My Own Private Rodeo

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"My Own Private Rodeo"
King of the Hill episode
Dale and his father Bug tearfully reconcile after a 20 year estrangement.
Episode no. Season 6
Episode 18
Directed by Cyndi Tang-Loveland
Written by Alex Gregory & Peter Huyck
Production code 8ABE16
Original air date April 28, 2002
Guest appearance(s)

David Herman as Bug Gribble

Episode chronology
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"Fun with Jane and Jane"
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"Sug Night"
King of the Hill (season 6)
List of King of the Hill episodes

"My Own Private Rodeo" is the 18th episode of the sixth season of the American animated television series King of the Hill. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 28, 2002. It was a nominee for the GLAAD Media Awards for "Outstanding Individual Episode (In a Series Without a Regular Gay Character)" and by the Writers Guild of America Award for Animation.[1] The title is a reference to the film My Own Private Idaho. This episode is rated TV-PG.


Dale is planning on a ceremony where he and Nancy retake their wedding vows. At Nancy's request and after initial reluctance, his friends decide to find his father, "Bug", and invite Bug to the ceremony. Twenty years ago at their first wedding, Dale's father apparently made out with Nancy, and he and Dale have since been estranged. Hank, Bill, and Boomhauer decide to go track Bug down in order to make amends with his son. However, they discover that not only is Bug gay, but he has been working all this time at a gay rodeo, much to the humor of Bill and Boomhauer. After the show, Hank goes to Bug, who reveals the truth: at the wedding, he was about to kiss a Filipino caterer, before Dale came in, with whom he wasn't prepared to be honest, so he "grabbed the nearest thing in a dress", which happened to be Nancy. The conversation is interrupted by Juan Pedro, Bug's lover, who is upset upon learning that Bug had a son and didn't tell him. Eventually, Bug returns to Arlen and asks for Dale's forgiveness, without telling Dale he is gay.

Although unsure at first, Dale reconciles with his father. Nancy senses, but Dale is completely oblivious to, Bug's homosexuality, with Dale even commenting that his father has "pleased hundreds of women". Bug notices Joseph's lack of resemblance to Dale or Nancy and asks if Joseph is "adopted". She reluctantly admits the truth about her former affair with John Redcorn, and that Hank, Bill, Boomhauer, John Redcorn's sister, Peggy and possibly Bobby know about the affair; he does not ask any further questions. Bug also admits to Nancy he's gay and that he needs to let Dale know.

Dale misconstrues Bug's sympathy, believing Bug still has feelings for Nancy, leading to Bug trying to admit to Dale that he is gay. However, his explanation of Juan Pedro being his "partner" and working with him at a gay rodeo are misconstrued by Dale as his father being a government agent, which breaks his heart once again. Dale deserts his second wedding and heads to the gay rodeo, intending to blow his father's cover. After Dale sees Bug at the rodeo, he informs his father that he knows he's a government agent and that he will let everybody at the event know. Bug then says there's been a terrible misunderstanding and that he's gay. Still not trusting Bug, Dale then goes into the rodeo pen and announces that Bug is spying on them and Bug ties him down. After a struggle, Bug finally makes up with Juan Pedro and kisses him in front of Dale, who relents and lets them attend the ceremony.

A subplot concerns Nancy dealing with the ceremony as a way to start over after years of adultery her husband is unaware of and anxiety she has on that issue. The final part of the episode reveals that Dale believes John Redcorn to be gay and that this is a major reason why Dale is okay with homosexuals and why he doesn't suspect that John Redcorn is Joseph's biological father.

Original plot[edit]

Charles Nelson Reilly voiced the part of Bug in the original storyline.[2] In this version, Dale suffers from a toothache and refuses to go to a dentist, fearing a tracking device would be implanted in him by his father's cohorts. Most of the episode's events, like Hank going to the rodeo, remain the same, but the ending is different in that Bug, feeling Dale would reject him if he told the truth, covers his sexuality by explaining he is monitoring the gay rodeo's activities. Relieved, Dale has his father hold his hand while he goes to the dentist.[3] After the script was re-written, David Herman was hired to do Bug's voice.


The depiction of Dale's father contradicts earlier appearances in flashbacks in "The Order of the Straight Arrow" and "Now Who's the Dummy?", in which he looks and sounds like an older version of Dale. Of course, the flashbacks were strictly from the viewpoint of Dale.

Ending Credit Quote[edit]

Dale: "Monkey-style! Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!"