Bill Hader Explaining How the Kanye West-Gay Fish ‘South Park’ Bit Came About Never Gets Old
In all of South Park history, few bits have had as much cultural staying power as the immortal “gay fish” gag from the Season 13 episode “Fishsticks,” which makes it so much funnier that Kanye West still doesn't get the joke, even after Bill Hader explained it so clearly on TikTok.
The Saturday Night Live superstar has been periodically working as a writing consultant for Trey Parker and Matt Stone since Season 12, and in that time, Hader has been a part of the creation of some of the most quoted South Park moments of all time. Most notably, Hader helped to write the defining joke for people making fun of Kanye, and at the 2014 New Yorker Festival, he explained exactly how easy it was to trigger the controversial rapper, fashion designer and Hitler-lover for 14 years and counting.
Periodically, a clip from the conversation goes viral as Gen Z learns the lore behind Kanye’s fraught relationship with mockery, as well as what it means if they ever answer affirmatively to the question, “Do you like fish sticks in your mouth?”
Ever since the episode aired in 2009, Kanye has had beef with the comedians who dared insinuate that he might be a gay fish — though, just as it happened in the episode, the joke still soars above his head some 14 seasons later. Kanye has name-dropped South Park and fish sticks in songs and he’s lashed out at Parker and Stone in interviews, even after initially tweeting about the episode when it aired, “I GOT A LONG ROAD AHEAD OF ME TO MAKE PEOPLE BELIEVE I’M NOT ACTUALLY AHUGE DOUCHE BUT I’M UP FOR THE CHALLENGE. I’M SURE THE WRITERS AT SOUTHPARK ARE REALLY NICE PEOPLE IN REAL LIFE.”
As far as searing South Park celebrity parodies go, however, Kanye should count himself lucky that he’s only been portrayed as a gay fish, the husband of a hobbit and an anti-Semitic imaginary cupid. Then again, Kanye and a lack of self-awareness go together like fish dicks and Kanye.