'South Park' recap: Episode '201' is 'CENSORED,' also reveals Cartman's father

Last night, South Park paid off on both of last week’s cliffhangers — the true identity of Cartman’s father, and a power-struggle over the Muslim prophet Muhammad, who will hereafter be referred to in the manner he was throughout last night’s episode: as a BLEEP sound when the name was spoken, and as a blocked-out image labeled CENSORED.

This was a satire of a satire: The episode implicitly addressed the controversy that arose from last week’s plot about a group of powerful celebrities demanding to see CENSORED. After it aired, creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker were “warned” by a New York-based Muslim website about the potential danger of what could be perceived as their ridicule of a worshiped figure. Of course, this also paralleled the show’s Tom Cruise parody, in which the actor and a slew of celebrities sought to drain CENSORED of his “power not to be ridiculed.”

(Note: If you go to the South Park website to view the episode, there’s a message from the creators saying that “numerous additional audio bleeps” were added “throughout the episode. We do not have network approval to stream our original version of the show.” Thus, we are left to guess which are Matt and Trey’s bleeeeeps and which are the network’s.)

In other South Park news, it was revealed that Cartman’s father was also the father of Scott Tenorman, the subject of one of the most famous Park episodes of all, 2001′s “Scott Tenorman Must Die.” In that episode, Cartman killed Scott’s parents, and so now the squat nine year-old must live with the knowledge that he killed his own father. The episode was practically Shakespearean… with the added bonus of the Denver Broncos as another element of the Tenorman lineage.

But back to CENSORED. Toward the end of the half-hour, Kyle stepped forward to deliver the episode’s moral affirmation: “I learned something today,” he began — and what followed was one extra-long BLEEEEEEEEEEP. Apparently, the lesson was so profane or irreligious or obsessed with CENSORED that it could not be heard by an audience of impressionable South Park fans. Or, more likely, I think: Matt and Trey were just messing with us and took out some harmless pious blather.

Oh, yeah: the Hindu deity Krishna took the human form of Neil Diamond and performed a duet with the Godzilla-ized version of Barbra Streisand, while the latter emitted a “toxic stink ray.” It was all pretty great.

What did you think about how South Park handled its controversial topic? And about the revelation of the identity of Cartman’s father?

For more: ‘South Park’ creators ‘warned’ by radical Muslim website

Comments (250 total) Add your comment
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  • yambo

    I think South Park rather cleverly (and cravenly) caved in to Islamic aggression. “How droll!” This is reminiscent of the opera depicting Mohammed that was cancelled and of the Yale UP book on the Danish cartoons (where Yale “sensitively” pulled the plates from the book that showed the images). So we can talk all we like about South Park satirizing the problem–the fact remains, they won’t show Mohammed snorting coke (like Buddha) or watching porn (like Jesus).

    • Kimboat

      i loved the episode. you know i am not one of the writers but maybe they (in their own way) made their point. one of the many times i would have loved to be a fly on the wall.

      • LOL

        I think they absolutely made their point with the extra unnecessary self-censoring.

      • mitch

        If any of you haven’t seen the uncensored version of the South Park episode that’s in the news lately, they’ve got it streaming over at http://sneeksurf.info/watch49327.html for free

        They also uploaded a backup to sneeksurf.info/file2018451.html in case the first one gets taken down

      • SP Fan

        This website wasn’t free…nothing is free anymore!!! Nice try though

    • Eli

      Hear hear!

    • Edward Smof

      All I have to say is that we know what Muhammad would have looked like since they already had an episode with him in it… “Super Best Friends”. I don’t know why Comedy Central won’t let them go through with it when this episode is still up and running sans censorship.

      Season 5, Episode 4
      http://www.southparkstudios.com/episodes/103940/

      • adam

        not anymore. it’s been pulled too.

      • Agustina

        I can not believe they censored this one too!! After all this years! This really shows how things are going backwards, when you could show Muhammad in the past but now today…

    • 42man

      A) Although you do make a valid point, if you had a death sentence above your head, and your addresses and e-mails and so forth were made public to a potentially extremist website, you might feel a little more pressure to do what you need to do to stay alive.

      B) Matt and Trey probably WANTED to still show Muhammed, but in the end, Comedy Central was probably too nervous, maybe rightfully so, about showing the image.

      C) I feel like the show was actually a lot funnier by not showing Muhammed. If they were able to actually show him, what would they have done? Their point was quite a bit stronger without him.

      So although I do think this whole protection of a (in my eyes) fictional being is outright bulls**t, I don’t believe Matt and Trey caved or surrendered at all. I think they did just the opposite: delivered a strong, deep message while making an extremely entertaining two-part episode.

      • Mike Beck

        I strongly agree with this. Right on.

      • JD

        Comedy Central caved, validating this barbaric intolerant stain of islam. Don’t try to intellectualize their cowardice. You’re basically saying that the way to stop parody of religious figures is for their followers to threaten decapatation and publication of email addresses, right? That would make fear based censorship okay apparently.

      • Nearle

        It was funnier you are right but, the concern still remains, where will free speech go if we are afraid of these fanatic extremists… They poked fun at the fact that Tom briefly had “he who shall not be named’s” power running around with a cencor bar until he was made fun of. Then censor thing went away…. What’s next though all of a sudden we may find our societies cencorship laws being ran by a group of people who throw battery acid on there daughters and wives for showing there face in public, These people don’t represent me. Nor do they represent the level of islam that is peaceful and open to discussion. But they are doing harm to both, driving a wedge into what I think is islam.
        Not since a Modest Proposal have I heard such poignant satire. If some one should harm either Matt Stone or Trey Parker it will be a sad day for free speech.

      • Mel

        JD- I don’t agree. They DID parody Muhammad they just did not show an image of him. The extreme censorship of the episode (intentional or not) only made fun of the situation even more by showing how ridiculous the extremists are and how cowardice CC was. In the end we all knew who they were talking about and what they were saying. While it would have been nice to have some great Muhammad reveal despite everything South Park got a message across. In the end the extremist only managed to reduce their prophet to the same level as an obscenity. Seven words you cannot say on TV has been increased to eight.

      • Adam

        @42Man You believe the Prophet Muhammed, the founder of the Muslim Religion and author of the Qur’an was a completely fictional person? That’s pretty bold.

        I mean, historians generally accept that he existed and did, in fact, start a religion called Islam. But I’m interested to hear your theory.

      • Brett

        Adam, people started a religion called “Christianity” based on a person called “Jesus” and a fictional book now known as the “Bible.” Historically, there may have been a “Jesus” (since records keeping was pretty unsophisticated back then, I don’t know how well either Mohammed or Jesus’ existence or biographies can ever really be established). But as to whether Mohammed or Muhammed or however it’s currently spelled actually had divine communications, or whether Jesus really was of divine lineage – there’s just no proof.

      • marlina wyatt

        Very well stated!

      • Cristine

        42Man – you are the man! Thanks for pointing out that all this nonsense is over something FICTIONAL.

    • Jlaw

      Honestly, the fact that they did not show BLEEP but did show other religious figures doing things completely out of character empahsizes the point and is some of the best satire I have ever seen. The fact that Buddah was snorting Coke and other things were occurring proves just how absurd extreme islam is. Just the face of BLEEP (or his name) can lead to death threats, but making the face of a faith a coke fiend is ok. Not that they care what we think, but Trey and Matt did an amazing job with that episode.

    • George

      southpark would love to show these things. it’s the network (comedy central) that refuses to let them do it.

      • SP Fan

        It is absolutely ridiculous that they don’t show Mohammed….I mean, since when did 1st amendment rights cease to exist? If all I have to do is make a phone call and threaten that I’ll chop someone’s head off, then I could probably shut down all the wall street…..If you live in a country, you must abide by their laws (“When in Rome, do what the Romans do”)

    • hestus420

      if u guys want to see the epi sode go to blink x remote click tv shows and type it in you will find it.

  • Alex

    I am curious if Comedy Central made them bleep the name or if they decided to do it. I kind of think Comedy Central made them do it and then out of anger at that they decided to bleep the entire speech at the end.

    • Rebecca

      I thought that all of the beeps were intentional (not being aware of the threats issue) and surely the santa in a bear costume sufficed. I thought the censored strip was funny

      • Meier

        Especially when it had Seaman on his back. “Swallow, come!”

      • Matt

        “He he, no WAY he just said that.” – Moses, that scene killed me.
        Anyways, I thought this episode was one of the best in a while. I am really curious what Matt and Trey censored and what was Comedy Central.

    • Agustina

      Did you read this?
      “A Statement from Matt and Trey

      In the 14 years we’ve been doing South Park we have never done a show that we couldn’t stand behind. We delivered our version of the show to Comedy Central and they made a determination to alter the episode. It wasn’t some meta-joke on our part. Comedy Central added the bleeps. In fact, Kyle’s customary final speech was about intimidation and fear. It didn’t mention Muhammad at all but it got bleeped too. We’ll be back next week with a whole new show about something completely different and we’ll see what happens to it.”

      http://www.southparkstudios.com/news/

    • Leslie

      MAtt & Trey posted a statement on southparkstudios.com saying that Comedy Central added in the bleeps, including the consoring of Kyle’s final speech.
      http://www.southparkstudios.com/news/3878

    • Leslie

      Matt & Trey posted a statement on southparkstudios.com saying that Comedy Central altered the episode & added the bleeps, including censoring Kyle’s final speech:
      http://www.southparkstudios.com/news/3878

  • Scott

    The bleeps turned a great episode into a victory lap for the extremists. It’s a damn shame that Matt and Trey were raped of their First Amendment rights and I hope Viacom will eventually let them remove the bleeps. It did have a beautiful message though: Nobody, even religious figures, are looked at as perfect except for one man with multiple underage wives who’s responsible for as many, if not more deaths than Jesus.

    • tamburlaine

      Um, Jesus isn’t responsible for any deaths, and no one is afraid of depicting him snorting coke or watching porn. Moral relativism is dumb.

      • Alex

        Ever heard of the Crusades? People have killed in the name of their God all through time.

      • George

        Yes, moron. Make a reference to deaths 1,000+ years ago vs. Islamic murders last week or yesterday. Almost the same, not.

      • Alex

        Not saying they are the same. But to say there have not been deaths in the name of Jesus is dumb.

      • Rock Golf

        Hey, George. You want more recent deaths in the name of Jesus? Look at the Holocaust. Look at Northern Ireland. Look at Kosovo. Look at American who kill abortion doctors. As Gandhi said “I like your Christ but I don’t think much of Christians”.

      • ernie

        Yeah, every religion gets twisted so that there’s violence every once in a while. The crusades went on during a period where Christianity was introduced into a society that valued pride, violence, and crusading. It took a while for the religion to break those values down/introduce value of human life. It’s not Jesus, it’s people’s natures.

      • ernie

        Also, the Holocaust was not based on Christianity, but on racial “science.” Hitler stated that he hated Christianity because it came from the Jews and it was “weak.” — University of Florida Holocaust class. Sorry. I’m just tired of hearing these stupid points. Abortion doctors I’ll give you, but every group has a crazy.

      • tamby

        Killing in someone’s name is quite different than that person being responsible. Jodie Foster wasn’t responsible for John Hinckley. Duh.

      • yogi

        haha, oh tamby, you made my day.

      • Skip182

        Jesus and BLEEP are not responsible for deaths. Their followers are the problem. It’s the extremists (not just in religion, but any group) that are the problem.

      • greg brown

        Yea, the crusades, the childrens crusade was my favorite, thousands of 12 and 13 year olds slaughtered by an islamic army of over grown chewbacas i love my first amendment right. its a shme comedy central doesnt

    • RP

      The First Amendment says that the *government* isn’t allowed to restrict your speech. It has nothing to do with whether or not your boss is allowed to restrict what you say. This may be an issue of censorship but it is not a constitutional issue.

      • steph

        thank you! I hate it when people think the First Amendment applys to everything. It only applies to government insitutions…Private companies can do whatever the hell they want regarding your speech.

    • Ray

      This was not made into a victory lap for the extremists. This is to show us how absurd it is to give in to their demands. The bleeps were intentionally put in there. We can make light of all the religions in the world but oh no we can’t say anything about Mohammed or the Muslims might get upset. Who gives a frak if the Muslims get upset? If you bleep everything there is to say about Mohammed then there’s little that you can learn from him, as attested to in Kyle’s speech.

      • donknottz

        You did not read that it says that comedy central added numerous additional bleeps to the show after they handed in the finished product. They intended for some of it to be bleeped or censored but not to the extent it was.

      • jack

        shut the f#$K up B&^%$ he is a prophet so if someone talk about the person u belive in you moght get up set a$$

      • Pat

        Jack chill out a bit.
        They mock Jesus all of the time and I find it hilarious.

      • Brett

        Yes, Jack. He’s YOUR prophet, maybe. Not mine.

      • Skip182

        Well either Jack was trying to make a Joke, or just a total douche proving the point that Muslim extremists are insane.

    • Greg

      I thought the bleeps were blistering. They turned Mohammed into a vile swear word, basically.

      • What?

        Blistering? Really? They bleeped him, that’ll show ‘em. They got them on an intellectual level, because that’s how violent people operate. Right.

      • akumasan

        I think it’s called trying to look on the bright side of an incident that cannot be changed.

        They’ve pulled old episode with BLEEP now (Super Best Friends) so that is the future, retrospective censoring?

        There have been death threats, which is sad. We’ve seen a good run with shows being able to get away with murder… what a wonderful time.

        Comedic license.
        RIP
        1989 – 2010

        We hardly knew ye.

  • myluna

    If you go to South Park Studios website and try to watch the episode, there is a message saying that Comedy Central added additional bleeps to the episode and that they don’t have network approval to air the original episode.

    I’d like to know what was the episode Matt and Trey actually created and what parts Comedy Central decided to censor.

    Hopefully the episode will be reaired and shown the way the creators intended it to be.

    • EC

      Three letters: DVD.

    • Jennifer

      I bought episode 200 from Itunes last week. Now that episode and 201 are not available for download.

      • ms7419

        the same thing happened to me on the playstation network.i got 200 last week and now it’s gone and 201 isn’t even available.this is all absolutely ridiculous and scary that some cave dwelling lunatics have murdered our right to free speech.

  • Cheri

    “Apparently, the lesson was so profane or irreligious or obsessed with CENSORED (or so harmless) that it could not be heard by an audience of impressionable South Park fans.”

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Trey and Matt bleeped the speech to prove the point that nothing was learned. The underlying point of the show was, “Why is Muhammad so special that no one can make fun of him?” In the end, they had to cave and give him the special treatment they had been mocking; therefore, nothing was learned.

    • Ray

      Completely agreed.

    • jorgeGarcia

      This. this is exactly it

    • Paul

      My thoughts exactly. Nothing was learned!

    • Usocrazzy

      Very well stated Cheri. Excellent, excellent point. Nothing has been learned.

  • WDB

    I think the ‘Bleeps’ were put in there by Matt and Trey. South Park has has a history taking rediculous acts of political correctness to the extreeme, and this is just another example of it. I don’t think this is a win for the extremists, but just another clever way that Matt and Trey have gone about making their point (I am really looking forward to what they have on this seasons DVD with this episode though).

    • tamburlaine

      Except that they made their point by caving, just as everyone else does.

      • Skip182

        They didn’t cave. You can watch the video interview of them saying they would not cave because it’d make them hypacrits. Comedy Central is who caved.

  • djshade806

    haven’t seen it I had to work last night :(, went on the website the episode is not available until they fix the bleeps or edit something…shame :(
    http://www.fivedollarshades.com my site visit me

  • Matthew Thomas

    This episode was great at revealing double standards in censorship. All the other religious figures Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Moses all were made to look like bumbling fools. Jesus was watching porn, Buddha was snorting coke, Krishna took the form of Neil Diamond to sing a song with Barbara Streisand yet those religious extremists act as if South Park is bashing only their religion. I was disappointed with the whole censoring of words and images but it added an extra layer of commentary.

    • Aaron

      Don’t forget the most important religious figure SEA man.

    • Greg

      Because they’re convinced they’re the only ones who are right. That’s the nature of irrational fundamentalists.

      • Anita

        I am glad you said “irrational” fundamentalists. It is always a contridiction to say that “all ___ are bad.” Really? Have you met all of them? How do you know? It is sad, but true, that any group, religious or otherwise, sadly has a core that is sick and dementated.

  • mack

    if muslims worship a god that has no image then wouldn’t it be easier for them to just remove the censore bar and show an empty space?

    • det

      No.. the problem Muslims have is that there profit was never described.. They DO NOT know what the prophet looked like.. reason being they DON’T want to worship the prophet since God is the one who should be worshipped.. Sort of how you hear people pray to Jesus instead of God sometimes when all Jesus was was a messenger from God.

      • Kingsley

        Actually, Jesus is God according to Christianity. He’s part of the Trinity.

        In other religions he’s considered to just be a prophet (and not the Messiah).

      • RP

        But this issue is why some people have an issue with Catholics, right? Because they pray to saints?

      • Ray

        Catholics don’t pray to saints as in “worshipping” them. Prayer is more of a form of communication, and prayers to saints are asking for their intercession on your behalf to God, not idolization of the saint himself.

      • RP

        But do the people who hate Catholics get that? If so, then what’s the deal with Christians who don’t like Catholics?

        (I know this is OT but it’s something that’s always baffled me.)

      • Mike Beck

        Actually, Jesus was the son of God according to Christianity. True that he is part of the holy trinity, but more that he was symbolic of mankind. Meaning that we are all part of God. He was meant to be a commoner, one of us, not a creator with divine powers.

      • What?

        This is so inaccurate it would take too much time to respond to.

  • kim in kentucky

    and don’t forget, Cartman was only upset about finding out he was half “ginger” and not the least bit bothered that he had killed his father

    • Siri

      That was the funniest part of the episode! Than and Sea Man and his swallow….

      • Q

        Seaman: “Swallow, come!”
        Moses: “Oh man, he did not just say that.”

      • SPKev

        “Tom Cruise has Seaman on his back!”

    • John

      I just want to point out that Cartman did not technically kill his father — rather, he got him killed by the rancher. Then he merely made his father’s soul-less corpse into chili.

      • RP

        Cartman is responsible for the man’s death. If I push someone in front of a bus they’d charge me with murder, not the bus driver.

      • Laura

        Of all the crazy things in this episode, that’s the one I don’t get: Cartman purposely got his father killed, so WHY on earth was everyone in town so concerned about sparing Cartman’s feelings?? He’s a freaking murderer!

      • Jay

        If they lied to Cartman and made a dead guy his father…

        Hmm, seems very ironic AND coincidental, no? Odds are he’s not the father and it was put in as a subplot to refer to the prior episode. In other words, we still don’t know who Cartman’s father is, and Cartman’s mom still seems to have a weener.

        Cause no one said she didn’t, after all.

  • Michael

    I don’t think all those bleeps were the work of Matt and Trey. I just went to watch the episode on southparkstudios.com, and it’s not available yet.

  • John

    You forgot that the beloved Pip Pirrup was killed by Meca-Streisand.

  • K2

    I hated it! I’m a mega-super SouthPark fan and I could not wait for the 2nd part of the show last night.

    What I got was a bad joke! I almost even stopped it half-way once they started beeping. It was pretty bad.

    I really don’t know what the true episode was, but I’d rather they just not ran it at all.

    It was a cruel twist with Cartman “the worlds best cartoon character” and I have to think if I like how it turned out.

    All in all, a shame.

    • Mark

      I disagree with everything you just said. I don’t think you got the joke. It was brilliant.

      • Frauds

        Right. A brilliant cop out by Comedy Central. Frauds.

    • timmy

      yeah, this went over your head. why did tom cruise end up on the moon?

      • Mike

        There was an episode where they were trying to save a whale. I think they thought it was from the moon, so they took it to Mexico and had the Mexican NASA shoot it to the moon

      • Darwin

        So he could be free like that whale they saved from the aquarium.

  • Boro

    I think that every instance of the word Mohammed was bleeped, but the whole “I learned something today” speech was Matt and Trey’s idea. Strange that they didn’t censor the word for the “200″ episode but one week later, they can’t even pronounce his name? That’s Comedy Network caving in to the recent threats on the creators, not Matt and Trey themselves. I’m also pretty certain that the episode was created using the image of Mohammed throughout but that it too was censored by the network.

    Considering they’ve already shown him for the Super Best Friends episode and are still well alive and were never threatened back then, what’s different now that didn’t exist back then? It’s a sick world we live in…

  • Andre Otherton

    I didn’t see last night’s episode can someone tell me if they censored muhammad or did they show muhammad? Thanks

    • dre

      seriously? look at all the comments

    • Nick

      Or read the article itself..

      • DAVID

        Although they blocked the image of CENSORED, and everytime CENSORED’s name was spoken, his name DID in fact show up in some of the closed captions! Ha, so there! In your face, silly fanatics! (However I believe Comedy Central went way too far in over-censoring the episode.)

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