Rob Reiner Tries to End Smoking in Colorado in South Park Episode 713, “Butt Out”

An anti-smoking troupe comes to South Park Elementary and when the children are told that not smoking will make them just like these losers they decide to go smoke. They are caught and the parents blame the tobacco companies because the boys don’t accept responsibility for their own actions. Kyle wants to, though, knowing that when Rob Reiner is brought to town to ban smoking things are going to get out of control and they are going to have to save the town from destruction by talking about what they learned. I love the show’s self-awareness and making fun of its own classic structure.

Rob Reiner does not come off looking like hot stuff in this episode. He comes off like an asshole. Why? Because Reiner insists that no one in the world should smoke and does anything to see that they can’t, including dishonest tactics like lying and even attempting to kill a little boy. Naughty, naughty.

Cartman, of course, loves Reiner because he uncontrollably imposes his will on other people. When Reiner says that only one of the boys can be in a no-smoking advertisement, Cartman insists that it will be him. Kyle says fine, wanting nothing to do with Reiner and the huge headache that is sure to result from this cataclysmic situation; Cartman believes this is just Cartman’s Serbian-Jew-Devil bluff, which seems to be akin to reverse psychology.

The song sung by the cigarette makers is awesome, and the history of tobacco in the U.S. is also really funny. If it weren’t for tobacco most of our black friends wouldn’t be here now. The boys actually conclude that if people want to smoke then they should be allowed to do so. That’s the very libertarian attitude of the show manifesting itself – we should do what we want so long as we aren’t hurting others.

Do you like this episode? What’s your favorite part?

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