Kenny is one of the four main characters in South Park along with Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, and Eric Cartman. His often muffled and incomprehensible speech—the result of his parka hood covering his mouth—is provided by co-creator Matt Stone. He debuted on television when South Park first aired on August 13, 1997.
He also appears in the 1999 full-length feature film South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, in which his true appearance and voice were first revealed, and various South Park merchandise.
Kenny has gained a lot of popularity thanks to a running gag most prevalent during the first five seasons of the series, in which Kenny would suffer an excruciating death before returning alive and well in the next episode with little or no explanation. Stan would frequently use the catchphrase "Oh, my God! They killed Kenny!", followed by Kyle exclaiming "You bastard(s)!". Since the show began its sixth season in 2002, the practice of killing Kenny has been seldom used by the show's creators. Various episodes have set up the gag, sometimes presenting a number of explanations for Kenny's unacknowledged reappearances. In the episode "Mysterion Rises," it is found that Kenny actually has the superpower of resurrection, claiming that no matter how many times he's died, he always wakes up in his bed the next day wearing his usual clothes. He also states that none of his peers or family can remember him dying whatsoever.