The Adult-Animation TV show South Park has been on the air since 1997. In case you’ve been living under a rock, the series revolves around four boys—Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, and Kenny McCormick—and their exploits in and around a titular Colorado town. There’s probably a lot that you don’t know about this show, but today I’m changing that.
Here are 20 South Park Facts that you might not know:
1. South Park was created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone and developed by Brian Graden for Comedy Central.
2. Jerry Seinfeld refused to play a turkey on the show, but George Clooney was totally fine with playing a dog. Parker & Stone wanted Seinfeld to play Turkey #4 in ‘Starvin Marvin’ (where has required to only make clucking noises) and Clooney was cast as a gay dog (Sparky) and performed a couple of barks.
3. South Park holds the Guinness World Record for “Most Swearing in an Animated Series”.
4. You probably guessed that Kenny is naughty, but did you know what his muffled voice actually says in the intros? In the intros for season 1 & 2 he actually says “I like girls with big fat titties, I like girls with deep vaginas!”. In the Season 3 to 5 intros he says “Me, I got a 10-inch penis, use your mouth if you wanna clean it.”. In the Season 7 to 10 intros he says “Someday I’ll be old enough to stick my dick up Britney’s butt!” and intros from Season 10 to present he actually says “”I like fucking silly bitches and I know my penis likes it.”
5. In response to comments that the show was all “bad animation and fart jokes,” the Canadian duo of Terrence and Phillip were born.
6. Every now and then, Kenny appears on South Park without wearing his trademark zipped-up orange parka, but you may not have even realised it. For instance, in ‘The Losing Edge’ he is seen simply sitting alongside his pals wearing a baseball cap in full view but doesn’t say a line. His unmuffled voice can also be heard in ‘The Jeffersons’ and ‘Lice Capades’.
7. While at the University of Colorado, Trey Parker and Matt Stone knew a dining hall employee that they used as the basis for Chef (voiced by Isaac Hayes).
8. Isaac Hayes’ naughty ballad ‘Chocolate Salty Balls’ narrowly missed out on the UK Christmas number one spot in 1998 by just 5,000 copies. It was one of the closest festive chart battles ever, but the Spice Girls won. However, it made it to number the following week. The single eventually sold over 850,000 copies. ‘Mr Hankey the Christmas Poo’ reached number four the following year
9. Every episode except the pilot has been computer animated. Stop-motion animating using cut paper was used for the very first episode (“Cartman Gets An Anal Probe”).
10. Kyle was nearly killed off. Parker and Stone felt that Stan and Kyle were too similar by season 5. For a time they wanted to get rid of Kyle and bring in Butters as the fourth boy. However, in the end they decided to temporarily kill off Kenny for good to help promote Butters in ‘Kenny Dies’.
11. Thanks to modern technology, it only takes about five days to make a South Park episode on a computer.
12. After Parker and Stone ripped apart Scientology in ‘Trapped in the Closet’, The Church of Scientology actually hired people to spy on them in the hopes of finding dirt to blackmail them with. However, their investigation didn’t throw anything up, so they left them alone.
13. In every Halloween special, one of the characters wears a Chewbacca costume.
14. Parker and Stone had no idea how South Park looked for years. They only mapped out the town when they started creating The Stick Of Truth video game.
15. Kenny has died at least 80 times on South Park, but over 100 total if you factor in the early animated shorts, other authorized TV parodies, video games, and the South Park movie.
16. Despite being arrested only a handful of times, Cartman has a worse criminal record than Hannibal Lecter and Fagin combined. Among his crimes, Cartman has committed murder, rape, theft, arson, prostitution, cannibalism, attempted genocide, manslaughter, war crimes, hate crimes, animal abuse, grave robbery, child abuse, vandalism, piracy, embezzlement, terrorism, drug possession, smuggling and armed robbery. How is not in jail permanently yet?
17. Co-creator Matt Stone has a trick up his sleeve when it comes to how Kenny gets that muffled voice. He speaks into his hand or his sleeve when saying Kenny’s lines.
18. The South Park theme song is performed by Grammy-nominated rock band Primus.
19. The credits at the end of the “Trapped in the Closet” episode were either “John Smith” or “Jane Smith” so Tom Cruise and other Scientologists can’t sue them.
20. The concept of Kenny’s repeated death and resurrection came from MTV’s cartoon “Aeon Flux” in which Aeon Flux is killed at the end of every episode only to be alive in the next as if nothing happened.
Well, there you have it, 20 facts you might not have known about South Park. The show has been renewed for a 24th season, but no release date has been confirmed. You can stream episodes of South Park on Netflix or Showmax in South Africa.
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