Kenneth "Kenny" McCormick is one of the shows' main characters who debuted in the 1992 short. His oft-muffled and indiscernible speech—the result of his parka hood covering his mouth—is provided by co-creator Matt Stone. He is friends with Stan and Kyle, while maintaining a friendship with Eric Cartman solely out of pity. Kenny is regularly teased for living in poverty, particularly by Cartman. Prior to season six, Kenny died in almost every episode, with only a few exceptions. The nature of the deaths was often gruesome and portrayed in a comically absurd fashion, and usually followed by Stan and Kyle respectively yelling "Oh my God! They killed Kenny!" and "You bastard(s)!". In the episode "Kenny Dies", Kenny dies after developing a terminal muscular disease, while Parker and Stone claimed that Kenny would not be returning in subsequent episodes and insisted they grew tired of upholding the tradition of having Kenny die in each episode.For most of season six, his place is taken by Butters Stotch and Tweek Tweak. Nevertheless, Kenny returned from the year-long absence in the season six finale "Red Sleigh Down", and has remained a starring character ever since. His character no longer dies each week, and has only been killed occasionally in episodes following his return.