Johnny Hardwick, who voiced the chain-smoking exterminator Dale Gribble for the complete 13-season run of the Fox animated hit King of the Hill, has died. He was 64.
Hardwick’s demise was confirmed Thursday by the Austin health worker’s workplace. No particulars had been instantly obtainable. TMZ reported he was pronounced lifeless at his residence in Austin on Tuesday and that no foul play was suspected.
Hardwick voiced Dale — the conspiracy theorist who lives subsequent door to his greatest buddy, propane accent salesman Hank Hill (co-creator Mike Choose) — from 1997-2010 and was a author, story editor and producer on the present as effectively.
The animators had been mentioned to have drawn Dale to look (and smoke) identical to Hardwick, and he appeared on greater than 250 episodes. He shared an Emmy for excellent animated program in 1999 and was nominated once more in 2001 and ’02.
In a 2019 interview, Hardwick mentioned he cherished engaged on the present as a result of he didn’t must placed on make-up or memorize strains. “I did it the entire time and was utterly nameless … that’s meant a lot to me,” he mentioned.
Hardwick was set to take part in a revival of King of the Hill at Hulu, it was introduced in January. He additionally had a YouTube channel on which he would carry out songs as Dale.
Born in Houston in 1958, John Michael Hardwick graduated from Texas Tech College with a level in journalism, labored as a stand-up at golf equipment just like the Velveeta Room in Austin and was the primary comedian on Jon Stewart’s MTV present. He was supplied a sitcom at NBC, however that didn’t work out.
King of the Hill co-creator Greg Daniels employed Hardwick for a writing job after seeing him carry out at The Improv in Los Angeles, and he went to work for him somewhat than taking one other provide to function a daily on the MTV sequence Austin Tales.
Daniel Stern was employed to voice Dale however acquired right into a dispute over cash and was changed by Hardwick in time for the pilot.
“Apparently, he wished a complete bunch of cash they usually weren’t prepared to barter with him, so I ended up getting the half,” he informed The Austin Chronicle in 1999. “And, you recognize, it’s just about his loss since we’ve been in a position to renegotiate since then. I don’t assume he had the creativeness to see what the present might be.
“I assumed that within the pilot [Dale] was written to be fairly dumb — he was mispronouncing issues and all types of bizarre stuff. I ended up type of basing his perspective on if he thought he was Jack Nicholson however he wasn’t, or if he simply thought he was the best man round, like Matthew McConaughey’s character in Dazed and Confused. The factor that they did have in Mike’s unique pilot was that he was a conspiracy particular person, which I assumed was an important contact.”
Hardwick famous that Daniels gave all of the writers on the present Philip Ok. Howard’s 1995 guide The Loss of life of Frequent Sense: How Legislation Is Suffocating America. “It’s in regards to the run-in with forms, and due to these guidelines, we find yourself with individuals in jail who shouldn’t be in jail or simply no matter,” he mentioned. “It’s all these loopy issues which are taking place.”
Abbey White contributed to this report.