The Obama and McCain Election was a Front to Steal the Hope Diamond in “About Last Night,” South Park Episode 1212

We Got Jacked

The premise of the entire election, we learn, was that John McCain and Barack Obama are part of the world’s greatest thief syndicate. They both decided to run for president – a plan 10 years in the works – so that one of them had to win. Why president? Because an emergency escape tunnel runs from the Oval Office and under the Smithsonian, where the Hope Diamond – the current object of their thieving affections – is housed.

The rest of the episode goes down like an Ocean’s Eleven movie – and everybody’s in on it. Michelle is a computer whiz. Palin speaks stupidly to reporters about running for vice-president in ’09, but when talking to McCain and the team has a British accent and speaks about complicated, technical jargon (Elektra). They even all fake their own deaths at the end so that no one comes looking for them.

Some Meat and Potatoes

As hilarious as this context is, the actual portrayal of America is where the meat and potatoes of the episode really are. Obama supporters are ecstatic with their candidate’s win and Randy Marsh is ‘jumping the couch’ in his state of excitement. People are partying and wasted in the streets, overturning Barbrady’s cop-car, fighting, drinking, cursing out bosses, and insisting that everything is going to be different from that moment forward. They’re chanting “Yes we can,” and “Change!”

This is the delusion: that everything is going to be different with the simple election of Barack Obama – that we would wake up to CHANGE. There’s nothing wrong with the hope and excitement of this new presidency. It’s just that people seemed to think that it meant something immediate rather than long-term. This episode throws that in America’s face.

And not just on the Obama side either. The McCain supporters look like idiots, too. They build a bunker to start hiding in and fighting people off and insisting that it’s the collapse of society.

One line sums this up excellently. After Ike jumps out the window and is taken to the hospital the nurse asks, “Was he a McCain supporter or an Obama supporter.” The boys have no idea why this is relevant and she says, Because I need to know if he partied too hard or if he tried to kill himself.

Summary

This episode was classic and amazing South Park. Extreme satire and ridiculous situations reflected and distorted America’s experience last night and the feelings across the country. In the meantime it made profound points about what the reality was, as evidenced by McCain supporters going outside and seeing that the world was still standing the next day and Randy waking up hungover, unemployed and with fewer luxury goods (no tv or pants) and realizing that nothing had changed the night Obama was elected president.

Is that to say that nothing has really changed? No, plenty has and last night was a momentous night in American history. However, Obama put it best in his speech. Nothing is over. It’s only just begun. If we want real change we’re going to have to work a lot harder – and together – than anybody did to get Obama elected president.

What did you think of this episode? Did you like the plot? Did you like the points?

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4 Responses

  1. I’m sure there is an alternate episode where McCain wins, do you think we’ll ever see it, maybe in some DVD extras or something?

  2. I actually seriously doubt that there is an alternative episode (though that would be awesome). I think that the sketch of the episode was taken care of and that most of the non-partisan dialogue was written. The hard part of making South Park, I’ve heard Trey and Matt say, is not the physical creation but coming up with the idea, which it sometimes takes them more than half of the week to do. They had probably mapped out this idea ahead of time, created what physical aspects they could (the actual characters, settings, parts of the script) and then filled in the rest the moment the relevant parts of the night came to an end. Hell, they probably got to work on more the moment they knew Obama had won.

    Great episode, though! If there are any alternate scenes I’d love to see them one day.

  3. […] got something to say kay on Quran Read-A-Long: The Cow 113…Jay Solomon on The Obama and McCain Election …afiveo on The Obama and McCain Election …Fun with the Bible: … on Jesus’ […]

  4. […] longer than the complaint itself. All publicity is good publicity, after all. However, today I […]The Obama and McCain Election was a Front to Steal the Hope Diamond in “About Last Night,” South… November 6, 2008We Got Jacked The premise of the entire election, we learn, was that John McCain […]

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