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20 Things: “South Park”

The popular animated adult sitcom South Park created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, revolves around four 10-year-old boys—Eric Cartman, Stan Marsh, Kenny McCormick and Kyle Broflovski—and their “bizarre adventures” in and around South Park, Colorado. Since South Park’s original release on August 13, 1997, the show’s success has not slowed down and doesn’t look like it will any time soon, as the show is currently on its 19th season. All South Park fans know a lot about the sitcom of course, but here are 20 things that even the biggest South Park fanatic may not know.


  1. There is an alien hidden somewhere in many random episodes, but only in one shot shot per episode.
  2. The very first episode of South Park (“Cartman Gets an Anal Probe”) took three-and-a-half months to make and on a budget of $300,000.
  3. The character Kenny is based on a real childhood friend of Trey Parker who was named Kenny. Like South Park’s Kenny, real Kenny was the poorest kid in town, wore a large coat that muffled his voice and would frequently skip school, inspiring the running joke that “he died” by classmates.
  4. In the third episode in season 11 (“Le Petit Tourette”), Cartman fakes having Tourette’s Syndrome so he can say whatever he wants without any consequences. After the episode aired, The Tourette Syndrome Association released a statement on the episode where they complimented the show on being “well-researched” and that it “served as a clever device” to get accurate information to the public.
  5. The song “Chocolate Salty Balls” from season 2, episode 9 (“Chef’s Chocolate Salty Balls”) reached No.1 on the UK’s Singles Charts in 1998.
  6. The Game of Thrones writers were influenced by the South Park parody (“Black Friday”) in season 17, episode 7.
  7. In episode 12 from season 9 (“Trapped in the Closet”), Tom Cruise was literally “trapped in the closet” only because it was Trey Parker’s way of getting around the legal repercussions of calling Cruise “gay” directly. The lawyers would not allow Parker to directly call him “gay” so he rewrote the scene to have Cruise trapped in a closet.
  8. When South Park dissed Family Guy in its third episode in season 10 (“Cartoon Wars”), they received flowers from the crew of The Simpsons
  9. When South Park premiered on August 13, 1997, it became the first weekly show to carry a TV-MA rating.
  10. 13 years after its debut, South Park is still Comedy Central’s highest-rated show, averaging 3.5 million viewers per episode.
  11. South Park is known for its topicality due to its quick turnaround time. Episodes are written, animated, edited and aired within a one-week period. The only time they missed the deadline was when South Park Studios lost its power.
  12. In 2007, Time included the South Park in its list of 100 Greatest Shows of All Time.
  13. The show’s pilot (the original version of “Cartman Gets an Anal Probe”) was made by stop-motion animating paper. Every episode from then on was computer animated.
  14. The show’s first animated film South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999) currently holds the Guinness World Record for “Most Swearing in an Animated Film”. (The film contained 399 profane words, including 144 uses of the word, “fuck”).
  15. Matt Stone creates Kenny’s muffled voice by speaking into his sleeve. All of Kenny’s lines are scripted, even though they are nearly impossible to understand.
  16. The show’s character Towelie was created to mock the real-life trend where every new South Park character introduced was a new marketing blitz. Towelie represented the “absolute dumbest thing possible to create”: a talking towel.
  17. According to Trey Parker and Matt Stone, it would have been impossible to put a character like All in the Family’s Archie Bunker on late -20th century television. But when they came up with the idea that it might be allowed if the character were an animated nine-year-old-boy living in South Park, Colorado, Eric Cartman was born.
  18. EA had to do a mass recall of its video game “Tiger Woods 99” because one of the game’s creators hid an entire episode of South Park in it.
  19. For years after South Park was banned from showing an image of Muhammad, an uncensored image of Muhammad appeared in the opening credits of every syndicated episode.
  20. Cartman’s promiscuous mom, Liane was named after Trey Parker’s ex-fiancee, whom he caught cheating.



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