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"The Unbearable Blindness of Laying" is the twenty-third episode of King of the Hill. It was first aired on December 21, 1997. The episode was written by Paul Lieberstein, and directed by Cyndi Tang-Loveland. Carl Reiner guest-stars as Gary Kasner.


As Christmas approaches, Hank and Peggy travel to the airport to pick up Hank's mother, Tilly, and her new boyfriend, a Jewish man named Gary Kasner. When the group returns home, Hank cannot hide his discomfort with the idea of his mother sleeping with another man inside his home. He arranges for his mother to sleep in the den with Luanne, while Gary is confined to Bobby's room. That night, a sleepless Hank walks into the living room, where he finds Gary eating a plate of food. When Gary broaches the subject of his feelings for Tilly, Hank suddenly grabs the remote and turns on the television, explaining that a late-night televangelist show is his favorite. The next morning, Hank, Peggy, Luanne and Bobby pile into the car and head off for a basketball game. Hank turns the car around when he realizes that Peggy brought the incorrect Styrofoam finger for the game. When Hank enters the house, he inadvertently catches a glimpse of his mother and Gary making love on the kitchen table. The psychological shock causes Hank to go blind.

Peggy takes her husband to an ophthalmologist where he analyzes Hank's condition through query as a temporary case of hysterical blindness and the psychological solution being to confront the eventful latter. During the ride home, Hank grudgingly tells Peggy what he saw and Peggy cannot fathom her husband's reaction...until he mentions they were doing it on the kitchen table. On Christmas morning, Peggy tells Hank he will never get his sight back if he doesn't confront the trauma that triggered the blindness. Instead, Hank asks Peggy to drive him to his father's house.

As the ride gets under way, Hank suddenly realizes Gary is at the wheel. He asks Gary to turn the truck around and take him home. Instead, Gary takes him to Cotton's house. During the short visit, Cotton talks despairingly about his ex-wife. Offended, Gary tells off Cotton, leaves the house and waits for Hank outside. Hank leaves the house shortly thereafter... and now sports a far friendlier attitude towards Gary. Unexpectedly, Gary drives Hank to the cathedral where the televangelist holds his services. As the sermon gets underway, Hank thanks Gary for the gesture. Gary tells him his attitude stems from his love of Tilly. Shortly thereafter, Hank "miraculously" regains his sight and retaliates against Bill, Dale and Boomhauer (for teasing his blindness mid-event). Later, during dinner, Hank declares the day has been the best Christmas ever.



  • This episode was nominated for the 1998 Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing - Television Animated Specials.
  • Also, the second time Hank is unable to see but this time within his own physical health ( 1st was in "Pilot" where he couldn't see without a flash light).
  • Bobby frequently thinks Gary has an Arizona accent. In reality, Gary's accent is an old-fashioned Yiddish accent similar to that of his voice actor Carl Reiner.
  • Unlike Gary, Carl Reiner identified himself as a non-believing atheist since his youth, though he was known for giving support to some Jewish customs, like giving his son Rob a bar mitzvah; despite his lack of religion, much of Reiner's production work was also very traditional with regards to censorship.
  • Gary's tattoo, which we see close up during his love-fest with Tilly, is of the submarine "SS Trout II."  Many Balayo Class diesel/electric submarines of WWII vintage like the one Gary Kasner served aboard were named for different species of fish.
  • When Hank walks in on Tilly and Gary having sex in the kitchen, he enters through a door in the living room. This door is never seen in the series again.
  • In the episode, Gary has an appetite for a lot of food, which lead to him needing bypass surgery. Gary's voice Carl Reiner had claimed that his high publicized friendship with Mel Brooks was aided by their eating habits.
  • Hysterical blindness is an out-dated term for what's now referred to as conversion disorder.
  • During his next King of the Hill appearance, Peggy's Turtle Song, Gary has apparently taken up residency in Tilly's condo. However, he is shown to have a bachelor pad by the 2000 episode I Don't Want to Wait...


  • Hank's mother talks in a different voice when she is introduced in "The Unbearable Blindless Of Laying" than in all subsequent appearances.
  • Tilly and Gary's standing position in the front yard rotates 90 degrees clockwise after Hank states "I've got a magazine you ought to read - the ten commandments!"

Season 1 Season 2 Season 3

How to Fire a Rifle Without Really Trying · Texas City Twister · The Arrowhead · Hilloween · Jumpin' Crack Bass (It's a Gas, Gas, Gas) · Husky Bobby · The Man Who Shot Cane Skretteburg · The Son That Got Away · The Company Man · Bobby Slam · The Unbearable Blindness of Laying · Meet the Manger Babies · Snow Job · I Remember Mono · Three Days of the Kahndo · Traffic Jam · Hank's Dirty Laundry · The Final Shinsult · Leanne's Saga · Junkie Business · Life in the Fast Lane, Bobby's Saga · Peggy's Turtle Song · Propane Boom