'South Park' season premiere: 'I see dead celebrities'

The ceaseless flow of bad taste that South Park emits like lava from a volcano erupted again on Wednesday night. And what I mean by that is, I laughed until I choked at the season premiere’s highly irreverent salute to “celebrities that died over the summer.”

Poor little Ike whimpered, “I see dead celebrities,” and so did we: South Park-ed versions of Billy Mays, David Carradine, Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon, Walter Cronkite, DJ AM, and Michael Jackson, among others, were said to be trapped in purgatory, waiting impatiently to enter heaven.

It was Mays and Jackson who obsessed Trey Parker and Matt Stone the most. Billy Mays’ spirit was intent on pitching a new product, “Chipoltaway,” which helped folks who’d eaten too much spicy fast-food remove stains from a certain item of clothing. (That’s a combination of not wanting to be a spoiler and not being able to bring myself to type out the excellent gross joke.) “Make Billy Mays go away!” yelped Ike, over and over. (Warning: language.)

As for Jackson, well, his spirit took possession of a comatose Ike. The Jackson impersonation was first-rate (“Let’s climb a tree, hee-hee!”), and the solution to freeing Ike’s body from Jackson’s spirit resulted in a ruthless parody of child beauty pageants. Once again, South Park managed to hit a shotgun-spray of pop-culture targets with deadly, devilish accuracy: not the deaths of these people, but rather the endlessly-haunting media coverage of them; excessive piety; and crass exploitation.

Did you watch South Park? Am I a bad person for finding it so funny?

(P.S. Oh, and the new show that premiered after South Park, Secret Girlfriend, was so bad, I’ll have to write about it at another time. It deserves its own beat-down.)

Comments (122 total) Add your comment
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  • Snarf

    Didn’t see it. It hasn’t aired here in Canada, yet. But I’m going to make a point of watching it.

  • codylube

    HAHA it was by far the best thing ive seen in a long time. BILLY MAYS HERE!

  • Daniel

    Pour Bea Arthur stuck in purgatory! It was a good episode. I lauged a lot, especially at Cronkite cussing up a storm.

  • DavidJ

    Used to love this show, but it’s been around so LONG now it no longer seems all that shocking or clever to me.

    • Laurie

      But that is what is so great about this show. It has been around forever, but still finds a way to be hilarious and topical! Matt and Trey are the best comedy writers in the business! Now, if only they would make another South Park movie!

  • Jim

    Good episode, but one I wouldn’t need to watch again–most of the jokes went for shock value.

    • Molly

      I agree.

  • RayT

    Great episode. Loved the “Poltergiest” lady.

    • jen

      what did the flight attendant say at the end when they reached hell? I have replayed it but I can’t make out the last word(s). they all groaned after she said it.

      • sporktine

        She claimed it was a “Tow in gate” meaning they would have to wait for the tug to come around and tow the airplane in to the gate before they could leave: meaning more waiting, hence the groan.

      • Noturbizniss

        She said unfortunately hell is a tow-in gate.

  • Graham

    I thought this episode was another great South Park gem. The second half of this season (13) is looking to be as stellar as the first.

  • Jonathan Juarbe

    What a great episode…oh and that crappy show afterward totally agree… GARBAGE!!!

  • Mr Slave

    There may be two more brilliant, sick, evil and did i say brilliant? guys than Trey and Matt, but if so, they are dead.
    Absolutely brilliant…and sick sick sick. Vintage SP.
    Jesus…Jesus Christ…

  • niki

    You’re ignorant. Hee-hee!

  • Danny

    i need some chipotlaway

  • Bubbatwo420

    SP was awesome tonight. favorite part would have to be when the poltergeist lady flew threw the window. they really can do whatever they want

  • paul

    This episode sucked they tryed way to hard to be funny and took it too far. The end was disrespectul to all of them. Can’t believe people actually believe this is one of the best eps.. I think I’m alone on thinking this episode sucked I only laughed when they made fun of taps. This was for the most part a lame episode. I’ve seen all south park episodes and I found this the most offensive and also mediocre plot michael jackson as a little girl. In a beauty contest ?? Oh pls what the fk were trey and matt smokin over the summer

    • Chloe

      Get off your freaking high horse. It was hilarious. Just because people died, doesn’t mean they’re saints all of a sudden. Oh, wait, they are, because this is America, and everyone’s too f–king sensitive.

      • RationalConservative(with a side of Reagan)

        Paul uh…this is you’re being a little bit sensitive. you should probably change your tampax wipes and uh…conservative values?

        Now listen, or uh…with your eyes, reading i mean. Back in the day with our horses and farming equipment we used to tune in to Andrew Jackson all the time. He was a very competent individual, let me tell you. He is now a dead celebrity and I would totally shat tears on his grave with a scoff of laughter. Does this offend you biootch?

        Do you like fish sticks? How bout em in your mouth? Great.

        Rational Conservative Thought

        PS: Frost Nixon is in stores now. Just wanted to let ya know.
        PPS: I’m just teasin ya McCaurtney ;P

      • Dan

        You’re obnoxious.

    • Renee

      You know that everyone who’s not Mormon goes to hell, right? This has been long established in the South Park universe…in fact, Sadam Hussein is the only non-Mormon there – he was sent to Heaven as punishment for being a baddie.

    • esperanza

      I TOTALLY AGREE…All it was was an underlined attempt to take more stabs at Michael Jackson…

      • stelvis

        hahah more stabs at Michael jackson…awesome!!! he’s bending over for Hitler right now…hee.hee

    • Daniel

      According to South Park lore, the only ones going to heaven are mormans. that was the correct religion. I will take consistency over your desire for respect.

      • Indrajit

        Chloe: uh…I think you’re confusing saintly reverence with something what decent normal people have: respect for the dead. After all, they cannot defend themselves. Taking pot shots after the fact is amoral and not funny. Call your parents and ask them for some lessons in etiquette and empathy.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of SP, heck 5×01 is my personal fav but this ep, however, was a miss. I prefer more character driven mania. Like Cartmanland, or return of the lord of the rings, or the WoW ep.

        Ragging on celebreties is not funny. It’s simply passive-aggresiveness. I was never a fan of ANY SP episode where it was all about mocking a celebrity. Poor story, no humor.

        Worse it seems planned just prove they are an edgy show. They dont need to berate dead people to stay edgy. If they’re that lacking in ideas, it time to close the studios.

    • Mer

      As was said before, they didn’t end up in hell b/c they were bad. That’s where EVERYONE goes who isn’t a Mormon (and Hussein.) South Park just kept up its tradition of everyone going to hell.

      • GregC

        Hopefully us Mormons who laughed hysterically last night will still make it to Heaven, too. :)

      • Matt

        What about Kenny? In the South Park movie he went to Hell. In “Best Friends Forever” he went to Heaven. So… does that mean Kenny converted to being a Mormon?

    • Duzell

      That’s a shame. Billy Mays son thought this episode was hilarious.

    • Cheeba Red

      What else?

    • jake

      I agree that this episode took it too far and was in pretty bad taste. It had some pretty funny parts, and don’t get me wrong I love the show..but this was pretty disrespectful since they died so recently. not a great episode

    • CP

      whats the big deal – Michael Jackson was ridiculed by comedians all his life and now that he is dead, everyone is worshiping him

      I understand that it may be offensive for MJ fans because the episode was centered about him, but I dont know what could possibly be offensive about other celebrities like Patrick Swayze – I mean, they were just sitting there, what is so wrong about that?

  • Robert

    When they arrived in hell, I believe the flight attendent announced that they had to wait longer to get off the plane because they needed to be towed to the gate…

  • Kyle H.

    Was the lady in the winter clothes next to Billy Mays on the plane Natasha Richardson? I kinda did a gasping laugh on that one.

    • Kate

      Yes Kyle..it was Natasha Richardson. Overall the ep was funny, but it was when I saw Patrick Swayze and then N.R. that I put my hand to my mouth in horror and said “This is just wrong”.

    • crispy

      OMG, I didn’t realize that was Natasha Richardson! I wonder who else I missed.

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