one of the animation greats. His voice gave life to one of our most iconic characters, and he will be truly missed.

King of the Hill revival coming to Hulu
20th Television

In the world of fiction, death can exist as a minor obstacle. But our realities are not so fortunate. However, per TV Line, it seems there is still a bit more new Dale Gribble awaiting those who have known the character since 1997. TV Line shares that “Johnny Hardwick completed work on ‘a couple’ episodes of Hulu’s forthcoming King of the Hill revival prior to his death.”

Otherwise, though, the fate of Dale Gribble on the King of the Hill revival remains unknown. As a big part of the show, Dale would surely have featured prominently on the King of the Hill revival. He and Hank had a close friendship, after all. Perhaps the show will bring in a new voice actor to give Dale a whole new legacy. Or perhaps the series will instead alter the story in some fashion. In the meanwhile, we’ll pop open a beer in honor of Dale Gribble and Johnny Hardwick.

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