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For other uses, see Richard (disambiguation).

Richard Adler is the shop class teacher at the South Park Elementary. He first appears in the Season Three episode, "Tweek vs. Craig".

He often admonishes students to stop "screwing around" for various reasons, and plays small supporting or background roles in scenes where school faculty are needed.

Background

Mr. Adler is first introduced in "Tweek vs. Craig" when the boys take shop class. He asks which of the kids in class is a troublemaker, which prompts the boys to argue whether it is Tweek Tweak or Craig Tucker. Throughout the episode, he is played by recurring memories of his deceased fiancée, which culminates in a vision of her death, followed by the consumption of nicotine gum. He is dating Pearl, the home economics teacher, but has trouble moving on from his deceased fiancee. He plans to commit suicide after running out of his supply of gum, and after writing his suicide note, Adler planned to commit suicide by laying on a log cutter. However, he is interrupted by a fight between Tweek and Craig, who enter his classroom through the window, killing Kenny in the process. After having a vision including his fiancée, his grandmother, and his uncle, he is finally able to move on.

He returns in "Proper Condom Use", where he speaks at a meeting to agree with Diane Choksondik that the teachers have a responsibility to keep the school children, including Kindergartners safe if they will "screw around" anyway.

In "Mystery of the Urinal Deuce", he is present as the adults discuss the confusion over the September 11th terrorist attacks, to which he agrees with Skeeter that it was a conspiracy and asks if others are aware there were explosions seen at the base of the towers.

He voted for Barack Obama in "About Last Night..." and wore a grey sweater with Obama's face as well, expressing optimism that everything would be awesome.

In "Elementary School Musical" he appeared alongside Mr. Mackey as one of the commentators at the basketball game.

In "Mysterion Rises", it is revealed that Adler is a member of the Cult of Cthulhu when the boys recognize him attending one of the cult meetings at Jim McElroy's House. He can also be seen in a photograph being arrested as a member of the cult ten years prior to the series alongside Stuart McCormick and his wife.

He played a prominent role with the Principal Victoria and Mackey in "Bass to Mouth" as they tried to avoid another student suicide and work with Eric Cartman to prevent him from teasing the victims of Eavesdropper, leading to them throwing him under a bus.

In "Butterballs", he is confused when he finds Butters Stotch and his grandmother in a school bathroom that isn't supposed to be locked, before offering to help her find the correct girls' bathroom, laughing off her excuse that Butters had allegedly showed her to the wrong room.

He is shown sitting at a bar with Herbert Garrison and Jimbo Kern when Garrison expresses concern about political correctness and immigration in "Where My Country Gone?", leading to Garrison's presidential campaign, though he is not seen attending any campaign events.

In "South ParQ Vaccination Special", he is one of the adults trying to get the COVID-19 vaccine at Walgreens, seen at the beginning with Mr. Mackey.

Appearance

Adler is overweight with balding brown hair and has sagging, overly large cheeks. He wears a white long-sleeved shirt, under a green vest, and beige pants. His vest has a diamond-shaped, green and black pattern on it. He also has a band-aid on his head from an unknown injury which he has in all of his appearances.

When he ten years younger, he looked similarly, with slightly more hair behind his ears, darker, no bandaid on his head, and a similar sweater but a deeper shade of blue and a slightly different pattern. This design is occasionally used incorrectly in the background of present-day appearances.

Personality

Mr. Adler seems to generally be a relaxed person who is not particularly outspoken. When something makes him feel anxious or guilty, he appears easily overwhelmed, taking a while to move past his fiancee's death and becoming suicidal when he runs out of nicotine gum to deal with it.

He claims to have a low tolerance for troublemakers, asking students to identify themselves or classmates as such, and often expresses concern that students are "screwing around", referring to causing trouble, fighting, not paying attention, or on one occasion, sex itself.

Trivia

  • Adler is based on an old shop teacher who taught co-creator Matt Stone.
  • He is the only recurring school faculty member played by Matt, as Trey Parker voices Mr. Garrison, Mr. Mackey, PC Principal and others, so he is often Matt's only chance to provide a voice in scenes where he appears. This is why he is almost always accompanied with Mackey in particular, as this allows Trey and Matt to record together, though he does speak to Butters Stotch on two occasions.
  • Even though he is only the shop teacher, he is very often seen accompanying Mackey or Principal Victoria at meetings and assemblies where other teachers are not present, which would suggest he has a position in the school administration, though this is never stated.

Prominence

South Park: The Stick of Truth

Mr. Adler attends a PTA meeting at the Community Center alongside the other teachers, all of whom are willing to befriend The New Kid when he proves that an attack on the town is imminent. After this mission is complete, he is available for Facebook. He can only be found in the community center during the game.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole

Adler appears in South Park Elementary, where the New Kid can take a selfie with him if they do not "screw around". If they take too long taking the photograph or shake the camera, he may reject the selfie for "screwing around".

References

South Park Elementary staff
Coach Miles | Girls' volleyball coach | Herbert Garrison | Jose Venezuela | Mitchell | Mr. Derp | Mr. Garrett | Mr. Harris | Mr. Mackey | Mr. Meryl | Mr. Thompson | Mr. Wyland | Mrs. Streibel | PC Principal | Pearl | Recess supervisor | Richard Adler | Strong Woman | Substitute teacher
Former
Diane Choksondik | Jerome "Chef" McElroy | Margaret Nelson | Miss Claridge | Mr. Conners | Mr. Slave | Ms. Ellen | Ms. Stevenson | Nurse Gollum | Principal Victoria | Randy Marsh | Veronica Crabtree