The South Park Pandemic Special


South Park Elementary taking Covid related precautions in the classroom

Elliot Ellis

In typical South Park fashion, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have put their comedic and sarcastic take on the Coronavirus pandemic on display in their new “Pandemic Special.” In an attempt to make light of the “unprecedented” times we are living in, the episode becomes just as confusing and bizarre as real life–whether it was referring to improper mask usage as “chin diapers,” or questioning, “the nuances of Zoom school,” as USA Today writers Rasha Ali and Jayme Deerwester put it. The hour-long special did not miss a chance to poke fun at the new normals of society. 

The special did not leave any social justice stone unturned, either. USA Today explains, “The special also captures the subtleties of Black Lives Matter protests over police brutality.”  Due to the teachers’ virus concerns at South Park elementary, there is a vacancy for new teaching roles throughout the entire school. Ironically, the South Park police department has been defunded allowing them to fill the now open teaching roles at the school.

Charles Bramesco of The Guardian sums up the type of humor that has worked so well for South Park over the last 24 seasons the show has been on the air.  He says, “creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone thrive on short-sightedness, selfishness and stupidity-born aggression, all of which have been in ample supply since the beginning of the quarantine.” Emery students shared their thoughts on the special. 

11th grader Dylan Canfield thought the new episode was a “hilarious way to calm and poke fun at the situation we are all facing currently. It was interesting to see the epidemic being portrayed in such an exaggerated manner – it really put it into perspective for me.” 

Fellow Junior Sam Toubin shared all of his favorite scenes of the special, stating that, “It was entertaining.” Sam explained that the scene in which Cartman holds a cut-out of his face in front of his computer camera to trick his teacher into thinking his camera is frozen, is one of the scenes that made him laugh the hardest.   

Junior Reece Tiras had this to say about the “chin diaper” references: “when all of the parents in South Park started to call each other out for not wearing their masks right, I knew the special was going to be funny. “Chin diaper” was not what I expected them to call it, but South Park always knows how to turn something ordinary into something really funny.” 

South Park may be unpredictable and even questionable in its attempts to make audiences laugh, but it never fails to take the seriousness and pressure out of even the most sincere of current events.