South Park: Season 1 (1997 - 1998)

Season 1
South Park

Critics Consensus

South Park is gallingly crude in both its humor and art style, but this upstart cartoon is blisteringly funny as it blasphemes against conservative and liberal attitudes alike.



Critic Ratings: 24


Audience Score

User Ratings: 275

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Air date: Aug 13, 1997

After a thrilling game of "Kick The Baby," Kyle's adopted brother Ike is abducted by the same aliens who had visited Cartman the night before in order to insert a big metal hooba-jube into his rectum. The anal probe causes Cartman to expel flaming gas and eventually sprout an 80-foot satellite dish, which attracts the aliens. Kyle's barrage of obscenities prompts Ike's release, and the aliens present a gift to the beings of earth they have judged to be the most intelligent and wise (not humans, of course) before they leave.

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Air date: Aug 20, 1997

Armed with high-powered weapons and alcohol, the boys head out into the mountains with Stan's Uncle Jimbo. Little do they know that the legendary creature Scuzzlebutt actually roams the mountainside. Meanwhile, the town of South Park must deal with the threat of an erupting volcano, and the deadly hot lava which could destroy the town. Scuzzlebutt turns out to be a benevolent monster and saves the day, but is rewarded by being shot in the head by Stan, who is receiving mixed messages from his elders.

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Air date: Aug 27, 1997

Cartman's prize-winning essay on environmentalism (a.k.a. Thoreau's Walden) brings Kathie Lee Gifford, encased in bullet-proof glass, to South Park to give him the award. Cartman consumes vast quantities of Weight Gain 4000 so that by the time the television cameras arrive, he'll be a totally ripped Beefcake. Mr. Garrison has other plans for Kathie Lee's visit however, involving an automatic rifle and a book depository.

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Air date: Sep 3, 1997

As South Park Elementary's football team gears up for their big game against Middle Park, Stan's new dog Sparky is discovered to be gay. Feeling unwanted, Sparky runs away to Big Gay Al's animal sanctuary, where gay animals can live without fear and enjoy their own gay animal dance club. Stan finds Sparky and takes the Big Gay Boatride (which might also be called "It's a Gay World After All"), during which he realizes that it's OK to be gay. Stan returns to the football field, where he leads his team to a touchdown, beating the spread.

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Air date: Sep 10, 1997

For their science fair project, the boys decide to splice elephant DNA with pot-bellied pig DNA to make pot-bellied elephants. They visit the Genetic Engineering Ranch for help, but learn that pig and elephant DNA just don't splice, and they must rely on Chef's advice on how to get the elephant and pig to get it on. Meanwhile, a mutant Stan clone wreaks havoc on the town and is tracked down by his maker.

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Air date: Sep 17, 1997

Stan's aging Grampa begs for death by any means possible, whether it be by hanging or a falling cow. He's having a hard time convincing Stan to kill him, though. When Death finally comes knocking, Grampa is ecstatic, until we learn that Death is actually coming for one of the boys (2 guesses which one).

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Air date: Oct 29, 1997

Kenny dies at the very beginning of this Halloween special, but is revived as a zombie when he is filled with Worcestershire sauce instead of embalming fluid. The doctor diagnoses his condition as the dreaded Pink Eye, which Kenny passes around by biting other townspeople. Back at the school, Cartman gets into trouble for dressing as Adolph Hitler for Halloween; the principal insists that he put on a sheet, but he ends up looking like a Klansman, which gives Chef a fright. Kenny continues to create more zombies until the boys find out that they can change everyone back if they kill the original zombie.

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Air date: Nov 19, 1997

The boys donate money to support an Ethiopian so they can receive a free sports watch. Instead of the watch, though, they receive an Ethiopian boy, whom they name Starvin' Marvin. Marvin begins to feel at home in South Park, so when the authorities come to retrieve him, he sends Cartman instead. A lost little American boy in Ethiopia, Cartman struggles to survive before finding Sally Struthers' horde of snacky cakes. Cartman returns to South Park, and Marvin returns to Africa, bringing with him enough turkey to feed his family.

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Air date: Dec 17, 1997

Kyle finds out that it's hard to be a Jew at Christmas. His mother protests the use of a Nativity scene in the Christmas show, which eventually becomes a "non-offensive" show featuring the music of Philip Glass. Kyle finds solace with Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo, who brings a message of good will to all, regardless of belief. This episode features several songs, including the Cartman classic, "Kyle's Mom's a Bitch."

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Air date: Feb 4, 1998

Lucifer's offspring is the new kid at South Park Elementary, and being the spawn of Satan makes it hard for him to be accepted by the other kids. Meanwhile, his father, the Prince of Darkness himself, is on the way to South Park for a battle with Jesus, host of a talk show on South Park community access cable. The big fight happens to coincide with Cartman's legendary birthday party, where Damien proves that he can fit in with the other boys by torturing Pip, the annoying French kid. In the end, it is the townspeople who pay the price by betting on Satan who, fiend that he is, takes a dive and wins all of their cash.

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South Park: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

The debut series of Trey Parker and Matt Stone's often outrageous satirical animated program "South Park" introduces the world to four elementary school friends -- Stan Marsh, Kyle Braflovski, foulmouthed Eric Cartman, and mumble-mouthed Kenny McCormick -- whose many misadventures skewer various aspects of popular culture. The debut series includes the GLAAD nominated "Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride," the alien-abduction episode "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe," the introduction of "Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo," and ends with a cliffhanger that promised to reveal the identity of Cartman's father.

Cast & Crew

Shannen Cassidy
Liane Cartman
Matt Stone
Kyle Broflovski
Trey Parker
Stan Marsh
Jennifer Howell
Bebe Stevens
Jesse Howell
Ike Broflovski
Michael Buffer
Ring Announcer
Robert Smith
Robert Smith
Michelle Jones
Commercial Mom
Karri Turner
Kathie Lee Gifford
Show all Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for South Park Season 1

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (17)

Comedy Central's own promotional material dubs the show "sick and twisted." You bet it is. It's also sophomoric, gross, and unfunny. It's great that a comedy wants to take chances -- many sitcoms don't -- but the adult-aimed South Park goes too far.

Mar 11, 2021 | Full Review…

South Park is so recklessly goofy and eager to shock that it somehow works. It's very, very funny, and looks like a sure bet to become TV's newest cult hit -- but it's definitely a case where parental guidance is advised.

Mar 11, 2021 | Full Review…

I must shamefully admit however that I like South Park -- a lot. It is at once insanely juvenile and very sophisticated, appealing to a funny bone that as an adult I try to hide. I feel guilty about laughing, but I laugh anyway.

Mar 11, 2021 | Full Review…

The evil spawn of Beavis & Butt-head has landed. South Park is built for bodacious discomfort.

Mar 11, 2021 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Unlike many cartoons, this one actually "looks" funny, and it constantly plays on its grade-school aesthetic for shock value, with great success. At its best, South Park is more a profane Peanuts than a downsized Beavis and Butt-head.

Mar 11, 2021 | Full Review…

TOO BAD, KIDS! South Park... is for grownups albeit grownups who aren't put off by some blood, some guts and some sure-fire passing-gas jokes along with the show's sardonic observations about kids, parenting, politics and media.

Sep 9, 2013 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

It is twisted, it is adult and, if you're in the mood for some unapologetically outrageous fare, it is very funny.

Mar 15, 2021 | Full Review…

The new TV season already has its first bona fide bit of genius. It's called South Park, and soon the name of this brilliant, pants-wettingly funny show will be on everyone's lips. But not always for the same reasons.

Mar 11, 2021 | Full Review…

The Simpsons and King of the Hill are the smartest satires on television. However, just because a show is animated doesn't mean it's smart. And to prove that point, Comedy Central unveils South Park.

Mar 11, 2021 | Full Review…

Outrageously entertaining, devilishly original and singularly warped.

Mar 11, 2021 | Full Review…

Shocking, offensive, and hilarious, South Park continues to undermine authority with its creative and insightful critiques of the media, politics, and celebrity hype.

Mar 7, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

South Park strikes a great balance between the family orientated Simpsons, and the adult humor of Family Guy, whilst proving far more funny and far less irritating than the loud-mouthed latter.

Mar 7, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for South Park: Season 1

  • Apr 20, 2021
    In the first season cartman is hilarious probably at his best especially the first two episodes, he's steals probably most of the season.
  • Feb 06, 2021
    Matt and Trey hate I think the first 8 Season and I have to disagree. Every episode of the first season just displays so well what South Park is all about in the best possible ways.
  • Jan 19, 2021
    A fun start to a great show.
  • Nov 27, 2020
    Funny rude I like it
  • Nov 18, 2020
    South Park season 1 is amazing. The humor in the season is amazing and the episodes get better as they go. The 4 main characters are amazing and hilarious. I think Kenny dying episode is a cool gag that they have. I also like how they have attention to detail in the show to the point where they put small things in the background, maybe you will or won't notice. Overall this season is funny, amazing, lovable, and just overall a great season of TV. I would highly share this season to anyone who wants to laugh like never before
  • Oct 26, 2020
    How great can this be
  • Oct 24, 2020
    Wow so fucking funny it could be the best show
  • Jul 07, 2020
    Great animated series! This is the best animated series I've ever seen. I love this show.
  • Jun 25, 2020
    South Park gets off to a rocky start with "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe", which is one of the worst episodes of the series. Mainly with its unfunny fart jokes and not very interesting plot, it is easily one of my least favorite. But after this, Season 1 really picks up with great episodes such as "Weight Gain 4000" and "Death". While Season 1 is a good season, it is not in my top five favorite seasons.
  • Mar 16, 2020
    A strong start to what is possibly the best animated show of all time

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