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"Le Petit Tourette"
South Park episode
CartmanIAS.jpg
Cartman taunts Kyle.
Episode no. Season 11
Episode 8
Written by Trey Parker
Production no. 1108
Original airdate October 3, 2007
Season 11 episodes
South Park – Season 11
March 7, 2007 – November 14, 2007
  1. With Apologies to Jesse Jackson
  2. Cartman Sucks
  3. Lice Capades
  4. The Snuke
  5. Fantastic Easter Special
  6. D-Yikes!
  7. Night of the Living Homeless
  8. Le Petit Tourette
  9. More Crap
  10. Imaginationland Episode I
  11. Imaginationland Episode II
  12. Imaginationland Episode III
  13. Guitar Queer-O
  14. The List

Season 10 Season 12
List of South Park episodes

"Le Petit Tourette" (lit. The Little Tourette) is episode 1108 (#161) of Comedy Central's South Park. It originally aired on October 3, 2007. This episode marked the beginning of the second half of the eleventh season.[1]The episode primarily focuses on Eric Cartman and Kyle Broflovski, making it one of the few episodes that does not feature Stan Marsh and Kenny McCormick (since returning in the Season 6 finale) as major characters. In the United States, the episode was rated TV-MA LV, due to Cartman's excessive profanity and the violence portrayed when many of the Dateline audience members commit suicide. It was one of the first episodes of South Park to use any of the L, S or V sub-ratings.

Contents

Plot

While shopping in a toy store, Cartman sees a boy who continuously shouts obscenities, as his mother tries to explain that he has Tourette's syndrome. Cartman decides to pretend he has the disorder as well, and successfully convinces his mother and a doctor, who diagnoses him with Tourette's and notifies the school.

When Kyle finds out about Cartman's "disorder", he immediately deduces that he is faking, which Cartman quickly admits to him. Nevertheless, Cartman continues to enjoy his newfound freedom, repeatedly shouting curses to people, to Kyle's intense annoyance and Craig's amazement and jealousy. Kyle decides to complain to Principal Victoria; however, she is already meeting Mr. Donaldson—who has coprolalia—from the "Tourette's Tolerance and Understanding Foundation". Donaldson is insulted, thinking that Kyle is accusing all people with TS of faking it, and takes him to a local support group for children with the disorder, who explain their various tics and how they are not faking it. Kyle attempts to explain that Cartman can control what he says, and is only pretending that he cannot for fun. The children are confused by this and state that one should not find having Tourette's fun at all. Thomas, the boy from the beginning of the episode, tells Kyle how his father divorced his mother due to his Coprolalia and how he thinks his mother would be happier if he were dead. Kyle relents under the pressure, and apologizes to everyone, but struggles when he has to apologize to Cartman, who deliberately pretends not to hear and continues to take advantage of his "disorder" by screaming vulgar anti-Semitic remarks at Kyle's parents. Cartman happily asks Thomas "Isn't having Tourette's awesome?". As a result, Thomas is instantly convinced that Kyle was telling the truth.

Cartman decides to appear on Dateline NBC with Chris Hansen, who plans to document the "sad story" of Cartman living with the condition. Cartman invites Kyle over to his house to taunt him and tell him he plans to say horrible, despicable things on the air and make an anti-Semitic hate speech. He suddenly blurts out that he wet his bed the night before. Kyle does not find this suspicious at all, and plans to stop Cartman. Cartman realizes that, having said everything completely unfiltered for so long, he has lost the ability to think before he speaks, and now merely says whatever comes into his head, including embarrassing secrets, such as how he fantasizes about kissing a girl named Patty Nelson and a sexual experiment he had with a cousin. He quickly tries to cancel the Dateline appointment, but Chris Hansen refuses to allow it and tells him that once, when a pedophile tried to get out of appearing on his "To Catch a Predator" series, they tracked the pedophile down and he shot himself. Hansen continues by hinting that if Cartman refuses to appear, he will be killed, and it will look like a suicide (more specifically, he says that "it would be a real shame if [Cartman] (here Hansen uses finger-quotes) "shot himself"). Realizing he has no way to get out of going on the show, and that he still cannot control his self-inflicted Tourette syndrome, Cartman prays to God for help.

Meanwhile, Kyle has teamed up with Thomas, who is worried that Cartman's appearance on the show will make others think Tourette's is "fun" and copy him. The pair aims to foil Cartman's plan which, unknown to Kyle, Cartman has already given up on. Nevertheless, in order to provide a distraction, the two go on the Internet to entice numerous pedophiles to come to the show. When the would-be child molesters come into the studio and see Chris Hansen, they all assume it to be a bust on To Catch a Predator and shoot themselves, sending panic through the studio and forcing everyone to flee. Chris Hansen runs out of the studio and discovers Thomas, who has a tic and heavily swears at Hansen saying, "Suck it! Asshole licker dick fart!" This causes Hansen to run away after saying "Nobody talks to me like that. I-I'll tell on you!". Craig is then jealous and amazed that Thomas could tell off Hansen, and offers to hang out with him sometime. Kyle then sneaks in and confronts Cartman, expecting him to be furious and humiliated. Cartman, however, is overjoyed, and hugs Kyle and cries into his shoulder, explaining that he wanted a miracle and Kyle must really care about him, and happily runs off singing and dancing to seek a psychiatrist to help him control his language. The episode ends with Kyle and Thomas both exclaiming "Aw Shit!" simultaneously.

Reaction

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Tourette Syndrome Association

Prior to the airing, the Tourette Syndrome Association (TSA) issued a press release saying they had requested that Comedy Central air their public service announcements during or after the show and that they "fully expect[ed] it to be offensive and insensitive to people with TS".[2] The President of the TSA said, "we are actually surprised it took the creators so long to use TS as comedy fodder in this program, since no disability, illness or controversial topic is off limits to them."[2] Following the episode, they issued a second press release, expressing concern that the episode perpetuated the misconception that most people with TS have coprolalia, when in fact, 85–90% of people with TS do not. They conceded that "the episode was surprisingly well-researched. The highly exaggerated emphasis on coprolalia notwithstanding, for the attentive viewer, there was a surprising amount of accurate information conveyed," adding that several elements of the episode "served as a clever device" for providing accurate facts to the public.[3]

Reviews

The television weblog TV Squad were extremely positive, calling the episode "the stuff of brilliance".[4] IGN gave the episode a rating of 7.5/10, asserting "this isn't the greatest episode, and not the greatest way to bring back the series - but it's got some great laughs and manages to push its single joke further than expected."[5] 411mania took the middle ground, giving the show a 6.5/10 rating, calling it "hit and miss", and contesting that "while the first half of the show suffered because of a one-note joke, the second half showed why this series continues to remain one of the best on television."[6] On the negative side, BuddyTV called the episode a "misfire", criticizing it as "disjointed and a little off-putting."[7]

Rating

For the first time in the show's history, an episode was rated TV-MA LV instead of the usual subrating-less TV-MA.[8]

References

  1. ^ Episode guide. South Park Studios. Retrieved on 2007-10-03. It originally aired in U.K on Paramount Comedy 1 at 9 pm on Friday 7 February.
  2. ^ a b TSA Voices Concern Over "South Park" October 3rd Episode. Tourette Syndrome Association (2007-10-02). Retrieved on 2007-10-03.
  3. ^ TSA responds to "South Park" Episode. Tourette Syndrome Association (2007-10-04). Retrieved on 2007-10-04.
  4. ^ "South Park: Le Petit Tourette - TV Squad". TvSquad. 2007-10-04. http://www.tvsquad.com/2007/10/04/south-park-le-petit-tourette/. Retrieved 2007-10-05. 
  5. ^ "IGN: Le Petit Tourette Review". IGN Entertainment, Inc. 2007-10-04. http://tv.ign.com/articles/825/825094p1.html. Retrieved 2007-10-05. 
  6. ^ "Le Petit Tourette 411mania review". 411mania. 2007-10-04. http://www.411mania.com/movies/dvd_reviews/60928. Retrieved 2007-10-05. 
  7. ^ "South Park : Cartman, Tourette's, and Chris Hanson". BuddyTv. 2007-10-03. http://www.buddytv.com/articles/south-park/south-park-cartman-tourettes-a-11910.aspx. Retrieved 2007-10-05. 
  8. ^ "Comedy Central TV Show Schedule". Comedy Central. 2007-10-03. http://www.comedycentral.com/tv_schedule/index.jhtml?seriesId=11600&forever=please. Retrieved 2007-10-06. 

External links

Preceded by
Night of the Living Homeless
South Park episodes Followed by
More Crap

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