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Tuesday night, I went to the fabulous Fox Theater and watched the The Book of Mormon. I had been holding out for a movie, but I couldn't turn this opportunity down when it came. As The Guy Who Hates Everything, I was determined not to be entertained. My resolve failed halfway through the opening number, "Hello."

It's no great surprise that a Trey Parker and Matt Stone venture is both offensively irreverent and hysterically funny, but I expected that the best jokes in The Book of Mormon would be retreads from their earlier skewering of the Mormon religion in South Park episodes. Full credit to the genius of Parker/Stone: they've found a lot to things laugh at in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Once again, I found myself in awe of Parker & Stone's ability to tell a great joke. They start with a topic that should be toxic, have someone make a reasonable reaction to the uncomfortable situation, then knock it down with a left-field punchline that is simultaneously rude and hysterical. I wish I could make people laugh as hard as they can make me laugh. But then I guess I'd be the multi-millionaire Tony Award winner and not some schlub with a blog.

My favorite part of the play was the performance of "Turn It Off," in which a dutiful Mormon missionary provides instructions in denying your own homosexuality. It's a catchy little number that says nothing about my own sexual preferences. Really. I just like musical theater. Ahem.

So if you like South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut or Team America (fuck yeah!), make it a point to see The Book of Mormon. I still hope that they turn it into a movie; I'd like to watch it again and again.

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All this week, the national media has been abuzz about the spat between South Park and Scientology. Apparently, Scientologists are crazy. (Thetans. There, I've said it.) But is that really news?

I'm no expert in the matter, but it is my understanding that Mormons wear special underwear. (Underwear is next to godliness.) I've read that Catholics consume the actual body and blood of the son of their god. (And we give them a hard time about their preference for young boys!) I've seen Southern Baptists prohibit the use of playing cards while allowing dominos. (A rose is a rose, unless you're a Southern Baptist.) I've witnessed Jews celebrate oil that burned much longer than it was advertised to burn. ("Tightwad" was originally a Yiddish word.) And I've even heard that Muslims receive 100 virgins in heaven. (I hope those virgins aren't going to stay virginal for eternity? As my friend Chris said: "Dude, virgin pussy sucks.")

So every religion has it's share of wacky ideas. And now we're going to fight over whose ideas are the stupidest? That's like entering siamese twins in a beauty contest and then arguing over who looks better in the swimsuit competition. Grow some thicker skin, people. Or better yet, a sense of humor about yourselves. Now quit throwing stones at each other so I can go back to watching news that really matters: is Britney is pregnant again?

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To be continued...


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