It seems like a good time to write an article about a show that will celebrate its 200th episode this week, but whilst South Park continues to mock celebrities and warp our fragile little minds with its crude humour, it took off towards the end of the 90s.
The show revolves around a core group of four friends, Cartman, Kenny, Kyle and Stan in their small redneck town called South Park in Colorado. There are many other characters who also feature prominently and attracted me to the show in its infancy.
South Park began being shown in the UK on Sky One in 1998 and would be on well past my bedtime, however when it began a year later on Channel 4 me and my friends could enjoy it in the comfort from our rooms, and without our parents knowing.
The show was riddled with swearing, sexual references and other profanity, indeed Mr Hankey was a talking poo and Kenny was brutally killed in most of the early episodes. But the 10 year old me loved it despite most of the references going straight over my innocent head.
When we went on holiday a few months later me and my sister put it on the telly before we went out one night, and my folks were stunned when Stan was asked to put a stick in his girlfriend’s “pee-hole”. But noticing our naivety they just burst out laughing and enjoyed the show themselves.
And then came the t-shirts, posters, CDs and all the other merchandise as South Park became huge for a generation of kids who really didn’t know what it was about. When we saw the movie we were all totally confused about references to “finding the clitoris”, but thankfully for my former girlfriends I found out eventually.
And so the episodes racked up and we were introduced to cripple fights, authori-tah and “mmm-kay” over the years. Many of you will have your favourite moments but for me the episode with Jimmy desperately trying to get over his problem to perform on stage is pure genius, click here to see it.
Over recent years the show has sometimes come across as quite preachy and too satirical, and I still think the older episodes are the best where every character was made from bits of paper and filmed. However it is still one of the funniest shows on television and is sure to have a few more years in it yet.
At the end of many shows, Stan says to Kyle “you know what, I’ve learnt something today” and South Park taught me and many of my fellow 10 year old pals how to swear properly, how to take the piss out of celebrities and the female genitalia. And for that I am entirely thankful.