I imagine that, upon completion of the script for "200," the door to the South Park writers' room opened and released a pot-cloud that rivaled the haze of even the most irie reggae festivals. Because "200," South Park's 200th episode, was a glorious mish-mash of South Park moments that seemed as if they were delivered from outer space.
Don't get me wrong, I giggled like a schoolgirl, but man—was it all over the place. An army of ginger-haired kids, a censored image of Muhammad, and the mystery of Cartman's re-un-revealed... it all amounted to what was a half-hour of pure insane fun and references to South Park past.
(Haven't seen it yet? Watch "200" for free at southparkstudios.com.)
"200" was by no means one of South Park's top ten episodes of all time, but in true South Park style, it served as a reward for diehard fans. It was as if a dozen episodes of the show were chewed up and excreted into one messy pile, and in a lot of ways it didn't work. But that was the point. "200" was supposed to be outrageous and ridonkulous, and it was. And in that sense, it was exactly what Trey Parker and Matt Stone were going for: something so far-fetched and outlandish that only those two could pull it off and not anger fans.
The big hoopla surrounding the episode focused on the appearance of every single celebrity South Park has ever attacked, and indeed, it was the most star-studded unauthorized television episode ever. Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise, Tiger Woods, Russell Crowe, Sally Struthers, Rob Reiner... they were all there. And they all joined up in a class-action lawsuit to sue South Park (the town, not the show... not that it would have mattered).
"200" reminded us just how much South Park excels at cutting down celebrities like the Brazilian rain forests, not to mention the sheer number of great burns the show has come up with over the years. Here, in no particular order, are my favorites:
Michael Jackson ("The Jeffersons," "Dead Celebrities"): Normally South Park takes a few liberties with its celebrity spoofs, but MJ provides enough material that Trey and Matt didn't have to stretch too hard for this one. Jackson was portrayed as a fun-loving Peter Pan, with a ghoulish face that was falling apart.
Tom Cruise ("Trapped in the Closet"): One of South Park's most celebrated celebrity episodes, Cruise (along with R. Kelly and John Travolta) was strung up for his support of Scientology. Cruise was also instrumental in "200."
Kanye West ("Gay Fish"): The rapper's planet-sized ego was the focus of this episode, which had Kanye trying to figure out a joke about fish sticks.
Paris Hilton ("Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset"): Paris' faux-lebrity was mocked, as were her, uh, "loose morals," with Paris sticking things into her cavernous hoo-ha.
Barbara Streisand ("Mecha-Streisand"): The singer was transformed into a gigantic robot-beast a la Mecha-Godzilla. She was also a curse word in South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut.
Ben Affleck/Jennifer Lopez ("Fat Butt and Pancake Head"): Cartman's hand became Jennifer Lopez, and Ben Affleck fell in love with it. The scene in which Cartman's hand/Jennifer "pleasured" Affleck is one for the ages.
Mel Gibson ("The Passion of the Jew"): Following Gibson's megalomaniacal spree, he was portrayed on the show as a lunatic.
Sally Struthers ("Starvin' Marvin in Space"): In one of South Park's cruelest bits, Struthers was likened to Jabba the Hutt. So wrong, but so funny.
Rob Reiner ("Butt Out"): The director was depicted as an over-eating anti-smoking advocate, mowing down cheeseburgers and other fatty foods in pretty much every scene.
Which South Park celebrity burn is your favorite? What did you think of "200"?