Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo
The South Park kids are rehearsing their Christmas pageant. Being a Mr. Garrison production, it naturally includes a graphic birth-of-Jesus scene, complete with Mary screaming and panting. As she attempts to give birth, Garrison tells Wendy (who plays Mary), "I'm still not believing the labor pains." Rehearsal is interrupted when Kyle's mom shows up, furious at the show's overt Christian themes, and that her son, a Jew, is playing Joseph. When Garrison and Kyle's mom ask Kyle if there's something non-denominational he can do for the play, Kyle he offers to sing "The Mr. Hankey Song," concerning Mr. Hankey, the Christmas poo. Mr. Garrison remarks that that's what you get for raising a child a pagan, which sends Kyle's mom off to see the mayor. Later, on the playground, Kyle tries to explain the Christmas poo concept. Apparently Mr. Hankey is a turd that comes out of the toilet bowl each holiday season to give presents to everybody who as lots of fiber in their diet. At a town meeting, various factions complain about various aspects of the school's production. The mayor buckles and promises to stage " the most non-offensive Christmas ever to any religious or minority group of any kind." That evening before bed, Kyle is instructed by his parents to stop talking about Mr. Hankey. He agrees, but as he brushes his teeth a turd wearing a Christmas hat leaps out of the toilet. It's none other than Mr. Hankey. He sings a jolly holiday song, leaping around the room and leaving bits of shit wherever he lands. Kyle grabs him in mid-flight, just as his parents burst in. All they see is a room covered in poop smears, with their son clutching what looks like common-and-garden-variety feces. Kyle, in a not-very-well-thought-out plan, puts Mr. Hankey in a box and takes him to school, where the set for the play is being dismantled. Mr. Garrison, at a loss, asks the kids if they know any non-denominational, non-offensive holiday songs. Cartman recommends they sing "Kyle's Mom Is A Stupid Bitch" in D-minor. He then launches into a looooong rendition of the tune. Offended, Mr. Hankey leaps out of his box and hurls himself at Cartman. This lands Kyle in the school counselor's officewhere we meet Mr. Mackey for the first time. Mr. Hankey decides to take a bath in Mackey's cup of coffee, earning Kyle a ticket to the South Park Mental Institution. That evening the kids put on their new play, now called the South Park Elementary Holiday Experience. Music and lyrics are provided by minimalist composer Phillip Glass. The show is terrible, and a full-scale riot breaks out in the audience. In the midst of it, Chef asks what happened to Kyle. The boys tell him about his obsession with Mr. Hankey, and Chef, to their amazement, tells them the talking turd is real. Stan and Wendy say that they believe, and Mr. Hankey leaps out of his shoebox and comes to life. He talks to the crowd about the meaning of Christmas, and they stop fighting -- mostly out of sheer amazement. The entire town, led by Mr. Hankey, heads for the South Park Mental Institution to release Kyle, who discovers to his relief that he's not crazy. Mr. Hankey hands out presents, then flies off into the night to spread Christmas cheer. Yet, something feels unfinished. Stan, Cartman, and Kyle look at Kenny, still alive and well only seconds from the closing credits. The words THE END appear onscreen, and Kenny jumps up and down in triumph.
What I Learned Today
"I learned that Jewish people are okay, and that Hanukkah can be cool too."
- "Oh good, Kyle's mom is here to ruin Christmas." (Cartman)
- "Dude, this is pretty fucked up right here." (Stan)
- "I'm not fat, I'm festively plump." (Cartman)
- "Howwwwdyyy Ho!" (Mr. Hankey)
- "Right now, you're nuttier than Chinese chicken salad." (Mr. Mackey)
- "I'd be merry, but I'm Hebrew." (Kyle)
The show's three songs, "Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo"; "Kyle's Mom Is A Stupid Bitch"; and "The Lonely Jew On Christmas" are all heard again in later episodes. "Kyle's Mom Is A Stupid Bitch" even made it into the theatrical film Bigger, Longer, Uncut. Also, Chef opens up the school play with his non-offensive, non -denominational song "I'm Gonna Lay You Down By the Yule Log".
Behind The Scenes
Where Did The Idea Come From
Reportedly inspired by the fact that Trey often forgot to flush the toilet as a child. His father told him that if he didn't the turd would escape and eat him
Pop Culture References
Stan's Biblical reading at the beginning of the school play is lifted directly from a similar scene in A Charlie Brown Christmas. So is the snowflake-eating scene. There's also a live-action "commercial" for the Mr. Hankey Construction Set that's an homage to Mr. Potato Head. Only instead of putting eyes and lips and ears on a potato, you stick them on a piece of poo.
Minimalist composer Phillip Glass, whose music for the South Park Elementary Holiday Experience triggers a riot.
There's a picture of Kyle and his pet elephant (from "An Elephant Makes Love to a Pig") on the dresser in his room. Craig can be seen sitting outside Mr. Mackey's office. Although he hasn't been introduced officially yet, he can be seen frequently outside the counselor's office. We learn later he has a bad habit of giving people the finger. Stan says he's getting the "John Elway football helmet" he wanted for Christmas. This is the first of many times Elway and the Denver Broncos will be mentioned.