South Park

Season 1 Episode 4

Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Sep 03, 1997 on Comedy Central
out of 10
User Rating
406 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Stan has a new dog, Sparky (voiced by George Clooney), that is different from other dogs. He is homosexual. This troubles Stan, who has to concentrate on quarterbacking the South Park Elementary football team against Middle Park. Stan could be key in beating the 70 point spread against them. Sparky, after being hurt by Stan's feelings about his lifestyle, runs away and meets Big Gay Al. Stan, distraught by Sparky's disappearance, sets out to find him.moreless

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  • First perfect episode for South Park

    Stan has a new dog, Sparky (voiced by George Clooney), that is different from other dogs. He is homosexual. This troubles Stan, who has to concentrate on quarterbacking the South Park Elementary football team against Middle Park. Stan could be key in beating the 70 point spread against them. Sparky, after being hurt by Stan's feelings about his lifestyle, runs away and meets Big Gay Al. Stan, distraught by Sparky's disappearance, sets out to find him. The dogs beating each other and the boys found out that Sparky is gay was funny. I thought the homecoming football game part was very funny. Cartman giving something that isn't Asian culture (Simon) was hilarious. I thought it was funny when Jimbo wanted to make a show. Stan getting Sparky a dog was funny. The SP show (Jesus and Friends) was very hilarious, especially when Stan got cut off because of a review. Chef singing about football was very funny. Cartman farting in front of Kyle during the game was funny as well. I laughed a couple more like the gay tour and Richard Salmons singing. Overall, I think this the first perfect episode for the show itself. 10/10moreless
  • Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride

    The Good:

    -For whatever reason, 8 year-olds are playing a Homecoming football game. The coach is Chef.

    -Pip is refused a helmet for practice and during games, even when other kids are missing.

    -There is a television show in South Park called "Jesus and Friends." The star of the show is Jesus, who shows up at the big football game. When Jimbo prays to Jesus that South Park will win the game, Jesus says, "Leave me alone."

    The Bad:

    -Homosexuality is sort of addressed, but through animals instead of people. More envelope-pushing is needed for this show to distinguish itself from the less antagonistic shows such as "The Simpsons."moreless
  • perfect

    Stan gets a new dog, Sparky, who turns out to be gay Stan hates this and when Sparky hears Stan talking about him, he runs away to Big Gay Al. Stan is desperate to find his lost dog. Will he be able to find good old Sparky?

    I don't know why but this is one of my favorites from season 1. It is a really funny episode with a generally simplistic plot (South Park standards) and it works really well for me. No real complaints for this episode, so my final grade is going to be an A+. Perfect episodemoreless
  • First appearence of big gay Al.

    This is probably the weakest episode so far... but that's not to sayit's rubbish! This episode is actually quite good. Basically the plotline is Stan's dog is a homosexual. Then Stan's dog runs away so Stan sets out to find it. This episode isn't very funny compared to some of the other south park episodes. Big Gay Al also makes his debut and so does Stan's dog, Sparky. They both appear in later episodes now and again. This episode appears rasther weak compared to the other episodes but that's all about to change with the next few episodes....all about to changemoreless
  • "Uh oh, look out, it's the oppressors! Christians and Republicans and Nazis, oh my!"

    When Stan discovers that his dog is gay the other kids make fun of him and he decides that he doesn't want a gay dog. But when Sparky runs away, Stan realizes how much he misses his friend, and unfortunately for South Park, this means that he can't concentrate on the big football game against Middle Park. But after an adventure at Big Gay Al's Big Gay Animal Sanctuary, Stan learns that being gay is okay and returns just in time to save the day. This particular episode is endearing because it carries an excellent message mixed in with a funny plot, and is one of the better installments of the first season.moreless
Trey Parker

Trey Parker

Voice of Stan Marsh; Eric Theodore Cartman; Herbert Garrison; Officer Barbrady; Terrance; Timmy; Ned Gerblanski; Satan; Randy Ma

Matt Stone

Matt Stone

Voice of Kyle Broflovski; Kenny McKormick; Gerald Broflovski; Pip Pirrup; Jesus; Jimbo Kearn; Phillip; Saddam; Various Others

Mary Kay Bergman

Mary Kay Bergman

Voice of Wendy Testaburger; Liane Cartman; Sheila Broflovski; Sharon Marsh; Mrs. McKormick; Mayor McDaniels; Ms. Crabtree; Princ

Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes

Voice of Jerome "Chef" McElroy

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (20)

    • Kyle and Kenny's last names are mention in the episode for the first time. The sports commentators mention their names before the game started for Kyle, and during the game for Kenny.

    • If you look closely to the top of the screen when the bus shows up, Ms. Crabtree is nowhere to be found.

    • At the beginning of football practice, Kyle is #14. At the end, he is #12.

    • When Richard Stamos says "I can do it!" and Mr. Garrison says "Do what?", Garrison does not have Mr. Hat on his hand.

    • The word gay is said 57 times in this episode.

    • Visitor Sighting: Two aliens are seen in the upper right hand corner of the crowd in the seats, after Middle Park gets off the bus.

    • Kenny can be seen with the rest of the team after he is killed.

    • In this episode, Token can be seen as a white kid sitting behind Ned and Jimbo at the football game.

    • Big Gay Al's right nipple is pierced.

    • During the football game sometimes there are mountains behind the bleachers, sometimes there's nothing but blue sky only.

    • Sparky being gay comes from a gay dog Isaac Hayes (Chef) and his friend used to tease when they were teenagers. Sparky running away and Stan looking for him comes from Trey's childhood.

    • When kids get off the bus Ms. Crabtree is nowhere to be seen.

    • It says on the chalkboard :

      pi r2(square) = 2 pi r

      4(N - x)2(square) = pi r2(square)

      3/5 z(53a(6xy - 8z) +
      74b(3x + ...)...3a)

      Third graders don't have to know anything about algebraic terms like pi and powers.

      The first equation has the answer r=2.

      Substituting for r, the second equation has the answer x = N - plus minus sqrt(pi).

      The third equation is just a collection of terms.

    • At first the point spread is said to be 70, but later the announcer says it's 72.

    • Some Middle Park kids have negative numbers such as #-1 and #-3.

    • After Stan takes off the pink bandanna that his dog is wearing, he gets Sparky to perform a few simple tricks. Then he says, "Don't be gay." When Sparky looks at him with a puzzled face, the edge of the pink bandanna is visible off the side of his neck. Immediately afterwards, the bandanna is not there.

    • The size of the "Sports books $" building is very small when uncle Jimbo is going to place his bet, but once he is inside, the place is very big

    • When Sparky is in the snowy mountains he is wearing the collar he took from the poodle but when Al finds him he has the pink hankerchief on.

    • Stan wore #4, Kyle wore #12, and Cartman wore #68. Another player wore #29 while Pip wore #00. Kyle's shirt alternates between #12 and #14.

    • The number on Kenny's football shirt is (very aptly) 13. But, during the final game, the commentator refers to him as number 23.

  • QUOTES (15)

    • Jimbo: (Praying) Jesus, I know I don't ask for much, but I'd like you to please, please let the Cows win this game. Please, Jesus. Please, please...
      Jesus: Oh, leave me alone.

    • Ned: What are we doing here?
      Jimbo: Well Ned, we usually kidnap the Middle Park mascot, but this year, we're gonna blow it up!

    • Chef: What's the matter Stan, you seem down.
      Stan: I just, I can't concentrate because my dog is gay.
      Chef: Well, you know what they say. You can't teach a gay dog straight tricks.
      Mr. Garrison: Oh, stop filling his head with that queer-loving propaganda.
      Chef: Say what? You of all people should be sympathetic.
      Mr. Garrison: What do you mean?
      Chef: Well, you're gay aren't you?
      Mr. Garrison: What? What the hell are you talking about? I am not gay.
      Chef: Well, you sure do act like it.
      Mr. Garrison: I just act that way to get chicks, dumb ass.

    • (Stan makes something up and gets an A- while Cartman did the same and got a D-)
      Cartman: Wait a minute, why the hell does he get an A-?
      Mr. Garrison: Eric, Stanley just might lead our team to victory against the Middle Park Cowboys for the first time in decades. And we treat star athletes better 'cause they're better people.

    • Jimbo: What the hell? He didn't sing the high F.
      Mr. Garrison: Richard Stamos can't sing a high F. He always screws it up like this.
      Jimbo: Ned, we are going to get our asses kicked.
      Mr. Garrison: (to Richard Stamos) It's obvious where all the talent in that family went!

    • Chef: Now children, we've got to handle the ball better. You got to hold your football like you hold your lover. Gently, yet firmly. You wanna be both nurturing and clinging at the same time. Oh yeah!
      Just like makin' sweet love to the football.
      Feelin' naughty with the football. -
      Kyle: Uh, Chef?
      Chef: - Spank it, ever so gently. -
      Kyle: Chef.
      Chef: - Spank it. -
      Kyle: Chef!
      Chef: (stops singing) Oh, uh, sorry children. Uh, let's run some plays.

    • Cartman: Hey, speaking of pounding ass, here comes Stan's little homo dog.

    • Frank: Oh my! I haven't seen a Jew run like that since Poland, 1938!

    • Frank: I haven't seen an Englishman take a blow like that since Hugh Grant!

    • Frank: Why, I haven't seen a beating like that since Rodney King.

    • Mr. Garrison: Stanley, gay people, well, gay people are evil. Evil right down to their cold black hearts, which pump not blood like yours and mine, but rather a thick, vomitous oil that oozes through their rotten veins and clots in their pea-sized brains which becomes the cause of their Nazi-esque patterns of violent behavior.

    • Stan: Wow, all the animals seem happy here.
      Big Gay Al: Of course they are, silly buns!

    • Big Gay Al: I'm super! Thanks for asking!

    • Stan: He just needs some training, that's all. Sit Sparky. (Sparky sits) Good boy, now shake. (Sparky shakes) Good boy. Now, don't be gay. Don't be gay Spark. Don't be gay. (Sparky does nothing)
      Kyle: Did it work?
      Stan: I don't know.
      Cartman: He still looks pretty gay to me.

    • Stan: That's it, Sparky! Kick his ass!
      Cartman: Heh, he's doing something to his ass. He's not kicking his ass, but he's definitely doing something to his ass.
      Stan: Sparky, bad dog!

  • NOTES (7)

    • This is the first appearance of Stan's dog, Sparky.

    • In early airings, the balding commentator said "I haven't seen that many kids molested since Michael Jackson came to town!" when several kids get tackled. This was later censored to "I haven't seen that many kids molested since--" before cutting to the next scene. This line is still censored in reruns and the Season 1 DVD (Though the line remains uncut in some airings outside the U.S.).

    • First appearance of Big Gay Al.

    • This episode was nominated for the 1998 Emmy Award for "Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or Less)", and for the 1998 GLAAD Media Award for "Outstanding Individual TV Episode".

    • Kyle says 'Oh my God, you killed Kenny!' in this episode, because of Stan's absence at the football game.

    • The song that plays over the end credits is "Now You're a Man" by DVDA, which is also the theme song from Trey and Matt's movie Orgazmo.

    • In this episode we see the first appearance of Butters. He's seen jumping up and down when Stan is going up on the podium to give his speech about gayness.


    • Disneyland Park - It's a Small World.
      At the end of the boat ride, there is a group of kids singing the "It's okay to be gay" song.  This is a clear reference to the It's a Small World ride at the Disneyland parks.  There are even gay kids from around the world to add on to the reference.

    • Disneyland Park - Jungle Cruise:

      Big Gay Al: That was a close one!

      When Big Gay Al takes Stan on the Big Gay Boat Ride, and Big Al fires a fake gun at the "Oppressors," it makes the allusion to ride Jungle Cruise, found at the many Disneyland Parks, when the ride's tour guide fires a fake in order to scare off a hippopotamus that is ready to charge the boat. After, the Tour Guide says the same line as Big Gay Al.

    • 7 Faces of Dr. Lao:

      At the end of the episode, there is a scene in which we can see Big Gay Al's disappearance. This scene is a spoof to Dr. Lao's disappearance at the end of the movie 7 Faces of Dr. Lao.

    • During the football game Frank Hammond makes references to these events:

      Frank Hammond: I haven't seen a beating like that since Rodney King!

      March 3, 1991, Rodney King was severely beaten by Los Angeles police officers. It was taped by bystander George Holliday. After that there were a lot of protests as a lot of people believed that the attack was racially motivated.

      Frank Hammond: I haven't seen an Englishman take a blow like that since Hugh Grant!

      In 1995 Grant suffered a major blow to his career when he was caught in his car with a prostitute Divine Brown who was giving him an oral pleasure (blow job).

      Frank Hammond: And these South Park Cows are being absolutely molested by Middle Park. I haven't seen so many children molested since…

      In U.S. this sentence on official airing was not finished but people who have seen the episode outside of the U.S. reported that it finishes with Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson is known even today as a child molester.

      Frank Hammond: I haven't seen a Jew run like that since Poland 1938.

      In 1939 Nazi Germany led by Justin Mann invaded Poland. Poland was back then mostly a Jewish place. Poland suffered the biggest population loss in World War II.

    • Loving You:

      It was a number one hit for Minnie Ripperton in 1975. She was also the writer of the song. It was sung here by John Stamos' fictional older brother Richard. Amongst his many other television appearances, John Stamos was Uncle Jesse on the television show Full House.