South Park Casualty Count: When Muhammad Met Blackface, Censorship and Mecha-Streisand
Last week, South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker celebrated their 200th episode by inviting back every celebrity ever ridiculed in the series' 14 seasons -- and by taking the Prophet Muhammad hostage in a bear costume. Needless to say, the gag did not go over well with radical Muslims, who "warned" Stone and Parker that they could face a Theo van Gogh-style assassination for depicting Muhammad in such an insulting light. Little did the radical Muslims know, the show's anniversary episode was actually a two-parter that continued with last night's episode, "201."
At the end of last week's episode "200," Cartman's conman hand puppet Mitch Connor had just revealed that he knew who Cartman's father was. Meanwhile, the celebrities and an army of Gingers were battling for Muhammad, whom both parties believed to hold the power to "not be ridiculed." To battle the Gingers, the celebrities called upon their own super-villain, Mecha-Streisand, (part giant mechanical dinosaur, part award-winning singer/songwriter/actress).
Last night's episode opened with Mitch Connor's Vietnam flashback, which was one of the most brilliant sequences of the episode. It is 1972 Saigon, "Time of the Season" is playing underneath images of poorly animated warfare, and hand puppet Mitch recalls his traumatic days in the sh*t: "Blood ain't the stuff for 18-year-old boys from Sheboygan. Blood ain't the stuff for Mitch Connor." The first person voice-over continues with Mitch being discharged from duty and asking himself, "So how do I end up here? With a 9-year-old kid who just wants to know who his father is?" Back in present day, Mr. Garrison reveals to Cartman and Mitch that he will help them find Cartman's father.
In the center of South Park, the army of Gingers demands to see Muhammad without his bear costume but when the costume is unzipped, Santa Claus steps out instead of Muhammad. ("If we were going to have someone actually be in a bear costume, why would it be Muhammad, you f*cking idiot.")
Note: And it is at that point that viewers realized that every mention of Muhammad from here on out would be heavily bleeped, a post-production decision made by Comedy Central in response to the warnings by radical Muslims.
With both the Gingers and the celebrities still after Muhammad, Kyle, Stan and Kenny take the prophet back to Dr. Mephisto's inner sanctum -- where Cartman and Mitch Connor are already, hoping that the doctor can help settle their paternity issue. Before they can do anything though, an army of Gingers forces their way into Dr. Mephisto's chamber by posing as African Americans outside ("We have a black president. This isn't the '60s anymore. You have to let them in.")
The Super Best Friends set out to stop Mecha-Streisand from destroying the town but realize they are powerless against her defenses ("We can't attack Streisand's nose. It's just too big.") The only weakness they can think of is that she "cannot resist singing duets with Neil Diamond." Jesus uses his carpentry skills to build a stage and Krishna summons the pop singer who is able to lure Mecha-Streisand over for a duet.
Meanwhile, the Gingers have handed Cartman over to Scott Tenorman, the "Head Ginger" and a bully that Cartman faced in a previous season. Tenorman reveals that his father, a former Denver Bronco whom Cartman had killed in a previous episode (and made into chili) was actually Cartman's father, meaning that Scott and Cartman were half-brothers and Cartman had his own father killed. Afterward, Cartman breaks down into fits of sobs when he realizes that he is "half-Ginger." Mitch comforts him, explaining that Cartman is also "half-Bronco."
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