Cartman has Radiohead Watch Scott Tenorman Eat His Parents in a Bowl of Chili in South Park episode 501, “Scott Tenorman Must Die”

Radiohead gueststarring on South Park! It was like two of my favorite things being sandwiched together in blissful wonderment. Hurray!

Many have seen this fabled episode, but for those who haven’t, I’ll toss in a quick summary and a few of my favorite highlights.

Scott Tenorman is a middle schooler who has tricked Cartman out of a bit of money, and Cartman just cannot let it go, so much so that he is determined to get back at Scott in whatever way he possibly can (spoiler alert similar to the title of this post!). In perhaps one of the most elaborate schemes ever created, Cartman arranges to have Scott’s parents murdered and their bodies ground into chili that Cartman eventually tricks Scott into eating. Cartman even convinces Radiohead to come to town at the same moment this all goes down, and when Scott cries upon learning about eating his dead parents, Radiohead watches him cry and calls him a sissy crybaby. It is simultaneously disturbing and hilarious.

Favorite parts: Cartman licking Scott’s tears; Stan and Kyle vowing never to f- with Cartman.

Later episode’s that reference this one: when Cartman threatens that he’ll make someone else trifling with him eat his parents, and in “Cartoon Wars,” when Cartman and Bart are deciding who’s more badass, Cartman cites this incident.

What did you think about this episode? What was your favorite part?

Get a FREE Bonus Chapter from The Zen of South Park.

Read about other South Park episodes.

Homeland Security, Guinea Pirates, and Craig as the Savior of Mankind All Grace “Pandemic 2 – The Startling,” South Park’s Newest Episode (1211)

So, as discussed last week, this episode is a continuation of the previous week’s, despite the lack of “To Be Continued” at the end of the episode. Fortunately, we as a South Park watching community are really bright and figured it out.


Guinea pigs are attacking cities all over the U.S. and in South Park Randy Marsh is still filming with his new camera. Throughout the episode more and more guinea animals attack, like guinea bees, rats, bears, and more.

Meanwhile, the boys are sent to a remote location in the mountains of Peru, though they were supposedly going to bring down the government in Lima. Craig, sure that he’s in this situation because of Kenny, Cartman, Stan and Kyle, insists that he hates them, but they claim it’s not their fault: stuff just happens to them. I love Craig’s attitude – he added a great element to this whole episode. After the boys discover an ancient prophecy that predicts Craig as the savior of mankind from the guinea pigs, Craig just quits pursuing the adventure and starts walking the other way.

As everything turns increasingly chaotic, the Director of Homeland Security demands to be taken to Machu Pichu. There he mocks the prophecy about Craig and when the boys stumble upon him urinating on a statue, he reveals the truth: that he is a guinea pirate! Craig, despite trying to walk away, ends up stopping him by shooting lasers from his eyes.

…and the rest is history.

South Park Self-Reflection

I love episodes of South Park that internally refer to the show. Remember “Cartoon Wars” and how Cartman insisted that Family Guy was a cartoon that millions of people see while he was just a little boy and therefore what he said didn’t matter? Remember when people said they liked Family Guy because it didn’t get all preachy and up its own ass with messages? Yeah? I love that self-referential stuff and I love that this episode did that too (as did the previous one). Craig always talking about how what happens to the boys isn’t normal and that they do it themselves – great stuff.

Great Episode Lessons

1. We don’t always have control over what happens to us and are sometimes just players on the stage of life

2. Don’t loan people money

3. You shouldn’t eat peanuts when you’re scared

4. Nobody likes hanging out with someone who complains all the time


I, for one, liked this episode a lot. It had some good laughs, was amusing, ridiculous, and made fun of stupid things like Quarantine and more.

What did you think? Did you think it was better than the other episodes this season? Do you think next week’s Wednesday episode will be about Tuesday’s presidential election? They make these fast but how fast can they do it?

Get a FREE Bonus Chapter from The Zen of South Park.

Read about other South Park episodes.

The Second Part of the Amazing South Park episodes, “Cartoon Wars,” (1004) Teaches About the Power of Terrorism

As you may have read in yesterday’s article about episode 1003 (click HERE), I love these amazing episodes that challenge our ability to understand what the real power of terrorism is.

What this episode teaches us is that terrorism is a mental as much as a physical threat. When threatened with terrorism for broadcasting an episode of Family Guy that depicted an image of Mohammed, FOX networks must decide whether or not to air the image. Deciding not to is a matter of changing our lives and values (free speech, etc.) because we’re scared.

Terrorism hasn’t happened in the sense that no bombs have gone off and no one has died. Terrorism has happened – effectively, I might add – because of the fear that makes us live a different way. When we stop living as we choose because we’re scared that is when terrorism has worked.

This episode, setting aside this interesting point, is amazing for other reasons, including the layers of meaning attached to the inclusion of Family Guy and other animated social commentaries for adults and the fact that Comedy Central actually pusses out and refuses to show the image of Mohammed that in the episode the FOX network president opted to show. Wow.

What did you think of this episode? What do you think of this portrayal of terrorism?

Read the essay that I wrote about these episodes, In Defense of South Park.

Get a FREE Bonus Chapter from The Zen of South Park.

Read about other South Park episodes.

South Park’s Most Self-Reflective Episode, “Cartoon Wars (1),” Episode 1003, Speak of Muslims, Terrorism and Free Speech

Personally, I think that the two part episode, “Cartoon Wars,” is out-of-this-world amazing. The layers of meaning in these two episodes go beyond almost anything most of us experience on a regular basis as we engage with the satirical media around us.

When Family Guy plans to show an image of Mohammed, the Muslim prophet, on its program, the Muslim world is outraged and the Americans are terrified of offending Muslims, primarily for fear of retribution. In large part the episode is about free speech and defending our American values, but it’s also about so much more than that. I recommend that everyone watch this episode and its sequel which will be on tomorrow night, Thursday.

A great free speech quote from the episode comes from Mr. Stotch, Butters’ dad:

“What we need to do is just the opposite. Freedom of speech is at stake here, don’t you all see? If anything, we should all make cartoons of Muhammad, and show the terrorists and the extremists that we are all united in the belief that every person has a right to say what they want! Look, people, it’s been real easy for us to stand up for free speech lately. For the past few decades we haven’t had to risk anything to defend it. But those times are going to come! And one of those times is right now. And if we aren’t willing to risk what we have, then we just believe in free speech, but we don’t defend it.”

Get a FREE Bonus Chapter from The Zen of South Park.

Read about other South Park episodes.

I’ve actually written an essay called, “In Defense of South Park,” in which I discuss the importance of these episodes in the context of their genre and satire.

What do you think of this episode? What about free speech and the need to defend it?

The Zen of South Park Progress Report

I am glad to say that I’m finally back to work on The Zen of South Park. After packing in Atlanta, moving to San Fran, finding an apartment, setting it up with furniture and crap and then a few nights of sickness, I have, at last, begun to sit at my desk daily and plug away.

And it feels great.

We all have projects that we love, and they become such a part of us that to neglect them is like leaving your child in the rain while you go to the local bar. And then beating him when you get home. It’s just not cool – you know?

I am in the very serious editing stages of the book, which is to say that I have quite solid drafts of every chapter and am now perfecting them by tweaking jokes, analyzing word choice and examing the overall structure of each chapter for consistency, flow, and logic. I actually really enjoy this stage of editing because you can see your book go from a piece of writing to a manuscript. While doing this I am also taking notes on the single point of each section in each chapter so that I can properly write an introduction and conclusion.

As I always reiterate, There are no great writers – only great editors.

How is your project going right now? Did you catch the South Park marathon last night? Which episode did you enjoy most. Personally, I love the “Cartoon Wars” episodes. If you’d like to read an essay I wrote on them, called “A Defense of South Park,” click HERE.

Get a FREE Bonus Chapter from The Zen of South Park.

Read about other South Park episodes.

“The Snuke,” is South Park episode 1104: Eruption in Hilary Clinton

In this episode we learn all about the scary mental threat of Muslim terrorists – perhaps not in the same poignant fashion as we got with “Cartoon Wars,” but it’s still a great episode.

When a new Muslim student, Bahir, joins Mrs. Garrison’s fourth grade class, Cartman immediately suspects him of terrorist activities. With a Hilary Clinton rally happening in town that day (thank goodness America is past having to deal with that), he is sure he’s discovered the target of Bahir’s anarchist plot.

A fascinating twist requires us to confront our prejudice and fears and think about the place of Muslims and Islam in American society.

Did you like this episode? What’s your favorite part? What do you think about America’s fear of terrorism and how life can improve with this seemingly looming threat?

Get a FREE Bonus Chapter from The Zen of South Park.

Read about other South Park episodes.

South Park Episode 704, “Canceled,” Tackles Great Jewish Stereotypes

Though it seems as though episode 101 is repeating itself, we learn that this deja vu is nothing more than a rerun – and when reruns start coming on we know it’s time for a show to be canceled. Which show? Earth! That’s right, the Earth is actually a reality television show – one of the most popular in the universe – but since it’s becoming stale, it’s time for it to go.

This episode, excellent as it is, has two things worth focusing on for The Zen of South Park. The first is it’s self-reflective jabs regarding the length of a show’s run and that it should be canceled. Yes, South Park is talking about itself…jokingly. South Park has numerous self-reflective jabs (think of the Cartoon Wars episodes, in particular). Can you think of any others?

The second thing that’s great to focus on is the Jewish stereotypes. “What!?” you cry. “There are stereotypes involving people of Jewish descent?” Yes, I know it’s shocking, but also shockingly true, and a number of them are explored in this episode, particularly the notion that Jews control the media. Yep, they’re everywhere, especially when it comes to the media. Hitler knew it (see his Table Talks for evidence) and Trey and Matt know it. Considering the fact that Matt is Jewish, evidence of this stereotype is already emerging.

Joosians live on the planet Fognl, and are big green aliens that look suspiciously Jewish, have Brooklyn accents, control all the media in the universe and seem to be blood relatives of Kyle (discovered when they eat some gross food). If you don’t understand any of the references I’m making or if any of the jokes from the actual episode seem unclear (and are related to Jewish stereotypes), don’t hesitate to ask.

Did you like this episode? What was your favorite joke? What stereotypes did you notice that I didn’t mention here?

In The Zen of South Park I’ll explore the effects of revealing so many Jewish stereotypes as well as Cartman’s anti-Semitism, and discuss why South Park has provided us with an excellent medium of leaning about these things.

Get a FREE Bonus Chapter from The Zen of South Park.

Read about other South Park episodes.