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Welcome to South Park, Fats Ass: Our 1998 Cowl Story

This text initially appeared within the March 1998 difficulty of SPIN. It’s being republished in honor of the twenty fifth anniversary of South Park.

Right here’s the way it works within the post-Simpsons period. The tremors begin at espresso retailers, film queues, dorm rooms: younger individuals speaking in weird pinched voices. Goateed cashiers spouting off-color catchphrases. Unusual little icons on T-shirts and display savers. Then, the Websites spring up. The upstart community thrives. The only is launched. The film is introduced. Immediately, earlier than you realize it, we’re as much as our bungholes in ’90s cartoon Zeitgeist.

With the unstoppable power of a dead-Chris Farley joke, Comedy Central’s sick, crudely animated half-hour present South Park—that includes the adventures of 4 gimlet-eyed, foul-mouthed third-graders—has grow to be not simply the most well liked cartoon however the hottest youth-cult phenomenon within the nation. Like Bart and Butt-head earlier than them, the construction-paper-hewn Stan Marsh, Kyle Broslofskyi, Eric Cartman, and the completely hooded Kenny McCormic now rule the department stores of America. Their likenesses are in all places, together with on final yr’s hottest-selling T-shirt (“Now we have merchandisers lined up across the block!” boasts Comedy Central spokesman Tony Fox). Their signature strains—”Kick ass!” “Omigod, they killed Kenny”—are on the lips of paperboys and grad college students throughout the nation. They’ve even impressed the critics. Subsequent to “such in style brokers of homicide and mayhem” as South Park‘s “cackling characters,” observes the New York Occasions‘s Michiko Kakutani, “the Satan doesn’t even stick out.”

Trade seismologists measure fan ardor extra immediately. “CNN has to have a worldwide catastrophe to give you a 1.4 [rating],” mentioned one tv business advisor. For its Christmas present, South Park earned itself a 5.4 score, the best for an unique collection in Comedy Central’s historical past; 4.5 million individuals tuned in, greater than seven instances Comedy Central’s common. Rights to a South Park soundtrack album, presently within the works, have a rumored value of $2 million. In the meantime, showbiz giants from Jay Leno to Jason Priestley to George Clooney have both provided or given the present subliminal voice cameos—the final performing the woofs of a homosexual canine.

All of this—plus a feature-length movie and the inevitable client effluvia (mugs, boxer shorts, seashore towels, backpacks)—comes on the energy of only a handful of episodes. Gen-X school roommates Trey Parker and Matt Stone hit the motherlode of goofball hip with one alarmingly easy concept: Take a bunch of cute li’l quaintly animated characters—redolent of early-’70s tutorial movies and Peanuts vacation specials—and slam them into ’90s grossness and dread. Someway, by that includes vomiting, farting. racial slurs, and decapitations, their not significantly high-minded artistic enterprise seized pole place within the tradition business. Someway, South Park should converse to some starvation deep inside us, should reaffirm some fundamental truths about humanity. That, or we’re really a nation of retards.

South Park
(Credit score: Getty Photos / Handout)

“There isn’t a extra direct and correct method of discovering out what is basically on a individuals’s collective thoughts,” writes Alan Dundes in his ebook Cracking Jokes, “than by listening to exactly what’s making the individuals giggle.” To that finish we flip to 1996’s “The Spirit of Christmas,” the $750 video Hallmark that launched South Park. In “Christmas,” Parker and Stone launched the 4 snowsuited characters and their perpetually wintry milieu, had them quarrel and bait the Jewish Kyle and hurl fats jokes on the rotund Cartman, and introduced within the off-color surrealism that will grow to be a South Park trademark. In flowing robes, Jesus seems earlier than the children saying he has arrived to avenge the despoiling of his identify by Santa Claus. (“Don’t say ‘pigfucker’ in entrance of Jesus,” Stan admonishes Cartman.) Jesus begins a Mortal Kombat–type kung fu duel together with his arch-nemesis “Kringle” whereas the children fret over whom to root for. All the weather have been in place: sadism, sacrilege, and nonstop profanity.

After the furiously circulated video led to a take care of Comedy Central, South Park debuted to flesh out the 4 children’ world. Early episodes launched us to the priapic college Chef (voiced by Isaac Hayes), the schoolteacher Mr. Garrison and his hand-puppet/id Mr. Hat, Wendy Testaburger (whose presence makes the love-struck Stan vomit), and different city folks. As in “The Spirit of Christmas,” all of the characters remained jittery composites of cut-up paper shapes whose eyes blinked and enamel gnashed in distant approximations of facial expressions.

With a built-in viewers of the tens of hundreds who had seen the Xmas bootleg, South Park was an immediate hit—particularly amongst snickering white pubescents. Elektra Data’ Brian Cohen, chargeable for buying TV industrial time for the label, knew the present was made-to-order for promoting the likes of Pantera, Metallica, and AC/DC. “You go to the live shows and also you see a number of younger boys who’re able to, you realize, minimize one thing and make it bleed,” he says. “It was fairly clear that this was the appropriate viewers.”

However whereas the present works brilliantly as a cult hit, it makes a curious switch to the bigger tradition. In contrast to comedian sensations of yore—Monty Python, say, or Firesign Theater—you don’t sound like a soigné aficionado of superb comedy while you repeat South Park sound bites at college: You sound Particular Ed. And whereas there may be sufficient splenetic wit and manic element to generate obsessive fandom (total sections of Websites are devoted to deciphering simply what Kenny is mumbling), topics like alien abduction, genetic engineering, and Kathie Lee are hardly unique targets for satire. South Park fares effectively compared to Beavis and Butt-head, however to not its different apparent forebear, The Simpsons. A years-old establishment with a full crew of writers, The Simpsons is each higher-yield jokewise and extra virtuosic, with gags compounding gags and a extra coherent sense of the characters’ foibles and predilections. The Simpsons and its follow-on King of the Hill additionally undertake a broader critique of suburbia, mass media, household life, and beer-swilling fats guys than does South Park. South Park‘s extra about puking and aliens and stuff.

In a way, although, that’s the purpose. South Park is a punk-rock Simpsons: not as droll nor as well-executed, however sooner, cruder, with fewer characters and fewer ambition. Not solely is there a agency grasp of early punk’s nihilistic juvenilia—Cartman’s Hitler Halloween costume was positively Ramonesian in its gleeful unhealthy style—however South Park additionally shares punk’s slapdash manufacturing values. Turnaround time per episode is lightning-fast—as soon as each three weeks—which makes it essentially the most shoot-from-the-hip comedy program on tv.

Like many subcultural crazes, the present’s enchantment is about type and type greater than content material. Cartman’s voice—a trebly, gravelly mixture of Truman Capote and Wolfman Jack—is alone definitely worth the value of fundamental cable. And, at its most elemental, South Park is based on a sight gag with legs. Of the evergreen comedian tropes on the market—males in attire, speaking computer systems, vice presidents—one of the vital reliable is the dismembering of cute little moppets. (Witness Saturday Evening Reside‘s immensely in style “Mr. Invoice” collection.) The central irony is that, for all its absurdity, South Park might be more true to the child expertise than some other program on TV. It has the acquainted sadism, the shameless greed, and the exuberant curiosity—in spades. Perversely, South Park could also be one in every of realest social worlds on TV.

However very like childhood itself, South Park isn’t a franchise that’s constructed to final. Even by the sixth episode, “Dying,” Parker and Stone have been already making none-too-subtle allusions to crass TV exhibits “which have come and gone which have been very unhealthy [and usually] get taken proper off the air.” Possibly, because the creators themselves appear to acknowledge, this wouldn’t be such a horrible factor.

Will South Park linger ignobly like Roseanne and the Rolling Stones, cashing checks whereas tarnishing its luster? Or will it—because the current sub-sub-lowbrow Christmas episode suggests—exit in a blaze of speaking poo? South Park‘s important comedic system—the conflict between childhood innocence and grownup puerility—is in any other case often called “junior excessive,” and everybody graduates eventually. With a brand new film beckoning and their place in historical past secured, Parker and Stone could be savvy sufficient to sabotage their creation earlier than it turns towards them. Even Cartman is aware of it’s higher to gross out than fade away.

South Park
South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker with Larry Divney, Pres., Comedy Central, (Credit score: Kevin Winter/ImageDirect)

The Creators: Cannibalism, Pornography, Psychological Disabilities, Et Cetera

Todd Krieger explores the ever-indelicate cultural choices of Trey Parker and Matt Stone

“Whoever rents this porn,” says Trey Parker as he observes a faux knife plunging into the pinnacle of a largely bare porn star, “goes to be so pissed off.” On a balmy Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles, Parker and fellow South Park creator Matt Stone are stress-free from the pains of inventing televised leisure by internet hosting a weekend porn shoot at their beachfront apartment. Because the solid and crew transfer about the home taking pictures varied scenes, Parker and Stone are readily available to contribute a number of private thrives, together with what needs to be essentially the most uncommon homicide scene ever to be filmed within the sex-vid business: demise by tone-poem compendium. That Parker possesses a quantity of symphonic poems by the Nineteenth-century German composer Richard Strauss hints that beneath these lowbrow amusements lies a intellectual pedigree; that he and Stone have helped create a movie that depicts one bare actor killing one other with mentioned ebook throughout intercourse hints that these two culture-makers-of-the-moment are unabashedly bizarre.

Whereas South Park‘s surprising success has led to the conclusion of pubescent fantasies like at-home pornography and “assembly the chick from Species,” the 27-year-old Parker factors out that the present has additionally been an enviornment for private development. ”We discover all the pieces,” he says. “It’s nice remedy.” And although Comedy Central has allowed their remedy to discover some pretty uncommon territory (see elephant/pig intercourse, anal probes for the younger, and so on.), there are limits to what they’ll air. “The one factor they wouldn’t allow us to do was make enjoyable of the Nation of Islam,” says Parker. “We predict it was out of concern that we’d be killed, after which they wouldn’t have a present.”

Hungry South Park followers will readily eat up the brand new episodes of their critically acclaimed hit (20 extra have been ordered), nevertheless it’s the live-action porn business send-up Orgazmo, slated for a summer season launch, which will show to be a more true measure of their skills. Orgazmo stars Parker as Joe Younger, a Mormon reluctantly reworked into porn star Captain Orgazmo, and Stone as an overzealous lighting technician. Showing alongside them are veteran porn actor/cult hero Ron Jeremy, a trio of intercourse queens espousing a twisted type of woman energy (“I’m not going to do any ass-licking immediately”), and a sidekick with a dildo strapped to his head. But for Parker and Stone, working in porn is remarkably much like engaged on South Park. “The great factor with the children is which you can put them in just a little bag on the finish of the day,” says Parker. And porn stars? “Not a lot completely different. They already get fucked and so they’re not like, ‘I don’t need to try this, I’ll look s-s-s-s-s-stupid.’ I imply, c’mon, they’ve had anal intercourse close-ups.”

In January, whereas Orgazmo was making its U.S. debut at Sundance, Cannibal: The Musical, Parker’s first work as author/director/star, was premiering on the underground Slamdance Competition. Shot for a minuscule $125,000, Cannibal (billed as a cross between Oklahoma! and Friday the thirteenth) has begun displaying across the nation at a collection of midnight exhibits. Viewers participation is inspired within the hopes that it would grow to be the following Rocky Horror Image Present.

Naturally, Hollywood desires in. Parker’s accomplished script for a live-action undertaking titled Fuzzies lately drew the eye of producer Scott Rudin. The story revolves round a nine-year-old with a psychological incapacity (he constantly repeats the phrase “bacon and cheese and carrots and peas”) who triumphs over the forces of evil (giant “blue-horned fuzzies”) threatening to wreck his hometown. Within the movie’s climactic scene, a brigade of mentally disabled children prices over a hill to avoid wasting the imperiled city from the clutches of the fuzzies. Like earlier tasks, this one seems to be weird and barely reckless. However Fuzzies—and its estimated price range of $20 million—has been shelved at Parker’s behest. “The one method I might do it’s if I left South Park,” says Parker. “They needed to do it in January. I mentioned no. They freaked out. They’re like, ‘How will you not need to do a Paramount film?”

Stone and Parker, in the meantime, have taken roles within the subsequent film from the legendary Zucker brothers (Airplane, The Bare Gun). “We’re a part of this ‘baseketball’ crew. It’s a mix of basketball and baseball,” explains Stone because the porn crew prepares for an additional scene in his front room. “It’s about our rise to fame as the game turns into in style. A whole lot of what we’re engaged on comes from what’s occurred to us up to now six months and what we’ve been coping with,” he says, pausing to look at a tube of “scorching tamale”–flavored lubricant sitting in entrance of him. He squeezes a small dab onto his finger and tastes it. “It comes,” he says lastly, “from actual life.”

South Park
(Credit score: Getty Photos / Handout)

The Future?: “Oh My God, They Molested Kenny!”

Its debut season was an immediate hit. Now, South Park will face the age-old dilemma: How do you high your self?

July 4, 1998. Reasserting South Park‘s status as essentially the most edgy and eccentric present on tv, the launch of the second season is widely known at a “rave” in a disused San Pedro curler rink, with journalists given instructions written on the again of Fats-burger french-fry luggage. Hosted by a pointlessly grouchy Janeane Garofalo, the celebration was “silly, boring, and pretentious,” Parker and Stone later chortle, however media hype continues unabated. The lone dissenter is New York Occasions tradition critic Michiko Kakutani, who calls the present the “lede equine of the 4 horsemen of the approaching Gen X cultural apocalypse.”

July 8. The primary episode of the second season, “Gangsta Gangsta,” airs: After Mr. Garrison provides the category an Ebonics lecture, Cartman and human beatbox Kenny (managed by Kyle), rename themselves “The Infamous P.I.G. and Ok-III.” Backed by their posse, the South Park Killers, the duo minimize a gangsta rap single, “SPK—What Does It Imply?” Even Chef is shocked by lyrics reminiscent of “Straight outta South Park, loopy motherfucker named Cartman / Spent my youth anal-probed by an ali-ennn!” Watching his personal video at house, Cartman yells to his mother, “Yo, get me some Tacky Poofs, bitch!” When Kyle’s mom finds her child son Ike singing the catchy refrain, “South Park, South South Park,” she petitions the Mayor to cancel P.I.G. and Ok-III’s upcoming efficiency on the college expertise present, however is thwarted by the ACLU. In the meantime, P.I.G. and Ok-III fireplace Kyle as their supervisor as a result of he’s Jewish. Confused about his musical route, Cartman vanishes, reappearing for the sold-out live performance, unveiling his newest persona—Heavy C—and a brand new R&B-tinged hip-hop sound: “I say big-boned, you say overweight / I’m blowin’ up larger than Dom DeLuise / Each step I take makes hearts begin to break / ‘Trigger I’m beefcake, beefcake, beefcake!” An enraged crowd bum-rushes the stage. Outdoors the college auditorium, Kenny avoids a drive-by taking pictures, however is tragically cornered by a Kangol-sporting Quentin Tarantino, who makes an attempt to “flip him on” to some obscure Bushwick Invoice B-sides.

July 9. Racial activist Al Sharpton joins forces with rappers Fats Joe, Massive Punisher, and Biggie Smalls’s mom, Voletta Wallace, to protest the present’s “stereotypical depiction of tragically chubby hip-hop performers.” Prodigy pattern Cartman’s voice on their track, “Cheese My Bitch Up” and launch an X-rated video by which a topless stripper is pelted with snack treats. The Nationwide Group for Ladies requires boycotts of each present on Comedy Central apart from reruns of Completely Fabulous.

July 13. Sporting “Company Cartoons Nonetheless Suck” T-shirts, a cranky Parker and Stone seem on an E! community broadcast of the Howard Stern radio present, trashing the “overmerchandised elitism” of The Simpsons and making an attempt to fondle Stern sidekick Robin Quivers.

July 15. Episode 2, “Skinheads, Skinheads, Roly-Poly Skinheads,” airs. On a go to to Denver, Cartman meets some “new buddies,” and upon returning to South Park, startles Kyle and Stan with a brand new look: flight jacket, jackboots, and carefully cropped hair. “Hey, Cartman,” says Stan, “you seem like Sting!” In the meantime, Starvin’ Marvin, the Ethiopian little one the children mistakenly adopted via a Sally Struthers industrial, arrives again on the town as a part of a U.N. convention on the New World Order. Cartman’s new buddies additionally come to city to carry a seminar on “the black helicopters.” When Cartman introduces his new buddies to Kyle, they beat him up as a result of he’s Jewish. “Dude,” a bloodied Kyle says, “these guys are skinheads.” “Fuck you,” replies Cartman, “they’re not skinheads, they’re French.” After the skinheads tag swastikas on the entrance window of Tom’s Rhinoplasty, the Mayor delivers a hysterical TV warning and asks talk-show host Jerry Springer to talk at a rally towards racism. On the rally, Springer tells the gang about his experiences as a baby of Holocaust survivors, however Stan’s Uncle Jimbo and his buddy Ned the Vietnam Vet (each militia members) drown him out with gunfire. Chef steps to the microphone and breaks into track: “I’ve a dream / That sooner or later all of God’s girls / Black girls and white girls / Jewish girls and Gentile girls / Protestant girls and Catholic girls / Might be making candy love / Candy, candy love / Sure, I’ve that dream / Oooh, sure I do / Nearly each night time.” Chef’s track is interrupted by the skinheads, who’ve found that the tiny African tot is bundled up in a hooded snowsuit. They stomp the primary little one they see in a hood, solely to find they’ve crippled Kenny.

July 16. The “Skinhead” episode receives Comedy Central’s highest scores ever (besting even It’s a Paula Poundstone Christmas!). Dogged by paparazzi, Parker and Stone are noticed with David Lynch gulping sugar substitute packets in a darkened nook sales space on the Dresden Room.

July 22. Episode 3, “Simply Say Nagano” airs: South Park‘s show-within-a-show, Terrance & Phillip, will get a brand new sponsor, the ultra-sweet sweet “Gummi Euphoria.” The youngsters are excited to attempt the brand new confection, however all of the native shops are offered out. At a 7-Eleven on the opposite facet of the railroad tracks, Cartman meets up with actor Robert Downey, Jr. “Have you learnt the place we are able to get some Gummi Euphoria?” asks Cartman. “Certain,” says Downey, handing him some small white capsules. Caught with the Euphoria in Mr. Garrison’s class, Cartman learns an vital lesson about sharing: “If you wish to eat sweet in class, it’s a must to carry sufficient for everyone.” When the principal discovers the category engaged in a bunch hug/blackout, it’s revealed that Cartman has really turned the scholars on to GHB. The Mayor calms the fears of hysterical dad and mom by arresting Robert Downey, Jr., and holds a particular press convention, the place Downey pitifully apologizes for all the pieces he’s ever executed. To maintain South Park youth away from pushers, college officers arrange an emergency area journey to see the Colorado Avalanche hockey crew play the New York Rangers in “the most well liked sport on ice.” Cartman declares that his favourite Avalanche participant is surly goon Claude Lemieux. “Cartman,” protests Kyle, “Claude Lemieux is the largest cheater within the Nationwide Hockey League!” “Screw you, hippie,” says Cartman, “dishonest’s cool!” Stan and Kyle’s taunting of the Avalanche’s hapless mascot “Flurry” results in a melee between gamers and followers. Lemieux tries to fatally cross-check Kenny, however by accident renders hockey trophy spouse Janet Jones comatose. Chaos reigns. “Dude,” says Stan, “hockey is method higher than medication!” “Yeah,” agrees Cartman. “Violence kicks ass!”

July 23. Nationwide Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman protests the stereotyping of the NHL as overly bloody. “We’re the most well liked sport on ice,” insists Bettman. Nonetheless, CBC Hockey Evening in Canada commentator Don Cherry praises South Park‘s realism. “Lastly, any person on tv understands that hockey isn’t for wussies.”

July 29. Episode 4, “Cooks Massive Rating,” airs: Pursuing a lifelong dream, Chef takes a depart of absence from the cafeteria to attempt his hand at an R&B profession. Mrs. Crabtree, the college bus driver, substitutes within the lunchroom, however the outcomes are disastrous. Salisbury steak is changed by “Pleistocene pot pie,” and Stan throws up, even when Wendy Testaburger is nowhere in sight. Unable to eat, Cartman begins dropping pounds quickly. In the meantime, “Theme from Chef’ threatens to knock Elton John’s “Candle within the Wind 1998: Track for Sonny Bono” off the highest of the charts; its wah-wah-driven refrain is in all places: “Who’s the kitchen man who’s hotter than a pan? / Chef, whoo, Chef! / Who’s the lunchroom stud who makes feminine hearts go thud? / Chef, whoo, Chef!” Whereas in L.A. to report a brand new Free Tibet profit report, “Monk Help,” with the Beastie Boys, Steven Seagal, and Carrot Prime, Chef is caught behind a limo swapping recipes with a transvestite fry cook dinner. His profession in a shambles, unable to get booked on even the Keenen Ivory Wayans Present, Chef returns to South Park. Discovering the city abandoned, he discovers that everybody is on the hospital the place Kenny has almost starved to demise, and a vigil is underway for an emaciated Cartman. Chef shortly whips up a Salisbury gravy I.V., saving Cartman, who immediately begins shouting “Get jiggy with it!” for no specific cause.

July 31. In an effort to insurgent towards the Hollywood “impressed by” soundtrack formulation, postmodern poster-boy DJ Spooky helms an album entitled South Park (Re)combined, that includes 35 completely different “sonic musings” on the present’s unique theme track. Launched by Geffen Data to nice fanfare, the album is a important and industrial embarrassment.

August 3. Nervous in regards to the present’s declining hipness, Comedy Central’s publicity division begins planting false tales in nationwide gossip columns about Parker and Stone’s “secret relationship.”

August 5. Episode 5, “Trial of the Century,” airs: Kenny is discovered lifeless within the basement of his dad and mom’ home, apparently strangled and sexually assaulted. “Oh my God,” says Kyle. “They molested Kenny!” Though suspicion instantly facilities on Kenny’s household as a result of they’re poor, everybody in South Park is a suspect. A word surfaces demanding a yr of free cable, and the penmanship seems to completely match a handwriting pattern from Mr. Hat. NYPD Blue detectives Sipowicz and Simone are introduced in to interrogate the smart-alecky hand puppet. When Mr. Hat proves uncooperative, Sipowicz slaps him round, which Mr. Garrison seems to get pleasure from just a little an excessive amount of. “I’m starting to get a sense that you simply and your little puppet buddy are in want of some bodily remedy,” warns Sipowicz, “and if that’s the case solely one in every of us goes to stroll out of this room, and imagine me, it’s not going to be Kermit right here.” Mr. Garrison shortly provides up Mr. Hat and agrees to testify towards him. Mr. Hat brings in Johnnie Cochran as his protection legal professional. Through the trial, it’s revealed that Kenny’s deadly wound was inflicted anally. “If he doesn’t match,” declares Cochran, holding up the hand puppet in query, “you have to acquit.” “Ooh, that’s gross, dude,” squeaks Kyle.

August 11. Homosexual activists categorical outrage on the unfavorable depiction of gay hand puppets. “That is the form of hate-filled surroundings that has stored Lambchop within the closet for all these lengthy, devastating years,” cries an outraged Shari Lewis in Out journal.

South Park
(Credit score: Getty Photos)

Late August. Regardless of Parker and Stone’s erratic habits and the present’s incapability to fire up a good boycott menace, South Park‘s rising cult success ends in a substantial bidding struggle, and a deal is struck with ABC, the community that had gambled over time on such taboo-busting collection as Cleaning soap, NYPD Blue, Nothing Sacred, and Hiller and Diller. However the present’s community premiere is delayed after ABC execs, below strain from their company headmasters at Disney, veto potential story strains. As an illustration: Kenny tries to commit suicide by way of autoerotic crucifixion; Stan will get lured by pedophiles into an Web child-porn ring; Christian males’s group the Promise Keepers harass the boys’ buddy Massive Homosexual Al; Kyle turns into a Lubavitcher Jew; and Chef goes to the Million Man March.

Even when plots acquire clearance, the children’ locker-room chatter is cleaned up drastically. Not solely is there no foul language, however Kenny is allowed solely a collection of simply treatable illnesses. One inner memo from a requirements and practices exec declares that “if I needed to listen to 22 fucking minutes of bleeps I’d go purchase a fucking Orbital report.”

October 1. ABC airs promotional spots for South Park by which Stan and Kyle ice-skate and have a snowball combat in entrance of a large community brand, all to a bouncy new theme track penned by the Cardigans.

October 9. The debut ABC episode kicks off as Cartman’s mother remarries a widower with cute twin ladies (visitor voices by Full Home‘s Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen) who vie for consideration with Eric when Mrs. Cartman will get pregnant utilizing fertility medication. Kenny hurts his knee curling. The McCaughey septuplets costar.

October 1o. The Southern Baptist Conference points a press launch commending the present’s “real looking depiction of immediately’s youth.”

October 16. Episode 2 airs: With assistance from a miracle, Stan and his sister uncover the true which means of Arbor Day. Jonathan Lipnicki visitor stars as Stan’s guardian angel, who helps him get in contact with the spirit of Princess Diana.

October 17. The New York Publish‘s Web page Six stories a rumor that Matt Stone has been learning the cabala with Madonna and Sandra Bernhard.

October 23. Episode 3: Mr. Garrison will get transferred to rough-and-tumble, inner-city South Central Park, the place he evokes his detached and generally intimidating college students to throw their palms within the air solely after he’s requested them a query. Kenny shuts his finger in a locker. Coolio visitor stars because the ghetto college’s no-nonsense principal.

October 25. ABC execs usher in writers from the farcical romp Dharma & Greg to “lend steerage” on Parker and Stone’s scripts.

October 30. Episode 4: Kyle and Stan transfer to L.A. and lease a beachfront apartment, the place their next-door neighbors are two buxom dental hygienists (Elle McPherson and Rebecca Romijn) with hearts of gold and a style for Scientology.

November. The unconventional transforming of South Park touches off a backlash from its core viewers—fan-generated Websites unleash flaming assaults on the present’s new route. Guilt-ridden creator Trey Parker, in an try to get again in contact together with his unique followers, begins haunting chat rooms and turns into romantically concerned with a web based groupie, who seems to be a precocious 12-year-old named Missy from Tifton, Georgia.

December. Regardless of the promise of a live-action function movie undertaking, Stone and Parker pull the plug on their beloved scamps with a last, tear-jerking episode.

December 23. The ultimate episode, “Au Revoir, Les Enfants.” Chef declares that he’s leaving the cafeteria to exchange Sinbad because the host of Vibe. Mr. Garrison wins the Nationwide Trainer of the Yr award and goes on an area shuttle mission. Kyle will get accepted to a gifted and gifted program at a center college in Aspen. Stan and Wendy pledge everlasting love. Kenny unties his hood to disclose that he’s really E.T., the extraterrestrial. Cartman learns to just accept himself for who he actually is.

South Park
(Credit score: Getty Photos)

The First Season: South Park For Dummies

Danny Drennan explicates the which means and meaninglessness of the primary ten (relentlessly repeated) episodes

Authentic Episode: “The Spirit of Christmas”

On this five-minute quick, we meet our essential characters, the 4 scamps from South Park: Stan, in a blue ski cap with crimson pom-pom, crimson jacket, and blue pants; Kyle, inexperienced hunter’s cap, crimson jacket, inexperienced pants; Eric Cartman, mild blue ski cap with yellow pom-pom, crimson jacket, brown pants; and Kenny, crimson parka, crimson pants. The youngsters gleefully sing Christmas carols till Kyle is reminded he’s Jewish, so he begins singing “The Dreidel Track,” which brings on the Cartman critique, “Hanukkah sucks,” which escalates right into a rousing refrain of epithets solely stopped by the looks of Jesus, who has come looking for retribution towards Santa Claus, whom he claims has defiled the which means of Christmas. Greatest Epithet Award goes to Cartman’s use of “pig-fucker,” final uttered by Mink Stole in Serial Mother. Jesus and Santa trade blows, by accident killing Kenny. The youngsters’ ethical predicament (Jesus or Santa?) is solved by determine skater Brian Boitano, and Jesus gives to purchase Santa an orange smoothie, as hordes of mice devour Kenny’s physique.

Useful references: Mortal Kombat, Edward Gorey’s Gashlycrumb Tinies, males’s determine skating

Kenny’s Reason behind Dying: pierced by a Santa projectile

Ethical: Whether or not you’re Christian, Jewish, Hindu, or atheist, Christmas is about one essential factor…presents.

Secondary Ethical: The eight days of Hanukkah present capital incentive to grow to be Jewish.

Episode 1: “Cartman Will get An Anal Probe”

Cartman’s alien abduction signs are acknowledged by Chef, whose postulation of an enormous steel “hooba-jube” implanted up Cartman’s butt matches Cartman’s “nightmare” precisely. The looks at college of flaming flatulence and a giant-eyeballed anal probe that expands into an 80-foot-wide beacon additionally belie Cartman’s denial. In the meantime, the “Guests” kidnap Ike (Kyle’s puntable child brother), the mutilation-phobic cattle need to hop the following prepare to Denver, Stan can’t discuss to Wendy Testaburger with out throwing up, and Cartman is re-abducted, solely to catch pink eye from Scott Baio.

Useful references: Communion, the Little Rascals, the golden age of Looney Tunes

Kenny’s C.O.D.: UFO-beamed onto the highway, Kenny is stampeded by cows, then run over by a police cruiser.

Ethical: Having just a little brother is a fairly particular factor.

Too A lot Info second: “‘You weren’t searching to your little brother, Kyle! You recognize he can’t suppose on his personal, Kyle! Brush and floss, Kyle! The place has that finger been, Kyle!’” —Kyle

Particular Visitor Star references: Scott Baio, David Caruso

Episode 2: “Weight Achieve 4000”

Cartman’s plagiarized “Walden” beats out Wendy’s dolphin opus within the “Save Our Fragile Planet” essay contest. In the meantime, Kathie Lee Gifford’s award presentation poses an ideal mayoral media alternative, Cartman bulks up for TV, schoolteacher Mr. Garrison recollects the previous Kathie Lee Epstein’s grade-school talent-show victory, and his hand-puppet sidekick Mr. Hat results in the psychiatric ward after looking for revenge on Kathie Lee. Such-a-fat-ass-he’s-unable-to-leave-the-house Cartman sees his TV want come true on Geraldo, and Chef provides Kathie Lee “candy lovin’.”

Useful references: Princess Cruises, Magic, Taxi Driver, Lee Harvey Oswald, The Return of the Jedi

Kenny’s C.O.D.: impaled on a flagpole

Ethical: “You may’t win on a regular basis. And if you happen to don’t win, you definitely can’t maintain it towards the one that did, as a result of that’s the one method you ever actually lose.” —Wendy

Particular Visitor Star reference: Mary Tyler Moore

Episode 3: “Volcano”

Stan’s Uncle Jimbo and his Vietnam vet sidekick Ned make a journey up the facet of a volcano the place they present the boys the way to hunt varied endangered and in any other case mild, furry creatures with an arsenal of army-surplus weaponry. However Stan can’t carry himself to shoot, the volcano awakens, the Mayor employs media histrionics, Cartman’s scary-monster campfire story involves life, an armless Ned does a “most cancers kazoo” serenade of “Kumbaya,” and the townspeople lure the hunters on the opposite facet of a ditch they dig to divert the lava to Denver. “Scuzzlebutt,” the mountain monster, performs a gasp-inducing wicker-basket rescue, however takes a bullet from Stan, who hopes to win his uncle’s approval by killing one thing.

Useful references: The Atomic Café, Miss Saigon

Kenny’s C.o.D.: Crushed below an enormous ball of molten lava, Kenny later receives a bullet to the chest.

Ethical: “Some belongings you kill, and a few belongings you don’t.” —Uncle Jimbo

Secondary Ethical: “Solely now on this late hour do I see the folly of weapons.” —Ned

T.M.I. second: “My geologist? Now? Inform him the an infection is okay, and I don’t want one other checkup.” —Mayor

Particular Visitor Star reference: Patrick Duffy

Episode 4: “Massive Homosexual Al’s Massive Homosexual Boat Trip”

Uncle Jimbo causes a homecoming-game betting frenzy over Stan’s quarterbacking capacity, whereas Stan’s “homosexual gay,” pink-kerchief-wearing canine Sparky begins shtupping different pooches up the butt. Mr. Garrison explains the “thick, vomitous oil” that oozes via homosexual individuals’s veins, Coach Chef provides a pigskin sensuality pep-talk, and Uncle Jimbo and Ned booby-trap Center Park’s mascot in order that it’s time-bombed to go off throughout John Stamos’s older brother’s halftime efficiency. In the meantime, Stan stumbles onto “Massive Homosexual Al’s Homosexual Animal Sanctuary” whereas trying to find Sparky and will get a historic tour of gaydom on Massive Homosexual Al’s Massive Homosexual Boat Trip. Stan learns to like Sparky for who he’s, throws a spread-beating landing go, and reunites the disbelieving townsfolk with their misplaced homosexual animals. Stamos’s brother lastly hits the excessive F in Minnie Riperton’s “Lovin’ You,” blowing the Center Park mascot sky excessive.

Useful references: Pong, Solomon’s Key, The Wizard of Oz, Rudolph the Pink-Nosed Reindeer

Kenny’s C.O.D.: decapitated by the opposing crew

Ethical: “It’s okay to be homosexual!” —Stan

T.M.I. second: “I haven’t seen so many kids molested since….” —PA announcer

Particular Visitor Star references: George Clooney, Barbra Streisand, Rodney King, Hugh Grant

Episode 5: “An Elephant Makes Love To A Pig”

The scale of Kyle’s mail-ordered elephant is problematic till a classroom dialogue about genetic engineering ends in the crossbreeding of the elephant with Cartman’s potbellied pig Fluffy; a science-fair-project struggle sparks up with Terrance, who’s concerned in human cloning. In the meantime, Stan’s sister Shelly inflicts some dental-headgear-induced wrath on her brother, and the boys tour the South Park Genetic Engineering Ranch, the place Stan’s stolen blood yields a mean-dispositioned, out-of-control Stan clone. The clone is dispatched by Shelly, who then stands up for Stan, whereas Cartman’s pig lastly provides beginning to one thing resembling Mr. Garrison, who awards the boys’ undertaking first prize.

Useful references: The Island of Dr. Moreau, Babe, The Omen

Kenny’s C.O.D.: launched right into a microwave

Ethical: “Maybe we shouldn’t be toying with God’s creations. Maybe we should always simply depart nature alone, to its easy one-assed schematics.” —South Park geneticist

T.M.I. second: “If some woman tried to kick my ass, I’d be like, ‘Hey, why don’t you cease dressing me up like a mailman, and making me dance for you when you go and smoke crack in your bed room and have intercourse with some man I don’t even know on my dad’s mattress!’”—Cartman

Particular Visitor Star references: Loverboy, Elton John

Episode 6: “Dying”

Stan’s grandfather’s 102nd birthday want is for assisted suicide, an ethical dilemma for Stan that Mr. Garrison, Chef, and Jesus received’t contact with poles of varied sizes. Kyle’s mom protests the fart-ripe Terrance & Phillip present, and encourages the townsfolk to slingshot themselves towards the Cartoon Central workplace constructing. Doo-doo jokes abound regarding the Kenny-transmitted abdomen flu (i.e., explosive diarrhea) and “Dying” chases the supervision-less boys into city, the place all of them cease to observe Terrance & Phillip in a retailer window till the present’s sudden cancellation. Their favourite showcase the air, the boys resort to gasoline fumes, crack, and porno, whereas Stan’s African safari-bound grandfather desires of the statistical chance of voracious lion assaults.

Useful references: Enya, A Christmas Carol

Kenny’s C.O.D.: touched by Dying himself

Ethical: “If dad and mom would spend much less time worrying about what their children watch on TV and extra time worrying about what’s happening of their children’ lives, this world could be a significantly better place.” —Stan

Secondary Ethical: “Mother and father solely get so offended by tv as a result of they depend on it as a babysitter and the only real educator of their children.” —Kyle

T.M.I. second: “I’ve received the green-apple splatters!” —Mr. Garrison

Particular Visitor Star reference: Suzanne Somers

Episode 7: “Pink Eye”

After a pre-Halloween Mir space-station crash kills Kenny, his embalming takes a flip for the more serious on the morgue, and within the morning a now-zombified Kenny meets the boys (of their Chewbacca, Raggedy Andy, and Adolf Hitler Halloween costumes); the boys make enjoyable of Kenny as a result of he’s poor and gay-bait Stan. The city physician diagnoses deadly zombie-like signs as pink eye, Chef and the boys hunt for zombie genesis clues, Stan and Cadman go chain saw-happy, and Kyle negotiates a maze of Worcestershire sauce-hot-line dialing choices. The day saved, the boys depart Kenny’s gravesite and return to their sweet and Crack Whore journal (that includes Cartman’s mother), whereas a stitched-up Kenny bucks for a sequel.

Useful references: Illusion, Evening of the Dwelling Useless, “Thriller“video, Carrie, Triumph of the Will, Star Wars, Pippi Longstocking

Kenny’s C.O.D.: Crushed by the Mir area station, Kenny is re-killed when Stan cuts him in half with a series noticed, and re-re-killed by a toppling cemetery statue, plus a crashing MiG jet.

Ethical: “Halloween isn’t about costumes or sweet, it’s about being good to 1 one other and giving and loving.” —Stan

Secondary Ethical: “Dressing up like Hitler in class isn’t cool.” —Puffy the Bear

T.M.I. second: “That’s good, simply use these mouth muscle mass like the women in Beijing.” —Mr. Garrison

Particular Visitor Star references: Jackie Collins, Evel Knievel, Richard Nixon, Tina Yothers, Edward James Olmos

Episode 8: “Starvin’ Marvin”

The boys order a Teiko digital sports activities watch on Stan’s mother’s bank card in a TV giveaway. In the meantime, Mr. Garrison conducts a Thanksgiving meals drive, the pinnacle of the South Park Genetic Engineering Ranch messes with turkey manufacturing, and the boys show-and-tell a ravenous African little one (mistakenly delivered as an alternative of the sports activities watch) because the pissed-off, exponentially rising, experimental gobblers assault the city. Cartman is mistakenly exiled to a foodless, fly-ridden existence in Africa by black-suited brokers in sun shades, solely to uncover a gluttonous Sally Struthers chowing down. The mayor desires up a grab-a-can meals gimmick starring Kenny, and Chef battles the mutant turkeys. “Starvin’ Marvin” returns triumphant and turkey-laden to Africa, switching locations with a none-the-better-off Cartman, whereas Kenny’s poor household grapples with their no-can-opener existential dilemma.

Useful reference: Braveheart, the letterbox model; Guide of Job

Kenny’s C.O.D.: pecked to demise by mutant turkeys

Ethical: “It’s very easy not to consider pictures on TV as actual individuals, however they’re. That’s why it’s straightforward to disregard these commercials, however individuals on TV are simply as actual as you and I” —Stan

Particular Visitor Star references: Sally Struthers, Engelbert Humperdinck, Charles Dickens, Vanessa Redgrave, McGyver

Episode 9: “Mr. Hankey, The Christmas Poo”

Offended by the blatant non secular overtones within the Christmas play and incensed that Kyle has been solid as Joseph—delivering a purple Jesus fetus from a moaning Wendy Testaburger—Kyle’s bitch-for-a-mom rallies the townspeople towards the play…and Christmas. In a feeble try to please his mom, placate the townspeople, and thus put a cease to songs reminiscent of “Kyle’s Mother’s a Massive Fats Bitch in D Minor,” Kyle means that the right non-offensive and non-denominational Christmas icon is Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo, who doesn’t discriminate by religion, simply by fiber. Recognized as a clinically depressed fecalphiliac and nuttier than Chinese language hen salad, Kyle is dedicated as townspeople tear down insufficiently PC decorations. Mr. Garrison levels essentially the most secular and avant-garde Christmas play ever, prompting a riot. Occult-loving Chef reveals that Mr. Hankey is certainly actual. Impressed by religion, Mr. Hankey springs to life, sings a track, and saves Christmas as he leads South Park in a candlelit vigil exterior Kyle’s cell.

Useful references: A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Jiminy Cricket, Al Jolson

Kenny’s C.O.D.: None. In an unprecedented flip, Kenny miraculously survives each electrocution and shark assault.

Ethical: “Jewish individuals are okay.”—Stan

Particular Visitor Star reference: Philip Glass


The Characters: Baby Assist

Looking back, maybe psychological remedy ought to have been thought of sooner. Actually, the warning indicators have been there for some time: poor motivation at college, bouts of hysteria, grisly killings, homosexual pets. With that in thoughts, we requested Dr. Ava Siegler, a famend little one psychologist, and writer of The Important Information to the New Adolescence: The way to Increase an Emotionally Wholesome Teenager, to delve into the mysterious interior worlds of South Park‘s rambunctious jewels. “For the reason that present as a complete appears to be about anger, rage, and narcissism, it’s secure to say these children might use some remedy.” Certainly. Her analyses comply with. Zev Borow


He appears essentially the most regular. He has emotions. He cares for his canine, even when he learns it’s homosexual. He tries to modulate aggression. He has what we might name an observing ego, which means he can criticize himself. He has affection, seemingly, for the little woman who makes him vomit. He does have an intense sibling rivalry together with his sister, who’s abusing. One of many issues Stan may conceivably work on in remedy could be standing up for himself. The abuse from his sister might make him an increasing number of timid, cautious. However I’d be apprehensive about Stan the least.

Medicine: maybe for his sister


He appears mainly regular and appears to return from a comparatively regular household surroundings. He’s shut together with his little brother, although there appears to be a little bit of a sibling rivalry there. However Kyle is a delicate little boy. He doesn’t need to kill issues; he agrees to decorate up as Raggedy Ann; he appears to have wholesome relationships with ladies. He’s additionally the one with the overweening, over-intrusive, overprotective Jewish mom. And I suppose you might say that this has produced a baby who, to the opposite children, appears just a little wimpy. Maybe this might affect the way in which Kyle offers together with his masculinity. His mom might positively use some dad or mum steerage. She erodes Kyle’s vanity and self-confidence. You might anticipate Kyle to be extra of a follower due to this.

Medicine: Valium, for his mom


He’s the focused, neurotic fats child. Cognitively he’s a large number. For all we all know, he might have some main studying disabilities. However this might all must do with the truth that, clearly, Eric has a pathological relationship together with his mom. His mom retains him a child. She tempts and seduces him with meals—with that cheese stuff he likes. His large quantity of aggression towards different individuals might be linked to this underlying infantilization. I’d suggest play remedy. We’d play struggle, and I’d level out the way in which that he cheats and makes himself really feel massive and powerful by making different individuals small and weak. This can be a boy who, beneath, has enormously poor vanity. He might wind up like that character in Dr. Strangelove, a army monster. However, he might equally grow to be depressed and simply get fatter and fatter and isolate himself much more. Or, he might grasp his life, perhaps when he’s a young person. However it’s exhausting to think about a constructive consequence.

Medicine: I’m not an enormous proponent of medicine for younger kids, however definitely, Eric could be helped by some Prozac. He might even have an Consideration Deficit Dysfunction, by which case Ritalin may very well be helpful.


He’s a child who seems to be selectively mute. Often this has to do with underlying aggression. Very attention-grabbing that Kenny turns into the child with aggression issues when he’s aggressed towards in each episode. This might have its roots in one thing in Kenny’s background—marital strife in the home, a depressed mom, an enraged mom. Or he could be what we name pathologically shy. If he isn’t helped, he’ll be compromised in each future educational and social settings. And although he’s accepted by his little group now, as he strikes on, individuals will doubtless get uninterested in his not talking and may isolate him. That may turn into severe despair.

Medicine: There are a selection of serotonin re-uptake medication that may work for Kenny, to say nothing of him simply usually being extra cautious.



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