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August 29, 2015

King of the Hill: Peggy's Gone to Pots

by Adam Finley, posted May 7th 2007 9:38AM

king of the hill(S11E09)

Peggy: I'll bet Minh likes foreign movies, she's a foreigner. To her, it's just a movie.

I've watched enough episodes of King of the Hill over the years to know that Dale Gribble sometimes uses the alias "Rusty Shackleford' to fly under the radar of all those conspiratorial entities that only exist in his head, but this is the first time I've heard the story behind it: "Rusty Shackleford" was the name of a kid from Dale's third grade class who passed away. At least, that's what Dale thought. It turns out that Rusty just moved away.

I'll ask the KOTH fans reading this: is this the first time we've heard the story of how Dale became Rusty? I wasn't certain.

One of many things I love about this series is that it doesn't always take the obvious route. Other series would have had Rusty showing up at Dale's doorstep angry and ready to wring Dale's neck, but all Rusty wanted to do was have Dale sign a few papers. The only "drama" comes from Dale, who, along with an equally melodramatic Peggy (who wants out of her "Cozy Kitchen" contract), tries to set up a fake "murder/suicide."

"Cozy Kitchen" is obviously a parody of "Pampered Chef," a line of kitchenware sold through parties, and apparently trying to get out of your "Cozy Kitchen" contract is worse than trying to leave the Mafia. I did a Google search to see if there were similar stories of people unable to get out of their "Pampered Chef" contracts, but couldn't find anything.

I really liked this episode. The dynamic between Peggy and Dale was really funny, as both of them were cranked up to eleven on their respective emotional scales, each grossly over-thinking their situation. Hank, the voice of reason, offers a simple solution for Peggy, but she and Dale decide to stage a fake fight anyway, which was definitely the highlight of the episode (I laughed loudest when the two stopped in mid-struggle so Peggy could open the patio door).

Did anyone else think the scene where Dale jumped through his own window to avoid Rusty was very Simpsonsesque? I'm not saying it was out of character, I actually thought it was very in character, it was just a moment of slapstick you don't see too often on King of the Hill. I think it worked, though.

7 out of 7.

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Steve Brandon

I don't think it was the exact first time that "Rusty Shackleford" was mentioned on the show, but, in the second season episode "Hank's Dirty Laundry", wherein Hank tried to prove in small claims court that the video store's computer was mistaken and he didn't rent and then lose the porn movie Cuffs and Collars, Dale actually offered the birth certificate of Rusty Shackleford to Hank because Dale was convinced that the computer error was somehow pre-arranged by the BEAST supercomputer at the heart of many of his conspiracy theories.

Later in the same episode, Hank actually pretended to be "Rusty Shackleford" when a cop was going to cite him for disposing of non-biodegradable items (adult novelties) at the local dump.

I'm taking this new twist in the Rusty Shackleford saga as yet more "retcon" on the part of the KOTH writers.

Steve Brandon

May 09 2007 at 1:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Rusty Shackleford alias has always been one of my favorite running jokes. I *think* they may have mentioned him having a birth certificate under that name before, but this is the first time the backstory has really been covered.

But easily my favorite line was Bobby's: "This is just like the time I had to sell all those candy bars for school. Is there any way you can eat your way out of this?"


May 07 2007 at 6:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Christopher J. Arndt

In the early seasons Dale offered by the Shackleford alias, but first prefaced the specific name mentioned by telling where the name came from, that Rusty Shackleford is a dead third grader.

May 07 2007 at 3:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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