‘South Park’ still funny, relevant after 26 years


photo or infographic by courtesy of Comedy Central

THEY KILLED KENNY. The characters of South Park seem to still be socially relevant while tickling the funny bones of generations.

Comedy Central mega-hit “South Park” has been all over the internet lately in what appears to be a resurgence in popularity for the 26-year-old show. Now, that is no doubt in part due to the 500 million dollar HBO Max lawsuit, more accurately, the Warner Bros, Discovery/Paramount lawsuit over streaming rights for the show. However, this is also due, in part; to the fact that even after all this time, “South Park” still proves itself to be relevant, nuanced, insightful and surprisingly funny.

For those who haven’t seen it, “South Park” is an adult oriented cartoon on Comedy Central focussed on the titular Colorado town and its inhabitants, with the main focus being on four fourth grade boys: the sadistic, uninformed, malicious, bigoted Eric Cartman; the soft spoken, though strong willed and kind hearted Kenny McCormick; the largely apathetic, though still well intentioned Stan Marsh; and finally the outspoken and driven (if a little over ambitious and naive at times) Kyle Brovlofski. There is also a reasonably large cast of background characters like the staff members at the boys’ school and each boys’ families. 

Being a Comedy Central cartoon from the minds of Matt Stone and Trey Parker, “South Park” is known for its crude humor and no holds barred attitude to comedy and satire. Such as “Fishsticks” an episode where they spend the full 22-minute run time making fun of Kanye West by calling him a gay fish, only for the artist to fully embrace this by the end of the episode and proceed to dive into the ocean and become said gay fish out of fear and confusion. What’s most remarkable about episodes like this though, is that it has a purpose other than making fun of Kanye and making people laugh. Throughout the episode the main joke is that Kanye has lost touch with reality, that despite his status (at the time) as a voice of the people, half the time he doesn’t even know what the people are saying. By using something so absurd as a gay fish as an insult it shows that Kanye hasn’t a clue what’s going on in the world around him, to the point of believing everyone to have some deeper meaning behind it, they don’t, he just doesn’t get the joke. By shining a light on the artist’s faults and insecurities it serves as a reminder to people that just because someone is rich and famous, doesn’t mean they have a single leg (or fin) to stand on when it comes to serious matters. For a topic as relevant as making fun of Kanye for his questionable behavior one might think that the        episode was released recently, they might in turn be surprised to learn that the episode is over 13 years old now, proving that not only were the points made in that episode relevant and entertaining for the time, they still manage to be equally relevant now.

Even in its 26th season, ‘South Park’ is still making salient points about celebrities and the everyday individuals who seem to almost worship them, despite their obvious shortcomings.

— John Gaspard

But “South Park” hasn’t stopped swinging by any means. Even in its 26th season, “South Park” is still making salient points about celebrities and the everyday individuals who seem to almost worship them, despite their obvious shortcomings. Take the episode “Worldwide Privacy Tour.” In the episode the Prince of Canada and his wife are tired of all the constant attention and fame with being royalty; so they decide to go around the world and all over social media telling everyone how much they want privacy and respect. The prince even writes about it in his book “Waahhhh.”Clearly the writers do not think very highly of the Prince of Canada, him being a parody of the Prince of England and his eccentric nature. 

Needless to say “South Park” has truly cemented itself as a comedy and TV legend even after all of the time, criticism, love, hate and everything in between – and it became a legend while it was creaming, bleeding, vomiting and making fart jokes the whole way.