South Park is an American animated sitcom created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the Comedy Central television network. Intended for mature audiences, the show has become infamous for its crude, surreal, satirical, and dark humor that lampoons a wide range of topics. The ongoing narrative revolves around five children, Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, Kenny McCormick, and eventually Butters Stotch and their bizarre adventures in and around the fictional and eponymous Colorado town. The town, sometimes described within the show as "a pissant white-bread mountain town", is also home to assortment of characters who make frequent appearances in the show such as students and their family members, elementary school staff, and other various various residents, of which only the recurring characters are listed.
Stan is portrayed as the everyman of the group, as the show's official website describes him as "a normal, average, American, mixed-up kid". Kyle is the lone Jew among the group, and his portrayal in this role is often dealt with satirically. Stan and Kyle are best friends, and their relationship, which is intended to reflect the real-life friendship between South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, is a common topic throughout the series. Cartman—loud, obnoxious, and obese—is sometimes portrayed as an antagonist, and whose anti-Semitic attitude has resulted in an ever-progressing rivalry with Kyle. Kenny, who comes from a poor family, wears his parka hood so tightly that it covers most of his face and muffles his speech. During the show's first five seasons, Kenny would die in nearly each episode before returning in the next with little or no definitive explanation given.
Stone and Parker voice most of the male South Park characters. Mary Kay Bergman voiced the majority of the female characters until her death in 1999, near the end of the third season. Eliza Schneider and Mona Marshall succeeded Bergman since 1999, and respectively 2000, with Schneider leaving the show in 2003, after the seventh season. She was replaced by April Stewart, who, along with Marshall, continues to voice most of the female characters. Bergman was originally listed in the credits under the alias Shannen Cassidy to protect her reputation as the voice of several Disney characters. Stewart was originally credited under the name Gracie Lazar, while Schneider was sometimes credited under her rock opera performance pseudonym Blue Girl. Some South Park staff members voice other recurring characters; supervising producer Jennifer Howell voices student Bebe Stevens, writing consultant Vernon Chatman voices an anthropomorphic towel named Towelie, and production supervisor John Hansen voices Mr. Slave, the former gay lover of Mr. Garrison. South Park producer and storyboard artist Adrien Beard, who voices Token Black, the only black kid in South Park, was recruited to voice the character "because he was the only black guy [in the] building" when Parker needed to quickly find someone to voice the character during the production of the season four (2000) episode "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime