Eric Theodore Cartman is a fictional character on the American animated television series South Park. One of the four main characters along with fellow protagonists Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, and Kenny McCormick, he is often portrayed as the series' main antagonist/protagonist in opposition to his friends, who commonly refer to him by his family name. He debuted on television when South Park first aired on August 13, 1997; he had earlier appeared in The Spirit of Christmas shorts created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone in 1992 (Jesus vs. Frosty) and 1995 (Jesus vs. Santa).
Voiced by Trey Parker, Cartman is an overweight, spoiled, foul-mouthed, mean-spirited, selfish, and ill-tempered fourth-grader living with his mother in the fictional town of South Park, Colorado, where he commonly has extraordinary experiences not typical of conventional small-town life.
Cartman is one of the most popular characters on the show, and has remained one of the most recognizable television characters ever since South Park became a hit during its first season. Parker and Stone describe the character as "a little Archie Bunker", and state that he is their favorite character, and the one with whom they most identify. During its fourteen seasons, South Park has received both praise and criticism for Cartman's tendency to be politically incorrect and shockingly profane. Prominent publications and television channels have included Cartman on their lists of the most iconic television and cartoon characters of all time.
Cartman attends South Park Elementary as part of Mr. Garrison's fourth grade class. During the show's first 58 episodes (1997 until the season four episode "4th Grade" in 2000), Cartman and the other main child characters had been in the third grade. He is an only child being raised by Liane Cartman, a promiscuous single mother who in Cartman's Mom Is Still a Dirty Slut (1998) had been established as intersexual when she claimed to be the father of Cartman. The season 14 (2010) episode "201" later revealed that Liane actually is his mother, and that his true biological father was Jack Tenorman, a fictional former player for the Denver Broncos whom Cartman had arranged to be killed in the season five (2001) episode "Scott Tenorman Must Die," making Cartman and Scott Tenorman half-brothers.
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Official Site: Comedy Central
Links: About.com Wiki Page South Park Archives