On This Day: Hank Jr. & The Simpsons Team for Hilarious “Canyonero” Jingle

It’s rare that a fake commercial in a cartoon becomes so iconic that it embeds itself into popular culture, but that’s what happened when Hank Williams Jr. teamed up with long-running animated series The Simpsons to launch the fictional “Canyonero” sport utility vehicle.

Episode 15 of Season 9 of The Simpsons titled “The Last Temptation of Krust” originally aired on February 22nd, 1998, and featured a commercial jingle for the Canyonero as famous Simpsons character Krusty The Clown gives Bart Simpson a ride. As the vehicle snakes through rugged Southwestern canyons, Hank Jr. can be heard singing…

Can you name the truck with four wheel drive, Smells like a steak and seats thirty five? Canyonero! Canyonero! Well, it goes real slow with the hammer down, It’s the country-fried truck endorsed by a clown, Canyonero! Canyonero!

The writers and producers of The Simpsons thought the premise of The Canyonero and the commercial was so hilarious, they decided to extend it and add the rest to the end of the episode.

12 yards long, 2 lanes wide, 65 tons of American pride! Canyonero! Canyonero! Top of the line in utility sports, Unexplained fires are a matter for the courts! Canyonero! Canyonero! She blinds everybody with her super high beams, She’s a squirrel-squashin’, deer smackin’ drivin’ machine, Canyonero! Canyonero! Canyonero! Whoa, Canyonero!”

The Canyonero’s debut in 1998 was also the first appearance of Hank Williams Jr. on the animated series. The reception was so positive from the audience, The Canyonero became an official part of The Simpsons universe, and Hank Jr. was invited back a second time to appear in Season 10, Episode 15 called “Marge Simpson in: “Screaming Yellow Honkers,” first airing 25 years ago today, February 21st, 1999. In this episode, Homer buys a Canyonero and it becomes the central theme of the story.

The Canyonero would go on to make numerous other appearances in The Simpsons, including on Billboards and such throughout the series. But it was the barrel-chested voice of Hank Jr. and the writing of The Simpsons staff that sent the Canyonero into American comedic lore.

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