“South Park” is a show that shouldn’t exist. In 1997, the idea that a show about children swearing and getting into adult situations would make it to air, much less last for 19 seasons (and counting), was unheard of. Nearly 20 years later, “South Park” is considered the voice of a generation, with hot, fresh takes on contemporary issues and an unrivaled impact on the cultural landscape. The prolific show remains on the cutting edge of humor, serving up fresh ideas and new takes on hot button issues episode after episode and season after season. Here are the 7 most iconic moments from the show’s storied run.
1. KENNY DIES
Starting off the list with a classic. This clip, taken from the show’s pilot, laid the foundation for the brand of humor “South Park” would embrace early on. A flying saucer fires a laser beam, hitting and killing one of the show’s main characters in the very first episode! Not only that, but Kyle (the boy in the green hat) and Stan (the boy in the blue hat) aren’t about to let their friend go down quietly! They really let the aliens have it. It’s shocking, it’s funny, and it remains quintessentially “South Park” to this day.
2. KENNY DIES
I know, I know, right now you’re saying to yourselves, “But Charlie! You already did this clip! Did you not edit this post before you published it?” While the answer to that question is “no”, rest assured that this is a different clip entirely. That’s right, these g-d lunatics not only killed Kenny (the boy in the orange hoodie) off in the first episode, but they went ahead and did it again in episode two! “South Park” was not afraid to go there.
3. KENNY DIES
Look, when you’re watching “South Park”, you’re gonna be hard pressed to find something funnier than a main character getting offed followed by someone getting called a “bastard”. I know comedy. It’s what I do. I’ve been known to push the envelope from time to time, but watching this made even me go “The cajones on these guys!” in a very good way. This clip wins the internet.
4. KENNY DIES
Now here is where we start getting into some nuance. The clip opens with Kenny straight up in a microwave. A human child in a microwave? That’s just asking for trouble. Sure enough, Kenny’s charred little corpse falls out of the microwave and he’s a teeny tiny skeleton. Damn. I actually clasped my hands over my mouth in disbelief, believing for sure that my favorite (and the funniest character was gone for good. But, as they say, comedy is about hills and valleys, and that valley turned into a mountain when Kyle called the microwave a “bastard”. Very cathartic. “South Park” for life.
5. KENNY DIES
This one is heavy. The clip will forever be remembered for forcing “South Park” fans to confront their own mortality. Here we see the Fart Guys’ tv show interrupted to “bring you static” (which busted me up). Cut to the “South Park” gang standing with Death himself. Game changer. Death apparently is mad that the Fart Guys’ show isn’t on anymore and touches Kenny, who falls over deader than a doornail. One instant. One moment. That’s all it took. Death comes for us all.
6. KENNY DIES
“South Park” has always been known as a show with a message. Obviously the satellite falling from the sky represents the fact that the world’s attention has turned away from worlds beyond, abandoning the space program in favor of wars and bailouts (to the tune of $700 Billion). Hopefully this clip will serve as a wakeup call to congress: if you don’t take care of them, those satellites have gotta fall somewhere.
7. KYLE KILLS KENNY
I saved the best for last. More than any other clip, this one had a huge OMG moment. By now, we know what to expect from “South Park”. We love it. We crave it. We need it. And then, just when you least expect it, the show takes a hard left turn and turns Kyle (the boy in the green hat) from witness to perpetrator. Kyle then turns introspective, saying “Oh my god, I killed Kenny”. He then says “You bastard!”, and I’m pretty sure he’s still talking about himself. The tense shift is jarring and makes no sense, but I love all that “Napoleon Dynamite” “random” stuff, so maybe that’s what that is. Vote for Pedro!