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"Canada On Strike"
South Park episode
Canada on Strike.jpg
Terrance and Phillip arguing with the head of the "World Canadian Bureau" (or WGA[1] for short), Steven Aboutman.
Episode no. Season 12
Episode 4
Written by Trey Parker
Directed by Trey Parker
Production no. 1204
Original airdate April 2, 2008
Guest stars

Tay Zonday

Season 12 episodes
South Park – Season 12
March 12, 2008 – November 19, 2008
  1. Tonsil Trouble
  2. Britney's New Look
  3. Major Boobage
  4. Canada on Strike
  5. Eek, a Penis!
  6. Over Logging
  7. Super Fun Time
  8. The China Probrem
  9. Breast Cancer Show Ever
  10. Pandemic
  11. Pandemic 2: The Startling
  12. About Last Night...
  13. Elementary School Musical
  14. The Ungroundable

Season 11 Season 13
List of South Park episodes

"Canada On Strike" is the fourth episode of the twelfth season of the animated series South Park.[2] It was first aired on April 2, 2008. The nation of Canada goes on a general strike to get "some of that internet money" and the boys seek to cash in on a new internet fad-video they've created.

The episode was written and directed by series co-creator Trey Parker, and was rated TV-MA LV in the United States. The episode is a satirical commentary on the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike largely over internet profit-sharing.

Contents

Plot summary

The episode starts at South Park Elementary, where Mr. Mackey informs the students that it is Canada Appreciation Day. He plays a video where Steven Aboutman (pronounced "Abootman"), President of the World Canadian Bureau (acronym: WGA[1]), asks the students to remember all of Canada's contributions to the world. The students, led by Cartman and Craig, respond with laughter and ridicule. In Canada, when Aboutman learns of the world's lackluster response to Canada Appreciation Day, he resolves to have the country go on strike, and the Canadians break out into a choreographed song and dance number.

Aboutman and his cohorts appear before an assembly of world leaders announcing their strike. The other countries' delegates are confused as to what exactly Canada wants. Aboutman responds "more money", and when asked where this money should come from he exclaims "the Internet makes lots of money. Give us some of that money!" When the other delegates try to explain that they cannot give Canada money, Aboutman storms out and shouts that the strike will continue.

Meanwhile, Kyle is watching his brother Ike stand outside his house, picketing. Kyle approaches the other boys with worries about his brother, but they are too busy watching Terrance and Phillip to care. Realizing that all the Terrance and Phillip episodes are reruns, they attempt to call Steven Aboutman to end the strike. While on the phone with him, they agree that Canada deserves more money but they do not have any to give.

In a plan to get more "Internet money", the boys post a video on "YouToob" of Butters singing Samwell's "What What (In the Butt)".[3] It quickly becomes famous, but in order to claim their money at the "Colorado Department of Internet Money", the boys must wait in line behind other Internet video sensations, such as Laughing Baby, Dramatic Chipmunk,[4] Tay "Chocolate Rain" Zonday, Afro Ninja, Sneezing Panda, Chris "Leave Britney Alone!" Crocker, Tron Guy, the Star Wars Kid, and Numa Numa. In an argument over who is more famous, most of the other Internet celebrities kill each other (the Laughing Baby and Afro Ninja simply vanish) and the boys become first in line and receive 10 million "theoretical dollars." They are clear plastic checks that have no monetary value.

Still striking, many Canadians are dying of starvation, and a news report shows that America has brought in Danish people to fill their positions. Despite protests from Terrance and Phillip, Aboutman vows to continue the strike, "even if we all die." The boys present him their theoretical dollars. Realizing that this is not actual money, he explodes. Aboutman will not call off the strike until he feels he has won something, so Kyle convinces the world leaders to give Canada a consolation prize of gumballs and Bennigan's coupons. The strike is settled, and the boys go home where Kyle gives an extremely verbose speech about the Internet as a way of making and distributing money.

Aboutman acts like this was a great victory for Canada, but Terrance and Phillip realize that their $3,008 worth of gumballs and coupons was little compared to the $10.4 million that Canadians lost by striking. Aboutman and his men are set adrift on a block of ice, shouting abuse at Terrance and Phillip until the credits roll.

Production

"Canada on Strike" was written and directed by series co-founder Trey Parker, and was rated TV-MA L in the United States. It first aired on April 2, 2008 in the United States on Comedy Central. Shortly after "Canada on Strike" was originally broadcast, two different T-shirts and hooded sweatshirts based on the episode was made available at South Park Studios, the official South Park website.[5][6] One Butters dressed in the astronaut outfit he wore in his YouTube video.[5] The second featured Ike holding a sign, "Canada on strike".[6]

Theme

The episode was a criticism of the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. TV Squad's Brad Trechak noted that "Trey Parker and Matt Stone are not members of any of the unions, and they negotiated Internet profit-sharing before it became an issue for the WGA. They have also remained consistent with their dislike of the Hollywood creative elite (including actors and writers, although they are both) and their willingness to take a different viewpoint than the popular media."[7] IGN's Travis Fickett stated that "It was probably inevitable that South Park would comment on the writers' strike in some fashion, and here they do – by way of Canada."[1] Josh Modell, writing for The A.V. Club suggested that "it's clear that Parker and Stone feel that the writers completely screwed themselves in the long run, but that subplot is almost beside the point."[8]

Reception

Modell gave the episode an A grade as it "was a great episode because the jokes came quick and funny, not because there was some huge point to be made". A notable part of the episode for him was the viral video, "What What (In The Butt)".[8]

Fickett gave the episode a rating of 7.6. He noted that though it was an "issue" episode, it was still humorous, unlike other such episodes like "Britney's New Look". Overall, while it wasn't a bad episode "the show muddles the argument it's trying to make by letting the parallels to Canada get off track."[1]

Trechak noted especially "the battle royal [sic] scene with all the YouTube people" and the "scintillating conversation" of the Canadians at the episode end. Trechak was "happy to see South Park get back on track to the focus and humor from the previous seasons."[7]

References

External links

Preceded by
Major Boobage
South Park episodes Followed by
Eek, a Penis!
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