South Park is the ultimate Both Sides show. As in, both sides of the political spectrum, Republicans and Democrats, are equally stupid; one’s a turd, the other’s a douche. As the AV Club‘s Sean O’Neal wrote, “It’s a scorched-earth, deconstructionist approach steeped in equal-opportunity offensiveness that’s made South Park one of the funniest satires ever produced, and particularly potent in the time in which it debuted.” This “everyone’s full of sh*t” attitude was more digestible in 1997, when the Comedy Central series premiered, but that was a long time ago — in 2020, it’s no longer cool to not care.
But in Wednesday’s “Pandemic Special,” co-creators Matt Stone, who once said that he “hate[s] conservatives, but I really f*cking hate liberals,” and Trey Parker allowed a rare genuine plea to viewers: vote. (Or die.) As President Garrison — the show’s Trump stand-in — is burning a pangolin to death with a flamethrower, ending our best chance at finding a vaccine to COVID-19 (it makes sense in context… sort of), he looks at the camera and says, “Don’t forget to get out and vote, everybody! Big election coming up!”
It’s the rare fourth-wall-break for South Park, but don’t worry, the special also had one of Stan’s patented speeches. “I can’t take these shutdowns anymore and I’m scared what it’s doing to me. I’m looking for who to blame — saying I’m trying to help people to make myself feel better. The truth is I just want to have fun again,” he said. “I wanted to see that I could go out in the world and do things I used to do, but I can’t. I’m not any better and I don’t care any more than anyone else. I did all this because I just want my life back. I just want my life back.” Same. The episode also laid into the president.
“I made a promise to the American people: to get rid of all the Mexicans… All I have to do is guide the avalanche in the right direction and I’m fulfilling my promise to the American people. I was doing a crap job until this pandemic happened,” Garrison/Trump tells Stan, who asks him if he’s going to do anything about the pandemic. “I am going to actively not do anything, and you can eat sh*t off my balls and die.”
Speaking off, here’s how you can register to vote!