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The Making of the South Park WoW Episode

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the killing-boars dept.

70

Via GameSetWatch, an interview with South Park Producer Frank Agnone, Tech Supervisor J. J. Franzen, and Director of Animation Eric Stough. The discussion, on the Machinima.com site, goes into a lot of detail on how the South Park WoW episode was made, their rationale for doing it, and the amount of assistance they received from Blizzard. From the article: "Q: How long did it take to capture, puppeteer, and edit all the WOW footage? JJ: Uhm... A really really long time. We decided early on to treat the in-game capture sessions as regular film shoots. Our 'set' ended up being the lobby of the studio we produce South Park in. We rented 12 PCs, set up a bunch of folding tables, and were basically good to go. I decided that it would be best to capture on a Mac, since we would be able to capture directly to a quicktime file, which would make getting the captured footage onto the editing system a lot quicker. So, I hauled my shiny new MacPro out into the lobby and spent the next two weeks in a much bigger, if less private, new office. We had 5 'shoot' days, the first on the 20th of Sept. which lasted about 3-5 hours. The next was on the 26th of Sept. which also lasted about 4-5 hours., and then we shot almost every other day up to the last few days of production Monday and Tuesday were full days, with the last day going from 10am Tuesday morning to around 3am Wednesday morning the 3rd of Oct,, the day the episode aired."

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Obligatory quotes thread... (0, Redundant)

Megane (129182) | about 8 years ago | (#16898258)

(yeah, I probably mangled both of these, but I only watched it once...)

How can you kill one that has... no life?

Mom! Bathroom! Mom! Bathroom!

click "reply" to add your own!

Re:Obligatory quotes thread... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16898636)

It's just not funny to parrot the same jokes you heard on tv. Didn't you learn anything from Dave Chappelle?

Re:Obligatory quotes thread... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16898916)

I'm Rick James, bitch.

Re:Obligatory quotes thread... (0, Offtopic)

D'Sphitz (699604) | about 8 years ago | (#16899506)

I want some crack!

Re:Obligatory quotes thread... (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | about 8 years ago | (#16899616)

I think the nintendo wii eposide had the best south park quote in recent memory.

Re:Obligatory quotes thread... (1)

Handlarn (911194) | about 8 years ago | (#16906900)

It sure wouldn't hurt if you told us the quote too, while you're at it.

Re:Obligatory quotes thread... (1)

misterpib (924404) | about 8 years ago | (#16908498)

Kill the Wise One!

Close (2, Interesting)

Wellington Grey (942717) | about 8 years ago | (#16898346)

with the last day going from 10am Tuesday morning to around 3am Wednesday morning the 3rd of Oct,, the day the episode aired.


That's cutting it really close. Anyone know if that's usual for the production of an South Park Episode?

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

Re:Close (3, Informative)

tgtanman (728257) | about 8 years ago | (#16898404)

FTA: "We have been producing our episodes in this fashion for years, routinely finishing within 12 hours of the episode going on the air."

Re:Close (1)

Wellington Grey (942717) | about 8 years ago | (#16898446)

FTA: "We have been producing our episodes in this fashion for years, routinely finishing within 12 hours of the episode going on the air."


My god, why?

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

Re:Close (3, Insightful)

Monkey-Man2000 (603495) | about 8 years ago | (#16898552)

Panic is a great motivator. . .

Re:Close (1)

Nightspirit (846159) | about 8 years ago | (#16898634)

It apparently didn't work for the season finale, which IMO sucked monkey balls. It felt unfinished, like they forgot the punchline, and was only funny in a "eh" sort of way.

Re:Close (0, Troll)

Zonk (troll) (1026140) | about 8 years ago | (#16898938)

Does anyone else think that the season was too short? I mean, they did 7 episodes. WTF?

I have to agree with the last episode. It wasn't funny at all.

Re:Close (2, Insightful)

default luser (529332) | about 8 years ago | (#16915934)

It apparently didn't work for the season finale, which IMO sucked monkey balls. It felt unfinished, like they forgot the punchline, and was only funny in a "eh" sort of way.

What, are you so unmotivated that you can't make one intuitive leap for yourself? Are you so retarded that you cannot grasp a simple punchline without having it stuffed in your face?

-spoilers-

Stan was obviously in a movie - the twist was he was in the WRONG movie. The losing team in a sports movie is always a shallow group of assholes that get about 5 seconds of screen time off the ice. The winning team is always portrayed as a slightly less-shallow group that you feel sorry for because they're really great guys, but they all suck, and someone is dying of [insert disease here]. The roles were reversed.

You RARELY see a sports movie from the loser's perspective, because it's just too depressing.

Re:Close (1)

Noxx (74567) | about 8 years ago | (#16918032)

IIRC from the DVD of Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, there was an alternate ending where the good guys lost the final game and the bad guys rubbed their faces in it. The director/writer/whoever wanted that ending in the movie, but the studios nixed it in favor of the underdog-triumphs ending that went to the theaters.

Re:Close (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | about 8 years ago | (#16917054)

I haven't followed this advice myself lately, but at times it has been recommended that one also watch the weekend repeat which is usually more polished. Compare the infamous episode alternately titled "Cartman Says..." or "It Hits the Fan" where sound effects were missing in the original airing, some prop continuity problems (the plate of cookies disappearing), some blocking corrections so Cartman wasn't obscured by the counter, and changing where background characters were looking, but then overall the lighting was darker, like it suffered generation loss in making the new version.

Another episode changed the music used, as if they used a song without permission in the first airing and they had to replace it for the later airdates (I think it was the one done as a skiing movie).

This is also why in seasons past the first airing date lacked closed captions.

Re:Close (4, Informative)

c_forq (924234) | about 8 years ago | (#16898692)

I've heard the main reason they chose to do that is so they can stay extremely relevant. For example they can make fun of events within a couple days of it happening.

Re:Close (2, Insightful)

Pneuma ROCKS (906002) | about 8 years ago | (#16900560)

Yes, for instance the "Passion of the Jew" episode was aired very shortly after the Passion of the Christ movie was released in theaters, and its controversy as being allegedly anti-semitic and unnecessarily graphic was very, very fresh in people's minds.

Their response time allows them to be very brilliant with excellent timing.

Re:Close (1)

lenroc (632180) | about 8 years ago | (#16901100)

> Yes, for instance the "Passion of the Jew" episode was aired very shortly after the Passion of the Christ movie
> was released in theaters, and its controversy as being allegedly anti-semitic and unnecessarily graphic was very,
> very fresh in people's minds.

Sure, but that's a terrible example. The Passion of the Christ was known to be coming out for months before it was actually released, and any show could easily have scheduled their parody to air within days of it's release.

See elsewhere in this thread for relevant examples.

Re:Close (1)

Gattman01 (957859) | about 8 years ago | (#16917212)

I've heard that also.
I think its a good thing too.

Who can forget Saddam in the spider hole at the end of Christmas in Canada, just days after he was captured...

Re:Close (2, Insightful)

ResidntGeek (772730) | about 8 years ago | (#16898858)

They were able to make fun of Florida in the 2000 election on Novermber 5, 2000.

Re:Close (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 8 years ago | (#16899274)

"My god, why?"

So they can sneak in topical humor. I remember a spoof of the infamous Elian Gonzales picture within a week of it actually happening.

Re:Close (2, Insightful)

d3ik (798966) | about 8 years ago | (#16898422)

I forget where I read it, but apparently that's normal for South Park. They have a brainstorming session on Thursday (six days before air), then write and produce the entire show over the next few days and send it via satellite to Comedy Central on show day.

Re:Close (2, Informative)

BigDork1001 (683341) | about 8 years ago | (#16898470)

That's cutting it really close. Anyone know if that's usual for the production of an South Park Episode?

From TFA: "We have been producing our episodes in this fashion for years, routinely finishing within 12 hours of the episode going on the air."

So yes, that is usual for a South Park episode.

Re:Close (1)

Whyte Panther (868438) | about 8 years ago | (#16898572)

Why do you think there is never a preview of the next week's episode at the end of each new one?

Re:Close (0)

FreeRadicalX (899322) | about 8 years ago | (#16902304)

I don't know about South Park specifically, but I work for an MTV show and I know that episodes not only regularly do, but are scheduled to be finished only several days before they go to air. Now and then episodes are finished the day before. I wouldn't expect the same from an animated series, but it certainly doesn't surprise me (especially because it's a pilot episode). I'd bet many of their episodes come down to the line like that.

How they did it: (3, Funny)

drsquare (530038) | about 8 years ago | (#16898350)

1. Write down a load of world of warcraft references and in jokes.
2. Add a couple of toilet jokes.
3. Profit!

Re:How they did it: (5, Funny)

JohnSearle (923936) | about 8 years ago | (#16898432)

1. Use cliched South Park joke.
2. ?
3. Mod points!

- John

Re:How they did it: (4, Interesting)

slughead (592713) | about 8 years ago | (#16898454)

1. Write down a load of world of warcraft references and in jokes.
2. Add a couple of toilet jokes.
3. Profit!


I have to agree (before you get modded down as the dirty troll you are!).

I don't play WoW, but I've been a gamer since I was 10 years old (which was before you were born, whoever you are). I understood all the jokes and even knew enough about WoW to appreciate that it was right on the money.

Also, the way that they talked was hilarious--the sort of condescending borderline malaise in the vocal commands from Cartman to the other 3--that was spot on.

All in all, though... It just wasn't... that ... funny. A lot of WoW players I know thought this was an epic event and were actually giddy that Trey and Matt decided to shed light on their somewhat lame past-time. All I'm saying is, it could've used more fart jokes.

Re:How they did it: (3, Funny)

wizzard2k (979669) | about 8 years ago | (#16899104)

All I'm saying is, it could've used more fart jokes.

Mom?! Bathroom!
What hun?
Bathroom! BATHROOM!!!
*********
Oh, that's a big boy, isnt he!

That wasnt enough for you?

I didnt laugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16903600)

The episode just wasn't funny :( luckily south park got back on track very fast efter the sp ep

This just might have been the worst ep since the Usama bin laden ep? (which was unbarable to watch)

you forgot step 011 (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 8 years ago | (#16898646)

001. Write down a load of world of warcraft references and in jokes.
010. Add a couple of toilet jokes.
011. ???
100. Profit!

Re:you forgot step 011 (2, Funny)

pslam (97660) | about 8 years ago | (#16901350)

You fail for not starting at 000.

That episode was fairly good... (1)

Channard (693317) | about 8 years ago | (#16898814)

.. the actual nadir of South Park bandwagon jumping was 'Osama Bin Laden Has Farty Pants'. I thought for sure the show had jumped the shark then, but it actually kind of came back from that.

Re:That episode was fairly good... (1)

OakDragon (885217) | about 8 years ago | (#16900330)

the actual nadir of South Park bandwagon jumping was 'Osama Bin Laden Has Farty Pants'

(I say the following as a big fan of South Park, still.)

That episode is like a ill-proportioned clay ash tray made by a retarded kid, and given to you as a gift. At first you say "WTF?" But then you think about all the heart in it, and how hard he tried...

Re:That episode was fairly good... (1)

dangitman (862676) | about 8 years ago | (#16900754)

I dunno, "Manbearpig" was pretty damn awful, except for the "Cartman and the gold" sub-plot. And the one about Oprah and "A Million Tiny Pieces" was excrutiating.

Re:How they did it: (3, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | about 8 years ago | (#16900128)

Really, every south park episode is like this. The only issue is that some people are so sensitive that they can't stand being made fun of, and as a result run home, hide in their parents basement, and post scathing online rebuttals.

What South Park does is makes us all look at the inane things we do, and in the process, at least for those of us that are reflective, gives us the opportunity to look at these things from the perspective of others. It is high end requirement for enjoying such a low brow show, but hey, that is why South Park is not Family Guy.

As has been mentioned on numerous occasions, the show does not in particular hate anyone, except for Barbara Steisand, and has no problem with anyone, except for pompous actors, politicians, and other persons. And the one thing we have seen this season, if we can't make fun of everyone, then we shouldn't make fun of anyone.

My solemn hope is that the WOW folks, and other folks who take video games so seriously that they have become so myopic that they cannot phantom anything outside of the game, will complain so much that we have an even more scathing episode, a la Sally Struthers or Scientology. We call it '40 years old and living in your moms garage.'

Re:How they did it: (0)

drsquare (530038) | about 8 years ago | (#16900364)

Really, every south park episode is like this.

No, I've seen some that are really funny. But they were made years ago, and they came up with funny stories and good jokes. This episode is just pandering to fanboys by throwing out as many references and injokes as they could in 30 minutes.

Like that closeup of the keyboard with the key permanently pressed in. I don't play world of warcraft so don't know what that's referencing, but I can just picture a million nerds ejaculating when they saw that.

Re:How they did it: (2, Informative)

DreadfulGrape (398188) | about 8 years ago | (#16910110)

"...so myopic that they cannot phantom anything outside of the game..."

Definitely a 5-point post, but I think the word you're looking for in the last paragraph is fathom. Which, in addition to being a unit of nautical measurement equal to six feet, is also a verb meaning to penetrate the truth, to comprehend, to understand.

I'm in (2, Funny)

SuperStretchy (1018064) | about 8 years ago | (#16898458)

I'm in.

Me too.

Mpphhff mmmfp

Everyone equip healing potions to the hotbar if you haven't already. Uh, Kyle, go ahead and cast Arcane Brilliance to raise our intelligence.

Hang on, I'm chaining my fire spells for max range.

Nice. Stan, what enchantment does your Cloak of the Tiger have?

+15 agility

Give the cloak to Kenny: he needs the agility boost for bow attacks.

'K.

Hold on, this fight could last more than twelve hours. What if we run out of food?

Don't worry, I have that covered. [presses intercom button] Mom?

Yes hon?

More Hot Pockets!

Re:I'm in (2, Funny)

BoberFett (127537) | about 8 years ago | (#16902386)

That's just silly. Everyone knows ou can't enchant cloaks with +15 AGI, and even if you could, it'll be soulbound the first time you equip it.

I mean, haha, yeah, that's funny, haha...

in other news... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16898460)

noone cares.

One of the funniest... (1)

Ruger (237212) | about 8 years ago | (#16898680)

...SP episodes I've ever seen.

Stan's dad, "I'm not an R-tard." LOL

Re:One of the funniest... (1)

drsquare (530038) | about 8 years ago | (#16898746)

What's funny about it? As a non-world of warcraft player all I could see was a load of references and jargon. All the jokes about how lame mmorpg players are were pretty predictable and obvious.

I suppose the warcraft players were creaming themselves in awe that their game was on TV, but if you look at it from a non-fanboy perspective it was a pretty crap episode, with a rather uninteresting plot and not many jokes.

Re:One of the funniest... (1)

creimer (824291) | about 8 years ago | (#16899348)

I don't play WoW but I did work six months for the WorldsAway virtual chat world in 1997 and in the video game industry for six years (including a few months on the Horizons MMORPG). This South Park episode nailed everything on the head. You have to be an insider to understand but what you saw was all true. It was a definitely an OMG WTF OMG episode. :)

Re:One of the funniest... (1)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | about 8 years ago | (#16899642)

Wait, does that mean we can hold you accountable for Horizons? :P

Re:One of the funniest... (1)

creimer (824291) | about 8 years ago | (#16899836)

No. I can reassure you that mining for ore does work as expected if you're playing a dragon.

Re:One of the funniest... (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | about 8 years ago | (#16901912)

Isn't the one to be blamed for Horizons (or at least for turning what was once one of the loveliest games on the Net into a steaming turd), He Who Shall Not Be Named (aka Dave Bowman)?

Re:One of the funniest... (1)

ATMD (986401) | about 8 years ago | (#16900094)

I have never (knowingly) even touched a system with a MMORPG installed upon it, but I still loved that episode.

"This could be the end of the world... of Warcraft!"
"You can't just give up on the world... of Warcraft!"

Re:One of the funniest... (1)

drsquare (530038) | about 8 years ago | (#16900162)

That's supposed to be funny? A three year old could have come up with that joke.

I pine for the days when South Park, Family Guy, the Simpsons etc were still actually funny, but that era ended years ago. Now they just live off reputation, with fanboys fawning over every crap predictable joke.

Dude, your LSD is wearing off. (2, Insightful)

cheekyboy (598084) | about 8 years ago | (#16900604)

Obviously these jokes get translated by your nurons ultra fast and you instantly know/relate each joke to a previous joke in episode 312.

Might be a good episode idea about fanbois who no longer find things funny, and act all wholey.

Why do people still listen to Rolling stones or Beatles or anything? Because OBVIOUS REPEATED stuff thats has ZERO PREDICTABILITY
often is ENJOYABLE for ever. And not just once. Its like wow, this beer does the same predictable thing it did yesterday, but
why do I still drink it.... hmmm....

Would it be so fun to watch an episode and think in your head or predict the next scene every 5 seconds, and then find out
DAMN, all my predictions are wrong, this episode is wacky. Is it me that I cannot predict any more or am I so out of touch!?!?

Seeing something pan out to your prediction can be fun and rewarding, confirming that you are on the same wavelength and joy factor.

And if you are so good, why dont you make your own southpark episode and put it on youtube.

I suppose you find sex predicatable too, since the outcome (no punn) is the same each time.

Re:Dude, your LSD is wearing off. (2, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | about 8 years ago | (#16900778)

I suppose you find sex predicatable too, since the outcome (no punn) is the same each time.

I think you're doing it wrong.

Re:Dude, your LSD is wearing off. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16902582)

NO U!

Re:Dude, your LSD is wearing off. (4, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | about 8 years ago | (#16902692)

At a certain point, it stops being humor and is just a Pavlovian response. Usually, the 3rd retelling.

Why is it geeky to repeat lines over and over? Because it reflects a desire for predictability, control, and safety. Instead of this vague "sense" of humor that seems abstract and fleeting, you have humor-as-algorithm. It is a reliance on the cliche in place of immediate experience. Two of the more interesting 20th century writers about aesthetics - Adorno and Deleuze - describe the cliche as the enemy of authentic experience.

There is no discovery when you repeat a joke. When something is found funny the first time, it is partially because it uncovers some absurdity or twist in the world.

Sex is different. Very different. And if one isn't careful, it too can become a cliche.

Re:Dude, your LSD is wearing off. (1)

MrCopilot (871878) | about 8 years ago | (#16907944)

Alright, Alright, that sounds all very intellectual and all but ...
Personally I repeat jokes that may be obscure and before the time of some of these newer geeks, in the hope that they will ask "Hunh?" and try to discover the source of the material for the first time.

That being said the 1. 2. 3.Profit meme does not hold that possibility.

It is the geek version of the arist0crats. But you have to put in your own funny bits. If you are not going to make it clever then why bother?.

Re:One of the funniest... (1)

name*censored* (884880) | about 8 years ago | (#16901846)

A three year old could have come up with that joke.
"In related news, drsquare has become the new lead joke writer for South Park"............

But yeah, that episode wasn't anything special. Funny, but no more funny than the other South Park episodes... I don't see why this is getting any special attention, I somehow doubt pokemon.com had a thread about that episode way back in the early days about the pokemon episode, because it wasn't anything special, just like the WoW episode.

You must be the fun guy parties then. (1, Interesting)

cheekyboy (598084) | about 8 years ago | (#16900542)

Sorry, but it was a fun episode, just enjoy things for what they, are DONT analyze until you have no friends. Keep
your sad analyzation to your self. Sometimes mixing lots of predictable and obvious things together in a funny setting, can be truely
even more funny. If something is not predictable and not obvious then its probably weird alternative art that gets ZERO ratings.

SP is not for boring people but for a quick 20 min viewing, either while drinking beer, or other non-government approved narcotics banned
by R-Tards in the halls of InJustice.

Unbelievable text formatting (4, Insightful)

Toby The Economist (811138) | about 8 years ago | (#16898686)

After ten years of the Net, do they really not yet know that you don't center large amounts of text people are trying to read?

Re:Unbelievable text formatting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16899186)

It's true. It almost reads like something from 1996. [suck.com]

Title Inverted (1)

JCZorkmid (693710) | about 8 years ago | (#16899222)

Shouldn't it say "The Making of the WoW South Park Episode"?

I was trying to figure out why they would make a WoW expansion based on South Park.

Re:Title Inverted (1)

Evil Amoeba (1026780) | about 8 years ago | (#16899418)

Actually, since "WoW" is being used as an adjective to describe "Episode (of South Park)", it's perfectly fine as it is.

Re:Title Inverted (1)

JCZorkmid (693710) | about 8 years ago | (#16900734)

Yes, since I now know what it was saying I can see why it's acceptable, but it wasn't immediately clear to me (not being someone who plays WoW or watches South Park regularly). I red it as South Park was being used an adjective to describe a WoW Episode.

"the red dog's collar" may mean "the collar belonging to the red dog", or "the collar (which is red) belonging to the dog".

So "the dog's red collar" is more clear.

How about "The Making of the WoW Episode of South Park". That's much less ambiguous. :-P

Re:Title Inverted (1)

creimer (824291) | about 8 years ago | (#16899444)

After killing all those boars to level up, the kids wanted to play in a more familiar environment. Nothing like swinging an axe at the police.

Fuck that (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16900300)

WoW's for fucking low lifes.

Family Guy did it! (2, Interesting)

dangitman (862676) | about 8 years ago | (#16900790)

I wonder if South Park got an insider leak that Family Guy was doing a World of Warcraft episode, and slapped the episode together quickly to beat them to the punch? After all, the animation for Family Guy would take a lot longer - so they must have been developing that episode long before South Park got the idea.

Re:Family Guy did it! (2)

Malakusen (961638) | about 8 years ago | (#16901520)

Wasn't it American Dad that did a MMO episode? Even so, while the episode was hilarious and had a true RPG moment ("The Castle Roodpart? Who comes up with these names?"), it wasn't WoW and didn't have Blizzard's backing and support. The South Park episode did. Also, from TFA, Trey Parker got the idea last season around the time of "In the Closet".

I think SP has been going downhill for a while, not because of reliance on fanboy references (because that is EXACTLY what the target audience wants, if you don't like it, you're not gonna like Comedy Central), but because they've started to focus more on the message then the joke. Old South Park didn't try to be constantly relevant and constantly dealing with current events. They'd make a funny episode. If it had something to do with what was going on, so be it, but first and foremost it was funny. Now they're doing the message first and the joke second, and it's not nearly as funny. On the few occasions these days when they forget the message and tell the joke instead, they're pretty funny. Season ten they've put the message first nearly every time, and it's failed nearly every time. Some of the best later episodes like Ginger Kids, Die Hippie Die, Raisins, Good Times with Weapons, they haven't really had any other point to them except to be funny, and it's worked. Raisins was effing hilarious. Smug Alert, Cartoon Wars, Million Little Fibers, Manbearpig, and so on, have all failed because they're episodes where the message takes precedence over the funny.

IMO, anyway.

American Dad did it! (2, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | about 8 years ago | (#16901594)

Wasn't it American Dad that did a MMO episode?

Ahhh, so it was. It's basically the same people making it anyway, isn't it?

Even so, while the episode was hilarious and had a true RPG moment ("The Castle Roodpart? Who comes up with these names?"),

It's "trapdoor" spelled backwaaaaaaaaaaaaa....

it wasn't WoW and didn't have Blizzard's backing and support. The South Park episode did.

I think it was a reference to WoW. After all, it is the most popular MMORPG around, and had a very similar style. As for it not being endorsed by Blizzard, I think that makes it cooler. It's pretty lame to go to the actual company. better to just parody them without permission, so you avoid pulling any punches or being seen as an advertisement.

I also prefer the effort that went into actually drawing the game in American Dad, rather than just using screen capture.

Also, from TFA, Trey Parker got the idea last season around the time of "In the Closet".

Or so he says. I can't say I'd trust those guys to tell the truth.

but because they've started to focus more on the message then the joke.

i think the problem is exactly the opposite. The old episodes used to be more socially/politically/morally relevant. These days they just seem to focus on celebrities and fads.

Some of the best later episodes like Ginger Kids, Die Hippie Die, Raisins, Good Times with Weapons, they haven't really had any other point to them except to be funny,

Wow, I pretty much disagree with all of those. They all had pretty strong social messages, as well as being funny.

Smug Alert, Cartoon Wars, Million Little Fibers, Manbearpig, and so on, have all failed because they're episodes where the message takes precedence over the funny

With the exception of Smug Alert, those focused more on celebrities and trends than any message. That those were not funny was not really because of any message - I think it's because they were muddled and heavy-handed. Probably because they weren't really clear about what message they wanted to get across. It was more like "We hate Oprah, We hate Al Gore, We hate environmentalist celebrities," without strong social/political insight. I mean, parody Al Gore, but do it in a way that reflects what he is actually like - don't just make up bullshit. Parody Oprah, but do it with more finesse.

I just think they've lost a lot of their interesting insights into society and now latch onto celebrities and political half-truths (or outright lies) instead.

indeed, though, it is interesting how we seem to have almost opposite impressions of which shows have the "message" - because I think your "fun" shows carry more of a message than your "message" shows.

Re:Family Guy did it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16902516)

I want to say that after September 11th South Park changed. Not so much exactly from that point on, but it seems that at that point the show started showing a maturity. They started to use real life events as a backdrop to their episodes.

From what I have read or seen about the South Park production schedule, a lot of times they don't have the episode finished until hours before it goes on air. They can put in a lot of last minute stuff, like the Cuban boy in FL thing. I believe the real life event happened on Easter Sunday and the episode that sort of paralleled aired a few days later on Wednesday.

If you watched both parts of Cartoon Wars, you would see them stating a few times about shows that get all self-righteous and preachy. Just watch the scene where Kyle gets dropped off in L.A. the guy who gave him a ride makes a statement directed at South Park by the show's creators.

Quick sidenote: Didn't the Super Best Friends episode years ago show Mohammed as a super hero next to Jesus and Moses and others? I guess I need to watch that episode again.

Re:Family Guy did it! (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 8 years ago | (#16903248)

Not only did the Super Best Friends depict a guy claiming to be Mohammad but Comedy Central has aired it again in its entirety since Cartoon Wars. I guess the knights of Standards and Practices were asleep at the switch that day. Note that stuff failed to explode after the airing of that episode. Maybe the Muslim world only riots when you depict them in a negative light...

Re:Family Guy did it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16918620)

Note that stuff failed to explode...

Poor choice of words, dude.
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