South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut

..South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (1999)

South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut is just plain funny. It’s hard to understand, everyone in the theater except you knows all the characters the microsecond they appear on the screen, and you can only figure out half the jokes. But that half is really, really funny.

Before the show even started the guy in the row in front of us turned and said: "Remember. Kyle wears the green and orange. Stan wears the blue and red. Kenny has an orange parka over his head."

"Right," said the girl sitting next to him, "And don’t forget Mr.Hanky. I love Mr. Hanky."

This is a cult already. People were roaring with anticipation half an hour early. A DJ got up on the stage and announced a contest for people who could sound like South Park characters. Grown men and women ran up to the front and made total fools of themselves, as the audience hooted or cheered their efforts. It can’t be easy to imitate the voice of a South Park character. They sound like Beavis before 25 years of Joe Camel, or Tom Waits as a toddler, or Marge Simpson four octaves higher. But since their every other word starts with f, m-f, or u-f (where u stands for uncle), understanding every word is not crucial.

South Park will be called socially irresponsible, but it’s no more so than The Simpsons. Both of these shows say more about the true shape of the world than Sixty Minutes or Meet the Press. The filmmakers have plenty of opinions on plenty of hot subjects and they voice them all.

There are telling political undercurrents all through this picture. Perhaps the most obvious is the American Army brass telling all the black soldiers to form a human shield so they can die and protect the rest of the army. "Haven’t you heard of the Emancipation Proclamation?" asks Chef, the only recurring black South Park character. "Ah don’t listen to Hip Hop," says the General.

There are also wonderful digs at V-Chips, the Sexual Revolution (The Devil is having an affair with Saddam Hussein who only wants sex and doesn’t like to cuddle), mothers, teachers, Jews, Bill Gates, shock d-j’s, and movies named Asses of Fire. Canada does not fair well (the entire UN lines up to ridicule the Canadian delegation for saying "aboot" instead of "about."), and it is amusing to notice that Hitler, Gandhi and George Burns have all gone to hell.

But if you could only use two words to describe South Park they would have to be f_rt and f_ck. Poor Kenny, who dies in practically every South Park episode, blows himself up here by lighting a f_rt. He then goes straight to hell which is where the fun begins. The theme song from Asses of Fire has this chorus: "Shut your F_cking Face, Uncle F_cker." It is sung many, many times, and even reprised in the amazing finale along with many other songs that have little going for them except music, lyrics, and that they are very, very funny.

Oh, and Kyle finds the clitoris, which looks like an overgrown pillow and talks. Rationally there is no reason that should be funny. But in the movie it is. Everything is. I don’t know how they did it. South Park, Bigger, Longer and Uncut works. Go see it and get ready to howl.

– DAK