Last night my TiVo picked up the South Park episode, "Osama Bin Laden has Farty Pants." I clearly remember this episode being the first time I felt okay to laugh after 9/11. I was very surprised today when I checked the original air date: 11/7/2001, almost two months from 9/11. I actually still have the original episode on my TiVo...that and "61*" have been there for almost four years!
The episode made it okay to acknowledge that things were, as the boys would put it, "Pretty f*cked up." The episode opens with them standing at the bus stop, all wearing gas masks, then boarding the bus after Officer Barbrady checks their packs.
Some other highlights:
Stan's mother lies on the couch, doing nothing but watching CNN for eight weeks. When Stan comments that he has received a big, brown package from Afgahnistan, she doesn't react for several minutes.
Towelie (an admittedly annoying character) appears and the kids groan. Towelie responds, "So you don't want Towelie around?" Kids:"NO!" Towelie says, "So am I to understand there's been a Towelie-ban?"
Afghanistan has its own version of Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny, wearing arabic clothing rather than winter clothes. The South Park kids meet their Afghanistan counterparts, and try to figure out why people hate Americans. Afghans: "A third of the world hates Americans." South Park: "Why do they hate us?" Afghans: "Because you don't realize a third of the world hates you."
The riskiest part of the episode involved the interaction between Cartman and Osama Bin Laden. Cartman: "OH, dude! It's called deoderant. It's not expensive." Bin Laden later speaks on the phone saying, "A flippity flappity floop. Jihad Jihad Jihad," which starts off a priceless series of scenes in which Cartman plays Bugs Bunny to Bin Laden's Elmber Fudd, inlcuding the typical scene in which Cartman/Bugs dresses like an Arabian pricness and lures Bin laden into wooing a camel. Arabian princess Cartman holds up a series of cartoon signs, starting with the usual screw and ball (screw ball) and jack and donkey (jackass). This quickly progresses to poo and a head (sh*thead) and a rooster and a lollipop (you figure it out). Excellent. Osama is finally put in an Uncle Sam outfit and shot by his own troops.
The episode ends with the boys standing up a small American flag and Stan commenting, "America is our home. It's our team. And if you don't like your team, you should get the hell out of the stadium. Go America!"
It's funny that South Park has become a very intelligent commentator on America. They have continued to be right on the money, including an episode in which they catch Saddam only a few days after he was really caught.
(And yes, I am doing an excellent job of procrastinating from both studying and the gym. I got mad skilz.)