It’s a bit of a shock realizing that The Simpsons lingering around so very long means it’s getting a bit weird like that.
But not as much of a shock as realizing that _Mike Judge’_s cartoon family is the one where the bookending trope “but they love each other really” isn’t just the final snarling sick joke.
I was reflecting on Mother’s day that most of us take our parents for granted until we find of how f’d up other people’s parent’s were.
I have mixed feelings about Bobby Hill not becoming a prop comic after all. On the one hand he seems like a great therapist. On the other hand he sold a joke to Yakov Smirnoff before he was even a teen.
Perhaps he did, and this is much later in life after he has finished touring. Or perhaps that is his creative outlet.
Thanks for posting this. This sort of thing is what keeps me coming back to Boing Boing. This comic not only rings true in terms of therapy, but also makes it very clear how early traumas can pattern present behavior. It’s also a clever social critique, on top of that.
I remember reading a few case studies in my Developmental Psych class that had me calling my parents that night and thanking them.
I think the idea of Bobby Hill as the therapist is the best part of this comic.
His dad always said “that boy ain’t right” but he ended up being the most right of the three cartoon sons.
Or, he just does it at nights and weekends.
Maybe he grew up to be a therapist and a comic, like Bob Newhart.
That was really great. As a father, a son, and a guy who likes cartoons - I view King of the Hill as being head and shoulders above any other animated series from the last 20 years.
I was just thinking that King of the Hill had a Bob Newhart vibe - the only sane man in an insane world.
That last panel I do find touching.
Very, very sweet.
I love King of the Hill; it’s an show that could have easily been a bunch of cheap shots at Texas rednecks, just one bumpkin joke after the other. But it’s the most realistic sitcom I remember, and Hank & Bobby’s relationship was very loving in a complex, messy sort of way. And I can absolutely see Bobby ending up like this.
I think the reason that KotH resonates, is that we can relate to the characters.
Hank wants what is best for his kid. But all he really knows is how to raise another him. But Bobby, like many of us, is not at all like his parents. So the character growth comes from Hank slowly realizing they are different, and that is really ok.
And a fascinating part of the dynamic is how much Hank is not like his father, so there’s a similar vibe to their relationship.
Funny, I was reflecting on Mother’s day how it wasn’t until after a lot of therapy that I found out how f’d up my parents were.
I always liked King of the Hill. Have you watched Bob’s Burgers at all? It’s weirder, but still a sweet family comedy at heart.
Two sides of the same coin, I guess. Whatever WE grow up with is normal. Everybody else’s life may be better or worse, but our lives are the definition of normal when we are growing up.