Animation fans across the internet are sharing bittersweet clips today from one of their favorite shows to honor the passing of Johnny Hardwick, who provided the voice for Hank Hill’s irascible neighbor Dale Gribble on “King of the Hill.”
Hardwick worked as a bartender and comedian for years before landing his role on the long-running comedy. As Rolling Stone notes, Hardwick was initially brought in as a writer for the show during its development. However, he ended up on the cast after another actor turned down an offer to voice Gribble, the chain-smoking, know-it-all companion to Hank Hill.
Hardwick would later go on to become a story editor and producer on the show. While he never achieved much celebrity outside “King of the Hill,” his voice and mannerisms are instantly recognizable to fans who shared clips online of their favorite Gribble moments.
There’s this classic wood-chipper moment, shared by @citizenlouis:
@citizenlouis 🎭 Dale, are you nuts?! ~Raise Hell – Praise Dale!~ #kingofthehill #koth #fyp #viral #comedy ♬ original sound – Citizen Louis
Unsurprisingly, a lot of fans shared clips featuring Dale Gribble’s most famous combat maneuver: Pocket sand. This one is courtesy of @r3bel_guy247):
@r3bel_guy247 RIP to Johnny Hardwick, the man who made Dale Gribble great. We will pour one out in the alley for you Johnny #kingofthehill #dalegribble #johnnyhardwick #voiceactor ♬ original sound – NerdyFanDude
Then there’s the Facebook page for “King of the Hill,” which went with a simple, heartbreaking yet hilarious image of Gribble and his wife’s longtime “friend” John Redcorn.
Hardwick provided the voice for Dale Gribble on 13 seasons of “King of the Hill,” and was among the cast members slated to come back for a revival of the show on Hulu some time in late 2023 or 2024. He was found by authorities during a wellness check at his home in Austin, Texas. The cause of death was not released, but foul play was not suspected. Johnny Hardwick was 64.