Hardwick at the Velveeta Room in Austin
|Born||Jonathon David Hardwick Jr.
September 21, 1963
Austin, Texas, US
|Occupation||Voice actor, stand-up comedian|
|Known for||Voice of Dale Gribble in King of the Hill|
Jonathon David Hardwick Jr. (born September 21, 1963) is a stand-up comedian and voice actor. He is best known as the voice of Dale Gribble in the animated American television show King of the Hill. He served as staff writer, story editor, and producer for the show as well.
Biography and career
A native of Austin, Texas, Hardwick attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. After graduation, he performed stand-up comedy for a number of years, appearing at such venues as the Dallas Improv and the Velveeta Room in Austin. He was originally planned to be a regular in MTV's Austin Stories—a deal that never materialized. In 1995, Hardwick appeared at the Montreal Comedy Festival, where Brandon Tartikoff saw him and offered him a sitcom for NBC. However, after Hardwick proposed a comedy along the lines of Green Acres and Get a Life the network showed little interest in seriously pursuing the idea.
After Hardwick signed with the Strauss-McGarr agency, he was continually booked doing stand-up comedy in both Austin and Los Angeles. While at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, Hardwick performed a comedy set about his father in Texas. After the show, he was approached by television writer and producer Greg Daniels who was helping to put together King of the Hill at the time. Daniels felt Hardwick's Texan humor was just what the show needed and offered him a job writing for the fledgling program. Hardwick moved from Austin to Toluca Lake, California to work for the show. Hardwick's first day working for King of the Hill was one day after NBC's option on his sitcom development deal expired (thus making it legal for Hardwick to pursue a sitcom with another network).
The role of Dale Gribble was originally offered to Daniel Stern, but producers were unable to agree with Stern on a salary. Instead, Hardwick won the voice role after three weeks of auditions.