The Texas Panhandler
|"The Texas Panhandler"|
|King of the Hill episode|
|Episode no.||Season 10
|Directed by||Ronald Rubio & Ken Wong|
|Written by||Tony Gama-Lobo & Rebecca May|
|Original air date||April 30, 2006|
|List of King of the Hill episodes|
Bobby and Joseph's popularity hits a new low. Desperate to attend Amy's party. Curious as to why they discover the trend of acid wash and faded jeans Bobby decides he wants money for new faded jeans, but Hank feels that purposely distressed jeans for such an exorbitant price are asinine and tells Bobby that a real man works for what he wants. Bobby decides he's gonna get a job. Hank is perplexed by the fad of spending vast sums of money on clothing just to appear derelict. Bobby and Joseph try their hand at a job as sign dancers, but after being ridiculed on the job by some of the popular kids, they encounter a group of college-age kids who hang out on a street corner spanging for change while enjoying a carefree lifestyle, and Bobby and Joseph soon begin to emulate them. Their first attempt at "cool bum" emulation fails, they realize the art of spanging involves not caring about the reward and not to depict oneself as inherently desperate for money, which succeeds. But their antics force out local bum Spongy who used to beg on the corner; having been evicted from his stay in a mental hospital after the Reagan Administration's significant mental health care cuts. In no time at all Bobby and Joseph not only can afford the new jeans but gain a degree of popularity among the kids at school for being associated among urban youth and thought to be street bums. Bobby treats his parents to dinner, unbeknownst to Hank who is impressed by his "work ethic".
However, Hank soon catches Bobby panhandling and furious. In the Alley the guys argue the definition of homelessness. People like Spongy only beg to survive, that these kids do so for fun despite being able bodied and healthy to work but are too lazy to do so. Hank forces Bobby to return his panhandling money, which the leader of the college-age panhandlers convinces him to give to them. Soon after, Bobby is asked out on a date by a girl at school, but panics since he no longer has money; he asks the panhandlers to return what he gave them, only to be snubbed having already spent it.
Hank hears that Bobby is back on the street corner. Furious, he goes to find Bobby and give him another lecture, but instead sees his son handing out flyers for vasectomy reversal (despite that Bobby doesn't know what a vasectomy is). When the panhandlers tease Bobby for being suckered into working, he stumbles upon a realization these kids in fact lead privileged lifestyles outside their begging environment having cell phones, internet/cable, educations. His frustration comes to a head and he begins telling the passersby not to give money to spoiled and undeserving youths; Hank backs him up, driving them from the block returning Spongy to his rightful place.
This episode was written by Tony Gama-Lobo and Rebecca May and directed by Ronald Rubio and Ken Wong. This would be the second episode to be co-directed by Wong, the first being "The Year of Washing Dangerously".
- Adam Finley (May 1, 2006) "King of the Hill: The Texas Panhandler" AOLTV.com Accessed November 6, 2011.
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