South Park Season 27 Bringing Back An Underrated Star Revives Its Oldest Joke
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South Park Season 27 Bringing Back An Underrated Star Revives Its Oldest Joke


  • South Park season 27 may revive the show’s iconic catchphrase “Oh my God, they killed Kenny!” for nostalgic fans.
  • Kenny’s role in South Park season 26 hinted at a possible return as a main character in upcoming episodes.
  • South Park’s change in tone towards topical satire makes it unlikely for Kenny to be killed off (again) in season 27.



While it has been a very long time since South Park brought back one of the show’s earliest iconic lines, season 27 is perfectly positioned to revive this catchphrase. South Park has been around for decades now and, in the years the show has been on the air, it has changed a lot. The animated comedy series started life as a ribald show centered on gross-out humor and absurdity before season 4 of South Park saw the creators focus on satirizing current events. Over time, South Park’s satire of social, cultural, and political phenomena became the show’s main focus.

As South Park season 27’s release approaches, it is clear that the show is unlikely to reverse this change and return to the scattershot tone of its early seasons. Co-creator Trey Parker even said that he wished he could erase the show’s first three seasons from history as he no longer feels they are indicative of what South Park later became. Despite this, season 27 may see South Park revive one classic gag that hasn’t been a regular fixture in the series for almost two decades. Season 26 teased this when the show gave one supporting star a bigger role.

Kenny’s South Park Season 26 Teased A Bigger Role

South Park season 27 might be bringing back one of its original heroes

After Butters became a central member of the show’s central quartet in season 6, Kenny never really recovered his main character status on South Park. However, South Park season 26 made Kenny a major character again in episode 5, “DikinBaus Hot Dogs.” Kenny played a central role in this outing, setting up a business with Cartman and then enjoying the profits while Butters did all the work. Although South Park season 27 has many problems that the show needs to solve, the series may still have time to put Kenny back in the main character role he enjoyed early on.

Kenny was one of South Park’s four main characters for the first four seasons of the series, although his role was always somewhat complicated. Kenny died in every episode and this meant he rarely got much character focus, although the chaotic tone of early South Park seasons admittedly meant that none of the characters were particularly well-developed. In season 5, episode 13, “Kenny Dies,” the show effectively retired this infamous gag and the character by killing off Kenny for good. This promise didn’t last, however, and Kenny was revived in season 6, episode 17, “Red Sleigh Down.”

Season 27’s Kenny Role Can Revive South Park’s Oldest Gag

South Park’s most iconic catchphrase could make a surprising comeback

Since South Park’s original premise has been largely abandoned since the show began focusing on topical satire, it has been a while since the characters complained about anyone killing Kenny. However, season 27 could bring back this iconic catchphrase and may even revive the tradition of killing off Kenny once per episode. Kenny’s repeated deaths haven’t been seen in years and South Park season 26 highlighting him proves that the show hasn’t forgotten about his role completely. Since Kenny’s endless grisly demises were central to his character’s appeal, it would make sense for season 27 to bring them back.

Repeatedly killing off Kenny once in every episode was one of South Park’s defining jokes in early seasons, with the phrase “Oh my God, they killed Kenny!’” taking on a life outside the show itself. This even contributed to the decision to kill him off semi-permanently in season 5, as the show’s creators wanted to move past this era and Kenny was a mascot for the shock humor of South Park’s early seasons. Much like South Park season 5 made Cartman evil instead of depicting him as merely obnoxious, “Kenny Dies” made one of the show’s oldest gags much darker.

Why South Park Season 27 Is Unlikely To Kill Off Kenny

Kenny’s death would bring back South Park’s old tone

Kenny dressed in a Mysterion costume in the

While Kenny’s many deaths making a comeback would be fun, there are two reasons that South Park season 27 is unlikely to revive this gag. For one thing, the show seemingly retired this joke after explaining and justifying it back in season 14’s “Coon and Friends” trilogy. This ambitious multi-episode event revealed that Kenny was secretly immortal and he remembered experiencing all of his many deaths over the years, making the character some sort of supernatural being with endless lives to cycle through. This revelation made the show’s earlier gags a lot darker in retrospect.

On a similar note, season 27 is unlikely to revive this gag because the show’s tone has changed. South Park‘s biggest recent problems stem from these changes, whether it is making Randy Marsh a main character or turning the show’s focus toward current affairs instead of random humor. However, these changes have been in place for years now, and bringing back Kenny’s repeated deaths could mean reviving the sillier, more disjointed, tasteless humor of early seasons. Despite its best attempts, South Park inevitably matured over the decades, and Kenny dying might not fit the show’s new tone.

Episodes of
South Park
are available to stream on Max, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu, as well as on Comedy Central’s website.

South Park

Trey Parker , Matt Stone

Release Date
August 13, 1997


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