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The Major South Park Character You Didn't Know Almost Died For Good

"South Park" has been one of the sharpest and most controversial television satires since its pilot premiered on August 13, 1997. Trey Parker and Matt Stone's animated comedy follows foul-mouthed fourth-graders Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, and Kenny McCormick as they go about their everyday lives in South Park, Colorado. The seemingly quaint mountain town is far from ordinary as it has been attacked by giant guinea pigs in dinosaur costumes and inhabited by adorable, devil-worshiping forest animals.

South Park's hilarious and outrageous residents have made viewers both gasp in shock and laugh hysterically. While "South Park" started off focusing more on the kids, it has shifted its attention to some adults in recent years. Stan's dad, Randy, has become notorious for his shocking antics ranging from performing in a magic show that is far from kid-friendly to initiating the coronavirus pandemic.

The locals of South Park are vivid and unique, and Parker and Stone have never been shy about killing them off. Throughout the early seasons, Kenny died in nearly every episode in gory and over-the-top ways. Beloved characters have not been safe from gruesome deaths. Chef, who mentored the four boys, was horrifically dismembered after Isaac Hayes left the series. Meanwhile, one major character almost died for good in Season 5, which would have caused "South Park" to become a much different show than the one fans know and love today.

Parker and Stone originally intended to kill off Kyle in the episode Kenny Dies

In the Season 5 episode "Kenny Dies," Kenny actually dies, and it is in no way funny. He does not show up alive in the next episode, as if nothing happened. In the audio commentary for "Kenny Dies," Trey Parker and Matt Stone stated that they were "sick of killing Kenny" all the time, so they removed him from "South Park." However, Kenny returned as a series regular at the end of the 6th season finale, "Red Sleigh Down."

Parker and Stone revealed in the commentary that Kenny was not the character they intended to kill off permanently. The "South Park" creative duo was concerned that Kyle and his best friend Stan were too much alike in the first few seasons of the show. "Let's kill off one of those two. Let's kill off Kyle," Parker recalled. "But then the more we thought about it, we were like, no."

Kyle's social critiques and insights on human behavior give "South Park" thought-provoking depth beneath its potty-humor-soaked surface. Kyle is known for saying, "You know, I learned something today," before conveying the insightful messages Parker and Stone want their viewers to take away from their show. It is hard to imagine "South Park" without its strong moral voice, so its creators made the right decision by not killing off Kyle.