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"Yes; It is very difficult to watch an idiot raise your child."[4] —John Redcorn III

John Redcorn III[1] is a recurring character in King of the Hill. He was originally voiced by Victor Aaron until his death and by Jonathan Joss thereafter.


John Redcorn, "Licensed New Age Healer", is Nancy Gribble's longtime Native American masseur, her former lover of fourteen years, and the biological father of both Joseph Gribble and Kate. Redcorn is 36 years old[5] (or 40 years old in a Season 9 episode)[6] and drives a tan Jeep Wrangler, both living and working in a travel trailer. Before his career as a New Age healer, he was a security guard at concerts as portrayed in "Vision Quest." Initially, he rented a homesite in a trailer park. Redcorn is a true Native American, is familiar with his tribe, and is disgruntled that he lost his land. He has no strong relationship but had children from previous relationships. The main relationship focused is being the target of an affair of The Gribble Family which resulted in the birth of his son. John was able to see his son (and Nancy) during the first four seasons, posing as a therapist for Nancy's headaches caused by extermination chemicals. He felt he was too old for the secret relationship, almost got back together with Nancy, but ultimately did not want to hurt his new friend Dale Gribble because Dale helped John recover some land. After season 4, John drifted apart from Joseph, and made awkward attempts to give Joseph advice as well as Native American artifacts. This confused Joseph, who did not regard himself as Native American. As a result, Joseph found dangerous friends which John insisted that Joseph go on a vision quest with Dale. Dale was the only one to successfully have a vision quest, and thought that he himself was Native American. Dale did not understand the vision quests, misled Joseph into shooting zoo animals. John finally put a stop to everything and guided Joseph for a moment. John also was able to save Bobby from a similar situation from a group of people that drink dog blood.

Whenever John Redcorn speaks of his native land or anything that deals with his tribe, a mysterious breeze will always pass through, gently ruffling his hair and making it flow majestically, satirizing the idea of the noble Native speaking of his land with wind blowing through his hair. He is notably always referred to by his full name, and never simply as John, except by children who refer to him as Mr. Redcorn. He was however on one occasion referred to as John R. Dale once referred to him as "Big Bad John" while cheering for John Redcorn during a softball game.

When driving he is often heard playing Pat Benatar, including the hits "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" and "Heartbreaker". On some occasions he has alternated his music with other classic hard rock bands, such as Deep Purple or Foreigner.

He was the lead singer of the band Big Mountain Fudgecake, for which Lucky played guitar followed by Elvin Mackelston also on guitar. Dale was briefly the manager. They could never find any place to perform, not even on John's land. He ended up being scammed by false Native Americans giving him a loan and not telling John about the casinos being illegal in Texas. They threatened they would repossess his land and turn it into a toxic waste dump. Following the breakup of the band, Redcorn began singing toned-down children's versions of his songs at the Strickland company barbecue and was instantly popular. He was able to pay off his loan by turning his land into a carnival.

In addition to his connection to Native American spirituality, John Redcorn is seemingly a Christian and is seen sometimes attending Arlen First Methodist Church along with characters such as the Hill family.


John Redcorn stands a tall Native American man with a well-built physique, a strong sculpted face and long, raven-black hair. Despite his age, he is in visibly much better physical shape than most of Arlen's residents. He is usually seen wearing a green t-shirt under a tan vest along with white pants and brown loafers. Redcorn always wears a small pouch on a necklace, which contains an herbal medicine he refers to as "Ginko Biloba". Redcorn also wears Native American jewelry, such as feather earrings and a beaded choker.


General: John Redcorn is usually a kind person who will help others when asked or when he feels necessary. He is incredibly proud of his Native American lineage and often does what he can to bring awareness to the struggles Native American's have suffered. However, underneath his kind appearance, John Redcorn does have incredible flaws, such as hypocrisy and adultery that has resulted in two known illegitimate children.

Native American Pride: One of the traits John Redcorn is most known and prideful of is his heritage. He will often speak of rituals his tribe has performed and will even speak at schools about how his tribe and others have suffered since the arrival of the "white man". Because he claims that most of the land around Arlen once belonged to his tribe, John Redcorn has done what he can to get the land, though it was only thanks to Dale that he was eventually able to claim twelve acres. Because Joseph is his biological son, John Redcorn has tried to pass the ways of the tribe onto him but has not fully succeeded in most due to Joseph mainly seeing him as a family friend or not fully understanding what he's trying to say.

Hypocrite nature: While John Redcorn tries to portray himself as a noble man with honest traits, he actually will go against his beliefs if it means instant results, fame, or gratification. When he was having his affair with Nancy, he would often make claims about how it is wrong to do such things but failed to follow his own advice.

Womanizing: In early seasons, John Redcorn's affair with Nancy was known by most in the neighborhood. Even during this time, he was accidentally proven by Dale to have been romancing other women, Joseph and his half-sister Kate stated to have been born only days apart. John Redcorn has been shown to have brief relationships with several women, one of which was several years older than himself.

Fatherhood: Being one of those who knows he is Joseph's biological father, John Redcorn has tried to act in a father role to Joseph, but the young boy never saw him as anything besides a family friend. Because John Redcorn wants Joseph to be more in tune with his heritage, he has nearly told Joseph and Dale the truth about his affair with Nancy but has never gone through with it as he realized he would destroy the Gribble family for his own selfish needs. Having reluctantly accepted that he cannot be the father he wants to be to Joseph, John Redcorn instead accepts the role of something akin to a mentor and tries to pass on genuine advice for the stressful trials he goes through as a young teen.

Affair with Nancy Gribble[]

Two years after her marriage to Dale Gribble, Nancy and John Redcorn began an affair with each other as Dale took an oath of celibacy and stayed in the basement. In the first four seasons, Nancy and John Redcorn were seen almost constantly in each other's company, the implication is that their relationship was more substantial than a purely sexual dalliance. The Souphanousinphones figured it out very quickly after moving to Arlen. In "Peggy's Headache," Peggy was one of the last to realize it; Hank tells her 12 years into the affair, having assumed she knew but, like everyone else, never mentioned it. Both Nancy's husband Dale and son Joseph are completely unaware of this, although this fact is obvious to everyone else in the neighborhood, even possibly to Bobby (Hank and Peggy's son) due to Joseph's close resemblance to John Redcorn. Also, in the episode "The Son That Got Away", Nancy asks Dale, "Do you want a beer, honey?" to which both Dale and John Redcorn answer "yes." In reply, Dale says, "How did he know I wanted a beer?"

Despite Dale's dedication to various conspiracy theories, Dale is completely unaware of Joseph's true parentage due to his belief that Redcorn is homosexual or practicing Native American traditions. However, he once suspected that Joseph's father was an alien, or at least that aliens are involved somehow. No matter how obvious the affair between John Redcorn and Nancy was, Dale never deduced it; indeed, once, after having caught the two in bed, he merely apologizes for interrupting their "migraine treatment" and rushes out. In "Dog Dale Afternoon," Dale even caught Redcorn sneaking in through the window. At first, it appears that Dale has finally figured it out, but he really thought Redcorn was doing something with the former's new lawnmower. "Get away from my mower and start massaging my wife." John Redcorn then mentions to Nancy that Dale is "taking some of the fun out of this."

In "Hank Gets Dusted", John Redcorn, in trying to get filmed on a reality show, actually directly says to the camera that "I slept with Hank's best friend's wife for 13 years," with Dale standing inches away; Dale assumes that John Redcorn was referring to Bill. It is implied throughout the series that both he and Joseph are willfully ignorant of the affair, due to Dale's absolute devotion to his wife and the deep bond which he and Joseph share. A recurring gag early on in the show's run was that whenever Dale would make a comment about him being Joseph's father or Dale's relationship with Nancy, John Redcorn would show up.

Nancy eventually rekindled her love for Dale, with John Redcorn agreeing to end the affair. John Redcorn still cares about Nancy, but will never tell Dale because he won't hurt his new friend who helped him reclaim land from the government. During one of his less inspiring moments, John alluded to Hank that he met Nancy before Dale did. Dale climbed out John's window instead of the door. John Redcorn lamented to Hank "I can't believe Nancy left me..." [indicates Dale who is still acting eccentric] "for THAT." Hank corrected him by saying, "She didn't leave you for that, John Redcorn. She married THAT two years before she met you."[1]

In Season 5, John Redcorn accepts the U.S. government's offer of 12 acres of unincorporated land, not all of which is adjacent due to a highway running through the land, to settle a lawsuit in which he sought to reclaim the 130,000 acres of land taken by the United States from the Anasazi tribe. Due to his belief that the government had cheated John Redcorn's people, Dale proved instrumental in helping John Redcorn file his lawsuit, using the Freedom of Information Act and encouraging John Redcorn when others turned against him. Feeling guilty, John Redcorn started to reveal to Dale the details of his affair with Nancy and stated: "Fourteen years ago, I was refilling my jeep when I first met..." implying that he and Nancy first met at a gas station. He was not able to finish the admission, but in the end, John Redcorn willed the land to Dale, as a way to pass something down to Joseph, who eventually has the same distrust of the U.S. government that they do.[1] At the same time, John Redcorn is delighted to will his land to Dale as a token of their friendship, and to whom John Redcorn wishes he could tell the truth. When he was given the chance to renew his affair with Nancy, he refused out of a sense of loyalty and gratitude to Dale, concluding that Nancy's husband was a genuinely good (if naive) man and that he could not betray someone who had worked so selflessly to help him. Dale also not only has no idea of the affair, but believes John Redcorn to be a "true friend."[5]

In "Sug Night", Dale finds out that Hank had a "sex dream" about Nancy from John Redcorn, saying, "John Redcorn is a true friend." John Redcorn is furious and screams at Hank and Dale attempts to attack Hank. In later episodes, John Redcorn and Nancy made attempts to resume the affair but halted again for various reasons. In the episode "My Own Private Rodeo", it is revealed that he continues to believe John Redcorn is homosexual while initially believing Bug Gribble to be a federal agent.

Later, John Redcorn's responsibilities as a producer and director usually meant spending time at the same Television Station that Nancy usually works at. This resulted in stress-induced hair loss for Nancy, who wants to tell Dale so the skeletons in their closets would finally be let out. Nancy ultimately decides not to tell Dale the truth, and like her mother decides to wear wigs just in case.


  • Joseph Gribble: Particularly before "Naked Ambition," John Redcorn taught several things to Joseph including how to tie his shoelaces, ride a bicycle,[7] and providing sacred artifacts. He is shown to care very much about his son and is concerned about Joseph being raised by Dale. After John Redcorn decided to end his affair with Nancy, he was deeply hurt by the fact that Nancy refused to let Joseph near him, and Joseph treated John as a stranger. John Redcorn tried anything to get Joseph's attention like teaching Native American culture at his school, offering to drive him home, and giving him Native American artifacts like he had done before, but Joseph just ignored him.[1] At one point, John Redcorn was so desperate to regain a relationship with Joseph that he very nearly told Dale and Joseph about his affair with Nancy while also failing to realize how going through with it could have potentially caused great emotional and mental damage to Joseph. Eventually, John Redcorn comes to terms with Joseph being raised as Dale's son.
  • Other Children: In the episode "Untitled Blake McCormick Project", John Redcorn finds out he has a daughter, named Kate, by a woman named Charlene, during the same period that he was having an affair with Nancy Gribble. At first, John Redcorn had no idea who Charlene was until he decided to spy on both her and his daughter and eventually recognized Charlene as a dancer under the name of "Candy" with whom John Redcorn had cheated on Nancy with around the same time she got pregnant with Joseph. Charlene had fallen for Bill and had moved her family in with him; likewise, Kate and Joseph fell for each other which disturbed all the characters aware of the children's shared parentage. At the end of the episode, Charlene and her two kids leave Bill and move in with John Redcorn with Dale's involvement, but they were not mentioned again after that one episode. This is also the final significant character development of John Redcorn.
  • Bobby Hill: Since Bobby is close friends with Joseph, John Redcorn is well acquainted with Bobby. However, he at times uses this bond to try to get closer to Joseph or to know if Joseph is in any kind of troubling situation. Despite this, John Redcorn has shown true concern for Bobby's well-being. In "The Witches of East Arlen", he quickly informed Hank of the ceremony wherein Bobby would drink dog blood in order to keep Joseph safe and from being labeled as a weirdo.

Episode appearances[]


  • In his earliest appearances, John Redcorn wore a headband with a Native American pattern. However, this was quickly dropped from his design.
  • The reason for the voice actor changing is due to Victor Aaron's death in 1997.
  • Redcorn drives a tan 1986 Jeep Wrangler YJ, identified by the square headlights.
  • In the pilot episode, John Redcorn drives a red 1967 Ford Bronco.
  • As hinted throughout numerous episodes, Redcorn is a fan of traditional hard rock and heavy metal, as songs by The Edgar Winter Group, Foreigner, Foghat, Journey, Deep Purple, and other bands are often heard playing on his Jeep's radio. And some songs were heard on his radio or his jeep's radio in episodes:
  • Whenever Redcorn would say something about nature, his hair would flow in the wind to a Native American-esque song.
  • According to Nancy, John Redcorn's unseen sister is a gossiper.[3]
  • "John Redcorn" is the name of a song by R&B artist, SiR. The music video features characters similar to that of Nancy, John Redcorn, as well as the fellows on Rainey Street.