October 29 2006

South Park Offends Again…People Are Surprised?

Last week’s episode of South Park was named “Hell on Earth 2006” and featured Satan having a Super Sweet 16 Halloween party. (Their running portrayal of Satan as either gay and/or a teenage girl at heart is always good for laugh). During the episode though, the following scene took place at Satan’s party, mind you it was full of dead people:(Taken from the South Park Scriptorium)

Frank Sinatra: Hey, Satan, you got a little problem.

Satan: What?

Frank Sinatra: Somebody showed up in a Crocodile Hunter costume. It’s really offending some of the other guests.

Satan: Oh jeez. [walks over to the offending guest, who happens to be none other than Steve Irwin, with a stingray attached to his chest. Steve looks around with a smile on his face. Satan arrives] Hey, uh, hi, listen, dude, ya know, the whole Crocodile Hunter thing? It… it’s just a little soon, you know? I mean, he just dies a few weeks ago and… it’s just not supercool and you gotta leave.

Steve Irwin: But it’s me, Satan. Steve Irwin. I am the Crocodile Hunter.

Satan: [thinks a moment] Oh… oh, but then, dude, no costume. Sorry, you gotta go. [two bouncers come and escort him away]

Steve Irwin: Wait! I thought we were friends!

So, yeah, they went after Steve Irwin…or did they? There is an uproar with some bloggers saying they will stop watching the show and a media watchdog group in England calling for the scene to be pulled. Did I find it offensive? A bit. Do I think they shouldn’t have done it? Probably not. Will I stop watching the show? Nope. South Park, to me, is one of the greatest arguments ever for free speech. They take on all subjects with an equal amount of gusto, and that is only possible in a free speech system.

Now, as for people pulling their support of the show over one joke…good riddance. This reminds me a lot of the whole Isaac Hayes debacle from earlier this year. He stood by the show for years as they took on other religions, but when they got to his, Scientology, he left the show. It’s slightly different working on the show from watching it, but if you have sat and laughed at the other episode, how can you decide the whole show is a wash because of one joke? It is the height of hypocrisy to me. “Oh, well, it was ok to laugh at this offensive joke, but not this!” Whatever.

What kills me was the other things going on in this episode that no one is saying a word about. Catholic priests leading naked young boys around in harnesses and on leashes. Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, and Jeffrey Dahmer as modern-day Three Stooges trying to bake a cake for Satan. But no, no, only the Steve Irwin joke was offensive.

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  • Not to mention that they featured Steve Irwin in a South Park episode years ago, called “Prehistoric Ice Man,” in which they killed him by having him get chopped up by helicopter blades after trying to stick his thumb up the arsehole of every creature he encountered.

  • Oh! Good one Luis! I had forgotten about that one.

  • Jo

    I stopped watching SP a long time ago. This is not my idea of humor; each to their own. I prefer the Blue Collar Comedy Tour myself.

  • South Park is deliciously, satirically over the top. Were it more serious but retained its poor taste, I would not be able to stand it. As farce, it is sophomorically brilliant. And that’s a liberal speaking about a show that delights in targeting liberals.

  • Well said Luis. SP gets it’s strength from the fact all targets are equal in their eyes. Left, right, center, it doesn’t matter, they WILL target you. And like you, if it took itself seriously it would be a bore, but as farce, it is sublime.

  • Roy

    While I enjoy SP sometimes for about 5 minutes (cannot sit through 30 minutes ot it), I pretty much find it obnoxious and not really that funny. The show is pollution for the mind.

    Having said that it’s remarkable how accurately SP is dubbed in Japanese. I’m amazed that all those sick jokes sound funny in Japanese too.

  • I haven’t heard it in Japanese yet, that must be interesting. Although, Trey Parker is fluent in Japanese so he may be helping with the translations. I would debate it being “pollution for the mind” with you, but I won’t since I am sure you would use it as an argument about LOST:-p