They Killed the Proofreader! You Bastards!

Our guest columnist has not been known to cook his rival’s parents into chili.

Correction: January 28, 2013

An earlier version of this column misstated a plot point in “South Park.” While the character Kenny was once killed in every episode, that is no longer the case. The earlier version also misstated the circumstances of his repeated deaths. While he has met his fate in a variety of ways over the years, he was not routinely “ritually sacrificed.”

Fortifying the Empire ‘South Park’ Built [NYT]

Is it just me or does this ‘show’ seem like the effluence of two proto right-wing 12 year old wankers? It’s like SNL. I have tried to like it but it’s just so very tame. Paris Hilton: slut slut slut! OK, boys, you’re certainly out there. I never heard that before. You are so cutting edge. It only comes alive around the fag stuff. Then it gets unpleasantly closety. Please edumacate me. Off-shored union busting Korean animation mocking Scientology. How safe can it get?

I am open to a complete humbling on account of my elite testes.

I feel about Cartman as I did about Jackie Gleason: scary.

@Benedick: Off-shored union busting Korean animation

Well, no.

Can’t speak to the unions, but the whole thing is produced in L.A. Animators are In The Building.

@Benedick: Let’s pick off some more…

Paris Hilton: slut slut slut!

Typically, they don’t bother with that these days. More recently, they depicted Britney Spears as the victim of Societal Ritual Sacrifice.

mocking Scientology

Easy target, granted, but being in L.A. — particularly the Celebrity Centre — it’s in the neighborhood. Also, it’s personal, since Isaac Hayes quit over it, after which they viciously killed off Chef.

proto right-wing

Libertarians, and they’re smarter about it than they used to be.

12 year old wankers

Trey & Matt would be the last to disagree with you.

The rest is a matter of taste. I think they’re brilliant, even when I disagree with them. And they keep getting better over time.

@Benedick: Please edumacate me.

Okay, one more…

Most of their shows are produced in a week — starting with writing — and delivered to Comedy Central the day of broadcast. The animators are in-house because there’s simply no time to outsource it. And even though the animation is deliberately limited — mimicking the original cut-out drawings from years ago — it’s quite impressive what the artists are able to do on deadline. You try whipping up an articulated Human Centipad on short notice.

You’re free to dislike the result. But don’t hate on the troops.

Je me suis edumacated. It still aint funny. It’s marketing.

But one seems to have touched a nerf. Bring on the Cheetos.

@Dodgerblue: It’s coming to the Kennedy Center this summer. I can’t wait!

@Benedick: Don’t feel like the only one. I just find it annoying.

@Dodgerblue: Are you kidding? I would pay $249 to see a 3rd tier musical?

@Benedick: It was funny, back in the day…edgy, unbelievably lurid plots, and a willingness to offend to make a point. Kind of gone into script rot now…

@nojo: The documentary on how they pull an episode out of their arses in a week was pretty damn cool.

@Benedick: It’s marketing.

Nope. It’s social satire.

Whether it’s good satire is a matter of judgment. But to suggest that it’s just cynically calculated popular entertainment — marketing — is to profoundly miss the point of their project.

Whatever they do, they come by it honestly. You’re free to declare that they’re out of their depth, but they don’t do fart jokes because that’s what the kids like. They do fart jokes because that’s what they like.

South Park humor can be puerile. But when they’re on their game, it’s transcendently puerile.

@nojo: I just never got it. I could not see what was funny. That’s when I realized that I was not and would never be one of the cool kids. Fabulous, yes, but cool, no.

@Mistress Cynica: It’s not a matter of being cool. Hell, I’m an acquired taste.

@nojo: I must say that I do like Basketball and also Orgazmo (which seems to me like a first draft of the musical) but I’ve never been able to like the cartoon. One needs to invest time in that kind of show in order to get into its world. I feel the same way about Seinfeld. I find both shows very smug. Libertarian, indeed! But there’s no accounting for what makes other people laugh. One can only pity them. And I write this as one who lives for Two and a Half Men which, when it’s good, is quite wonderful. Every bit as good as Ab Fab.

I hate to put anybody down, but if you’ve already dismissed South Park as a “show,” you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. Are there fart jokes? Yes. Is that as deep as it goes? Not even close. Parker and Stone (and the other writers) are masters of satire and allegory, and have the balls to not back down from their creed of either everything is acceptable subject matter, or nothing is. Even themselves. They weave elaborate plots all in the name of self-deprecation. And their commentary on society is on the level of Carlin, Hicks, and Stanhope.

If you stopped watching South Park 10 years ago, you have missed everything.

I recommend season 16 “Raising the Bar,” which takes another swipe at themselves, and “A Nightmare on Face Time,” which is an homage to The Shining while commenting on the paradigm shift in media distribution.

Much love.

@mellbell: @Benedick: It is vulgar and offensive from the opening number. There is a character named General Buttfucking Naked. I loved it.

@Dodgerblue: Ages ago NPR’s First Listen had the cast recording streaming. Even out of context the songs were great.

@hunkamonkiman: … I hate to put anybody down… oh good God, why should you be better than the rest of us? Take Catt, for example, nothing but a constant stream of invective.

I’m sure you’re right. And I do mean that. I just don’t get it. I have tried to watch it. My periodontist has stuffed versions of the characters looming over his chair. I’ve even gone to the site and watched episodes. And… eh. I’m the same about P.G. Wodehouse. And most of Mark Twain. I have tried but… nothing. I suspect that in the case of South Park and SNL it’s partly cultural (yes I am going to play the Brit card, fuck you very much) and partly my own sense of humor, or whatever we’re calling it these days.

@Benedick: Since I like both South Park and Two and a Half Men, can I claim the exalted lowest common denominator status?

@Walking Still: You win a date with Catt at the Olive Garden.

@Benedick: Her dog keeps trying to escape.

@nojo: Yeah. I was very impressed with how they get it together in one week. I was not so pleased when the paper kids disappeared, but after seeing them work so hard, I was like, yeah.

@hunkamonkiman: I’ve missed a lot. I think Patrick Duffy’d leg, they took our jobs rabblerabblerabble or the girl acrobat escapees were the last time I was tuned in.

ADD: I can finally understand Kenny. Kinda like you can see behind fuzzed out nakedness when you squint.

Ritual sacrifice? Trey and Mark are Satanists now?

Oh, and the time share one where the ski lift kept bringing the parents back to the office — hahahahaha!

Used my dad’s time share once. The free week was ruined by the stalking.

@lynnlightfoot: I think we can all agree with Catt that ‘condiments’ is not a good safe word.

@JNOV: I saw the dog. Sorry about the stalking.

@Benedick: Did not find your comment from Tuesday evening re Catt, Olive Garden, “the breadstick incident” and ” ‘condiments’ not a good safe word” until this ungodly early hour on Saturday morning. My enjoyment of it may well sustain me through the upcoming onslaught of snow and Superbowl hoopla. Thank you!

@lynnlightfoot: There’s nothing better than spraying coffee on your keyboard thanks to one of these stinquers.

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