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September 17, 2014

'Simpsons' Defends 'South Park' (Sort of)

by Nick Zaino, posted Apr 26th 2010 1:45PM
'The Simpsons'It's not uncommon to watch an episode of 'South Park' and wonder, how the heck did they get away with that? What would it take for the show to get censored? Well, it happens every so often, and Sunday, the biggest, longest-running cartoon franchise on TV showed 'South Park' its support.

In the opening credits of last night's 'Simpsons,' Bart wrote "South Park -- We'd stand beside you if we weren't so scared" on the chalkboard (check out the Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed blog for the pic). 'The Simpsons' has taken its share of swipes at political and cultural targets in the past. So what could make Matt Groening and company so scared?
The past two episodes of 'South Park' have revolved around celebrities suing the town of 'South Park' for all of the wonderfully awful things that have been done to and said about them over the years. The one thing those celebrities (and a militant group of "gingers") covet is the ability of one particular public figure to avoid being mocked. That public figure is the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

When the storyline kicked off with the show's 200th episode, the celebrities and Gingers were trying to get to Muhammad for that power, as Muhammad appeared in public but hidden from view in a bear suit and in a UHaul truck. 'South Park' creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker received a death threat from a radical Islamic Web site, which led to the follow-up episode getting a massive censoring from Comedy Central, which bleeped the name "Muhammad" and Kyle's entire final speech.

'The Simpsons' has always managed to present its satire in a mainstream show, while 'South Park' has never really tried to be the type of show most mainstream parents would watch with their kids. But both shows have upset plenty of people in the past, and they have referenced each other on occasion. (See episode 607 of 'South Park,' titled 'The Simpsons Already Did It,' for more.)

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Marcio

when was this? yesterday's phrase was "Je ne suis pas francais" this will be next week??

April 26 2010 at 6:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Marcio's comment
Ryan

In some areas because of controversy they aired the chalck board from another episode

April 26 2010 at 7:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jim

Nice shout out :) Try and Matt are often the most important voice in the U.S. media. Well played to them.

April 26 2010 at 2:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brad Trechak

I don't understand 'The Simpson's' defense of 'South Park'. Is it intended as a parody of Comedy Central's reaction, an act of comradery, or both, or neither?

I was, however, impressed with their quick turn-around time for getting this aired. In that context, they're getting to be like 'South Park' itself.

April 26 2010 at 2:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Brad Trechak's comment
M-D

I'll hazard a guess and suggest that the open was altered at the last minute and edited into the existing episode. If memory serves, "South Park" is animated in some form of Flash (although they might have developed a custom platform at this point), which allows for their quick turnaround; "The Simpsons", on the other hand, is still drawn in Korea at Rough Draft Studios, and has to be done months in advance of air.

April 26 2010 at 9:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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