Gerald and Sheila Broflovski

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Gerald and Sheila Broflovski
South Park character
BroflovskiFamilySP.jpg
From left to right: Ike, Sheila and Gerald.
First appearance "Starvin' Marvin" (Gerald)
"Death" (Sheila)
Created by Trey Parker
Matt Stone
Voiced by Gerald: Matt Stone
Sheila: Mary Kay Bergman (1997–99)
Mona Marshall (1999–present)
Information
Aliases S-Woww Titty Bang (Sheila)
Gender Male (Gerald)
Female (Sheila)
Occupation Lawyer (Gerald)
Activist (Sheila)
Children Kyle Broflovski (son)
Ike Broflovski (adoptive son)
Relatives Cleo Broflovski (Sheila's mother)
Kyle Schwartz (nephew)
Religion Judaism
Residence South Park, Colorado
Birthplace Newark, New Jersey (Shelia) Unknown (Gerald)

Gerald and Sheila Broflovski (sometimes spelled Broslovski, Broslofski, Brovlofski or Broflofski) are fictional characters in the animated television series South Park. The two are an upper middle-class married Jewish couple who raise their ten-year-old son Kyle and three-year-old Canadian-born adopted son Ike in the fictional town of South Park, Colorado.

In tradition with the show's animation style, they are both composed of simple geometrical shapes, and are animated with use of a computer, though they are given the impression of being construction paper cutout compositions animated through the use of stop motion, which was the technique used to animate the "Spirit of Christmas" shorts and the show's first episode.[1] Gerald is voiced by series co-creator Matt Stone and Sheila was originally voiced by Mary Kay Bergman and is currently voiced by Mona Marshall. Their first names are derived from the first names of Stone's parents, Gerald and Sheila Stone.[citation needed]

Characters[edit]

Though they are named for Stone's parents, Gerald and Sheila's characters are not largely inspired by the couple. While Stone's mother is Jewish, his father is a gentile of Irish descent, and Stone says they raised him in an agnostic household. Stone decided to portray the character of Gerald as recognizably Jewish, stating that doing so "creates more opportunity for comedy".[2] Gerald grew up in South Park, and met Sheila while they attended college.[3] The two moved back to Gerald's hometown when Kyle was younger because Sheila wanted to raise her children in a small town environment,[4][5] but briefly moved to San Francisco when Gerald felt that South Park wasn't "progressive" enough.[6] In a few instances, Sheila indicated displeasure with Gerald's indulgent and hypocritical behavior,[7][8] and Gerald occasionally displays subdued annoyance with his wife's meddling in others' lives. However, their marriage has been portrayed as more stable than those of the other prominent adult couples in the series, and the couple once overcame a temporary setback in their sex life when Gerald briefly suffered from erectile dysfunction.[9]

Gerald and Sheila have been referred to as Serbian Jews,[10] 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. The couple tend to showcase liberal viewpoints, having protested the 2003 invasion of Iraq[11] and supported Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential race.[12]

Gerald[edit]

Gerald is a lawyer who also serves on South Park's council as the city attorney,[13] and his role in this profession has been put on display in episodes in which a trial or legal issue plays a large part in the plot.[7][14][15] He commonly wears an olive-green jacket over a purple shirt and forest green trousers. He sports a contemporary beard and separated mustache, and is almost always seen donning a pink yarmulke. When not wearing the yarmulke, Gerald is shown to have male-pattern baldness. He is a generally kind, amiable person, though at intervals he has been shown to assume a snobbish attitude that disaffects his friends and family such as the episode Chicken Pox where its revealed that he used to be close with Kenny McCormick's father but that the two had a falling out due to economic differences or when he begins acting like an arrogant snob after buying a hybrid car in Smug Alert. In "Sexual Harassment Panda", Gerald repeatedly sued South Park Elementary (which was faultless in every case), and later every citizen of South Park, showing his shameless monetary greed and disregard for civil propriety. Gerald was once seen to have a repressed gambling problem,[16] and prior struggles with a fictional form of inhalant abuse known within the show as "cheesing".[7]

Sheila[edit]

Sheila made her first appearance in the season one episode "Death" (where she was originally named Carol), and she exhibits several traits commonly associated with those of a stereotypical Jewish mother. She wears her hair in a beehive, is overweight, and typically wears a midnight blue suit jacket over a light gray blouse, with a dark red skirt and gray stockings. She speaks with a New York/New Jersey accent, and appears to be of less-than-average height relative to the other female adults on the show. In the episode It's a Jersey Thing, its revealed that Sheila was originally from New Jersey, where she was known as "S-Wow Tittybang", and that she and Gerald moved to South Park to avoid having their newly conceived child grow up there. Apart from being briefly appointed to the fictional federal position of "Secretary of Offense" under the Clinton Administration, Sheila is a stay-at-home mother. As a result of hearing something shocking or inappropriate, she is often heard exclaiming "WHAT, WHAT, WHAT!?", saying each word in rapid succession and putting more emphasis on the last "what". Sheila has been depicted as being a huge fan of Barbra Streisand.[17]

In earlier seasons, Sheila would often spearhead public opposition to things she deemed harmful to children or to the Jewish community. She led a group to New York City to protest Terrance and Phillip, a Canadian comedy duo whose television show's toilet humor is what she believed to be a negative influence on Kyle.[18] Her outrage escalated in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut when she further protested Terrance and Phillip by forming "Mothers Against Canada", which eventually instigated a war between Canada and the United States. This aspect has been toned down in recent years, and is more or less completely absent from newer episodes. Her relationship with Gerald varies, in the episode Spontaneous Combustion it is shown that Gerald suffers from periodic sexual dysfunction which put a strain on their relationship. In "Insecurity", she and her husband used a sexual role play to have better sex.

Upon seeing Kyle taking part in a school play which involved a nativity scene, Sheila pleads with the mayor to ban the use of any religious imagery within the town that could perceived as offensive to those of different beliefs.[19] In addition to her ethnicity, Eric Cartman also despises Sheila's activism, which he perceives as an attempt to inhibit anyone's ability to have fun. Cartman has even expressed his hatred for Sheila by singing a song entitled "Kyle's Mom's a Bitch".

Family[edit]

Although Sheila is inclined to be overprotective of her children, she and Gerald tend to be caring and loving of both Kyle and Ike, with Sheila often referring to the boys with Yiddish terms of endearment. The couple often try to strengthen the bond between their two sons, and encourage Kyle to accept and love Ike as though they were biological brothers. The two also accompany Ike during activities that enrich his status as a child prodigy, such as sitting with him as he read two John Steinbeck novels in one day.[20] Gerald is mostly seen as a responsible and caring father, and often attempts to teach Kyle important morals, though sometimes to a fault. Thinking he would delight Kyle by making more money, Gerald actually distressed his son by increasing the family's income at the expense of bankrupting the local elementary school.[15] Gerald also alienated Kyle (and several other townsfolk) when, as one of the very few hybrid vehicle owners in South Park, he became increasingly self-righteous.[6] Despite these isolated incidents, Kyle usually holds a high opinion of Gerald. Sheila is often unaware of the overwhelming effect her protests has on Kyle until Kyle gains enough courage to confront her and tell her that her actions are not the proper way to be a mother figure in his life. Kyle tends to show that he truly loves Sheila, and takes offense to any insult Cartman may offer about her.

Sheila has a deceased mother named Cleo (who also shares Gerald's surname of Broflovski) who is frequently mentioned on the show. She was seen (albeit as a corpse) in the episode "Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery" when Kyle reluctantly allowed his friends to exhume her body so that they could use it in a Halloween prank. Sheila also has a nephew named Kyle (her sister's son) who is another of the show's embodiment of Jewish stereotypes. Aside from his wife and sons, none of Gerald's relatives have made a major appearance on the show.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Method Behind the Madness of South Park". everwonder.com. Retrieved 2009-01-28. 
  2. ^ Raphael, Rebecca. "Who is Kyle Broslofski?". Jewish News of Greater Phoenix. Retrieved 2009-02-04. 
  3. ^ Trey Parker and Matt Stone (1998-08-26). "Chickenpox". South Park. Season 2. Episode 210. Comedy Central.
  4. ^ In South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
  5. ^ Trey Parker and Matt Stone (2001-11-21). "The Entity". South Park. Season 5. Episode 511. Comedy Central.
  6. ^ a b Trey Parker and Matt Stone (2006-03-29). "Smug Alert!". South Park. Season 10. Episode 1002. Comedy Central.
  7. ^ a b c Trey Parker and Matt Stone (2008-03-26). "Major Boobage". South Park. Season 12. Episode 1203. Comedy Central.
  8. ^ Trey Parker and Matt Stone (2005-03-09). "Mr. Garrison's Fancy New Vagina". South Park. Season 9. Episode 901. Comedy Central.
  9. ^ Trey Parker and Matt Stone (1999-04-14). "Spontaneous Combustion". South Park. Season 3. Episode 303. Comedy Central.
  10. ^ Trey Parker and Matt Stone (2003-12-03). "Butt Out". South Park. Season 7. Episode 713. Comedy Central.
  11. ^ Trey Parker and Matt Stone (2003-04-09). "I'm a Little Bit Country". South Park. Season 7. Episode 701. Comedy Central.
  12. ^ Trey Parker and Matt Stone (2008-11-05). "About Last Night...". South Park. Season 12. Episode 1212. Comedy Central.
  13. ^ Trey Parker and Matt Stone (2005-03-16). "Die Hippie, Die". South Park. Season 9. Episode 902. Comedy Central.
  14. ^ Trey Parker and Matt Stone (1998-10-07). "Chef Aid". South Park. Season 2. Episode 214. Comedy Central.
  15. ^ a b Trey Parker and Matt Stone (1999-07-07). "Sexual Harassment Panda". South Park. Season 3. Episode 306. Comedy Central.
  16. ^ Trey Parker and Matt Stone (2003-04-30). "Red Man's Greed". South Park. Season 7. Episode 707. Comedy Central.
  17. ^ Trey Parker and Matt Stone (1998-02-18). "Mecha-Streisand". South Park. Season 1. Episode 113. Comedy Central.
  18. ^ Trey Parker and Matt Stone (1997-09-17). "Death". South Park. Season 1. Episode 106. Comedy Central.
  19. ^ Trey Parker and Matt Stone (1997-12-17). "Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo". South Park. Season 1. Episode 110. Comedy Central.
  20. ^ Trey Parker and Matt Stone (2000-06-19). "Do the Handicapped Go to Hell?". South Park. Season 4. Episode 410. Comedy Central.


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