Randy Marsh Is the Greatest TV Dad of All Time

How did "South Park" create the world's most accomplished father?

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Last year an AskReddit thread posed the question, "Who is your favorite character of all time? Can be from any movie, book, game, show, etc." Within the hour, one redditor had replied, "Randy Marsh is the single greatest 'everyman' character in the history of television." In 2014, a different redditor posted to the South Park subreddit, "Sometimes I think Randy Marsh is the dad we all should be."

They're right. They're all right.

When Randy wants to, he can summon a Manson-like charisma and motivate the citizens of South Park to participate in whatever idiotic plan he's concocted. He's not malicious, just dumb.
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Randy Marsh is everything you're not, everything you fear, everything you wish you were. He gives impassioned speeches about critical moments in our world ("over logging" on the internet, the state of the economy), but can't keep himself from shopping at major retail chains, to the point of obsession. He's ostensibly intelligent enough to earn a PhD, but he tries to give himself cancer so that he'll qualify for a medical marijuana card in the state of Colorado.

"What this town needs...is a Whole Foods. It would instantly validate us as a town that cares about stuff."

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He's a man of extremes, either so committed to his next project that it threatens to tear his marriage apart, or so distraught by that project's failure that even his elementary school-aged son struggles to bring him out of despair.

With South Park now in its 20th season, we look back at the many misadventures that made us love Stan Marsh's dad more than the show's four protagonists combined.

He's Involved in a "Da Vinci Code"-like Secret Society

Randy is part of the Hare Club for Men, a religious organization that believes St. Peter was actually a rabbit. This comes to light in "Fantastic Easter Special," when Stan questions the relevance of the Easter Bunny to the resurrection narrative. Randy claims that Jesus considered rabbits to have the purest heart of any animal, and wanted rabbits to serve as pope, not humans.

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He's the World's Most Rabid Obama Supporter

On election night in 2008, Randy joins other Obama supporters in the street in a celebration that quickly turns to mayhem. He stands on an overturned police car and chants, "Obama you're so fine, you blow my mind. Hey, Obama! Hey, Obama!" Then he screams at his boss, gets fired, and has to be reminded of his antics the next morning.

He's Secretly Lorde

Randy Marsh is actually Lorde. Over a series of episodes, it is revealed that Randy leads two lives—one as Randy, the geologist from South Park, Colorado, and the other as New Zealand pop singer, Lorde. He writes and records all of Lorde's songs (the most famous of which goes, "I am Lorde, ya ya ya"), and his voice is then auto-tuned so that it doesn't sound like a middle-aged man's.

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He Thought This Was America

In America, aren't you allowed to say whatever you want? In America, aren't you allowed to do whatever you want? Fight whomever you want? Even if that person is the parent of an opposing player in your kid's Little League game? Randy's sorry, he thought this was America.

He Hates Dubstep…

More than anything else, Randy wants to be relevant to his son. So when his wife, Sharon, says that dubstep, the music Stan listens to, is terrible, Randy argues that Sharon's just perpetuating the cycle of older generations hating younger generations' music. Then Randy listens to it, and it literally sounds like farts. Randy has some modicum of taste.

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…But He Loves Old Show Tunes

Randy will be the grandest lady in the Easter parade.

He's the Consummate Consumer

When South Park gets its first Walmart, everyone is excited, including Randy. He can buy six steaks for the price of three! But there's something not quite right about this store. It has a supernatural pull, brainwashing customers into dedicating their entire lives to Walmart. Randy is no exception. He quits his job as a geologist and begins working at Walmart. He's the helpless consumer in all of us, trying to escape the retail machine, but weak in the presence of a good bargain.

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He's an Inspiring Public Speaker

Undeterred by his experience with Walmart, Randy comes before the city of South Park to advocate opening a Whole Foods. "You know we've all been making changes to be more socially conscious, but have we really done enough?" he asks of his neighbors. "The truth is there's something we're lacking as a community, and it's time we all faced it. What this town needs is a Whole Foods. We all just don't believe we can get a Whole Foods, because we don't believe in ourselves!" They get their Whole Foods. It doesn't go well.
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He Says His Wife's Name Weird

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Why does Randy say "Sharon" that way? Why aren't there more supercuts of Randy saying Sharon? It's one of the best running jokes in the show.

He's a Party Pooper

But in a good way! One day, Randy produces what turns out to be one of the largest poops in history. He submits it to the European Fecal Standards and Measurements Board, who inform him that Bono is the current record-holder. After some digging, Stan discovers a secret: Bono is the record; Bono is the world's largest poop. To add insult to Bono's injury, Randy then produces a poop even larger than Bono. This show has won awards.

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