Last night, I watched the latest episode of South Park, Funnybot.
Why Was I Watching It?
Because it’s South Park, of course!
What Was It About?
Aspiring stand-up comedian Jimmy Vulmer puts together the first annual Comedy Awards show at South Park Elementary. Only Tyler Perry shows up to accept his award and only Token Black seems to be happy to see him. Once he’s arrived, Perry refuses to leave and instead spends his time wandering around the school, dressed up like Madea and saying, “Oh Lord!” Soon, every student except for Token is sick of him and demanding that Perry go away. However, Token — who has apparently been hypnotized by Perry — finds himself incapable of not giving Perry money to stick around.
However, there’s an even bigger problem than Tyler Perry. During the Comedy Awards Ceremony, the Germans are named the least funny people on the planet. The Germans react by creating Funnybot, a robot with a very methodical, rather German approach to humor. Soon Funnybot is the biggest, most popular stand-up comedian on the planet even though his jokes are simply a mad lib-style of random pop cultural references mixed in with a few standard situations. However, the world loves Funnybot and they continue to love him even after he starts to violently murder everyone who comes to see his shows.
After all of South Park Elementary is taken hostage by the comedians that have been put out of work by Funnybot. Kyle, Cartman, and Stan try to talk some sense into Funnybot. Funnybot responds by explaining that he’s going to destroy the world.
And, as the world awaits destruction, Barack Obama watches a Tyler Perry movie…
I’ll be honest. I love South Park so, as far as I was concerned, the whole show worked. Funnybot was a great creation and, according to my friend Jeff, Funnybot was a reference to Dr. Who and that made Jeff happy which was pretty cool. I’ve seen a few people online who are complaining that it wouldn’t make any sense for Funnybot to remain a popular comedian even after he starts killing people but those people are obviously not true fans of South Park. A true fan of South Park would know that South Park always presents the entire population of the world as a bunch of sheep who are incapable of thinking for themselves.
Plus, this show did what South Park does best in that it bluntly acknowledged an inconvenient truth — i.e., that white people just do not get Tyler Perry and that many of us find watching his “style” of comedy can be a very awkward experience. As well — and this is something that seems to have gone over the heads of a lot of people who watched this show — South Park’s Tyler Perry is essentially portrayed as being the human equivalent of the Funnybot. Just as Token is shown to be incapable of resisting Perry, all the other (white) characters are incapable of resisting Funnybot.
(I am going to say one thing in his defence: the year that Precious was nominated for best picture, Perry was one of the presenters at the Academy Awards and he actually came across as endearingly nervous and almost likable. Or, at least, he did to me.)
Finally, on a purely silly level, I loved the way that Jimmy responded to every problem by saying, “But I think we can all agree that the 1st Annual Comedy Awards was a great success.” It just made me laugh.
What Didn’t Work?
Hmmm…well, as funny as the idea of a bunch of stand-up comedians taking an elementary school hostage is, I kinda wish that Trey Parker and Matt Stone had done more with it. That said, I love Matt and Trey and I hope they win all sorts of Tony Awards for The Book of Mormon.
“Oh my God! Just like me!” Moment
Much like Funnybot, I find that going “Awkward!” in a cute little voice is the perfect way to make an unfunny joke funny.
Logic is a hideous bitch goddess.