South Park has made fun of a lot of people, from Tom Cruise to Oprah, Notorious B.I.G to God himself. In fact, the show is so good at making fun at people it is still going strong in its incredible 20th year. To celebrate that fact, the show has taken the time to remind the world of all the most iconic people and places it has satirised.
The creators of the show took out mobile billboards saying "We've Been There" and drove them to locations where some of their most famous scenes have taken place, such as the Church of Scientology and The White House. All in all, they have been placed in fourteen different locations across the United States.
Why They Did It
Talking to The Hollywood Reporter, Walter Levitt Chief Marketing officer at Comedy Central said that it was:
"a great way to remind South Park fans of all the amazing moments of the past 19 seasons and truly a perfect way to celebrate the 20th season"
Nevertheless, he realised that trolling people in real life can be a dangerous game:
"We knew it was risky... In some cases, the locals were not pleased to have us outside their locations and asked us to leave, but that was all expected, and we completely understand why."
Everywhere They Went
The complete list of places are:
- South Park
- Casa Bonita
- Mormon Church Headquarters
- Lincoln Memorial
- White House
- Facebook Headquarters
- Trump Tower
- Hillary Clinton's N.Y. headquarters
- Church of Scientology
- Whole Foods
- PF Changs
- Canadian Border
Lets take a closer look at best the episodes behind some of the most famous places:
1. Casa Bonita - "Casa Bonita"
Season 7, episode 11 is an unusual one for South Park as for once they were actually given clearance by the Mexican-themed eatery in Lakewood, Colorado to use it in their episode. Stone and Parker wanted to set an episode there as they had fond reminiscences of spending their childhood at the restaurant.
The plot sees Cartman at his diabolical best. It's Kyle's birthday and his mum Sheila says he and three friends can go eat at Casa Bonita. Upon realising that Kyle is taking Stan, Kenny and Butters and not him to the restaurant, Cartman tells Butters that an asteroid has hit the earth, leading him to hide in a bomb shelter. Remarkably, this episode made the restaurant so popular that an estimated 50% of all its Yelp reviews reference the TV show.
2. Church Of Scientology - "Trapped In The Closet"
Season 9, episode 12 is one of South Parks most controversial episodes, as the TV show satirised the Church of Scientology. Starting with Stan joining the religion because he's saving for a bicycle and the personality test is free, he soon moves up the ranks to being hailed as the reincarnation of L. Ron. Hubbard. In the process, he exposes the religion as a fraudulent money-making machine.
Tom Cruise — a famous scientologist who remains trapped in the closet for most of the episode in what was a joke about his veiled sexuality — was not impressed with the episode, and tried to get it off the air. As Paramount Pictures owned both South Park and Mission: Impossible III, Cruise reportedly threatened to back out of promotional duties for the film. Additionally, Isaac Hayes, a scientologist, quit the show, claiming that the episode was deeply offensive. It is ranked by TV Guide as the 17th greatest TV episode of all time.
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3. Hooters - "Raisins"
For those of you who don't know, Hooters is a controversial American restaurant chain that features sexy women with rather large breasts— hence the euphemistic name. South Park parodies this restaurant with the episode "Raisins" where, in light of his break-up with Wendy, the boys take Stan there in order to cheer him up.
In an excellent satire in the absurdities of female objectification, the girls involved are all pre-teens and heavily made up. Butters falls in love with a local waitress, but soon has his heart broken as he realises that she is just using him for money. The ending features one of the most heartfelt speeches in South Park history. Check it out below:
4. The White House - "About Last Night...", "Obama Wins!"
The billboards even went outside the Capitol, referencing the time they covered Obama's victories in both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. "About Last Night..." famously couldn't be bothered with the political angle that year, instead turning the episode into a Oceans 11-style Jewel Heist thriller. Airing a mere day after the presidential election, Stone and Parker had to gamble on Obama winning to make the plot topical. Thankfully, the odds were in their favour, using actual clips of Obama's victory speech in the episode.
For Obama's second victory, "Obama Wins", South Park suggest that the vote was influenced by Cartman stealing voters' ballots on behalf of the Chinese. The reason behind this: the Chinese and Obama have a deal that if they win him the election, the rights to Star Wars — which at the time were being sold to Disney — will go to the Chinese government. Thankfully for everyone involved, the Chinese don't get the rights to the franchise, and The Force Awakens turned out to be pretty damn good.
5. Trump Tower - "Where's My Country Gone?"
In Season 19, episode 2, South Park decided to imagine a country where a Trump-like figure has actually become President. The best part about the concept: it's in Canada. Here the Canadians voted for him as a joke, before realising that it got way out of hand. Additionally, the Wall is to keep the Americans out and to preserve Canada's "cool shit".
Upset that so many Canadians have entered America illegally, Mr Garrison, pledges to run his own Trumpesque campaign by "fucking the Canadians to death". Here he makes it across Canada hiding in a barrel traversing the Niagara Falls, before making it to a parody of the Trump Tower itself. In a pointed attack on the potential future president, Garrison proceeds to honor his pledge by raping the Canadian President to death. But worse things are on their way; Garrison is headed to the White House. Find out how it all ends on this season's South Park, episode three of which airs tonight.
Check out Garrison getting annoyed about having to learn about the Canadian alphabet below:
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Source: The Hollywood Reporter