Fancast Interview: King of the Hill’s Kathy Najimy

by | May 8, 2008 at 11:51 AM | General

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What are Peggy Hill’s Mother’s Day wishes? And what are Kathy Najimy’s (the actress who is Peggy’s voice), plans for Mother’s Day? We caught up with the actress as she was nursing a bad cold, and she talked all about King of the Hill and her favorite TV moms. Hmm, we wonder what special comfort food Peggy would suggest for Kathy’s cold? Perhaps some of her world-famous Spa-Peggy and meatballs?
[Watch full episodes of King of the Hill on Fancast]

Who is Peggy Hill’s top TV mom?
Oh, Peggy Hill. She would pick Peggy Hill as the top TV mom of all time. Oh, Peggy has a very strong parental code and is very, very proud of it, not only will she parent her kids, but she’ll parent yours as well. In fact, I think it’s a great subject for a weekly musings column in the Arlen Paper, but if you have any child-rearing problems at all, or even want to know how to make spaghetti and – spaPeggy and meatballs – she will advise you and stand by it and then bask in the glow of her opinion for quite a few hours. She’s a great mother, she thinks. I’m not saying I do, but she does. Hands down, she thinks she’s the best mother.


What are your Mother’s Day plans?

You know, they never tell me. … celebrating family around here. We never the type that says, “Oh, this year, my birthday is going to be low key.” We’ve never had a low key anything. There’s always some big party, and there’s some big performance. People show up singing. There are videos and mariachis and who the heck knows, but I know I do get a massage, which I insist on. The rest of the day is my husband and my daughter take me from thing to thing. It’s always some wonderful surprise. The only bummer about that is then it really puts the pressure on because Father’s Day comes after Mother’s Day. So, if he does something really fantastic, I have to out-fantastic him.


Who are your favorite TV moms?
A live action mom that I’ve really liked is Roseanne as I found that to be the most realistic of all the Donna Reedy, Leave it to Beavery kind of – I’ve never met a woman like that, like those moms, with the ironed aprons. I’ve never met a mom with pearls and an ironed apron. Then, who doesn’t love Mary Tyler Moore, the mother of Ricky and her little Spandex pants, doing a little dance? I loved her and of course Lucy, the seed really at the beginning of my career.

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If you, as Peggy Hill, could change anything about Bobby and Hank, what do you think it would be?

Better Mother’s Day presents. I think she thinks if you put just a little more thought and effort into it, and weren’t afraid to go to the large and lovely ladies shoe section and get her real size shoes, that’d be nice. Jewelry is always good. I think she’s pretty darned happy with Bobby and Hank. That’s another thing about King of the Hill is that Mike Judge is kind of a genius when he designed these characters because they’re pretty much unaware of the rest of the world. I would venture to say that many American families are like that, too. They’re just in their little bubble and proceed along and have their dramas and their joys. So, she thinks her son is handsome and smart and all get out. She thinks her husband is maybe a little bit stuffy, but the sexy, quiet type. I’m sure she looks at George Clooney and thinks, “He looks a lot like Hank.”

If you ever met Peggy Hill, would you like her, or would she drive you nuts?
I don’t know if you ever met me, would you like me, or would I drive you nuts? I think I would like her. I think there’s something really fun about someone who is so self-righteous and yet so flawed. I think that’s why she was written. One of those, it would be so boring to watch and to act. As I said many times, all of us in one day or one moment are all a lot of things, both smart and completely wrong, and sexy and not at all. TV characters tend to be drawn very narrowly. The mean girl, you know? I don’t know anyone who isn’t lovely and sometimes mean. So, that she is overly confident and egotistical and yet vulnerable is terribly interesting to me.

Have you ever met anyone who is kind of close to her? Do you know any Peggy Hills in your life?

Wow, yes. Absolutely. Haven’t you met so many people who – you’re at a party and you’re discussing something, and they add a bit of information with such conviction and everyone is so completely aware that it’s wrong.

What have you learned from Peggy Hill over the years?
Hmm. That’s a really good question. I have learned actually quite a bit from her. I’ve learned that a family can have little glitches without being labeled dysfunctional. Just sort of watching and being part of the Hill family, they get into these little scuffles and make wrong decisions. Then, the next moment, they’re all sitting around the table with Luanne eating pork chops like nothing ever happened. It’s just a lovely metaphor for Forgive and Forget. Certainly, she needs to be forgiven and forgotten, several times. I think that, at the core of this family, there is a real respect and love – is really moving to me.

Do you play boggle?
I play Boggle constantly. I have no idea how they knew that because I came, I think it was the third episode ever, twelve years ago. I read that Peggy was a Boggle champion. I almost jumped out of my skin with excitement. I think Boggle is my favorite game. This summer, we were lucky enough to be at the beach all summer. I played more with Boggle than with my kid. I love it a lot.