The Most Toothless ‘South Park’ Attacks
South Park is obviously known for its no holds barred, occasionally pretty goddamn cruel celebrity parodies. Paris Hilton was portrayed as routinely “coughing up ejaculate,” Rob Reiner literally wanted to sacrifice a child in order to ban smoking and Mel Gibson… okay, that one was eerily accurate.
But, in retrospect, some South Park burns were surprisingly off-the-mark and way less biting than they easily could have been, such as…
Dr. Mehmet Oz’s only appearance in South Park came in the episode “Butterballs,” in which the titular host interviews Butters about bullying, only to press too hard and get attacked in front of his audience.
We get that this was well before his hydroxychloroquine and crudité days, but Dr. Oz was already known to be a notorious peddler of health misinformation. He was basically the John Edward of medicine, but while the former was branded the “Biggest Douche in the Universe,” Oz’s time on South Park left him relatively unscathed.
R. Kelly was famously a big part of the episode “Trapped in the Closet.” He certainly isn’t portrayed favorably — hence the gun-waving psychopathy — but the main target of the show’s satirical aims was clearly Tom Cruise and the Church of Scientology. R. Kelly was really only there to parody his god-awful video series of the same name. Which, upon further thought, is a pretty harmless depiction of a guy who, at that point, was already being taken to task elsewhere for being an abusive serial predator. That’s like bringing Bill Cosby in purely to make fun of Ghost Dad.
The first Jared-centric episode was a mostly lighthearted takedown of the irritating khaki-clad mascot for America’s grossest sandwich chain. Jared was really just there for the show to make jokes about his weight-loss claims and also to serve up a farcical misunderstanding about aides/AIDS in order to establish the amount of time it takes for tragedies to become acceptable comedic subject matter.
Jared showed up again as one of the celebs trying to sue the town of South Park in the episode “200.” Then, shortly after the real Fogle pleaded guilty to “charges of receiving child pornography and repeatedly having sex with minors,” he very briefly popped up at the tail end of “Stunning and Brave,” chasing Syrian refugee children as part of Cartman’s plan to distract PC Principal.
Which, arguably, is a pretty easy, insubstantial way to reference the horrific crimes of a guy who was already a recurring character on the show. Like, they were way harder on Sarah Jessica Parker, and she, we can’t stress this enough, didn’t go to jail for child pornography. To be fair, the South Park guys eventually tore Jared a new one — but it didn’t happen in the show itself, but rather in the Fractured But Whole video game, in which Jared is a big boss that needs to be defeated, all while uttering taunts such as: “How’d you kids like to see my famous footlong?”
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