Last week, South Park put out an episode that criticized Yelp and the people who think themselves better than others for being a reviewer. Yesterday NewsExaminer, a fake news group using the site nbc.com.co to confuse people, posted the story “Yelp Sues South Park for $10 Million Overt Latest Episode” and the internet ran with it for a few hours. It really seemed out of the ordinary because after unsuccessful lawsuits from GLAAD, the Catholic League, and Scientology, it would be very surprising to me if anyone thought they could sue South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker and win. With that in mind, here are the top five instances that Matt and Trey trolled the world.
Number Five: Scientology vs. “Trapped In The Closet.”
This episode that first poked fun at the cultish Scientology community left one of the most permanent and lasting effects in South Park history. Isaac Hayes, who had voiced the character Chef since the show’s inception, left South Park because he himself was a Scientologist and couldn’t reconcile his feelings toward this story. It came as a surprise to everyone, including Matt and Trey, who were especially disappointed that Hayes would leave the show once they touched on something that offended him personally.
Number Four: Catholics vs. “Bloody Mary.”
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights took issue with this episode’s depiction of the Virgin Mary as well as the fact that it aired during The Feast of The Immaculate Conception, a Catholic holiday that revolves specifically around the Virgin Mary. The episode centered around a statue of Mary bleeding from its rear and the local population thinking it’s a miracle. This show also poked fun at the belief that addiction is a disease, which also didn’t sit well with an organization with indirect links to Alcoholics Anonymous.
Number Three: Muslims vs. “Cartoon Wars.”
After the infamous Danish Jyllands-Posten Muhammed Cartoon Controversy, Western countries quickly censored anything and everything having to do with the Muslim Prophet Muhammed. Of course, Matt Stone and Trey Parker saw this as an opportunity to push the limits of their sway with Comedy Central, the network that airs South Park. Through a two-episode arch, they desperately tried to convince Comedy Central to allow them to show an image of Muhammed, uncensored, specifically citing an episode in season five (years before the international controversy) in which they had shown the prophet and no one in the real world was hurt. Nonetheless, Comedy Central refused to let the episode air uncensored and have since pulled the season five episode “Super Best Friends” from rerun rotation.
Number Two: Michael Moore vs. “Team America.”
In Michael Moore’s 2002 anti-gun documentary Bowling For Columbine, South Park co-creator Matt Stone was interviewed and gave his feelings about gun ownership from his perspective of growing up in Littleton, Co. Stone later said that he thought his portrayal in the film was fair but that a cartoon that he and Parker thought was in the “style” of South Park that came right after the interview with Stone was purposefully done to make it seem that the duo had created the cartoon when in fact, they did not. Aside from the cartoon’s insinuation that the KKK was somehow responsible for the modern day NRA, Matt and Trey do not like anyone speaking for them. While working on their 2005 film Team America: World Police, the duo decided to have Michael Moore suicide-bomb the heroes’ headquarters.
Number One: South Park Fans vs. Matt and Trey.
In their season one finale entitled “Cartman’s Mom is a Dirty Slut,” it was promised that in four weeks the secret regarding Eric Cartman’s father would finally be revealed. When Matt Stone and Trey Parker realized that the first episode of season two would air on April 1 (April Fools’ Day), they thought it would be fun to prank their viewers by getting their hopes up and delivering them a full episode all about the Canadian comedy duo of Terrence and Phillip. Reviews were mixed at best, and scathing, even threatening, at worst. Comedy Central asked Matt and Trey to move up the air date of the true sequel episode “Cartman’s Mom is Still A Dirty Slut,” and the two put the episode together as quickly as possible. After nearly 20 years on the air, the April Fools episode “Terrence and Phillip in Not Without My Anus” still remains one of Matt and Trey’s favorite episodes.
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