As Jesus vs. Santa became more popular, Parker and Stone began talks of developing the short into a television series. Fox refused to pick up the series, not wanting to air a show that included the character Mr. Hankey , a talking piece of feces.  The two then entered negotiations with both MTV and Comedy Central. Parker preferred the show be produced by Comedy Central, fearing that MTV would turn it into a kids show.  When Comedy Central executive Doug Herzog watched the short, he commissioned for it to be developed into a series.  
Early versions of the character first appeared in Parker and Stone's two pre- South Park shorts, " The Spirit of Christmas " (1992 and 1995). In the first Spirit of Christmas short, the character resembling Kenny is unnamed, while the character resembling Cartman is named Kenny. The unnamed Kenny-like character also speaks unmuffled in the first short. Both of these characters get killed in the short. In the second Spirit of Christmas , a character with both Kenny's appearance and name appears and dies. Kenny's first South Park appearance within the series was alongside Kyle , Cartman and Stan in " Cartman Gets an Anal Probe ".