TV Legends: Which of the Main South Park Kids Nearly Died in Season 5?

TV URBAN LEGEND: Kyle was originally going to die for good in the episode that became "Kenny Dies."

In the early days of the hit animated series, South Park, one of the recurring gags was that one of the boys, Kenny McCormick (the poorest boy of the group who always wore his hood so tight that his voice was muffled), would be killed off in various ways. This would lead to one of the major catch phrases of the series. Stan Marsh would shout, "Oh my god, they killed Kenny!" and then Kyle Broflovski would respond, "Those bastards!"

Of course, the next day, Kenny would be right back alive and all was well and good...until he was killed off once more.

This didn't happen in literally every episode, but it happened very often.

This changed, though, in Season 5's "Kenny Dies," the penultimate episode of the season, when Kenny dies again, but this time it is for good (in a hilariously bleak episode where his death is treated like a serious thing).

After his death, Butters was elevated to being the new fourth friend...

Then Butters was replaced by Tweak as the new fourth friend...

He finally returned in Season 6's "Red Sleigh Down" and has remained a main character ever since, only dying very rarely.

Anyhow, here's the thing about "Kenny Dies," it wasn't going to be Kenny who originally died in the episode!

Nope, it was going to be KYLE!

Yes, one of the main character on the show, Kyle was going to be killed off in the episode. Trey Parker and Matt Stone discussed the issue on the commentary to the episode.

The problem was one that they had been dealing with for years before that point. You see, of the main characters on the show, Stan and Kyle were generally based on Trey Parker and Matt Stone themselves.

Parker and Stone's problem was that they had been such good friends for so many years that their personalities had become fairly similar. They agreed on so much stuff that they were beginning to believe that the characters of Stan and Kyle were becoming interchangeable. They wanted to mix things up with the group. Originally, they considered having Kyle move away in Season 4. They changed their mind.

A year later, though, they continued to feel as though the characters were too similar to each other. Stan's father, Randy Marsh, had become too integral to the show, so Stan couldn't go, so instead they decided that it had to be Kyle who would be killed off. Ultimately, of course, they once again changed their mind, but decided to instead kill Kenny, but for good this time ("for good," of course, just meant until the next season).

Over the next few years, Stan and Kyle grew into their own personalities, so it really hasn't been a problem in the years since, so they have not revisited their desire to kill Kyle since.

Can you even imagine how different the show would have been?!?

The legend is...


Be sure to check out my archive of TV Legends Revealed for more urban legends about the world of TV.

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is bcronin@legendsrevealed.com.

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