Olympic figure skater Brian Boitano, last seen a decade ago in a song titled, "What Would Brian Boitano Do?" from South Park's feature length film, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, is back. And what is BB doing right now? Cooking for the Food Network on Sunday's premiere of What Would Brian Boitano Make?
South Park's always had its finger
in the pants on the pulse of the cultural zeitgeist, and more than a few episodes have been met with outrage from interest groups or religious leaders. But every once in a while, SP has turned the tables on real life, and seen its gags subtly nestle their way into pop culture. With the Food Network obviously aping their latest franchise's name from the beloved cartoon (yo FN: Trey and Matt wanna know where their royalty checks are!) , we dug up 10 instances of Real Life Imitating South Park...
Fish Sticks, 4/8/09
• South Park made an assault on Kanye's big ego earlier this year, with a play on words (fish sticks to fish dicks). A few days after South Park implied Kanye was a "gay fish" for liking "fish dicks," a smart-ass waiter thought it'd be funny to serve Kanye some fish sticks at The Cheesecake Factory.
South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut, 1999
• In the South Park movie, Saddam Hussein is depicted as Satan's abusive, homosexual lover. When Saddam was captured by American forces a few years later, Marines who were keeping the dethroned leader captive forced Saddam to watch the flick repeatedly in an apparent attempt to degrade him even further.
South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut, 1999
• The Academy Award-nominated song from the South Park movie, "Blame Canada," gained such stick-in-your-head notoriety that the University of Michigan marching band performed their own version.
Trapped in the Closet, 10/16/05
• Not only did this full-on assault of Scientology cause a media shit storm for several weeks after the episode aired, but references to this hilarious spin on the "Hollywood religion" appeared in the 58th Primetime Emmy Awards as well as the 2006 film The Bridge, when characters specifically mention the South Park Scientology spoof.
Make Love, Not Warcraft, 10/4/06
• South Park's critique on World of Warcraft hit the nail on the head as it captured a generation of computer geeks who become permanent fixtures in front of their computer screens as they attempt virtual domination of a make believe world. The fabled Sword of a Thousand Truths that Randy Marsh gives to Stan would later be incorporated in the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King expansion with the name Slayer of the Lifeless.
• This episode poked fun of Al Gore's attempts to draw attention to global climate change with ManBearPig, a fictitious animal that Gore swore was threatening lives. ManBearPig would make an appearance on the biotech site Think Gene as an April Fools joke. ManBearPig made another resurgence on the site Digg, when a forum was opened to compile possible questions for Al Gore during an upcoming interview.
Ginger Kids, 10/9/05
• There's something odd about gingers—people with red hair and freckles, that is. Apparently there were quite a few people who agreed with this South Park episode because a Facebook group emerged in 2008 titled "national kick a ginger day," citing the South Park episode as a major influence.
Timmy 2000, 04/19/2000
• This episode poked fun at America's tendency to feed our naturally energetic children Ritalin. It focused on a lovable, albeit slightly challenged youngster named Timmy. Timmy forms his own rock group in this episode and the featured song, Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld, became a bonus song on Rock Band several years later.
• Step one: Collect Underpants. Step two: ??? Step three: Profit! This simple, yet very funny, episode about underpants gnomes who don't quite understand how to turn their undies-stealing scheme into profit has become a parable for Internet-era companies that just don't seem to get what it takes to turn a profit. For example, Yahoo! and WebMD.
Chef Aid, 10/07/1998
• In a case of art imitating life imitating art, South Park spoofed Johnnie Cochran's nonsensical winning defense of O.J. Simpson, coining it the Chewbacca Defense, a term that's consistently been referenced in the years after the episode's airing. At the 2005 annual meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, they even had a seminar called "Poking the Wookie: The Chewbacca Defense in Digital Evidence Cases." Wow.