Now Who's the Dummy?

Now Who's the Dummy?
"Now Who's the Dummy"
King of the Hill episode
Directed by Dominic Polcino
Written by Johnny Hardwick
Production code 5ABE14
Original air date Sunday 18 February 2001
Guest stars
Episode chronology
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List of King of the Hill episodes

"Now Who's the Dummy?" is the 96th episode of the Fox TV animated comedy King of the Hill. and was the 12th episode of the fifth season, although it was the 14th produced. This episode is notable for containing one of only three on-screen appearances by Bug Gribble, father of Dale Gribble, in 12 seasons of the show.


Hank is indifferent to Bobby preparing to lead a Tom Landry Middle School production of the folk song "Frog Went A-Courting". After performing to the mostly uninterested inhabitants of the Garrity & Sons Nursing Home, Bobby is approached by retired ventriloquist Jerry Popper (Tom Poston), a resident there. Impressed with the young boy's act, Popper bequeaths Bobby his dummy, Chip Block. Bobby practices ventriloquism, which at first disappoints Hank. Dale sees Chip and runs off screaming in fear.

Bobby begins studying sports heavily and gives Chip a very knowledgeable sports-themed act. This makes Hank like Chip more than he likes Bobby. It is revealed in a flashback that Dale suffered a traumatic childhood incident in which he was scared by his father with a Chip Block replica during a birthday party. He plots with Octavio to eliminate Chip. Hank and Bobby begin spending a lot of time together, but it's all due to Chip, and Bobby feels like he's still overlooked. He goes back to see Popper, who confirms that it's difficult being second billing to a made-up character, but that it's the price of drawing an audience.

After firing Octavio, Dale abducts Chip and feeds him into a woodchipper, then knocks himself out with chloroform to avoid retribution. Hank starts to design a new and improved Chip, but models it on a number of real football players and speaks of it as though he is building the son he always wished he had. Bobby is depressed that Hank still isn't interested in him, even when he tries to continue with the sports facts, so Peggy tells Hank off, asking if he wants to build "the wife he always wanted, too". Hank finally understands, and surprises Bobby by unveiling a new Chip that looks just like Bobby.

During the closing credits, Dale's alarm shows an intruder, revealed to be Chip II on the monitor. Dale panics and knocks himself out again, prompting Hank to comment that ventriloquism really is fun.


In this episode, Dale's father Bug looks and sounds like Dale (and smokes as well), much like he did in "The Order of the Straight Arrow". In the later episode "My Own Private Rodeo", he looks completely different and has a different voice, although he is much older and revealed to be gay.

We also see a young Hank with his hair clearly cut by Cotton, using the method shown in "Hank's Bad Hair Day".

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