"Meet the Manger Babies" is the twenty-fourth episode of King of the Hill. It was first aired on January 11, 1998. The episode was written by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, and directed by Jeff Myers. Troy Aikman guest stars as himself.
Hank grows despondent when his old made-in-the-USA television set "goes on the disabled list" several days before Super Bowl Sunday. Shortly thereafter, Luanne joins Hank and Bobby on their trip to the Mega Lo Mart to pick up grocery items for the upcoming Super Bowl event, as it is Hank's turn to host his neighbors. Along the way, Hank spots a garage sale and stops the car. His prayers are answered when he discovers a crucial part for his ailing television set inside the back of an old monitor. Meanwhile, Luanne, who has developed a case of the "why me's," is greatly cheered when she discovers a box of old puppets at the same garage sale. Later, she tells Reverend Thomason about her idea to develop a puppet show using barnyard animals who witnessed the birth of baby Jesus. She dubs the show, "The Manger Babies." Hank and his neighbors help Luanne construct a puppet theater, which is moved to the church basement activities room. Luanne's show is an instant hit with children, but Hank inadvertently interrupts the performance while attempting to correct a nail protruding from the stage (which he feels reflects poor craftsmanship). Hank's presence throws off Luanne, and she desperately grapples to regain her momentum.
Realizing what he has done, Hank, improvising, helps Luanne save the show. So grateful is Luanne that she writes Hank into the routine, giving him the part of God. The show is such a hit that a local channel agrees to broadcast a live performance. Luanne's spirits are greatly buoyed by the news. But Hank realizes the show is scheduled against the Super Bowl. Hank tells Luanne he cannot perform in her show due to the conflict of interest. The day of the big game finally arrives, and Dale, Boomhauer and Bill gather at Hank's house. During the game, the channel on Hank's television inexplicably changes to "The Manger Babies." Hank quickly grabs the remote and returns to the Super Bowl broadcast. Unbeknownst to him, Peggy is standing outside the house with another remote. She again changes the channel, interrupting the game. This continues until Hank is drawn into the Manger Babies's story, one in which the animals are about to accept a ride from a drunken man, Joe SixPack. Hank jumps in his car and drives to the station, saving the characters from Joe SixPack. Shortly thereafter, Hank bumps into Troy Aikman, who saw a flyer announcing the puppet show. Later, Peggy looks heavenward when Bobby reveals he borrowed the batteries from her TV remote before the Super Bowl aired. Then Bobby states it may, however, have been after the Super Bowl.
- Hank Hill
- Peggy Hill
- Bobby Hill
- Luanne Platter
- Dale Gribble
- Nancy Gribble
- Jeff Boomhauer
- Bill Dauterive
- Reverend Thomason
- Troy Aikman (cameo)
- This episode marks the first appearance of The Manger Babies.
- This episode revealed that Hank's TV is the only American-made TV left, and refused to buy a new one not made America.