Despite the fact that Mr. Hat has been away from South Park for 20 years, many questions related to him have remained unanswered.
Mr. Garrison’s odyssey throughout the career of South Park it has been one of its biggest subplots. But during the early days of the series, Mr. Garrison’s constant companion was a puppet named Mr. Hat. And while he’s long gone from the show, Mr. Hat left many answered questions behind.
In the first episode of South ParkMr. Garrison appeared as the third grade teacher at South Park Elementary School. He was, and still is, an incredibly inappropriate and vile human being. As an educator, Garrison spent more time teaching children about reruns of The facts of life of what he did with the real events of life. Eventually he became the fourth grade teacher and then the President of the United States.
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While Garrison is generally a reprehensible human being, one of the few identifiable aspects of his personality would be his confused sexuality. It became quite apparent that Mr. Garrison was a locked up gay man who couldn’t accept who he really was on the inside. That uncertainty plagued Garrison throughout the series, although he seemed to be happier when he finally came to terms with his homosexuality.
But before that happened, Mr. Garrison had Mr. Hat. He was a bearded puppet with a red top hat who said and did the things Mr. Garrison couldn’t. To the chagrin of the children in his class, Mr. Hat also helped teach. Overall, it didn’t turn out very well. As with all things in Garrison’s life, his relationship with Mr. Hat soured. For a time, Mr. Garrison replaced Mr. Hat with another puppet named Mr. Twig, who was literally a twig in a shirt.
That’s when things got really weird. Mr. Hat went on his own adventures, somehow showing up in a sauna with Bret Favre without anyone’s help. That’s not the only time something like this happened: Mr. Hat once went to a KKK rally just because Garrison didn’t approve. He also repeatedly tried to kill Mr. Twig. There was even a time when Mr. Hat actually kicked Mr. Mackey’s butt on his own, although that doesn’t seem particularly difficult.
Mr. Hat’s greatest solo work was rescuing Chef and Mr. Garrison from jail. Somehow, he tied a chain to the bars of the cell window of an SUV, then used the car to rip said window off the wall. Even if viewers accepted the fact that Mr. Hat could somehow move on his own, he was only inches tall. Couldn’t have reached for the pedals or looked over the steering wheel to drive. How he managed all that jailbreak is a total journey to think about.
At first, it was easy to dismiss the things Mr. Hat said and did as subconscious extensions of Mr. Garrison. But once he started trading on his own without anyone’s help, it became increasingly difficult to explain his actions. Garrison was in a jail cell when Mr. Hat perpetrated the jailbreak. The reality is, it couldn’t have helped Mr. Hat at all. As usual, fans were left with many more questions than answers.
The final episode featuring Mr. Hat as a series regular aired in 2002. His only other significant appearance was in a 2010 episode where he played a role in Cartman discovering his true lineage. As such, South Park has never fully addressed who or what Mr. Hat really is. But given the sheer number of aliens, demons, and assorted creatures that have appeared in this series, anything is possible.
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