Kyle Broflovski

Kyle Broflovski
South Park character
KyleBroflovski.png
First appearance
Created byTrey Parker
Matt Stone
Voiced byMatt Stone
Information
GenderMale
OccupationStudent
FamilyGerald and Sheila Broflovski (parents)
Ike Broflovski (adopted brother)
RelativesCleo (deceased grandmother)
Kyle Schwartz (cousin)
ReligionJewish
NationalityAmerican
ResidenceSouth Park, Colorado

Kyle Broflovski (sometimes spelled Kyle Broflovski, Broslovski, Broslofski, Brovlofski or Broflofski) is a main character in the animated television series South Park. He is voiced by and loosely based on co-creator Matt Stone. Kyle is one of the show's four central characters, along with his friends Stan Marsh, Kenny McCormick, and Eric Cartman. He debuted on television when South Park first aired on August 13, 1997, after having first appeared in The Spirit of Christmas shorts created by Stone and long-time collaborator Trey Parker in 1992 (Jesus vs. Frosty) and 1995 (Jesus vs. Santa).

Kyle is a third- then fourth-grade student who commonly has extraordinary experiences not typical of conventional small-town life in his fictional hometown of South Park, Colorado. Kyle is distinctive as one of the few Jewish children on the show, and because of this, he often feels like an outsider amongst the core group of characters. His portrayal in this role is often dealt with satirically, and has elicited both praise and criticism from Jewish viewers.

Like the other South Park characters, Kyle is animated by computer in a way to emulate the show's original method of cutout animation. He also appears in the 1999 full-length feature film South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, as well as South Park-related media and merchandise. While Parker and Stone portray Kyle as having common childlike tendencies, his dialogue is often intended to reflect stances and views on more adult-oriented issues, and has been cited in numerous publications by experts in the fields of politics, religion, popular culture, and philosophy.

Role in South Park

Kyle attends South Park Elementary as part of Mr. Garrison's class. During the show's first 58 episodes, Kyle and the other students were in the third grade following which they have been in the fourth grade. He lives in South Park with his father Gerald, a lawyer, and his overprotective mother Sheila, a housewife who fits the mold of a Jewish mother stereotype.[1] Gerald and Sheila have been referred to as Polish Jews,[2] and they mutually share a strong devotion to their Jewish religion, while expressing deep concern during the multiple times Kyle's faith in Judaism becomes enervated. Kyle has a younger brother named Ike, who Kyle learns was adopted and originally from Canada in the episode Ike's Wee Wee.

Gerald often attempts to teach Kyle important morals. Although his mother's outspoken, manipulative nature usually overwhelms Kyle, he tends to show that he truly loves her, and takes offense to any insult Cartman may offer about her.[3] Although he engages in the reckless act of punting Ike like a football, Kyle shows concern for his brother's well-being. He was initially reluctant to embrace Ike as his brother upon learning that Ike was adopted, but Ike's genuine affection for his older brother persuaded Kyle to love him in return, and regard him as "true family".[4]

Kyle is modeled after Stone, while Stan is modeled after Parker. Kyle and Stan are best friends, and their relationship, which is supposed to reflect the real-life friendship between Parker and Stone,[5] is a common topic throughout the series. The two do have their disagreements, but always reconcile without any long-term damage to their friendship. The show's official website defines Kyle's role amongst his friends as "the smart one".[6] He often provides a sober thought to plans or ideas made by the other boys, and explains a moral outlook while drawing upon his vast knowledge and intelligence.[4][7] He tends to offer reasonable or scientific explanations both to situations most others view as supernatural in nature, and in opposition of propaganda dispensed by Cartman.[4]

Several episodes focus on Kyle and his religion,[8] and being the lone Jew has resulted in an enmity with the Antisemitic Cartman that has become significantly more pronounced as the series progresses.[9] Parker and Stone have compared the relationship to the one shared by Archie Bunker and Michael Stivic on the 1970s sitcom All in the Family.[9] Kyle makes cracks at Cartman's weight and is horrified and disgusted with Cartman's immorality, cruelty, bigotry, and greed. Their rivalry often elevates to the point where Kyle becomes so obsessed with beating Cartman at whatever he does, he sometimes neglects Stan and Kenny in the process.[9] He has a tendency to make what he thinks are safe bets with Cartman, often losing these bets when the improbable actions promised by Cartman are accomplished.[9] Though he has claimed Kenny was not his friend, in order to avoid having to spend the night at his poverty-stricken household,[10] Kyle has professed a friendship with Kenny and shown genuine concern for Kenny's health and safety. Kyle normally has the angrier reaction of yelling, "You bastards!" following Stan's exclamation of the popular catchphrase, "Oh my God, they killed Kenny" after one of Kenny's trademark deaths.[5]

Near the end of the production run of the show's fifth season (2001), Parker and Stone contemplated having an episode in which Kyle was killed off.[11] The reasoning behind the idea was to genuinely surprise fans, and to allow an opportunity to provide a major role for Butters Stotch, a breakout character whose popularity was growing with the viewers and creators of the show.[11] Parker and Stone initially chose Kyle because they deemed him as being too similar to Stan, in terms of personality. Instead, the character of Kenny was chosen, and he was seemingly killed off for good in the episode "Kenny Dies". The duo claimed they grew tired of upholding the tradition of having Kenny die in each episode, and regarded the character as a "prop".[12] Nevertheless, Kenny returned from a year-long absence in the season six (2002) finale "Red Sleigh Down", and has remained a main character ever since.

In many episodes, Kyle draws upon his sense of social purpose and moral outrage,[4][7] and reflects on the lessons he has learned during the course of an episode, with a speech that often begins "You know, I learned something today...". Kyle acknowledged this trend in the season five (2001) episode "Cartmanland" when he states that he often gives the speech each week in an attempt to "try and better myself", and again in the season seven (2003) episode "Butt Out" where he repeatedly reminds his friends that they continuously allow potentially riotous events to occur, and are only able to defuse the situation by giving such a speech to the gathered townsfolk.

Kyle's mother reveals in the episode Cherokee Hair Tampons that Kyle is diabetic and had to get a kidney transplant. His diabetes could explain why he gets sick more often than his classmates.

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