|“||...But I’m Uncle Hanky, and you can’t beat Uncle Hanky! That’s just the way it is!||”|
—Hank Hippopopalous, Hank After Dark
Hank Hippopopalous is the host of the TV show Hey, I Think You Can Dance and a minor, recurring character in BoJack Horseman. His first cameo appearance is in Yesterdayland, in Season 2, but then makes his debut later in the season in Higher Love.
In the public sphere, Hank is friendly, mild-mannered, and sociable. He enjoys having his fans interact with him (as was the case with Mr. Peanutbutter in the '90s), and the nickname "Uncle Hanky" seems to imply he gives off a sort of familial charm.
He seems to carry a different attitude towards women or anyone who wants to ruin his reputation. For example, in Hank After Dark, when he was around Diane, Hank appeared to be more cold, manipulative, or even spiteful but that appears to be because he doesn't want anyone to ruin his "good side" to his already adoring public.
Hank is an adult male hippopotamus with grey skin, bags under his eyes, thin black eyebrows, and black eyes. He is a bit on the heavier side.
He is seen wearing a suit with a white collared button-down shirt, black business jacket, maroon necktie with a green pattern of diamonds and stripes on it, a pair of pinstripe green dress pants, and dress shoes.
Hank began his career sometime in either the 60s or 70s, as Mr. Peanutbutter admired him when he was a kid. At that time he was known for his program Hank Hippopopalous's Dance-Pop Cosmopolis, and he would later have a novelty rap album titled Hank Hippopopalous Hip-Hop Hypothesis.
Hank gained even more fame with his late-night talk show Hank After Dark. The show earned him the 1994 Animal Choice Award for Male Animal in a Comedy, Drama or Variety Show, which BoJack Horseman and Mr. Peanutbutter were also nominated for.
At the Animal Choice after-party, Hank met with BoJack and Mr. Peanutbutter, the latter of whom was excited to meet his idol and got a picture with him, and the former of whom was drinking a lot as he sulked over not winning.
After Mr. Peanutbutter left, Hank told BoJack to not be so down about losing, because he thinks he's really funny but "You can’t beat Uncle Hanky."
In Hank After Dark, BoJack, Diane, and Princess Carolyn go on a book tour to promote the paperback edition of One Trick Pony. While in Alaska, their first stop, during a QandA someone asks Diane if she was worried that the book would ruin BoJack's career.
Diane says she thinks the truth is worth pursuing, no matter what, and many other celebrities have done far worse and they still have careers. She begins to list celebrities, including Hank Hippopopalous.
Someone in the audience cuts her off when she brings up Hank, asking what she means by that. Diane states that all his former assistants made the same accusations against him, and that said accusations are just a Google search away. Everyone in the audience gets on their phones does this and is shocked.
Diane gained massive backlash over bringing up these details, despite the fact they had been public for years, as Hank is beloved. As a result, no one wants to believe he is capable of doing bad things.
Diane tries to avoid the situation. However, she decides to continue talking about Hank, after someone at another book Q-and-A states that the women only said those things to get attention and run off with Hank's money—as they potentially ruin his career.
This increases the amount of hate she gets, to the point Mr. Peanutbutter, who is worried this could hurt his show, starts receiving hate mail and death threats for Diane.
In New York, Diane is taken to meet the editor and chief for Manatee Fair, Amanda Hannity. Amanda tells her she'd love to bring Hank down because he sends a bad message—a man's reputation is more important than the lives of the women he's ruined.
Amanda takes Diane to her office and encourages her to stay strong, as people are gunning for her because she's trying to expose the truth about a man. She suggests they get someone to go on record. Diane says she's contacted Hank's past assistants, but she hasn't heard anything. Amanda asks about Hank's current assistant. Diane finds out she did get a message from her. On the message she left, she reveals her name is Nicole and says she really needs to talk to someone.
In Burbank, Diane waits in a parking garage. A black car pulls up, and a female bird comes out of the driver's side. She confirms she is Nicole when Diane asks her. Diane gets a tape recorder and notepad out, but as soon as she does Hank gets out of the car and introduces himself. He thanks Nicole with a wicked grin, and walks up to Diane.
Hank tells Diane he didn't do anything and turns off the tape recorder. He then tells her he isn't scared of her, in fact, he's doing this as a favor to her, because he's not a bad guy and in twenty-four hours the media will move on to some other big story—and he'll continue his shows, that employee lots of people. Hank tells Diane at this point, she's done, and if she keeps this up, she drags down people close to her. As he leaves, Diane, still not intimidated by him, says she knows who he is. Hank replies, "Sweetheart, everyone knows who I am. I'm Hank Hippopopalous. Who the hell are you?"
Back in New York, despite not getting anything, Diane is still determined to bring Hank down. However, Amanda says she’s cutting the story, as the owners of Manatee Fair and herself don’t think it’s a good time, although Diane angrily points out the same people who own Manatee Fair also own MBN, the channel Hank is on.
At the end of the episode, as Diane sits in the airport as she waits to leave for Cordovia, she sees Hank being interviewed by Tom Jumbo-Grumbo on the TV. Tom asks Hank if he did what the allegations claim, to which Hank simply replies "No I did not." Tom states that’s good enough for him, and then announces the big story that Kanye West claims to hate Thin Mints.
Hank is seen in Mr. Peanutbutter's Boos.
|Hank After Dark|
|Hank Hippopopalous's Dance-Pop Cosmopolis|
|Hey, I Think You Can Dance||Host|
- Mr Peanutbutter's Boos (cameo)
- Hank's news scandal is reminiscent of Bill Cosby's rape allegations. It also shares some similarities with the David Letterman scandal involving his assistants:
- Hank also represents what happens with many sexual harassment allegations in Hollywood; the accused usually gets off scot-free due to their beloved reputation, and the media will almost instantly move on to some other irrelevant news story.
- The allegations made against Hank were never revealed, as when Diane is about to say what they were on the news, she is cut off by Wanda (who was on the phone with BoJack) turning off the TV he was watching the interview on:
- It is implied to be either sexual assault or sexual harassment, as before Diane was cut off she was saying all of Hank's former assistants claim he took them somewhere when he did bad things to them.