Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo
|Occupation||Christmas Spirit and Mascot; Director of the Annual Christmas Pageant|
|Voiced by||Trey Parker|
|First Appearance||Damien (cameo)|
|Last Appearance||The Problem With a Poo|
A magical being that appears once a year on Christmas to those who have eaten lots of fiber to spread tidings of joy, Mr. Hankey is the living embodiment of the very Spirit of Christmas itself. With the help of his lovely wife Autumn and his three children - Amber, Simon and Cornwallis, Mr. Hankey cheerfully spread the joy and commercialism of the holiday season to all he could - and throws himself at people who disrespect his loyal believers like Kyle and Chef. He also sang holiday songs to cheer people up (or making them quit their bitchin') and sometimes stuck himself in people's mouth or coffee mugs just for fun.
Mr. Hankey spent most of the year living in his cozy little house in the town's sewers, and could only ever spend extended time on the surface with the help of Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls. He could also travel via the Poo-Choo Express, as well as the magical Helicraptor, and the Seven-Turdy Seven. He was also a grand master wizard of poo magic when push came to shove with powerful enemies such as Robert Redford - more than capable of running them out of town. As a big fan of commercialism, his name once appeared on all sorts of products, but be careful - there's a lot of fake Mr. Hankeys out there, but only one real one! REAL, serious Mr. Hankey fans could even make their own with the exclusive Mr. Hankey Construction Set.
Mr. Hankey's sleeping problems lead to a prescription to Ambien, which became a problem when he was contracted by the City Council to work on the annual Christmas Pageant, as the Ambien caused him to feel groggy and make offensive, mean-spirited tweets that eventually caused him to lose his position, his friendships, and his place in the town as a whole.
Personality and Traits
No matter how dire the situation around him, Mr. Hankey's almost always ready with a smile and a positive spin. He always opens with a signature "howdy ho!" and a big wave, ready to spread Christmas cheer as far as he can. Even when using his poo magic to stand up against foes, he's usually able to keep his cool.
Deep down though, even good ol' Mr. Hankey has some deep seated rage, and when he began taking Ambien, he found more and more difficulty controlling his anger, sending out rude, nasty, offensive tweets late into the night... and later claiming they were just jokes. This offensive behavior eventually caused him to lose everything.
As a Grand Wizard in Poo Magic, Mr. Hankey was happy to use his little wizard hat and robe to defend from outside threats when it needed him, such as actor Robert Redford as well as the hordes of Nazi Zombies that appeared when the New Kid arrived in town. These abilities proved difficult to control however, so he only used them on rare occasions.
- "Howdy ho!"
- "Golly, that isn't very nice. I'd sure like to teach him a lesson." (Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo)
- "Why do you have to say these things in front of people?" (A Very Crappy Christmas)
- "I'm sorry, Kyle. I really thought my idea would work for you." (201)
- "Howdy ho, boys. Let's get you home." (I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining)
- "Oh, I'm SO sorry. I took Ambien two nights ago and I called the school kids homos" The Problem With a Poo
- "Ugh. Oh geez did I say that? Listen, if you're tired and you can't sleep DO NOT. TAKE AMBIEN! Ok?!" WHEW!The Problem With a Poo
- "Wul, I thought maybe I could get them in a defecation lawsuit". The Problem With a Poo
Design and Outfits
Mr. Hankey is a reasonably solid, three-segmented turd of fecal matter, with bright eyes and a large, joyful mouth, often wearing a hat atop his top segment / head, usually a red-and-white Santa hat. He also has small white gloves on the end of his rod-like arms. He sometimes dons a little sailor's hat when he's not acting in his capacity as a mascot.
It's well-known that Mr. Hankey loved everyone vicariously, but he was especially close with his good friend, Santa, and of course, with Kyle Broflovski, whose ass was his most common route to visiting the good people of South Park... and in turn, it was often Kyle who bothered to visit Mr. Hankey in the sewers and make sure his ecosystem was safe and sound.
When he had nobody else left in town to turn to, Kyle was there to support him, but when Mr. Hankey refused to compromise or cooperate with Kyle's defense strategy or fulfill promises, even that friendship proved impossible to mend.
Mr. Hankey was married to his wife, Autumn, although their relationship was always strained and difficult. He still tried to be pretty loving towards their children, helping them understand the role poo plays in the circle of life around the world. She, and the nuggets, left him due to the stress caused by his late night tweeting.
The Hankeys lived in a small home in South Park's sewer system, constructed out of fecal matter, trash, and Christmas decorations, all discarded from the surface world. He spent eleven months out of the year here, and then came up to the surface at Christmas time... if he comes up too early, he ran the risk of drying out completely.
He has since been cast out of the town of South Park for his offensive behavior.
Appearances and Sightings
- Damien (s01e08; cameo)
- Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo (s01e10)
- Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls (s02e09)
- Merry Christmas Charlie Manson! (s02e16; heavily referenced)
- Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics (s03e15)
- A Very Crappy Christmas (s04e17)
- Red Sleigh Down (s06e17)
- Pre-School (s08e10; mentioned)
- 201 (s14e06)
- I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining (s16e06)
- The Problem With a Poo (s22e03)
The boys visit Mr. Hankey in his home in the sewers and he informs them about his hidden keys, made out of crap. They also must ride the Poo-Choo Express and battle hoardes of Ginger Kids. He plays no further role in the storyline.
When the player visits the Sewers, they can greet Mr. Hankey at his little house, as well as his wife Autumn Hankey. When she realizes she's lost the kids, the player is tasked to find them in the sewers - if successful, they can gain Mr. Hankey as a summonable character, where he will use his poo magic to assist in battle.
In order to locate Mr. Hankey this time around, you'll have to unclog a toilet in the Park County Community Center... it'll take some effort, and help from a buddy, but if you manage it, there's a memorable and scatological selfie waiting for you!
Mr. Hankey as a card for the special Christmas event; he increases the charge rate of all allied units for twenty seconds, allowing them to use their special powers.
Behind the Scenes
Mr. Hankey's voice is provided by series co-creator Trey Parker.
When Mr. Hankey leaves trails of smudge behind, it's usually chocolate or fudge smeared on construction paper and then scanned into a computer.
Creation and Development
Mr. Hankey was originally created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone while they had only recently met as students at the University of Colorado at Boulder, well before they concieved of South Park itself.
The concept for the character actually came from Randy Parker, Trey's dad - when his toilet-training son refused to flush the toilet, he threatened that if he did not flush, the remaining stool, 'Mr. Hankey' would come to life and kill him. Although we're left to assume Trey learned to flush, throughout his education from youth to adulthood, the character stayed in his mind, and he often drew the prototype for Mr. Hankey in class, looking much like his later incarnation, but wearing the cute sailor's hat, having no connection to the holidays at this stage.
Matt loved the idea, and they talked about doing a short film about a child who formed a bond with a talking stool, a prototype Mr. Hankey, who appeared alive to him but nobody else, planning various scenes - including the boy's parents finding him in the bathroom with feces smeared on the walls, the boy's counselor finding him in his coffee mug, both scenes that made it into "Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo". In the short film, however, it would turn out that Mr. Hankey was indeed a figment of the child's imagination and not real in the first place, a much bleaker ending than the episode. The short film was never made.
After completing their two animated The Spirit of Christmas shorts, Matt and Trey began developing an idea that is later titled South Park, a show set in the fictional town of South Park, Colorado that revolved around four children characters, with Mr. Hankey being included in future supporting roles. They pitched the series to the Fox Broadcasting Company, as it was a home for prime-time shows such as The Simpsons and The X-Files. However, Fox made it clear they didn't want the talking poo character in its network and repeatedly demanded the duo to remove the character in order for the show to proceed. In response, Matt and Trey completely severed ties with Fox.
No longer relying on Fox anymore, Matt and Trey began seeking other networks to develop their show. Comedy Central proved much more receptive to the idea of an episode about a talking poo character. According to Trey, "One thing we have to know before we really go any further: how do you feel about talking poo?" Many Comedy Central executives were receptive to this idea and this turned out to be one of the key reasons Trey and Matt chose Comedy Central as their television home. Trey originally considered MTV, but decided against it, fearing the network could turn it into a kids show and thus limiting the potential things that the show can provide.
The final component of the character came into play during production on the episode "Damien", then intended as a Christmas special, and including a cameo appearance from Mr. Hankey. After hearing stories and news reports about the removal of Christian symbolism, particularly nativity scenes, from public buildings, the relatively agnostic Matt and Trey found the whole thing pretty silly, and decided to redirect Mr. Hankey as a Christmas-themed character, who can show that the holiday "was about good and about presents, and it doesn't have to be this religious [stuff]". They took many ideas from their old short film, but decided to change the ending. Trey felt the imaginary nature of Mr. Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street ultimately "really bummed [him] out".
In line with these concepts, Matt and Trey tried to make Mr. Hankey seem relatively wholesome and moral, taking inspiration from Mickey Mouse's first appearance in the original 1928 Steamboat Willie cartoon for his design, as well as Rankin-Bass Christmas specials and Trey's favorite, A Charlie Brown Christmas, which was played around the office a lot during production. They still had a lot of trouble deciding on a final voice, but during a break from promoting the show in New York City, they figured it out while eating at McDonald's.
After the airing of his debut episode, Mr. Hankey proved to be a huge success with fans and critics alike, and was a star character in branding and merchandising for the show despite accumulating only a handful of appearances across the show's run.