The American animated sitcom South Park is famous among mature audiences for its dark humor. It follows the lives of four boys — Stan, Kyle, Eric, and Kenny– in the fictional town of South Park in Colorado. Created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the show features a big ensemble cast. It debuted on August 13, 1997, and to date, it has 23 seasons and a total of 307 episodes.
Despite being an animated show, South Park is solely intended for mature audiences. It is rated TV-MA, so it’s a total no for children while teenagers can watch with parental guidance. If you’ve seen the show, this will come as no surprise to you, as the extreme profanity with undertones of racist, violent, and sexual behavior on the show definitely cater to adults only. The pilot episode of South Park featured cut-out animation, which was extremely time-consuming, and as a result, all the following episodes were produced with computer animation and made to emulate the cut-out technique. The five-time Primetime Emmy Award Winner South Park is wildly famous and has received many accolades with much recognition. It was named the tenth Greatest TV Cartoon of All Time by TV Guide in the year 2013.
South Park also won the prestigious Peabody Award in 2005. On the surface, the show seems focused on dark humor and profanity, but it actually talks about so much more. Over the years, South Park has made some pretty bold statements, which no doubt contributed to the show winning the Peabody Award. The online acknowledgment by Peabody Awards even mentioned how South Park is constantly asserting new extents of the freedom of speech. Let us now tell you some facts about the show we think you wouldn’t know.
Facts Verse Presents The South Park Creators Reveal Some Show Secrets. If you like our content, don’t forget to like and subscribe to our channel, as well as hit the bell icon to stay updated on our upcoming videos.
Kyle, Not Kenny, Was Supposed to Die in Season 5
When the show started, the line, “Oh my God, they killed Kenny!” was spoken almost once in every episode. However, as the show advanced, the writers of the show stopped killing Kenny as often as they used to in the beginning. Thus, the audiences were greatly surprised when Kenny died in season 5 and never came back for the rest of the season. He eventually made a return in season 7.
In an interview, the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, revealed that they didn’t want to kill Kenny but Kyle because Kyle’s character was quite similar to Stan. However, in the end, they got so bored with killing Kenny again and again, they decided to remove him permanently from the show and focus on Butters instead.
The Character of Kenny McCormick Is Based on a Real-Life Kenny
When Trey Parker was in elementary school, he had a friend named Kenny. This Kenny always wore an orange coat and said things that were beyond Parker’s grasp. This real-life Kenny also came from a very humble background and served as the inspiration for Kenny McCormick, one of the show’s main characters.
More importantly, Parker also said in an interview that the real-life Kenny would often disappear for days and not meet anyone, which often led to kids asking each other ‘Is Kenny dead?’ So, Kenny McCormick dying in every episode isn’t an idea that Trey’s mind came up with. It is an idea that Trey’s life gave him.
Kenny’s Escape from Being Censored
Kenney’s muffled voice makes it difficult for him to be censored, as you can barely understand him at times. In the first season’s theme song, Kenny sang his admiration for the female body in crude words, which included ‘big fat titties’ and ‘deep vaginas.’ While you can’t understand this when you hear the song, you can discern the lyrics once you know it. Even though Kenny’s interest in girls is never hidden on the show, this was a bit too out there, even for him.
Stone and Parker’s Parents are the Inspiration for Kyle and Stan’s Parents
Many of South Park‘s characters are inspired by the people in Stone and Parker’s lives. The characters of Kyle and Stan are based on Stone and Parker themselves. In real life, Parker’s parents are Sheila and Randy, and their names were lent to Stan’s parents. In fact, even their professions are the same, Randy Parker and the show’s Randy Marsh are both geologists.
Similarly, Stone’s parents are Gerald and Sheila, and their names were lent to Kyle’s parents. While the real-life Gerald is of Irish descent and Sheila is Jewish, the Broflovskis on the show are both Jewish. Stone claimed he decided on this change as it would provide more scope for comedy.
The Real Inspiration Behind Mr. Hankey
Kyle refers to Mr. Hankey during Christmas time on South Park, since he’s Jewish, he can’t relate to the festivity. The Ren & Stimpy Show’s creator, John Kricfalusi accused South Park of copying the idea of poo as an animated character. The accusation compelled Parker to reveal the true inspiration behind Mr. Hankey to avoid legal hassles. Apparently, Parker’s father created the character. When Parker often forgot to flush as a child, his father said Mr. Hankey would climb out and eat him if he didn’t flush.
The Characters of Liane Cartman and Wendy Testaburger were Inspired from Parker’s Ex-Fiancé
Liane Adamo was once Trey Parker’s fiancé and the character of Wendy, Stan’s girlfriend, is based on her. Even quite a bit of the relationship that Stan and Wendy share is inspired by that of Adamo and Parker’s relationship. Funnily, the part where Stan throws up after kissing Wendy is inspired by true events.
Many claim Adamo and Parker separated when Adamo cheated on him, which led to the birth of Liane Cartman’s character. The show creators were not exactly subtle in the correlation, as Liane Cartman is shown as a woman of questionable character.
No, Isaac Hayes a.k.a Chef Did Not Convert to Scientology
Jerome McElroy, more commonly known as Chef, was the cafeteria chef of the South Park Elementary School and the person boys went to for advice. Needless to say, Chef appeared often, especially during the first few seasons of the show. However, by the 10th season, he had almost disappeared from the show.
Isaac Hayes, an Oscar-winning artist, served as the voice of Chef. After Chef began to slowly disappear from the show, different rumors started doing the rounds. One of the rumors was that Isaac Hayes had become a Scientologist and therefore, has created distance from the show as Scientology does not agree with the mean humor of the show. This was not true though. Much later, Hayes’ son cleared all rumors and shared with the public that the reason Hayes had to move away from the show was his bad health. Hayes passed away on August 10, 2008, but he will forever live in the memory of fans of South Park as Chef.
Jennifer Lopez Absolutely Disliked Parker’s Green Oscar Dress That Imitated Her Iconic Grammy Awards Gown
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut was released in 1999 and has an IMDB rating of 7.7. Blame Canada, written by Trey Parker and Marc Shaiman, won the film an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. Parker and Shaiman being the people they are decided to attend the award ceremony dressed as Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez. Matt Stone wore a gown that spoofed Paltrow’s iconic pink Oscar dress and Parker came in something that resembled Lopez’s iconic low-cut green dress.
Though many found the whole incident and idea quite funny, Jennifer Lopez wasn’t certainly impressed. Parker later revealed that Lopez was so displeased with him that she actually pushed him off during an after-party. Well, since South Park often mocks the actress, we aren’t very surprised that she reacted the way she did.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone Went to the Oscar on Acid
At the Oscars, Trey Parker and Matt Stone did not rebel just through their dresses. The two also dropped acid before attending the ceremony. When Parker and Stone shared this information with South Park fans, most fans were surprised and wondered how the two maintained and tackled the high through the evening. However, Parker and Stone cleared that they were not habitual or regular stoners and had only done ‘sheening’ for fun.
Parker and Stone Went with New Names for Credits at the Beginning of South Park
South Park was slated to be a short gig in the beginning. Parker and Stone anticipated they would go on to do only a few episodes, and they chose to use new names in the credits. As luck may have it, South Park gained a lot of popularity, and it became evident they would be in this for the long run. That is when the creators decided to switch back to their real names in the credits.
The Creator of the Lollipop King Sued the Show
In 2007, South Park did a three-episode long storyline that showed the Lollipop King in a land of imagined characters called the Imagination Land. Not many people know that Exavier Wardlaw is the man who created The Lollipop Forest. After the episodes aired on television, Exavier sued South Park for copyright infringement. Wardlaw asked the creators of the show to remove all Lollipop King images and videos from the show. However, all the reruns of the show still feature the Lollipop King, and thus, it is quite obvious that Exavier Wardlaw did not win the lawsuit. Given how many times the show has been sued, we are certain the makers and producers hire powerful lawyers to protect them.
Some of Cartman’s Best Lines Are Unscripted
Whether audiences can understand some of Kenny’s lines on any given day is anyone’s guess, but that’s part of the show. All of Kenny’s lines, no matter how unclear, are scripted, and Matt Stone, the voice behind Kenny’s character, talks into his sleeve to muffle his voice. The production team does not bother whether his lines are even understandable to stay true to the character.
Trey Parker lends his voice to the funny and crazy character Cartman. Interestingly, Parker ad-libs quite a few lines, and not everything on the show is scripted. This is especially funny when you consider that the most favorite character’s lines are impromptu.
South Park’s Female Voices Have Been Changed Multiple Times
Quite a few of the people who lend their voice to South Park do so for multiple characters. Mary Kay Bergman was once such voice-over artist; she lent her voice for the characters Liane Cartman, Sheila Broflovski, Wendy Testaburger, and Mayor McDaniels, among many others. Unfortunately, she committed suicide at the age of 38 in 1999. Eliza Schneider was hired as the female voice over artist to cover Bergman’s roles, which was the case until 2003. After that, April Stewart took over the role and continues to voice these characters to date.
So, how did you enjoy this little treat from Facts Verse for all South Park fans? Did you already know of all these secrets? Are there any secrets that we have missed? If yes, please let us know in the comments section.
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