Penn State Scandal: "South Park" Masters of Satire Tackle Nittany Lions' Scandal

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 17, 2011

Courtesy of BuddyTV.com
Courtesy of BuddyTV.com

One of the things that makes Comedy Central's "South Park" so great is the unbelievably quick production schedule that creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have developed.

Thanks to that, they were able to get some shots in at the biggest news story of the last two weeks on the show's season finale—Penn State and Jerry Sandusky. 

The episode was titled "The Poor Kid" and it was about Kenny and his siblings being taken away from their home due to poor living conditions. They get sent to a moron who is a Child Protective Services social worker. 

The social worker is trying to become a stand-up comedian. Kenny and his siblings are nervous about being taken away from their house and their parents, so the social worker decides that this would be a good time to test out his new material to get them to laugh. 

The whole episode featured shots at the university, Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky. The narrative of the episode was obvious and, in typical "South Park" fashion, some will be offended by the jokes and call for it to be pulled off the air, because that happens all the time with this show. 

However, the beauty of "South Park" is that it is able to provide a social commentary on issues that are very much relevant in the world today. That is why the show is as popular as it is and why it has managed to stay on the air for 15 seasons and counting.

I am not going to get into whether or not the jokes went too far or tell you what to think or feel, because it is not for me to tell you what to think. 

"South Park" isn't trying to tell you what to think or feel or what's funny and not funny. It's Matt Stone and Trey Parker's personal critique of the world around them and their way of just seeing all the—for lack of a better word—crap that is going on and wondering what the hell has happened. 

This was not meant to be insensitive or cruel to the alleged victims in this scandal. It is a look at how this kind of thing could go on for so long and no one says or does a thing to stop it. At least, that is my take on this episode. 

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