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“Just because I eat fish sticks does not make me a gay fish, South Park!”
- ~ Kanye West claiming to South Park that he does not put fish sticks in his mouth
South Park is an American animated educational television series created by closeted sociopaths Trey Parker and Matt Stone. It revolves around the adventures of four extremely average children—Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, and Kenny McCormick—and their lives growing up in the quiet mountain town of South Park, Colorado. The ongoing narrative has been lauded by many for being highly complex and difficult to follow if you have not seen any earlier episodes, unlike South Park's #1 arch-enemy Family Guy.
Originally intended for children, South Park unexpectedly gained a large following among adult audiences, and has since become infamous for its sophisticated humor, as well as its sharp, biting satire focused on a diverse range of targets—although more often than not, liberals, Canadians, and celebrities who need to shut up.
“I have no idea where this road will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange!”
South Park is a small town located within the South Park Basin in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado. The town, sometimes described in song as a "Pissant, Whitebread, Redneck, Trailer Trash, Mountain Town filled with Armed Forces Jesus Freaks", has been enjoyed by tourists and residents for its peacefulness and its spiritual quality of life; no doubt in part from being twinned with the nearby town of Silent Hill. Unlike most isolated rural communities, South Park contains a highly diverse range of cultures and ethnicities, including Jews, blacks, Koreans, Peruvian Flute Bands, Chinese, aliens, Crab People, vampires, goths, Canadians, vampire-goths, Indians---I mean, Native Americans, and most importantly, good old-fashioned white people. A full list containing all of the population's names and their corresponding ethnic background can be found in South Park resident Eric Cartman's school project paper, Mein Kampf gegen die Juden.
Themes and Style
Each episode of the first five seasons opened with a tongue-in-cheek disclaimer:
According to Parker, this was originally intended as a form of the Pandora Technique, in which a work is made extremely popular because it was advertised as being too vulgar for anybody to watch it. In fact, a few crew members actually died of laughter and arousal after watching the pilot episode, forcing Comedy Central to include the disclaimer. In some states, a few relatively insignificant seconds of the episode were cut, and in other states, the viewers were encouraged to have a defibrillator handy when watching the episode. On August 14, 1997, it was reported that twelve viewers were sent to the hospital during and/or after the original broadcast of the episode, and four of them died. Since something similar happened to an episode of Pokemon, Network Executives considered pulling the episode and the series altogether, but Parker and Stone persuaded the Executives to keep the show after delivering numerous heartfelt speeches over the course of three days, and paying their life savings to the Executives and their souls to the Network Ghosts. After five seasons, Parker and Stone finally wrote Kenny out of the entire show as a commercial stunt that lasted the majority of one season. During that season, the show's disclaimer changed constantly.
“All characters and events are entirely fictional. If you're looking for Kenny McCormick, you've come to the wrong place. Famous for his deaths, Kenny died permanently from a disease that made his muscles atrophy, which somehow caused his soul to lock, effectively lifting the curse of dying and coming back to life all the time. He will be missed, especially by Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, and Eric Cartman, who are now looking for a replacement for Kenny. Welcome to the Mad House.”
“All characters and events are entirely fictional. Famous for his deaths, Kenny died permanently from a disease that made his muscles atrophy, which somehow caused his soul to lock, effectively lifting the curse of dying and coming back to life all the time. But in a world of darkness, a beam of hope shines down on South Park, whose residents infer that Kenny might return someday. If this were to happen, everything would be back to normal except that Kenny would be cursed no more. So don't expect anymore Kenny-killings out of us. We've pretty much killed him every way imaginable. With that in mind, let's just hope Kenny comes back at all. Welcome to the Mad House.”
“All characters and events are entirely fictional. Famous for his deaths, Kenny died permanently from a disease that made his muscles atrophy, which somehow caused his soul to lock, effectively lifting the curse of dying and coming back to life all the time. Just recently, Kenny's soul entered the body of Eric Cartman, who was then possessed by Kenny, after Cartman accidentally consumed Kenny's ashes. Kenny has returned to South Park! He's lost his own physical body and must occupy someone else's, sure, but he still has returned! Welcome to the Mad House.”
“All characters and events are entirely fictional. Famous for his deaths, Kenny died permanently from a disease that made his muscles atrophy, which somehow caused his soul to lock, effectively lifting the curse of dying and coming back to life all the time. Just recently, Kenny's soul entered the body of Eric Cartman, who was then possessed by Kenny, after Cartman accidentally consumed Kenny's ashes. This drove Cartman crazy, so he had Kenny's soul exorcised, and Kenny's soul ended up in a pot roast that was eaten by Rob Schneider, who was then possessed by Kenny. Mr. Schneider died shortly after being possessed, by being shot and impaled on a flagpole. If you know anything about this ghost stuff, you should know that this would kill Kenny yet again. We kinda killed Kenny again even though we said we wouldn't. It's just like that one episode with Kathie Lee Gifford, except Kenny's already dead and he's inside Rob Schneider! This is a sign that we're slowly becoming less creative, which caused the fall of many shows before this one. Welcome to the Mad House.”
Later on in the production of season six, Parker and Stone were forced to write the story arc involving Kenny's soul or else be impaled by Dracula, who had also sold his soul to the Comedy Central Network Ghosts. Much like black slaves wrote songs that subtly insulted their masters, Parker and Stone wrote elements into the story arc that subtly insulted the Executives, including the similarities between Cartman's possession and the nature of the Network Ghosts, and Rob Schneider's impalement and Dracula's impalement threats. In the end, they brought Kenny back to life, much to the rejoicing of the fandom. Parker, Stone, and the Executives all agreed that this decision was justified by the fact that Rob Schneider dying while possessed by Kenny would bring Kenny back to life, and the same would apply to Cartman's possession had Cartman died while possessed by Kenny.
“All characters and events are entirely fictional. After possessing Rob Schneider and dying in his body, Kenny has returned to South Park with his own physical body back! Welcome to the Mad House.”
Then the show reached 100 episodes.
“All characters and events are entirely fictional. Thank you for 100 episodes!”
After that, the show's disclaimer changed every several episodes.
Most episodes revolve around a plot serving as a parable for religion, politics and numerous other topics. Although it has been criticised by many high-art critics that this is not entirely evident till the end, with one of the characters using the "You know what? I've Learned something today..." speech in order to tie together what before seemed like a random collection of toilet humour gags, slapstick violence, vulgar insults, racism, sexism and downright disregard for human life into a profound message preaching about how we must change for the better in society.
Many of the attitudes and values of the show stem directly from the creators themselves. Adults in South Park are often portrayed as gullible, irrational, and prone to having distorted views on morality. Matt Stone and Trey Parker both use Kyle and Stan as their representative characters in South Park. However, due to both Matt and Trey being complete Psychopaths with a total lack of empathy, they identify more with the character of Cartman, and through him express their prejudice and hatred for anything remotely Human. They then attempt to justify their evil doings by having Stan and Kyle frown upon Cartman and express their disapproval, often saying "You shouldn't say that, man. That's not cool." Because of this, Matt and Trey manage to narrowly escape being convicted of inciting Hatred every single episode.
Stan Marsh is arguably the de' facto leader of the group. He is noticeable for always wearing a puff ball hat and instinctively vomiting whenever he is sexually aroused (usually around Kyle). Although his exact placing is unknown, it is highly reasonable that he is quite high up on Cartman's list of South Park residents to be sent to the gas chamber.
Kyle Broflovski Or Brovlowsky... or is it Brovlovski... ski or sky? Anyway, he is the token Jew of the group, despite secretely worshipping the secondary Pagan god of Christmas, Mr. Hankey. He always wears a green hat, that if you squint your eyes really hard it looks like a dragon with a wig on. Kyle even earns his own special category as "Dirty jew #1" on Eric Cartman's list of South Park residents to kill.
Eric Theodore Cartman is arguably the breakout character of South Park and is a cult favorite. He is a cruel, prejudiced fourth grader living with his hermaphrodite, crack-smoking single mother/father. Many psychologists and school counsellors such as Freud and Mr. Mackey have expressed puzzlement as to where his personality disorders stem from. Eric is notable for his hatred of any ethnicity or subculture that he is not a part of, giving special attention to the Jews and hippies. Fuelled by this rage, Cartman has proved himself a master tactician and a cunning genius when it comes to abusing people and tricking his classmates into doing his bidding as the Neo-Fuehrer.
Kenny McCormick is the token working-class kid who is so poor that his main diet consists of pancake waffles with no condiments, yet somehow managed to buy a Sony PSP. He resides with his family in the Ghetto, and is subject to the usual harrasments and insults that society can offer. Kenny is often regarded by the upper-class people in South Park as being America's worst nightmare, raised in a run-down house with three generations of hopelessness, poverty, and profanity. At the beginning of the series, Kenny was the main focal point of the plot, with each episode revolving around the mystery of "who killed Kenny?" It is revealed 0.75 seconds after the murder (on average) that They did it. They are then punished by being called "Bastards", and for the rest of the episode the surviving characters set out to solve the remaining subplot.
After six Seasons and roughly 843 deaths, Kenny decided to take a break from being viciously mutilated and stayed dead. After a nice holiday in hell, partying with Princess Diana and Ghandi, he then returned with demonic superpowers that make him strong enough to stay alive almost as long as the rest of the boys can.
- Aunt Flow: Aunt Flow is the sister of Stan Marsh's mother. According to Stan's father, Randy, Aunt Flow visits once a month for a period of 4-5 days, during which time Stan's mother is easily irritated, makes unreasonable demands, forces Randy to sleep on the couch, and is basically the cause of much unhappiness for all members of the family.
- Bebe Stevens - Basically, the fourth grade's resident slut with huge boobs. Clyde is her pimp.
- Butters - Real name: Leopold Stotch (not scotch, dumbass). He is generally everyone's bitch by everyone's consent except his own. He enjoys playing with toy cars when not being smacked around or tricked into having sex by Cartman. After he was fired as as Kenny's replacment he became Professor Chaos and went on a crime spree around South Park.(During which, he never committed a crime, because the Simpsons had already done it)
- Clyde Donovan - The fat kid whenever Cartman is absent. Bebe's pimp.
- Heidi Turner, Anne Polk, Millie, Red etc - Background girls that do jack all. Giggle a lot and bitch about people.
- Ike - Also referred to by Cartman as "Kike", he is Kyle's little brother who was adopted from Canada. Due to his heritage, his head resembles something similar to Weebl and Bob.
- Jimmy - T...T...To...ken cri... cri...ple #... #...2 (see Timmy). Comedian and member of the Cri... Cri... Cri..ps.
- ManBearPig - A mythological creature comprising Half Man, Half Bear, and Half Pig (or some variance and combination of these. MIT researchers are currently working on it.) He must super-cerealisy be stopped, before he can... erm... I'm sorry Mr. Gore, what is it that ManBearPig does that is so bad for society.
- Mr./Mrs. Garrison - Oh SCISSOR ME TIMBERS! She teaches the children all about world cultures and practices, such as Filthy Sanchez and the Hot Karl. AMBIGUOUSLY STRAIGHT, then AMBIGUOUSLY GAY, then VERY GAY, then TRANSSEXUAL, then GAY AGAIN. Now is female and STRAIGHT, Then LESBIAN, and then BECOMES A MAN WHOSE SEXUALITY IS UNKNOWN. She/He... erm... It enjoys baking, pissing sitting down and strutting. It had sex with its dad and has a gay slave. Man. What a fucked up but funny guy, girl....thing.
- Mr. Hankey - Walking, talking piece of Christmas-poo that lives in the sewers underneath South Park. Hooooooowdy ho kids!!! Is often seen crawling along children's faces at night on Christmas Eve.
- Mr. Mackey - Now, Uncyclopedia's bad, M'Kay! Uncyclopedia doesn't have real information, M'Kay. And doesn't expand your mind, M'Kay... Uncyclopedia's bad, M'Kay...
- Mr. Slave - "Oh Jevuth Chrifft!" He is Mr. Garrison's boyfriend; and in school, the teacher's assistant (aka the teacher's ass). He breaks up with Garrison after the sex-change operation, and is currently married to Big Gay Al.
- Mrs. Cartman - A bubbly-voiced, promiscuous crack whore who wears a poofy-neck sweater typical of 70s design and a red skirt.
- Phillip - A donkey raping shit-eater according to his comedic counterpart, Terrance.
- Pip - The British kid of the school who is often degraded by Cartman for being "a French piece of crap". Suddenly Pip died in 2010. just before episode 201 the cause of death was drug overdose, later in episode 201 Kenny dressed as Pip got crushed to death by Mecha Streisend while Pip was dead before that episode.
- Randy - Stan's dad, and part time moronic role-model. Like all fathers, he enjoys getting hammered and then fighting at Little League softball games, overreacting to any event that may threaten South Park, and Internet Pornography.
- Terrance - A shit-faced cock master, according to his comedic counterpart, Phillip.
- Timmy - The token cripple along with Jimmy...He enjoys playing Wheelchair Wars and shouting TIMMMMMAYYYYY!!!! He has Attention Deficit Disorder, contrary to Public Opinion in South Park.
- Token - The only black-skinned kid in South Park. From the way he acts, though, he seems as white as Whitney Houston's nostrils on a Saturday night. And the way he has lots of money and flaunts it would bring to mind more comparison to the Jews than Kyle.
- Tom Cruise - Contrary to popular belief, Tom Cruise will come out of the closet; but only as long as he can take the closet with him.
- Towelie - A towel originally designed by aliens to dehydrate the people of Earth, he prefers instead to sit around and get high, like all anthropomorphic towels. He also reminds kids to bring towel with them wherever they go. When told that such advice is useless, he'll stubbornly attempt to refute the statement by saying 'it IS useful'. If they contradict him, he'll continue to say 'yes it is!' until the conversation hopelessly ends at some point. He will ask attending third party by-passers who might happen to be in the same room if they wish to get high. If they refuse, he'll say 'You sure?', producing a minimally awkward moment. If they refuse a second time, he'll wander away.
- Tweek - A coffee addict who fears Coffee. He was lucky enough to replace Kenny after he died and went on vacation in Hell.
- Wendy Testaburger - Hippie douche who cheats on Stan with anyone with a cock as Stan had his chopped off by Pedobear.
Parker and Stone developed the show from two animated shorts they created in 1992 and 1995, attempting to create one of the first Internet viral videos. Unfortunately, no one bothered to use YouTube back then, due to dial-up Internet connection being the highest speed available. Many people would have perished from starvation if they waited for the the video to stop buffering, and so it was seen by barely anyone. However, actor/producer George Clooney, being as fat and lazy as he is, managed to sit through the entire video loading up, surviving off a 24-pack of Cheetos and the blubber stored up in his own body. After finally watching it, he was greatly impressed. Clooney burned several copies onto CD and sent them to several Hollywood network executives, most of them being the ones he hooked up with when he was on ER.
At first, 20th Century Fox was approached to broadcast South Park, but they refused adamantly, stating that:
- A: They would not air a television show with so many similarities to The Simpsons.
- B: They would not air a television show that was so vulgar and crude, relying heavily on scatological humor, racism, and homoerotic references most homophobes in the closet engage in.
After rejecting South Park, Fox then immediately went on to acquire the highly original and sophisticated animated TV show Family Guy. Fortunately, the much less classier network, Comedy Central, agreed to pick up the rights to South Park and began airing it on August 13, 1997 to great success, consistently earning the highest ratings of any basic cable program.
South Park has been criticised by fans of David Lynch (all 3 of them, as a matter of fact) of plagiarising many themes and ideas from his 90's TV show, Twin Peaks. Lynch has yet to comment on this, mostly because he doesn't care. However, his loyal and devoted triplet of fans have compiled the most damning of evidence, in order to take action against South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
One night at the White House, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were having a sleepover and up late, way past George's usual bedtime in order to watch Family Guy. While the commercials were on, George momentarily flicked over channels and ended on watching an episode of South Park. They watched it through to the end, with George giggling on the floor, and Dick grumbling slightly, a major compliment for any comedy show. At the end of the credits, this odd exchange was recorded by the White House security monitoring system.
Other people also criticize South Park for its references/stereotypes/plagiarism aimed at them. Most of these people are critics, parents, foreigners, cripples, pussies, emos, apes, and others. The people of North, East, and West Park are especially at risk of being stereotyped by the infamous show.