Was South Park Not Allowed to Kill Off Sally Struthers?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: “South Park” wasn’t allowed to kill off Sally Struthers in an early episode of the series.

While there are certainly a lot of other differences between “The Simpsons” and “South Park,” a notable one is how each show treats celebrities. “The Simpsons” specifically courts celebrities to do cameos on the show, to the point where they build entire episodes around said guest stars. In fact, as I wrote in an old TV Legends Revealed, when one comedy icon wouldn’t appear on the show if they poked fun at him at all, “The Simpsons” staff just re-wrote his scenes to the point where he would agree to appear.

“South Park,” on the other hand, routinely turns down celebrities when they offer to do voices (or have them do silly voices, like having George Clooney play Stan’s gay dog, with all of his lines simply being “woof” or “bark”). Trey Parker and Matt Stone will often be a lot more vicious towards celebrities than “The Simpsons” writers would ever dare. They have even killed their share of celebrities on their show, with the most famous perhaps being Barbara Streisand, who had transformed herself into an evil giant mechanical dinosaur (luckily, Robert Smith from The Cure showed up to save the day and help kill Streisand after Leonard Maltin and Sidney Poitier were unable to stop her…yes, “South Park” can be really weird at times). However, while the Mecha-Streisand episode appeared in Season 1, it was after the show had already become a bit of a cultural phenomenon and Parker and Stone had gained a bit more leeway from Comedy Central (which airs the show). Early on, they had less freedom, which led to them not being able to kill a celebrity in an early episode. Read on to see how it all went down!
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Did Cartman on South Park Originally Have a Father AND a Sister?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: Originally Cartman from South Park had both a father and a sister.

Throughout the long run of their hit animated TV series, South Park, about the misadventures of four boys in South Park, Colorado (Eric Cartman, Kyle Broflovski, Stan Marsh and Kenny McCormick) its creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have always liked to mess with conventions. This was perhaps never quite as evident as how they handled their Season 1 cliffhanger. The final episode of Season 1 was dubbed “Cartman’s Mom Is a Dirty Slut,” and it deals with the mysterious identity of who was Eric Cartman’s father? The second season debuted on April 1, 1998 and instead of resolving the cliffhanger, as an April Fool’s prank, Parker and Stone delivered Terrance and Phillip in Not Without My Anus, an episode completely focused on the minor characters of Terrance and Phillip and having nothing to do with the previous episode’s cliffhanger. The second episode of the season didn’t come out until three weeks later.

“Cartman’s Mom Is Still a Dirty Slut” revealed that Liane Cartman was actually a hermaphrodite and that she was Cartman’s father, with the mother now being a mystery (twelve years later, it was revealed that the hermaphrodite story was a lie and that Liane was Cartman’s mother and his real father was the father of Eric’s rival, Scott Tenorman). So more than one episode of South Park has revolved around who Cartman’s father was. This is particularly interesting since originally, Cartman’s father appeared in the very first episode of the series!
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Are There Really Aliens Hidden in Every Episode of South Park?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: Are There Really Aliens Hidden In Every Episode of South Park?

The very first episode of Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s television series, South Park, debuted on August 13, 1997 (this series followed two short films by Parker and Stone, both titled “The Spirit of Christmas,” that they made in 1992 and 1995. The latter one was made into a Christmas video card, of sorts, that was passed around so much that it got the attention of Comedy Central, leading to Parker and Stone getting a chance to make a pilot for the network, which led to them getting their own series). This first episode was titled “Cartman Gets an Anal Probe” (Parker and Stone were definitely trying to push the boundaries of good taste right off the bat) and it told the story of how a group of alien “visitors” were visiting the small town of South Park, Colorado and performing anal probes on the citizens, including young foul-mouthed fourth grader Eric Cartman. The visitors abduct the younger brother of one of Cartman’s classmates, Kyle Broflovski, and Kyle, Cartman and their two other friends and classmates, Stan and Kenny, must rescue Kyle’s brother, Ike. Eventually, the boys use the anal probe that the visitors left in Cartman’s ass to lure them back to Earth in time to rescue Ike.

The visitors then leave…or DO they?

You see, while the aliens left, they did not leave for good, as they began appearing in the backgrounds of episodes of South Park, leading to the very popular claim that aliens have appeared hidden in every episode of South Park since. A quick Google check will bring you many references to this fact, like here from OMG Facts. Have they really appeared in every episode of South Park since, though?
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