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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, a soviet montage of non sequential art house fart jokes.
Originally intended for children, South Park unexpectedly gained a large following among adult audiences, and has since become infamous for its sophisticated wit, 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.
South Park centers on a group of fourth graders with incredibly filthy mouths. Stan Marsh is a boy puff-hatted known for instinctively vomiting whenever he is sexually aroused. Kyle Broflovski is the token Jew of the group. Eric Cartman is a cruel, prejudiced tactician and cunning genius who aspires the become the Neo-Fuehrer. Finally, Kenny McCormick is the token working-class kid who is killed at the end of most episodes.
“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, 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.”
“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 entertainment. 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.
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 they would not air a television show that was so vulgar and crude, relying heavily on scatological humor, racism, and homoerotic references.
After rejecting South Park, Fox then immediately went on to acquire the highly original and sophisticated animated social satire 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.
Twin Peaks Plagiarism Accusation
South Park has been criticised by fans of David Lynch of plagiarizing 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.
Other people also criticize South Park for its references/stereotypes aimed at them. Most of these people are critics, parents, foreigners, cripples, pussies, emos, goths Mormons Canadians Mexicanss, Catholics, Muslims, Gays, African Americans, Asians, and Jews. Comedy Central's lawyers actually receive co writer credit for toeing the line every episode.