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"Death"
South Park episode
Death south park.jpg
Death appears.
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 6
Written by Trey Parker
Matt Stone
Directed by Uncredited
Production no. 106
Original airdate September 17, 1997
Episode chronology
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"An Elephant Makes Love to a Pig" "Pinkeye"
List of South Park episodes

"Death" is the sixth episode of Comedy Central's animated series South Park. It originally aired on September 17, 1997.

Contents

Plot

The Marsh family is celebrating Grandpa’s 102nd birthday but he isn’t very happy. He wishes he was dead due to his very old age, and tries to accomplish this goal while he and Stan watch Terrance and Phillip after his birthday. As Grandpa is too old to do it himself, he asks Stan to help (asserting that he "killed his own Grandpa when he was Stan's age"), but Stan refuses.

Meanwhile at Kyle’s house, Kyle and Ike are also watching Terrance and Phillip when their mother, Sheila, comes in and gets upset by the content of the program, because it has foul language and crude humor. The next day at school Kyle discovers that Sheila has called everyone else’s parents and is leading a boycott of Terrance and Phillip in front of "Cartoon Central" headquarters in New York City. During the school day, Stan seeks out various adults to find out whether or not he should assist his Grandpa in killing himself, but no one wishes to discuss the issue (not even Mr. Garrison, Chef, or Jesus Christ himself), so Stan talks to the guys about it.

Meanwhile Kenny is experiencing a bout of explosive diarrhea. The condition eventually spreads to the whole town, particularly to the adults protesting Terrance and Phillip. Despite their protest of the show, they are shown laughing at various bits of "real life" toilet humor.

At home, the boys have been left alone to watch Terrance and Phillip at their leisure, as most of the community has followed Sheila to Cartoon Central to demand the show be taken off the air. All the while Grandpa Marsh is trying to convince Stan to kill him. In order to show him what it's like to live like him, he traps Stan in a room and forces him to listen to Enya, at which point he and the rest of the boys agree they must do it. They hang a cow from a tree to drop on Grandpa when Death shows up and begins to come after the boys (specifically Kenny). They get trapped in Stan's room, where he realizes that "if parents spent less time worrying about what their kids watched, and more time worrying about what's going on in their lives, this world would be a much better place." Kyle adds that he thinks "parents only worry about what their kids watch because they rely on what their television as the sole educator of their kids." Kenny also gives input, though it is muffled. Death finally breaks in the room and the boys, including Kenny, narrowly escape outside the window. As they run through the streets, Grandpa follows, making insulting remarks at Death, such as, "I'm over here, you son-of-a-whore!"

South Park citizens slingshot themselves into Cartoon Central HQ

Back in New York, the protesters have given the network an ultimatum: take the show off the air or they will kill themselves. Although thirteen people have been slingshotted and smeared on the face of the network building, the network refuses to take Terrance and Philip off the air until an executive comes out (in a gas mask) and announces; "Ladies and gentlemen, your nazi-esque tactics of trying to stink us out with rancid faeces... has worked. Therefore, today we will be officially taking Terrance and Phillip off the network and replacing it with reruns of She's the Sheriff starring Suzanne Somers."

In South Park, while chasing the boys, Death stops at the window of a TV store and watches an episode of Terrance and Phillip. The boys join him in watching until the announcement of its cancellation. Extremely angered at this development, Death kills Kenny, and Grandpa argues with Death about not taking him. Grandpa demands Death to kill him, but Death refuses. Then, Grandpa’s Grandpa shows up and tells him to not kill himself or he'll end up in limbo like himself; it must be from natural causes. The parents come back and put on She's The Sheriff, are dismayed by the content, and go back to New York for another protest. As the boys brood over what they will do for entertainment (breathe gas fumes, smoke crack, or watch "those porno movie thingies"), Grandpa Marsh comes in and tell them he's planning a trip to Africa where over 400 people are "naturally" eaten by lions every year. The boys laugh at this, then Kyle farts and the laughter increases.

Themes

In an analysis of the episode, William J. Savage, Jr. says the episode "reveals a fine edged attack on censors and a thoughtful and subtle consideration of issues regarding assisted suicide." [1]

Mrs. Broflovski's attempts to get Terrance & Phillip banned would again be used as the basis for the movie South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.

Cultural references

(Obscure) The scene in which Grandpa Marsh locks Stan in a dimly lit room while playing Enya and would not let him leave is a reference to planetarium sessions for Introduction to Astronomy classes at the University of Colorado, Boulder where Trey Parker and Matt Stone were students in the early 90's. According to a UC Boulder graduate student TA during the period, Enya was frequently played prior to the beginning of these lessons, the lights were dim, and many of the students really did not want to be there. A more direct reference to this experience is made in "Roger Ebert Should Lay Off the Fatty Foods".

References

  1. ^ Savage, William Jr. Leaving Springfield: The Simpsons and the Possibility of Oppositional Culture Edited by John Alberti, Wayne State University Press (December 2003) ISBN 0814328490

External links

Preceded by
An Elephant Makes Love to a Pig
South Park episodes Followed by
Pink Eye







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