Is it really a wrap for King of the Hill? Fox has canceled the show after 13 seasons (it’s the second-longest running sitcom currently on the air, after The Simpsons). Late last week, a few dozen guests were invited to sit in on the table read for the final episode, which was followed by the voice talent all posing alongside a huge celebratory cake baked in the shape of a propane grill. The would-be final ep is called “To Sirloin With Love” and, ending as it does with Hank and Bobby bonding over the one thing they realize they’re both experts on — steak — it’d make a nice grace note for the series. That is, if you could find anyone outside of the network willing to commit to putting a fork in it, as it were.
But the show’s exec producer introduced the reading by saying that the staff had never written a conclusion to the show, because they’d been “kicked out of their offices” before, only to be brought back (there was that mid-season 10 cancellation), so they didn’t go out of their way to make this particularly valedictory, either. Indeed, it appears that ABC might be interested in picking it up, which would explain why only a few folks shed tears at this “final” working gathering of the cast…or maybe it was just good old Texas stoicism.
After the reading, I cornered Peggy Hill, aka Kathy Najimy, to get her thoughts on the finale-that-may-not-be-a-finale. After the jump, Najimy explains why she thinks the King will persevere, and how she’d never want to dress like her onscreen counterpart.
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ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Do you believe this is really the end?
KATHY NAJIMY: Gosh, no. The woman who was just doing my makeup –because we’re doing on-camera press today — said, “Didn’t I do themakeup for the cancellation twice? This is the third time?” I said“Yes, and don’t [throw away] that blush, because it’s going to come upagain.” Here’s the deal — two things could happen. One, we couldcontinue, and I don’t know whether it’s here or another network. I havea feeling it’s gonna be here. Two, it could not continue, and I had thebest time in the world for 13 years. So there’s no way in goodconscience anybody can act sad. Because we’re the luckiest people on Earth. We have good writers, we don’t have to dress up or do hairand makeup and don’t have to go to Toronto to do a movie or wake up at6 a.m. It’s the best job ever. Either way, I’m thrilled.
Do you think this feels like a good last episode, if it really is the end?
I think it could be. Certainly it had its little underpinnings…like,the last scene is a little bit poignant. But I’m not ready to put thesand over the casket just yet. We just got nominated for an Emmy, andlast week we had the biggest share or biggest ratings we’ve had allyear. We’re like first in 19-to-30-year-olds…I don’t know all thatstuff, I don’t follow it. I just calmly have my breakfast burrito andget the call to come back in a week.
So it was hard to get too wistful today?
Unless I’m in complete denial and need to go into rehab after this andhave a breakdown, I feel fine with it. I mean, 13 years ofgood writing. And I’m a writing snob. Like, I hate TV writing. I don’teven watch any other TV except for reality shows. It’s hard for me tolike writing, and I love this writing continually every Wednesday for13 years.
It was fun to hear an episode with a live audience and laughter, andhearing what gets the biggest laughs, since there’s no laugh track onthe show.
When there’s not that many people [in a reading], we just laugh extra hard at ourselves.
I’d go see you guys do this in a small theater somewhere.
Yeah, yeah, spoken-word King of the Hill.You know, they could make live action out of this so easy. Because insome animated shows, they go to the moon or turn blue. Here, nobodydoes anything they couldn’t do in real life. It’s all real. But I’mgetting new wardrobe if it’s live action. I’m not wearing those PeggyHill culottes. I don’t care what they say.