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Kenny McCormick

Kenny McCormick is one of the main characters in South Park, along with Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, and Eric Cartman

Kenny is most famous for dying in almost every episode in the first five seasons of South Park. He is also easily recognizable for almost always wearing an orange parka (or just having his face hidden) that covers most of his face and muffles his speech. In the episode "Mysterion Rises" Kenny, who is revealed to be the superhero Mysterion, reveals that he has the power of immortality and that he just wakes up in his bed after some time. He is then upset that his friends never express that they remember him dying.

The character was killed off the show in the fifth season episode "Kenny Dies" but returned in the following season, at the end of "Red Sleigh Down" and has since been a regular character; however, he now only dies occasionally. In most of the episodes in the 10th and 11th seasons, he tends to recede into the background, though this tendency seems to have ended with the 11th season finale. Throughout the tenth and twelfth season, Kenny did not die once. Kenny died three times in total in Season 13, five times in Season 14, once in Season 15, and once in Season 16.

InfoEdit

AppearanceEdit

Kenny wears an orange parka, orange pants and brown gloves. Almost all of the time, Kenny has his hood on so that only his eyes are seen. Underneath his hood, he has messy blond hair, which looks somewhat similar to that of Tweek's, another character on the show. On occasion, usually when he is scared or crying, he will pull the strings on his hood to make it tighten, although he did this once after Cartman had farted in an unventilated space on an airplane ("Osama Bin Laden Has Farty Pants"). In "South Park is Gay!", Kenny has a parka that is light purple with a part of his hair coming out of the hood, black pants, and brown boots with a black stripe down them. Later in the episode, he buys another parka that is pink and fluffy.

He is shown at times to have almost nothing on underneath his parka, as seen in the episodes "The Tooth Fairy Tats 2000", the film, "Lil' Crime Stoppers", and "Lice Capades", though mostly he does have a white T-shirt on. Kenny is shown to have blue eyes in the episode "Starvin' Marvin", in which a mutant turkey pulls out his eye and in a close-up, a blue iris is momentarily visible. In Good Times With Weapons, in anime style Kenny's eyes shows his iris which are blue. However, in an early draft for South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Kenny is described as having hazel eyes. In the film and "A Very Crappy Christmas", it is shown that Kenny sleeps in his underwear, making him the only one of the boys who does so (Kyle, Cartman, Stan, and Butters all wear pajamas, and Tweek Tweak rarely sleeps and thus has no pajamas, except in "Child Abduction is Not Funny"). However, in other episodes, he is shown sleeping in his parka. It would seem that his parka was made from pieces of his bedroom curtains, because in the episode "Quintuplets 2000", when we see Kenny practicing opera singing, we see his curtains in the background. They are of orange material, and a huge part of one is missing.

After South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, he can be seen unhooded in several episodes, although, in the episode "Super Best Friends", when Stan finds Kenny drowned in a pool, he has a bald fade due to every kid having shaved their heads earlier in the episode, making him indistinguishable from the others (minus Cartman). In "Margaritaville", when the boys are playing with squirrels, Kenny is shown wearing part of his "toga" (a bedcloth) over his face, mimicking how his parka covers his face. More parts of his face—and his hair—are still visible, such as in "W.T.F", when he is in his wrestling outfit, he wears headgear that covers most of his face; in the same episode, when playing his wrestling alter-ego El Pollo Loco (a parody of Mexican wrestler Rey Mysterio), he wears a mask that also covers most of his face. In "The Losing Edge", he wears a baseball cap that covers up a little of his right eye and forehead (as well as a jersey with the number 13). In "You're Getting Old" Kenny is also seen without his hood,and unlike other times his face is clearly shown in a side view. In "Broadway Bro Down", Kenny is in his bathing suit with his face clearly shown.

In the original Christmas short, he looks generally the same, but he wears green mittens and has a red scarf. His mouth is visible and his voice is intelligible (it sounds a little like Craig's or Clyde's). He only has one line, though.

A photo-realistic version of Kenny's appearance was produced as a police artist sketch for the episode "Free Willzyx", showing his nose.

PersonalityEdit

Kenny is the most sexually knowledgeable and experienced of the group. In earlier episodes, when an unknown term is introduced to Stan, Kyle and Cartman, Kenny will be called upon by his friends to clarify, although Kenny sometimes does not know the meaning of the term himself. His muffled responses are often met with laughter or further confusion.

In "The Ring", upon finding out that his girlfriend Tammy Warner gave another boy a "B.J." (oral sex) in a T.G.I. Friday's parking lot, he pursued that wish throughout the episode and eventually got his wish, though he subsequently died of syphilis. In "Fat Camp", he gave Howard Stern a "hummer" (also oral sex) for ten bucks while promoting his Krazy Kenny Show.

His sexual knowledge may be gleaned from his parents, or from the pornography which Kenny possesses in "Osama Bin Laden Has Farty Pants". He often performs disgusting acts for money, such as dissecting a Manatee and eating its spleen, then regurgitating it and eating it again ("Fat Camp"). He also drinks from Jimbo's gas tank in "Volcano". In "Roger Ebert Should Lay Off the Fatty Foods" he creates a haiku:

Although he is something of a silent protagonist, Kenny still seems to be very empathetic when it comes to his friends. In "Do the Handicapped Go to Hell?", he is quick to show worry about the prospect of Timmy going to hell. In "Best Friends Forever", Kenny's will states that Cartman will receive his PSP because he feels sorry for him. Kenny also alludes to his many deaths and his friends' attitude towards them in "Cherokee Hair Tampons", when he gets angry at Stan for crying over Kyle's impending death and not recognizing Kenny's at all - this idea revisited in "Coon vs. Coon & Friends" when nobody realizes he dies a lot. Kenny is ultimately revealed to be a heroic character in "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut", when he saves the world by sacrificing himself. Despite his perverted sense of humor, cynicism, and profanity, he is often depicted as heroic, kind, and smart.

Kenny is also shown to be very loyal to his friends, even when he is insulted or ridiculed. In the episode "Jewbilee", Kyle betrays Kenny by ratting him out to the elders. Afterwards, Kenny ends up saving everyone by sacrificing himself. In the early seasons, Cartman consistently insults Kenny for being poor and constantly reminds him how much he hates him. In "The Biggest Douche in the Universe" - in which Cartman is possessed by the late Kenny - Kenny is shown to be a fan of Rob Schneider. When Cartman refuses to watch Schneider, Kenny's soul keeps trying to get him to change the channel back.

Kenny normally appears blank-faced as a result of his parka hood, but he does get visibly emotional from time to time. In "Poor and Stupid" Kenny got mad enough at Cartman, who had been ruining NASCAR's reputation, to try and kill him with a sniper rifle. In "Coon vs. Coon & Friends" he comes very close to hitting Kyle when he says that not being able to die would be pretty cool (Kenny actually thinks it "fucking hurts"), then again later when Cartman fails to grasp the concept of being a hero. In "The Death of Eric Cartman", Kenny breaks down crying (similarly to how Clyde sometimes does) after Cartman eats all the skin out of a KFC bucket meal - afterwards, he joined Stan and Kyle, and eventually the whole of the 4th grade class, in ignoring Cartman - even though Cartman tried to redeem himself, their friendship never fully recovered.

In the episode "Major Boobage", Kenny has had more lines and has played a bigger role; since then, "The Ring" and "Poor and Stupid" are episodes that have focused on Kenny. In "Mysterion Rises", he was also revealed to be the "secret identity" Mysterion, a child superhero that first appeared in "The Coon" (this means that technically, "Mysterion Rises" and "Coon vs. Coon & Friends" have also focused on Kenny).

Kenny is also known to have the most vile mouth in the group, as he mostly swears heavily in his dialogue. He also does not take any guff from Cartman - while he used to be Cartman's "underling", that role has been taken over by Butters. Kenny has many interests: in the episode "Pandemic", Kenny has an interest in Peruvian music; in "Poor and Stupid", he is shown to be a rather large fan of NASCAR racing, but is offended by Cartman's behavior throughout the episode regarding NASCAR, even going as far as to try and kill him. He is also a fan of monster trucks, as evidenced by a 4x4 poster of a monster truck hanging in his room on some occasions. He is also a righty, as he usually holds writing utensils in his right hand.

Since the episode "Mysterion Rises", Kenny has become apathetic towards his inability to die. After so many deaths - both quick and painful - he views his demise as no more than an inconvenience - an excruciating and agonizing one, but still extremely annoying. His apathy even grew to the point where, rather than walk home from Cartman's house at the end of "Coon vs. Coon & Friends", he shoots himself in the head so that he will appear there instantly.

In South ParkEdit

In some episodes Kenny is known to do some crimes on his own, but not very often. He has been arrested four times - once for prostitution (giving Howard Stern a "hummer" for ten bucks), once for participating in Stan's Whale Wars crew, once for illegally downloading music, and once for becoming vigilantism. However, he never stays in prison for long since the town is full of idiots. He may not actually have been arrested in "The Coon" because in a deleted scene, it shows that Kyle posed as Mysterion so Kenny wouldn't get in trouble.

DeathsEdit

Kenny McCormick is best known in the show for his recurring death in nearly every episode of the first five seasons, often followed by some variant of "Oh my God, they killed Kenny!" and "You bastards!" from his friends Stan and Kyle, respectively. The gag has many precedents, going back at least as far as the regular cry, "You rotten swine! You've deaded me!" by Bluebottle voiced by Peter Sellers in "The Goon Show" in 1951. In the first few episodes, Kyle said the entire phrase. Later on, it varied, depending on who killed Kenny. Kenny has died and come back over 103 times in the franchise (86 in the series, to date, two in the early animated shorts, six in other authorized TV parodies, six times in the video game, and twice in the movie). 

Kenny struck by lightning in "Rainforest Shmainforest". He is also killed nine different ways in the opening sequence. Kenny’s most recent death was in season 15 episode, "The Poor Kid" when he is mauled by a Giant Reptilian Bird. Kenny died in almost all the episodes until the writers killed him off permanently in the fifth season, in "Kenny Dies", but he returned at the end of the next season's finale, "Red Sleigh Down", remarking that he's "just been over there" (pointing off screen). By the sixth season, Matt and Trey got rid of the practice of killing him in every episode; they got tired of the joke. The reason why Kenny died continuously was given in an interview with Matt Stone and Trey Parker, who stated vaguely that it was because Kenny is poor. Kenny is always resurrected for the next episode, although the explanations for his reappearance varied. In "Cartman Joins NAMBLA", it is explained that his soul returns to his mother, takes to another body, is reborn, and then grows to be 8 or 9 years old in record time (and somehow retaining physical appearance and memories), while another simply had Kenny magically reappearing out of thin air in the second part of the two-part episode "Cartman's Mom is a Dirty Slut" after he was run over by a train in the first. The most recent explanation comes from the episode "Mysterion Rises", in which Kenny himself reveals he is unable to stay dead and always wakes up in bed eventually, while nobody else remembers his death. However, in the next episode, "Coon vs. Coon & Friends", it is confirmed that, while he may wake up in his bed, it is indeed his mother that gives birth to him every time. Kenny's "immortality" may be connected with the Cult of Cthulhu, as Mrs. McCormick mutters under her breath, "I knew we should have never gone to those cult meetings."

None of the other characters seem to find this at all unusual. Stan merely greeted Kenny when he materialized, and no one else even blinked. Kenny himself is aware of the fact that he is constantly killed, expressing resentment over the fact that Stan was worried about Kyle's impending death while never mourning Kenny, and opting to take home economics classes over wood shop partly because he was afraid of getting killed by the dangerous power tools in the shop class, and cheering after realizing he had survived the episode "Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo". In his will in the episode "Best Friends Forever", Kenny says "In the highly likely event of my death..." In the episode "Mysterion Rises", he says to Hindsight "Nobody even remembers me dying. I go to school the next day, and everyone is just like, "Oh, hey Kenny." Even if they had seen me get decapitated with their own eyes." This would suggest that Kenny is fully aware of his deaths, but nobody else is. In "Mysterion Rises" and "Coon vs. Coon & Friends". Kenny points out that nobody can remember his deaths. He even shoots himself in the head after a desperate plea to his friends to try and remember this time, but they don't.

Kenny's funeral in "Sexual Healing".Other characters occasionally seem to be vaguely aware of Kenny's deaths. In "Cartmanland", Kenny dies in Cartman's theme park, and when the lawyers suing him mention "that boy who died," Cartman replies with, "Who, Kenny? He dies all the time." It would seem that the others are also aware of Kenny's deaths, but are quite nonchalant about them since they know he will re-appear. Stan and Kyle say their "Oh my God, they killed Kenny!" lines like they don't care in the episode "Gnomes", in which the gnomes accidentally crush Kenny, and mourn over this tragedy, but are confused as to why the kids don't seem to care. In "Chef Goes Nanners", Kenny eats antacid tablets, thinking they're mints, and drinks some water afterwards. When Kenny explodes, the four boys and Kyle's dad laugh and applaud, and Stan even says, "That was a good one." And in "Fourth Grade" Kenny dies on a wheeled sled and Stan says "Well, who didn't see that coming." In other episodes, however, Kenny's death is sometimes taken more seriously for plot purposes, especially in "Kenny Dies", where it is considered a major dramatic event in the boys' lives.

In addition to escaping death in a few episodes, Kenny does not appear in the episodes "Terrance and Phillip in Not Without My Anus", "Cat Orgy", "Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub", and "Pip" and therefore does not die in any of these episodes. However "Cat Orgy" and "Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub" are all part of the same night as "Jewbilee", so technically he did die during those episodes.

Kenny has died only rarely during seasons 7 through 14. Some "deaths" are not actual instances of Kenny dying, but are still accompanied by Stan and Kyle's remarks, such as when Kenny's character was killed in "Make Love, Not Warcraft". The most he has died since season 7 was over the superhero arc - he dies once in "Mysterion Rises" and a further three times in "Coon vs. Coon & Friends".

The episode "Cripple Fight" suggests that Kenny's deaths are caused by his parka. When Timmy gives Jimmy a nearly identical parka, a series of unfortunate and fatal events repeatedly happen behind him (meaning they all miss him); a voice can even vaguely be heard screaming, "There's Kenny! Kill him!", but Jimmy does not even notice. On the other hand, in some episodes, Kenny dies without the parka, such as "The Jeffersons" when Mr. Jefferson tosses him up through the ceiling (thinking it was his son) and killing him.

Kenny seems to know about the catchphrase said after he dies ("Oh my God, they killed Kenny!"), as evidenced in Season 1 when he says the catchphrase himself (except with Dr. Alphonse Mephesto having been shot, rather than himself), with Kyle replying "You bastards!". In "Prehistoric Ice Man", Kenny calls Cartman a bastard after Stan says "Great job, Cartman, you killed Kyle." On a third occasion, Kenny used the catchphrase when Cartman is badly injured, but Stan points out that Cartman isn't dead.

In "Mysterion Rises", Kenny reveals that he has a superpower - he cannot die. He reveals this to Captain Hindsight, saying that he sometimes sees "a bright light", "Heaven", or "Hell". He also states that the worst part is that nobody remembers, even if they see him die. He considers this a curse, and tries to convince the others that it is true in "Coon vs. Coon & Friends". Nobody believes him though, and when it turns out that Bradley Biggle also had a power, he silently admits defeat and shoots himself in front of everyone. He is reborn instantaneously inside his mother's womb, who immediately deposits the new born baby in his bed, and he ages instantly into a 9 year old before morning.

Family BackgroundEdit

Kenny's family is one of the poorest families in South Park. Because Kenny's family is so poor, they eat frozen waffles with no side dishes for dinner and bread sandwiches for breakfast. In "Starvin' Marvin", Kenny won a can of green beans for his family, though they could not afford a can opener. In "Sexual Healing", Kenny's family ate microwave pizza. Cartman frequently exploits Kenny’s poverty by offering him money for performing strange or dangerous tasks. In "The List", Cartman frequently mentions that his family eats Pop-Tarts for dinner. This is actually proven at the end of the episode; Kenny and his family are all seen eating Pop-Tarts before a stray bullet kills Kenny at the dinner table. In "Best Friends Forever" it is shown that all of Kenny's possessions are kept in a small cardboard box. Though his family is extremely poor, his parents are known drug addicts and heavy drinkers. They drink so much that only a fairly large income would pay for it, which might explain the degree of poverty. In "Lil Crime Stoppers", it is suggested that the McCormicks make meth for a drug cartel and in "The Poor Kid", they are arrested for having a meth lab.

Despite his family’s poverty, Kenny always manages to stay current with trends in toys and video games, such as maintaining a World of Warcraft subscription (and a computer to play it on), being the first kid in South Park to get a PSP, or being able to buy Chinpokomon dolls as well being the only child in the town to have a Go Go Action Bronco, a battery-powered miniature car. Kenny might have gotten these items from the odd jobs and dares from his friends and neighbors since his parents spend all their money on drugs and alcohol and use what ever is left over on food.

First AppearanceEdit

Early versions of the character first appeared in Parker and Stone's two pre-South Park shorts, "The Spirit of Christmas" (1992 and 1995). In the first Spirit of Christmas short, the character resembling Kenny is unnamed, while the character resembling Cartman is named Kenny. The unnamed Kenny-like character also speaks unmuffled in the first short. Both of these characters get killed in the short. In the second Spirit of Christmas, a character with both Kenny's appearance and name appears and dies. Kenny's first South Park appearance within the series was alongside Kyle, Cartman and Stan in "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe".

HeroismEdit

Despite these problems, Kenny is often portrayed as the hero of the group; indeed, many of his deaths have been acts of heroic self-sacrifice. Among others, he fixed the Hell's Pass Hospital backup generator by using himself to connect two wires (resulting in electrocution), and he once smashed a shell with his head to release Moses from captivity inside the shell (smashing his head in too). Arguably the most touching of these deaths was in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, when he wishes for everything to be back to normal despite that he would knowingly go to hell in the process (he instead almost immediately ascended to Heaven, where he was gifted with a Halo, wings, and thirty or so busty, naked women. Apparently one saving the earth from eternal damnation causes God to overlook one not being a Mormon.) His ascension also marked the first, and to date only time his entire face has been seen (in other instances he has some form of cover, such as a baseball cap or a snorkel mask) and the first time his voice could be heard clearly. In "Best Friends Forever", Kenny used the Golden PSP to defeat the hellbourne army of Satan.

The most shining example of his heroism, however, is his role as Mysterion, a hero who defends the town from evil forces including Professor Chaos and the Coon. First appearing in "The Coon" with an unclear identity and returning in "Coon 2: Hindsight" Mysterion is shown to be a resourceful and intelligent hero with a strong sense of morals and justice - however his identity remained unknown until "Mysterion Rises" during which Mysterion opens the episode with a monologue mentioning having a power - Mysterion is later revealed to have been Kenny the entire time, and his super power being his inability to die. It is at this point that Kenny begins taking upon the role of reluctant hero; though his loyal characteristics and sense of morality are strong, his increasing frustration becomes apparent when he confronts his friends for not remembering his many deaths.

He spends most of "Coon vs. Coon & Friends" trying to come to terms with his powers, and at the end he begs Cthulhu to bring back the other Coon Friends making the ultimate sacrifice by offering himself up, noting "only an immortal can kill another immortal", meaning if Cthulhu killed Mysterion, he would not be reborn.

In "The Poor Kid", Kenny returns as Mysterion to protect his sister, Karen. He defended her against a school bully and got his foster parents arrested before they were able to hose his sister down with Doctor Pepper.

When the boys decide to attack the robbers in "A Nightmare on Face Time", Kenny is the one who gives instructions to Kyle, Stan, and Cartman on how to ambush the intruders.

Story of Joining Sora's TeamEdit

After the team had an air battle in the Gummi Ship, they tested their new teleporter to teleport for new members, but it was unstable, and Kenny was brought to the ship by accident, becuase the teleporter was meant for Johnny Test's world, but it went to Kenny's world.

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