Prior to the development of the popular series, Matt Stone and Trey Parker directed the 1993 film Cannibal! The Musicals”. The film is in fact a musical loosely based on an ill-fated real-life voyage in which explorers led by Alferd Packer have become stranded and resorted to cannibalism among the group. Originally titled Alferd Packer: The Musical, the film’s name was changed for its subsequent release in 1996 by notorious indie studio Troma Entertainment, the studio behind The Toxic Avenger. It was changed because they believed no one outside of Colorado knew who Alferd Packer was, according to the film’s official website. Matt Stone produced and starred in the film opposite Parker, and his character in the film wears a hat that might look familiar to fans of South Park.
Under the hat, Stone sports a curly, afro-style hairstyle. Kyle’s bright red hair, when it was finally revealed in the South Park episode How to Eat with Your Butt, is the same hairstyle as a nod to Stone’s character in Cannibal! The Musicals”. Kyle’s hair was only revealed a few more times over the course of the show, but fans certainly remember it. Stone told ESPN about his hair, “Well, my hair didn’t work before and it doesn’t work now.”