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"Now Who's the Dummy?" is the ninety-sixth episode of King of the Hill. It was first aired on February 18, 2001. The episode was written by Johnny Hardwick, and directed by Dominic Polcino.


After performing "Froggy went a Courtin" at Garrity & Sons Nursing Home, Bobby is applauded and approached by retired ventriloquist Jerry Popper, who dislikes his living conditions and was entertained by Bobby's performance. He passes on to Bobby his athlete styled dummy named Chip Block, which Bobby takes to almost immediately.

Hank is naturally mortified upon seeing Bobby practice with the wooden figure, seeing it as a doll. Bobby begins studying sports after receiving help from Peggy to help his material. Bobby joins the guys in the living room for a baseball game, but upon seeing the dummy, Dale flees in erratic terror. Hank soon warms up to the dummy when Bobby displays his new knowledge of sports. From afar, Dale begins plotting the dummy's demise.

Hank continues to enjoy Chip's company to the point of inviting Bobby to his golf game while Dale hires his usual associate Octavio to track the dummy. Dale however decides to fire Octavio by apologetic letter after watching him make an audio log of his activity, thus leaving evidence. A flashback reveals that as a child, Dale's father had scared him with a replica Chip during his birthday, traumatizing him.

On the course, Bobby becomes disheartened when Hank shows clear favoritism of the sports savvy Chip and later goes to visit Mr. Popper. The retired comedian informs him of a time when he felt the same as Bobby and had temporarily gone solo to little success and realized that it's better to be near the spotlight than not in it at all.

Dale buys a bottle of chloroform, duck tape and a bandana for gagging purposes at an Army Surplus store. Bobby begrudgingly goes to fetch Chip at his father's insistence, only to find him missing. Hank and Bobby rush to Dale's when they hear a woodchipper and witness him shoving Chip into it, much to Bobby's shock and Hank's horror. Dale uses the chloroform to render himself unconscious so as not to be beaten by Hank. Hank quickly resolves to build a new Chip to his own specifications, much to Bobby's dismay.

While Hank begins working on Chip #2, modeled after various athletes, Bobby unskillfully plays with a football to better his image. Peggy points this out to Hank and suggest he join his son, though Hank reasons that he is building the new Chip so "they" can spend time with Bobby. Peggy, who is instantly aware that Hank is taking this opportunity to build the perfect surrogate son; constructing it to be everything he wishes Bobby was, says that maybe he could also build the wife he's always wanted with the leftover lumber, allowing Hank to realize his error.

Hank later reveals that he has built the new dummy in Bobby's image using Bobby's old toddler clothes. Peggy is pleased at her husband's actions, though Hank is visibly uneasy when Bobby gives the dummy the same personality as his own.

As the credits roll, Dale is shown in his basement composing an email to Octavio to hire him back, claiming his previous letter was sent by an imposter. A security alert causes Dale to flip through his camera views until the face of the Bobby dummy appears, which causes him to scream in fear and sniff chloroform again to evade capture. Bobby and Hank are shown standing outside by the camera, having orchestrated the prank as payback. Hank chuckles and comments " You were right, Bobbys; ventriloquism is fun."





  • During Dale's birthday flashback, a substitute song is sung, because Warner Music claimed to own the copyright to "Happy Birthday to You," and the producers wanted to avoid royalty fees. It's the same song sung by Bill in "Hank and the Great Glass Elevator." The full lyrics are: "Someone has a birthday, I wonder who/Someone has a birthday, I wonder who/Someone has a birthday, I wonder who/Someone has a birthday, I think it's you." It's sung to the tune of the Christmas song "Up On The Housetop" composed by Benjamin Hanby in 1864 which put it safely in the public domain. In 2015, lawyers for Warner/Chappell and filmmaker Jennifer Nelson, who challenged the charging of the fee to use the song, reached a settlement agreement whereby Warner/Chappell had to repay $14 million in fees collected and the song was finally declared to be in the public domain.
  • Mr. Popper says that he used to be on '"Tonight!" (1953)'. This is, of course, a reference to the fact that Tom Poston, the voice of Mr. Popper, was on the show when Steve Allen hosted it.
  • The framed sports page entitled 'Hill Upsets Belton' that Peggy shows Bobby, is likely from the very same softball victory seen in the episode "Take Me Out of the Ball Game".
  • This is one of the only episodes to use production music (and not music composed by any of the composers of King of the Hill). One of Dick DeBenedictis' (a composer best known for his action/horror production music) production tracks "The Shock" was used when young Dale saw Chip Block as a birthday present much to his horror.

Season 4 Season 5 Season 6

The Perils of Polling · The Buck Stops Here · I Don't Want to Wait... · Spin the Choice · Peggy Makes the Big Leagues · When Cotton Comes Marching Home · What Makes Bobby Run? · 'Twas the Nut Before Christmas · Chasing Bobby · Yankee Hankee · Hank and the Great Glass Elevator · Now Who's the Dummy? · Ho Yeah! · The Exterminator · Luanne Virgin 2.0 · Hank's Choice · It's Not Easy Being Green · The Trouble with Gribbles · Hank's Back Story · Kidney Boy and Hamster Girl: A Love Story