Alex Hitch Hitchens: I'm a guy. Since when do we get anything right the first time?"Hitch"
It’s been a while, but I have been motivated by recent actions to make another addition to Heafy’s House of Awesomeness.
Today, I would like to induct four little children that have made life better. But that would be too narrow, and to be fair I must include the greater range of work that deserves such a notion. I was going to induct “South Park”, and indeed that was the spark for this, but instead I thought it more wise to induct Matt Stone and Trey Parker, as their body of work never fails to impress me.
South Park first became really popular in the late nineties where the merchandise was everywhere, and people were lamenting the poor fate of young Kenny where ever you went. This all despite the show being on the seldom watched SBS network here in Australia, with little or no fan fare introducing it to our nation. I’m pretty sure half the South Park “fans” had never seen an actual episode until it came to Pay TV, a few years later. Never the less, South Park was one of the most popular programs going around, and then the fever pitch died off.
Rumours were abound in our little country town that a well known celebrity had bought South Park so he could banish it because he found it so offensive, and that also in the final episode Kenny revealed himself to be E.T. Both rumours were pretty silly and I don’t know how they started, but all that happened really was all the casual fans found something else to do – which was a shame, because this was just before season 5 where in my opinion the shows started to get better.
Just recently they have again been in the news about the “controversial” Scientology episode. Not because it showed the “religion” up as a ridiculous scam invented by a science fiction writer based on stories that wouldn’t make it in a Twilight Zone episode, but because of a joke about Tom Cruise being “in the closet”. Threats to sue have led to the episode getting banned in the UK, but thankfully our local SBS decided to air it as intended last week. Kudos to them!
But alas, it seems the very next episode of the series, titled “Bloody Mary”, also attracted controversy. This time at least the episode warranted it I guess. Showing the Pope getting splattered with menstrual blood from a statue of the Virgin Mary could be considered offensive to some people I guess. Did I just write that? Anyways, when there was an attempt to boycott the episode in New Zealand, the ratings went through the roof – Quadrupling! SBS though were not as brave. In light of the recent cartoon violence, they decided not to air the episode. They have pushed it back a few months, and we’ll see it they show it then.
The South Park movie was the first movie I saw at the cinemas where I didn’t stop laughing all the way through. We were signing “Uncle Fucker” for months after that. The fact that there was only one other person in the cinema when my mate and I saw it made it even better.
The second and only other movie that I saw and couldn’t stop laughing all the way through was Team America: World Police. BASEketball came very close to this, as did Cannibal The Musical. The drunken audio commentary on Cannibal makes the movie even better.
Often the statements on issues that Matt Stone and Trey Parker make through South Park are really in line with my own opinions. I haven’t seen such a consistency in my thoughts and opinions like this until I started watching Penn & Teller Bullshit.
I used to do a pretty good Cartman voice too, but sadly this vital skill has since lapsed.
I recall once saving up thousands of Time Zone (local video arcade chain, could be international for all I know) tickets to score some South Park toys that looked so cool. I had to split the set of four with a friend, but I still have my “Beefcake” and “Authority” Cartman sitting proudly on my computer desk at home. That’s where I keep my extremely small supply of collectable crap – it’s up there along with a Silent Bob and Dante “In-Action Figures” from Clerks animated series (still boxed too – wow!) and a No-Longer-Talking Boonie. Plus some other stuff, like a miniature Starbug. Extra points for those that know where that came from.
A little tangent there, but no to worry.
If I was forced to choose a favourite episode of South Park, I think it would be when we got introduced to Professor Choas, and his evil plan to flood the world with his hose, and all his nasty plans were foiled by “Simpson’s did it!” I don’t know why, I just found that episode hilarious and it stands out in my mind now.