Randy and Sharon Marsh
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|Randy and Sharon Marsh|
|South Park characters|
Randy Marsh (left) and Sharon Kimble Marsh
|First appearance||"Volcano" (Randy)
"An Elephant Makes Love to a Pig" (Sharon)
|Created by||Trey Parker
Mary Kay Bergman (1997–99)
Mona Marshall (1999–2000)
Eliza Schneider (2001–03)
April Stewart (2004–present)
|Aliases||Steamy Ray Vaughn (Randy)
Receptionist at Tom's Rhinoplasty (Sharon)
|Children||Stan Marsh (son)
Shelly Marsh (daughter)
|Relatives||Marvin Marsh (Randy's father)
Jimbo Kern (Randy's half-brother)
Aunt Flo (Sharon's deceased aunt)
|Religion||Roman Catholicism, formerly Mormonism|
|Residence||South Park, Colorado|
Randy Marsh and Sharon Marsh (née Kimble) are fictional characters in the animated television series South Park. They are the most prominent set of parents on the show and a middle-class married couple who raise their 10-year-old son Stan and 13-year-old daughter Shelly in the fictional town of South Park, Colorado. Their first names are derived from the first names of series co-creator Trey Parker's parents, and Parker describes Randy as "the biggest dingbat in the entire show". According to the season 16 episode "Reverse Cowgirl", the Marsh home address is 260 Avenidas de los Mexicanos.
In tradition with the show's animation style, Randy and Sharon 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. Randy is voiced by Parker, whilst Sharon was originally voiced by Mary Kay Bergman, then by Mona Marshall, then by Eliza Schneider, and currently by April Stewart.
Randy and Sharon have known each other since childhood. Taking liberties with its floating timeline, the show established Randy and Sharon as being a couple as young adults during the flower power era. They maintain steady friendships with the parents of Stan's friends, and are revealed as enjoying the act of watching pornography together in order to enhance their sexual relationship. However, their marriage has not been without its frequent arguments, which are usually instigated when Sharon is annoyed, ashamed, or disgusted by Randy's eccentricities. The two briefly divorced on two separate occasions, but quickly reconciled each time. Randy and Sharon tend to showcase liberal viewpoints, having protested the 2003 invasion of Iraq and supported Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential race.
Like Parker's father, Randy is a geologist, aged 45 years old, making his first appearance in the series while monitoring a seismometer in the episode "Volcano". Aside from briefly taking a job as an associate at a Wal-Mart-like discount store, and the proprietor of South Park's bankrupt branch of Blockbuster Video, Randy was employed as mall security during the Black Friday weekend to earn extra money for Christmas, however it was revealed that he planned the job as a cover to infiltrate the mall before the stampede of shoppers. He was promoted to 'Commander Marsh' as the former lead security promoted him after he was stabbed by a shopper. Randy has been portrayed as having this profession for the entire duration of the series. He also serves on the city council, specializing in the town's parks and public grounds. He was briefly fired from his geologist job near the end of the 12th season, and quit briefly during the end of the 14th season, but has since been-rehired both times. Randy has black hair, a mustache, and a cleft chin. He carries a few pens in one of the two front pockets on his light blue, collared, button-up shirt, and wears dark gray pants.
Randy dropped out of high school, and was a member of a boyband in his teens, as shown in "Something You Can Do with Your Finger", but he has mentioned that he attended college, and has been indicated to hold a doctorate. A recurring character trait of Randy's is his being prone to overreacting and obsessively seizing upon irrational ideas and fads, whether by himself or as part of a large contingent of the town's adult population.
Though the show frequently depicts him to be a moderate to heavy drinker, numerous episodes have dealt with Randy's belligerent and negligent behavior brought upon by his severe intoxication.
A few instances of personal achievement have made Randy a hero in the eyes of his friends and fellow townsfolk, such as being awarded a Nobel Prize, and twice setting a record for producing the world's largest piece of human excrement. Randy has conversely been subjected to ridicule from the entire town, ranging from when he inadvertently accelerated the effects of global warming by suggesting the entire populace take on a more uninhibited approach to passing gas in order to avoid the hazard of spontaneous combustion, to when he reluctantly exclaimed "niggers" while attempting to solve a puzzle during a live broadcast of Wheel of Fortune. In addition to the professional singing he did in his youth, Randy can also play guitar, as seen in "Guitar Queer-O". He can also speak little Mongolian, having learned some in college, as seen in the episode "Child Abduction Is Not Funny".
The episode "Gluten Free Ebola" revealed that Randy also indeed works as a musician (as well as continuing to be a geologist) under the stage name of Lorde, a fact that was explored subsequently in "The Cissy" in which he is shown masquerading as the well-known female musician at work after lunch hours, recording music in the bathroom and editing it in the garage using auto-tuning software. This has become a running gag that has continued through multiple episodes, such as suggesting much of the Marsh family's income comes from his music career as Lorde rather than his geology job. It is also shown he now works for the U. S. Geological Survey, whereas in previous episodes he worked at the South Park Center for Seismic Activity.
Sharon is a 42-year-old receptionist. Sharon has never been portrayed in a work capacity on the series, but was depicted as the receptionist at Tom's Rhinoplasty, a local surgical clinic, in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut and South Park: The Stick of Truth. She has close-cropped brown hair, and wears a brown long-sleeved pullover adorned with red ruffles at the cuffs and collar, and dark blue pants. She is referred to by the name 'Carol' in the episode 'Death' when Sheila Broflovski hands her the phone at the protest with Cartoon Central.
Randy and Sharon are the parents of two children; 10-year-old son Stan and 13-year-old daughter Shelly. Randy is generally a doting, well-meaning father to Stan, though their relationship has become strained in the several instances when Randy's irrational behavior and periodic alcoholism aggravates his son. As a result, Stan is usually led to question his father's intelligence. Randy has also taken interest in learning how to play the same computer and video games Stan enjoys. Though Randy is often shown as being more fanatical in their upbringing efforts, Sharon has also been represented as an overzealous parent, such as when she kidnapped Officer Barbrady after he came to investigate the disappearance of those Sharon had buried in her yard because she mistakenly thought they were Stan's murder victims. Randy has a habit of temporarily favoring alternatives to Catholicism and imposing his new beliefs on his family. He easily persuaded Sharon to become an atheist, but was less successful in getting his entire family enthused about converting to Mormonism. Although not shy about explaining puberty to Stan, both Randy and Sharon are uncomfortable with the idea of having to talk with their son about sex and drugs. The relationship between the couple and their daughter Shelly has yet to receive significant attention on the show, although the episode An Elephant Makes Love to a Pig depicts them as taking Shelly's word over Stan's, at least at first.
Jimbo Kern had been portrayed as being both Sharon's and Randy's brother during the show's run, but an interview with series co-creator Matt Stone established him as being Randy's half-brother. As is the case with Shelly, whatever relationship either might have with Jimbo has not been the subject of any of the show's subplots. A similar situation exists with Marvin Marsh, a wheelchair-bound 102-year-old who lives with Randy and Sharon. Though he shares the same family name as Randy and Sharon on separate occasions have both acknowledged Marvin as their own father. The episode "Spookyfish" briefly featured Aunt Flo, an elderly aunt of Sharon's who is the personification of a woman's period.
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