South Park: 26 years of the best offensive, funny, and relevant adult cartoon animation ever
It is hard to believe that it has been over 26 years since the basic cable channel Comedy Central gave us the creation of Matt Stone and Trey Parker, which happens to be the legendary South Park. How time has flown. At the time, there was no access to a channel like Comedy Central, and what the chances were of getting to watch a groundbreaking show like South Park on any of our local media was a dilemma. But fortunately for me, I would have the opportunity to watch South Park and enjoy immensely and have a good hearty laugh with each episode during our summer vacations in the US.
South Park has four main characters: “Eric Cartman,” “Kyle,” “Kenny,” and “Stan” There are so many running gags in South Park, especially in the first couple of seasons, and one of them is that “Kenny” always gets killed at the end of each episode, thus the iconic line “Oh My God, they Killed Kenny!” was often mentioned by Eric Cartman or Kyle. Also, you got another famous line or catchphrase, which is “Respect My Authority!” from Eric Cartman. I still remember having a shirt like that with Eric Cartman in his police uniform, with that line written on the front.
There are a lot of good memories for me when it comes to South Park, and the first time I got to watch an episode of it was in 1999. I remember that year quite well, with the fear of the “Y2K virus,” rumors of the end of the world coming, changes in the media, and brand new movies on the forefront like Star Wars Episode 1, The Matrix, and so on. When it came to music, there were iconic bands like At the Drive-In, Linkin Park, and so many others. But when it came to television, there was a handful of shows on my radar that I would watch regularly. They were Futurama, Batman Beyond, Pokemon, The Tom Green Show, and South Park.
People forget that South Park was so revolutionary in terms of what they did on television, and among all the shows I mentioned above, South Park is the only one that does socio-political commentary. There is a brilliance to how they put together their episodes, and it is beyond amazing that they have been releasing new episodes to this day in their 26th year on television at Comedy Central. Certainly, a big congratulations to South Park and its creators and voice actors, Matt Stone and Trey Parker are certainly long overdue. These guys are comedic geniuses and brave souls, for sure. And that’s an understatement.
Lately, South Park is in the news again with a recent episode in the 26th season entitled “The Worldwide Privacy Tour” which parodies, mocks, and spoofs Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. You have to watch it to believe it. It is so hilarious, real, and funny. More importantly, and more to the point, the said episode makes these unroyal royals get a glimpse of themselves through the prism of the general public whose sensibilities, common sense, and rationality are still intact and uncompromised by anything. And this is what hurts Haz & Mez most because the nuances and subtleties in “The Worldwide Privacy Tour’ are a direct dagger to their souls.
To lose one’s way because of certain forces like the “Woke Mob” and “Cancel Culture” is accepting defeat and giving in to imposed conformity. When you let that happen, you lose. This classic episode “The Worldwide Privacy Tour”–yes, it is already a classic–should remind everyone that South Park is as smart, relevant, and funny as ever.
What makes this particular South Park episode even more amazing is that it says a lot of the things that we want to say about these unroyal royals. Matt Stone and Trey Parker have done it for us. This is a sign of the times when a show like South Park is one of the most normal, down-to-earth, and sensible things right now in all of television because they have remained unchanged and true to their philosophy since the late 1990s. They continue to survive the “Woke Mob” and Cancel Culture to this day. For me, they should be commended for that because South Park is a prime example of free speech, creative freedom, and not giving in to the forces that have destroyed entertainment which includes anything to do with comedy.
What makes South Park always great is that they do not bow down to conformity, they are never afraid to be hated, criticized, and controversial because Matt Stone and Trey Parker–as they have stated a few times over the years in interviews–never intend to be offensive. It just so happens that each episode is funny. Radically funny. Outrageously funny. Hilariously funny. Brutally funny. Shamelessly funny. Whichever it is, it works!
Buckling down and in reflective moments, if you are fully aware, in the know, and updated on what is happening in Hollywood and the United States when it comes to television and movies, it has become a scary time for creative minds because almost everything is being controlled, censored, banned, canceled, and prohibited. In many ways, the comedy art form is dying and in danger of disappearing, and we are all fortunate that South Park is still here with us.
For all of us who have a funny bone in our body and enjoy a good laugh, let’s be happy that South Park is still around and going strong. They are the only program from Comedy Central to be renewed for multiple seasons at a time because South Park is the constant highest rating draw of Comedy Central and they are a cornerstone to the channel’s identity.
To lose South Park is to lose what made Comedy Central stand out and remain popular with many people all over the world. Hands down, it is the number one program on Comedy Central.
Everyone is fair game in South Park. If you are a famous person, celebrity, politician, socialite, artist, or whoever is in the news or doing something scandalous or attention-grabbing, then be ready to be made fun of in South Park. There is equal opportunity for all here, and that is one of the reasons that makes South Park great.
Countless people have been the brunt of jokes in episodes of South Park for the past 26 years, whether fictional or based on real life. Matt Stone and Trey Parker take no prisoners and in that manner, they are the great equalizer for many people who are tired, annoyed, or fed up with the insane behavior, publicity stunts, and outlandish acts that these people have been doing. In reality, if you keep doing crazy stuff, then you are in truth begging to be made fun of in programs like South Park. It is bound to happen.
For me, South Park is the antidote for anyone who is overly sensitive, too soft, and easily offended by anything. A program like South Park will teach you to sit back, relax, and laugh at things when they are funny. Life is never meant to be always serious, politically correct, and suppressed in finding the humor in everyone, anything, and everyday life. In a sense, it will help you reconnect with your most basic ability—to laugh and not be ashamed of it. Also, for Pete’s sake, South Park is a cartoon; if you are offended by that, then there is something missing or wrong with you.
A big thank you to South Park for reminding people that it is alright to laugh at one another, to not take things too seriously, and to live in a world where being funny is simply being funny.
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