If Donald Trump Returns to the White House, What Will ‘South Park’ Do With Mr. Garrison?
With former (and possibly future) President Donald Trump rampaging toward the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election, many Americans are wondering whether or not they’ll be ready for another term of Trump. South Park animators probably just want to know if November 5th will be another late night.
When Trump first started on the campaign trail in 2015, Trey Parker and Matt Stone had the perfect plan to cover what seemed to be the most embarrassing side show of the election cycle. During South Park Season 19, Mr. Garrison, the hedonistic, amoral and gender-indecisive fourth-grade teacher at South Park Elementary, started stoking the fire of anti-immigrant hatred as he saw his country’s infestation with undocumented Canadians and his desire to “fuck 'em all to death” as a cause worth campaigning on. Garrison began fake tanning on his path to Election Day before realizing late in the game that he doesn’t have what it takes to win the presidency, let alone run the country. Garrison’s attempts to self-sabotage hilariously backfired until, with the assistance of the memberberries, he beat out Hillary Clinton and started his disastrous first term plotline.
Famously, Parker and Stone (along with at least half the country) thought that Clinton’s victory over Trump in the 2016 presidential election was such a foregone conclusion that they didn’t have a plan for their show’s handling of any other result by the time they had to hastily slap together their first post-election episode, “Oh, Jeez.” Over in the South Park subreddit, fans recently discussed whether Trump’s possible re-election would require Parker and Stone to bring back the President Garrison storyline — as well as who’s getting fucked to death this time.
“In the latest season, they had an episode where part of the plot involved Mr. Garrison showing signs of relapsing. So they have that contingency set up,” the top commenter wrote. “They really wrote themselves into a corner with Garrison. Probably don’t like being reminded of it.” The sentiment that South Park was unequipped to handle Trump’s time in office was a popular one at the time, as the post-election storylines involving Garrison stressing over approval ratings garnered significantly less praise than the more poignant parody of the Trump campaign.
However, most fans agreed that, should Parker and Stone decide to dust off the President Garrison plot for a second iteration, changing Garrison back into his belligerent, power-hungry persona wouldn’t be particularly challenging, seeing as every other aspect of Garrison’s character is chaotically malleable. At the same time, some users challenged the assumption that South Park would have to address a second Trump term at all, with one fan arguing, “If Donald Trump wins the election, it doesn’t mean that South Park has to do anything with it for a story. South Park is about the crazy events that occur in a small mountain town in Colorado. Presidential politics don’t really affect day-to-day life, and South Park is at its best when it focuses on the town and its citizens.”
That said, others still offered alternatives to another Garrison victory, with one Redditor suggesting, “If Trump wins, they should have an election episode between the real Trump and Garrison. And somehow end up with the two having violent gay sex, with each trying to fuck the other one to death, to make America great again.”