Seventeen years ago today, at 10 P.M. Eastern time, the first episode of South Park aired, and life as we know it was never the same again. These days, there are dozens of envelope-pushing cartoons on basic cable, but at the time, South Park‘s willingness to be unrelentingly honest and vulgar was truly shocking. Let’s celebrate this glorious anniversary by looking at some of South Park‘s best secondary characters. Some characters on this list have larger roles than others. The only characters I excluded were Stan, Kyle, Kenny, Cartman, and Butters, because he’s basically the fifth lead at this point. Now then – the 17 best secondary characters in South Park history.
17. Ms. Choksondik
I remember watching the “4th Grade” episode when it originally aired when I was 10 (my parents were cool like that). I laughed harder at this character’s name than I had at anything else before in my life. I’m not sure I’ve laughed that hard since then, either. Admittedly, Ms. Choksondik didn’t have that much else going for her, but she hardly needed it.
16. Mr. Slave
Mr. Slave could have just been a one-time character whose only purpose was to make Mr. Garrison even more outrageous, but luckily he stuck around. By the time he managed fit all of Paris Hilton into his rectum (that’s actually what happened), his place in South Park history was assured.
I could have put him higher on this list, but that is way too much pressure!
Sure, he was only in two episodes, but his adventures getting out of Mr. Slave’s ass, and doing battle with Wikileaks (who is also a gerbil) ensured that he would be in our hearts forever.
13. Sergeant Yates
It took a long time for this character to earn the fans’ love — we couldn’t look past the fact that he wasn’t Officer Barbrady — but in time, he became one of the most consistently funny characters on the show. The episode where he enters into a prostitution sting and doesn’t reveal his identity until he’d already been married to his pimp for several years cracks me up every time.
12. Butter’s Parents
Ok, I decided to exclude Butter’s from the list because while he’s not part of the main four characters, he is around a LOT, to the point where he’s basically a primary character. But his parents get consideration for all the hell they put poor Butters through. It’s not enough that they ground him all the time, there was also the time when Butters’ mom tried to kill him. Maybe that episode was non-canon, but it’s still there in all our nightmares!
11-10. (tie) Clyde/Craig
Neither of these characters had the most personality, but they were always around when you needed them. Craig gets the edge because he had a little bit of a temper. Remember when he kept flipping Tweek off?!
9. Big Gay Al
Big Gay Al may have only appeared in a few episodes, but he had a (Big Gay) impact! Plus, he was one of the funnier parts of South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut. Who doesn’t know all the words to “I’m Super?”