The episode received generally positive reviews and has been described as one of the classic South Park episodes.
The concept stayed with Parker throughout his childhood; starting in elementary school and throughout his entire education, he would often draw the character in class, wearing a sailor's hat instead of the Santa Claus hat he would later wear in South Park.
Parker shared the concept with future South Park co-creator Matt Stone when the two met at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and the duo immediately knew they wanted to create a film or production involving Mr. The two discussed filming a three-minute short film involving a boy who befriended the talking stool, but Mr.
Hankey's fault; they also planned to have him visit a school counselor, where Mr.
Hankey would leap into the counselor's coffee mug and the boy would be blamed.
At the end, it would turn out that the boy was indeed crazy and Mr.
Hankey was not real at all, but a figment of the boy's imagination.
Later, when Comedy Central expressed interest in the series, Parker and Stone brought up the idea of a Mr.
Hankey episode during negotiations with the network executives.
Parker and Stone adapted their original idea into a show revolving around the South Park town and four children without Mr.
Hankey as a protagonist, but they planned to revive the character as a minor supporting role in a future episode.
In the episode, the Jewish character Kyle feels excluded from the town's celebrations during Christmas, and is comforted by Mr.