King of the Hill is coming again to TV, due to a Hulu revival, with a lot of the authentic forged returning — however there’s one character who’s conspicuously lacking.
Hank, Peggy, Bobby, Invoice, Dale and Boomhauer will all be again and voiced by the identical actors from the unique 1997-2009 Fox run of the animated comedy. Hank’s niece Luanne is understandably absent, since Brittany Murphy tragically handed away in 2009. However Hank’s nemesis Kahn, the status-chasing Laotian dad who moved in subsequent door, is nowhere to be discovered within the revival. And there’s an apparent cause why: Kahn was an Asian character, however he was voiced by a white actor, Toby Huss, throughout the present’s Fox run. (TVLine has reached out to Hulu to see if the position might be recast.)
Now so much has modified since 2009: The Simpsons‘ Hank Azaria has famously stepped apart from voicing Indian immigrant Apu on that animated collection after an uproar sparked by the Hari Kondabolu documentary The Downside With Apu, and a number of other different white actors voicing Black animated characters have since been changed by Black actors. It’s an extended overdue shift for an trade that has too usually marginalized folks of colour, nevertheless it does put the King of the Hill producers in one thing of a bind. They need to carry again as a lot of the unique forged as doable, however Huss persevering with to play Kahn, along with his exaggerated accent and mangled English, merely wouldn’t fly in the present day.
That doesn’t imply Kahn needs to be erased from the Arlen panorama fully, although. The revival is bringing again Lauren Tom (an Asian American actress who additionally performed Julie on Pals) as Kahn’s spouse Minh and daughter Connie, however makes no point out of Kahn. So will the revival’s producers merely write Kahn out to save lots of themselves the difficulty? That’d be a disgrace, really, as a result of Kahn served as a terrific foil to Hank and his Texas buddies, providing a pointy and salty distinction to their yee-haw lifestyle. Kahn wasn’t only a broad stereotype, both: He was an bold profession man who longed to be accepted into America’s higher crust, with relatable faults and fears. Voiced by the fitting Asian actor, Kahn could possibly be a improbable addition to the brand new King of the Hill.
We perceive not bringing again Luanne, each to honor Murphy’s legacy and to acknowledge that nobody might equal her pitch-perfect efficiency because the lovably ditzy blonde. However not bringing again Kahn — and making an attempt to comb the unique collection’ Apu-like drawback underneath the rug — can be a mistake. Arlen simply wouldn’t be the identical with out him.
Do you assume Kahn ought to return for the King of the Hill revival? Hold forth within the feedback.