Instant Guide to... Try some Instant Guides from other Cult Times

3rd Rock from the SunThe Tomorrow PeopleDue SouthVBack to this issue's contents

South Park
South Park gets an anal probe…
The Premise: Meet Kyle, Stan, Cartman and Kenny, four of the most foul mouthed yet appropriately naïve kids from South Park, Colorado. This is a town where anything can happen, and usually does! From Christmas punch-ups to Zombie infestations no one is safe from the bizarre goings on, well, at least until the next episode when everything is just fine and dandy.

Background: Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone were contacted by a Fox executive back in the early Nineties and commissioned to produce a video Christmas card that he could send to colleagues and friends. The Spirit of Christmas, as the production became known, featured a final face-off between Jesus and Santa Claus in true Mortal Kombat style. Eventually Comedy Central picked up the idea and turned it into a TV series.

First Run: 13th August 1997 in the US.

Number of Episodes: 13 in the first season. The second season is still running Stateside, possibly with a longer season.

The Good Guys: Kyle, the happy go lucky Jewish boy; Stan, in many ways the leader of the pack; Cartman the fat kid; and Kenny, the incomprehensible, consummate fall guy, who manages (with one exception) to snuff it each episode. These four are followed closely by Chef, always at hand to combat evil, aid the kids getting out of school or just to sing a song about making 'sweet love' down by the fire.

The Bad Guys: Recurring villains include: Mephisto, the misunderstood genetic scientist who lives on the hill, best known for giving any manner of beast two asses; Lucifer and his son Damien; and Death. Of course you could always consider anyone who offs Kenny a villain too!
South Park Boys
And Isn’t That... George Clooney supplying the voice to Sparky the gay dog in Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boatride, the 'Chick from Species' aka Natasha Henstridge as the Substitute Teacher in Tom's Rhinoplasty and Seventies superstar Isaac Hayes, as the ever-loving Chef. Many other faces appear in the show with no claim of actual participation from the celebrity in question. In the first season alone we've seen Cathy Lee Gifford, Elton John, Geraldo and Jerry Springer.

Running Gags: Cartman's excuse for being fat, Chef's irrelevant song about making 'sweet love', Stan's involuntary vomiting when approached by Wendy and of course Kenny's demise, something which you tend to look forward to!

Moral: I've learned something today. Writing articles for Cult Times can be a rewarding and ultimately satisfying task. It's not just about the financial gifts or the attention. Or is that giving presents at Christmas?

Photo © Sky One
Kick Ass
Picking the best of the South Park episodes is like Cartman trying to decide between Cheesy Poofs and Snacky Cakes!

Cartman Gets an Anal Probe
An almost non-stop rollercoaster of laughs, and one of the funniest and most elaborate Kenny killings.

Tom's Rhinoplasty
Mr Garrison's nose job is hilarious and I swear I'll never look at David Hasslehoff the same way again. Also the boys' attempts to become lesbians will leave you chuckling for days.

A South Park Christmas
A downright offensive episode with racist jibes aplenty, Kyle's Jewish song and not to mention the all-singing all-dancing Christmas Poo, Mr Hankey! A wonderful mock advert which intersects the episode is just another mark of how the show manages to be constantly innovative without sticking to preconceived ideas.

 Kick the Baby
Any show which doesn't have you laughing at least every minute, these are few and far between but I guess at a stretch you could count Starvin' Marvin and An Elephant Makes Love to a Pig amongst those.
Grant Kempster

Read more about your favourite programmes in Cult Times
The Best Guide to This Month's Cult Television
£2.75 ($4.99)

Cult Times footer