Goin’ Down to South Park: 16 Years and Counting

Who would have thought that a cutout animation featuring four potty-mouthed kids, one of the first viral Internet videos, would go on to become an international phenomenon?

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Who would have thought that a cutout animation featuring four potty-mouthed kids, one of the first viral Internet videos, would go on to become an international phenomenon? Surely South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone had no idea when the show launched back in 1997 that they were creating an award-winning television show, what would become Comedy Central’s highest-rated and longest-running program (the show has been renewed through at least 2016) of all time.

Matt and Trey took The Simpsons’ adult cartoon formula to the next level — using black humor and satirizing news and pop culture topics that are impossibly timely (usually because they’re created just days before airing). There’s much more to South Park than squeaky voices and a child who is regularly murdered.

While the duo has expanded to film (Team America: World Police is one of my favorite movies) and theater (their hit 2011 play The Book of Mormon has nabbed Tony and Grammy Awards and will tour across North America beginning this August), Matt and Trey continue to embrace their roots in television.

In this week’s Season 16 premiere, one of the boys continues to leave the toilet seat up despite being told repeatedly to put it down. In a ridiculous turn of events, the TSA must step in. South Park airs at 10 p.m. Wednesdays on Comedy Central.


Community (Mid-season premiere, 8 p.m., NBC) – Andre and Shirley decide to remarry, throwing Annie and Britta into bridesmaid-zilla mode. Pierce and Shirley pitch a sandwich shop proposal to Dean Pelton.

30 Rock (8:30 p.m., NBC) – Dennis (did you know he’s the Allstate mayhem guy?) makes an unexpected return on St. Patrick’s Day, complicating matters for Liz and Criss. Rookie page Hazel tries to keep Tracy and Jenna under control.

Awake (10 p.m., NBC) – In one dimension, Michael’s son is kidnapped by a criminal he locked away a decade ago; in the other, Michael skips a memorial for his dead son to search for a missing teenage boy. People in both realities begin to question his sanity.

Project Runway All Stars (9 p.m., Lifetime) – In the first of a two-part finale, Michael, Austin and Mondo rush to create their lines. The surprise arrival of visitors creates a twist for the designers.

Delocated (midnight, Cartoon Network) – “Jon,” crushed by the realization that he has no friends, is determined to find some brahs.


It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Marathon (6-10 p.m., Comedy Central) – OK, these aren’t new episodes, but what better way to spend St. Patrick’s Day than with the gang at Paddy’s Pub?


The Walking Dead (Season finale, 9 p.m., AMC) – The issues building over the past few episodes may be resolved, but everyone’s worst fears are realized when the haven of The Greene Farm gets overrun by walkers. Secrets will be revealed (Jenner’s elusive whisper!) and not everyone will make it to Season 3.

Shameless (9 p.m., Showtime) – Fiona takes advantage of Monica’s presence by focusing on getting her GED and a promotion at the club. When Mandy winds up pregnant, her dad goes Ian instead of a more likely candidate: Lip.

Luck (9 p.m., HBO) – Walter and Gus’ horses go head-to-head in the historic Western Derby. Jo gets injured in a stable accident.

Eastbound and Down (10 p.m., HBO) – Kenny continues to compete with Ivan and tries to regain popularity with the team by throwing a badass Fourth of July party. Stevie stresses after cheating on Maria.

Life’s Too Short (10:30 p.m., HBO) – Warwick decides to turn a new leaf: He meets with a life coach, explores different faiths by consulting a priest and a Scientologist and visits the dating agency where he met his ex-wife, hoping to find his next wife.


The Late Late Show (12:37 a.m., CBS) – Craig Ferguson welcomes author Anne Rice and comedian Geoff Tate. A Cincinnati native, Tate is a storytelling comic whose style has compared to that of the late Mitch Hedberg.


New Girl (9 p.m., Fox) – In part one of the dual-episode finale, Jess gets asked out by the rich, handsome father of one of her students and reluctantly obliges. Drinking game suggestion: Sip your beverage whenever Jess does something really illogical but remains cute and likable. 

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