This month, I’ve already ripped into the flaws of Family Guy and the Simpsons. Now I want to cast my gaze at South Park, the last of the big three American animated sitcoms (a.k.a. three of the biggest prostitutes of known fiction).
But rather than simply ripping on the show, I want to focus on one character, one so overrated that he deserves a mention: Eric Cartman.
We all know the story: Eric Cartman is the fat, racist member of the four-man ensemble that is the main cast of South Park. He’s supposed to be the devil tapping on Stan’s shoulders (as opposed to Kyle being the angel), and he consistently makes fun of Kyle for because of his Jewish faith, and also Kenny for being poor, and Stan for being in love with Wendy. Or at least it was just that in the seasons before the year 2000.
As of 2005 (though it may have started in 2001), Cartman is basically a miniscule version of Adolf Hitler, who hates Kyle for being Jewish, and is a complete idiot.
Don’t get me wrong, he can be funny, but mainly in the older episodes. But I can’t understand his popularity. After all, he is the most vile, vindictive, sadistic, evil, jealous character in all fiction (behind God of course). The episode Scott Tenorman Must Die (season 5, episode 4) is dedicated to Cartman wanting to get a measly $16.20 from the eponymous teenager Scott Tenorman. The way he ultimately gained revenge is not only unfunny, but truly sickening as well. He leads Scott’s parents to be shot be a redneck farmer, and then steals the bodies for him to make into chili using a hacksaw. And then, he gives the chili to Scott for him to eat, and wither in sadness. To top it all off, he clinches the fact that he’s a sadist by licking the grieving Tenorman’s tears from his face.
The only punishment he gets for it is in the episode 201 (season 14, episode 6), where Scott Tenorman’s father (back from the dead!?) is inexplicably revealed to be Eric Cartman’s father, making Scott Tenorman his half-brother. That would have been awesome, except for the fact that it was banned because of some Islamic nutjob pretending to be a terrorist. Because of that, we will never be able to see it ever again until maybe this whole terrorism thing blows over. Nice going guys!
He does plenty of other evil things throughout the new series, where he’s also shown to be a complete egomaniac who opposes things simply because he doesn’t like them, and takes people down simply because they hate him, and he, by proxy, hates them. He wasn’t this bad in the older episodes, where he was simply a caricature of an old man trapped in an 8-year-old’s body, played cleverly no less. What happened? Now he’s dumber than Peter Griffin, and eviler than Evil Stewie.
Then why is he so popular? Is it because the creators identify themselves with him the most (something Parker and Stone confirmed themselves)? Maybe it’s because he says the things that deep down we all want to say. Maybe it’s because he’s considered a ball of unadulterated evil, humanity’s dark side summed up in one fat little boy (maybe the evil is why he’s so fat). But regardless, I have had enough of him. I’ll tolerate him in older episodes, but not in newer episodes. Maybe one day I’ll talk about South Park in general, but I’ll save it for later.