This is going to read like “fake news”, but the following really happened on Friday, September 7, 2001. Wanna know how we know it happened? Well, if you read it or see it in the news, it must be true – right?
Hank Hill, the main character of the FOX network hit animation series “King of the Hill” (1997-2009) dropped in – unannounced – during a meeting of the Raleigh City Council on September 7, 2001. Since Hank is an animated cartoon character, a little “fakeness” was involved. But the burning question is, why would the “assistant manager” of “Strickland Propane,” located in the factitious town Arlen, Texas, drop in on the Raleigh City Council meeting? Did he take a wrong turn on the High Five turnpike in Dallas?
At this point I would like to say, “Let’s go to the videotape” like legendary sportscaster Warner Wolf, but we have not been able to unearth the video evidence, if there is any. However, we do have an article that appeared the next day in the News & Observer. Click on the image for a bigger version of the article that explains everything:
As it turns out, this is one of several visitations Hank made to the Triangle. As for this odd appearance at the Raleigh City Council, at least we can surmise that Hank had an interest in local government, even outside the Lone Star state. However, during his visit to Raleigh City Council, we did detect a self-serving bias for personal gain when he suggested an ordinance to ban charcoal grills.
This shenanigan really did happen. We verified story with long time CBC employee Scott Reid. But who donned the Hank Hill costume? Scott thinks it may have been the intern. Of course! Always blame the intern!
When it came to promoting FOX programming, the creative ones at WRAZ FOX 50 had to think way out of the box. Even to the point of making news. And that’s a fact!
The “King of the Hill” comedy animation series aired on FOX between 1997-2009. It was in the same genre as another FOX hit, “The Simpsons” and MTV’s “Beavis and Butthead”. In fact, cartoonist Greg Daniels, formerly with “The Simpsons”, joined the “King of the Hill” production team.
Thanks to Corp’s Pam Allen for this capcom story & these photos. Pam Parris Allen is a former WRAL newscast producer/director who now works as a researcher and producer on the CBC History Project.