Stanley Randall "Stan" Marsh is a fictional character in the animated television series South Park. He is voiced by and loosely based on series co-creator Trey Parker. Stan is one of the shows four central characters, along with his friends Kyle Broflovski, Kenny McCormick, and Eric Cartman. He debuted on television when South Park first aired on August 13, 1997, after having first appeared in The Spirit of Christmas shorts created by Parker and long-time collaborator Matt Stone in 1992 (Jesus vs. Frosty) and 1995 (Jesus vs. Santa).
Stan is a third- then fourth-grade student who commonly has extraordinary experiences not typical of conventional small-town life in his fictional hometown of South Park, Colorado. Stan is generally friendly, down-to-earth, knowledgeable, helpful, laid back, and often shares with Kyle a leadership role as the main protagonist of the show. Stan is unreserved in verbally expressing his distinct lack of esteem for adults and their influences, as adult South Park residents rarely make use of their critical faculties.Stan is animated by computer in a way to emulate the shows original method of cutout animation. He also appears in the 1999 full-length feature film South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, as well as South Park-related media and merchandise. While Parker and Stone portray Stan as having common childlike tendencies, his dialogue is often intended to reflect stances and views on more adult-oriented issues, and has been frequently cited in numerous publications by experts in the fields of politics, religion, popular culture and philosophy