Most people probably would not have believed that a show that made its name off of crude humor, fart jokes, and elaborate and violent deaths involving 8-year-old children would ever reach its 20th season. But South Park, which is currently airing its 20th season on Comedy Central, was able to do just that by taking on internet trolls and how we allow the internet to affect us in real life. The Season 20 premiere of the show was its highest rated episode since 2006.
Contracted through 2019, the show will be around for a few more years before Comedy Central ultimately decides to pull the plug on the show or not. Parker and Stone said in an interview with GQ that they do not plan on stopping the show unless they are told that they cannot make it anymore. It allows them to fearlessly go into every season taking on subjects that other shows would not even dare to touch upon or make fun of.
Although in the same GQ interview, Parker and Stone admit that they may be out of touch with the younger generation, the high ratings among millennial men suggest that is not the case. After two decades, what really keeps fans of the show coming back for more? Here are eight reasons why South Park is still around.
1. The show does not take a stance on any topic.
As staunch libertarians, both Trey Parker and Matt Stone are not for the restriction of free speech. Therefore, they do not hold back on critiquing any and everything. Even with last season’s PC culture episodes, both of the creators were not sure how they actually felt about PC culture. By not taking a stance and making fun of all sides equally, the show opens itself to all people, regardless of race, gender, or background.
2. It takes sensitive topics and makes it funny.
9/11, immigration, HIV, and bullying can be sensitive topics for a lot of people. South Park has used all in order to tell a joke. South Park has always been one of those shows where you know you should not be laughing, but you can’t help it. You may feel bad about it afterwards though.
3. The linear storyline brings a new feel to an old show.
South Park has changed its format over the years and now it follows a linear story line that develops a theme over the course of a season. This format allows them to dig much deeper into a story instead of attempting to fit it all into a 30-minute episode. There is a mystery factor that keeps us coming back to learn what happens next.
4. The evolution of minor characters.
In the earlier seasons, the show focused on the four main children: Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny. But, as the show developed, we started to see more characters become directly involved and take important parts in the show. Mr. Garrison, Randy Marsh, and Butters have all played a bigger role throughout the years. In this season alone, Mr. Garrison is running for president and Randy is trying to figure out the secret behind the mysterious “Member Berries.”
5. Politicians are not off limits either.
The show never claims to be political. But, the episodes that are political are inadvertently hilarious. One of the main reasons why many people may have come back this season would be to see the aftermath of Mr. Garrison’s political campaign, whose biggest political achievement was being responsible for Donald Trump’s demise.
6. They abandoned a lot of the old running gags.
“They killed Kenny! You bastard!
7. It’s current.
Because each episode is created within a week, all of the jokes critique things that are currently happening. The show is no longer just about fart jokes and killing people. But, it has taken on this larger relevance that makes it extremely important. For example, following Tuesday’s surprising election of Donald Trump, the writers rewrote the story in just one day to account for the Hillary Clinton loss. Not many shows can deliver quality in just one day.
8. The ‘Member Berries.
The biggest part of this season are the “‘Member Berries,” mysterious pieces of fruit that stir nostalgia in the people who eat them. Trump’s “Make America Great” slogan and the reboot of old movies and shows have people constantly reminiscing on the past and the ‘Member Berries are supposed to be a reflection of that.
South Park is a cultural gem. The show should last another ten seasons for being one of the only shows that is not afraid to cross the line.Photos via Tenor, Giphy, makeagif, Sbs.com