About Last Night... (South Park)
|"About Last Night…"|
|South Park episode|
A drunk Randy participating in a celebratory riot along with a crowd of other Obama supporters
|Episode no.||Season 12
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
by Kool & the Gang
"Who Let the Dogs Out?"
by Anslem Douglas
by Toni Basil
|Original air date||November 5, 2008|
|South Park (season 12)
List of South Park episodes
"About Last Night…" is the twelfth episode of the twelfth season of the animated series South Park, and the 179th episode of the series overall. The episode was first broadcast on Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 10:00 PM EST, less than a day after Barack Obama was declared the winner in the 2008 presidential election. Excerpts from speeches given by Obama and John McCain the night before are included in the episode. In the episode, Obama wins the 2008 Presidential Election, setting off mass uncontrollable partying by Obama supporters and driving McCain supporters to desperation and suicide, a guise of chaos that serves as misdirection for the presidential candidates to set off their true plot: an intricately planned jewel heist.
Following the announcement of the 2008 presidential election results, Barack Obama (Trey Parker) and John McCain (Matt Stone) address their supporters on nationwide TV as the South Park townspeople gather to watch. Randy and the other Obama supporters (including the Marshes and Broflovskis, except for Ike, who supported McCain) celebrate drunkenly in the streets, while McCain supporters (including the Stotches, Mr. Garrison and Mr. Mackey) sit despondently inside, fearing that the new, inexperienced president would lead to the end of civilization. Ike attempts suicide by jumping out a first-story window; he survives but appears to be badly injured, so Stan and Kyle try to take him to the hospital. The two boys search through the partying crowd to find anyone who can drive Ike to the hospital, but without success. Randy, believing that Obama's win means he will be financially secure forever, insults and punches his boss (also an Obama supporter) in the face, breaking his nose. Other revelers tip over Officer Barbrady's police car when he tries to restore order.
Stan and Kyle find the Stotches building an "ark" while keeping many of the McCain supporters back since there's no more room. The boys' plea for help leads to a brawl among the adults, so they head for the hospital on foot. The emergency room is packed with patients who have either partied too hard or tried to kill themselves to the point that the hospital nurse (who is alone because one doctor was partying and one hanged himself) can determine what has happened to Ike by simply asking which candidate he supported. Randy is found here as well, trying to still party while singing Barry Manilow's "Mandy" (replacing "Oh, Mandy" with "Obama").
The subplot of the episode is where Obama and McCain turns out to be jewel thief leaders of a heist club known as the "Presidential Crime Syndicate" and staged the entire election so that one of them could gain access to the Oval Office. This was to access a tunnel that would lead to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, where they would steal the Hope Diamond. They were able to accomplish the mission with the help of Michelle Obama, a computer hacker who had also faked her marriage with Obama to fool the press, and Sarah Palin, who is not only secretly English, but actually more intelligent than the episode's original portrayal of her would suggest (she says to a bewildered press corps that she'll come back and beat Obama in 2009, then leaves saying "Oh, my phone's goin' ringy!"). Once the plan was complete, Ike, who had been a member of the heist the entire time, blows up a private jet that contained dummies of the criminals and alters hospital records to declare everyone involved legally dead. The next day, as the gang is at Dulles Airport about to leave the country, Obama decides that he does not want to go with them. Instead, he and his wife decide to stay behind to "give this President thing a shot."
At the end of the episode, the McCain supporters emerge from their "ark" to find that society has not collapsed overnight. They eventually realise that they have overreacted to the election's results and decide to give President Obama a chance (rationalizing that if he is a bad president that they could just vote him out in four years). As for Randy, he wakes up on his couch with a hangover to find that his pants are missing and his TV is gone (Cartman had stolen it, having taken advantage of the chaos to steal TVs from people's houses and was selling them from a cart strapped to his Big Wheel earlier in the episode). Stan then walks in and tells Randy that he has been fired. Not realizing it was for insulting and punching his boss (and saying he did not need the job anymore now that Obama was elected), Randy scowls and exclaims "Goddamnit! Obama said things would be different! That son of a bitch lied to us! I knew I should've voted for McCain!"
According to interviews with Matt Stone and Trey Parker, this was the only version of the episode produced, as a McCain version proved "too daunting a task". The overreaction of supporters of both Obama and McCain informed the episode's content. The episode was completed the morning of the day it was broadcast, with Comedy Central seeing only excerpts of the show beforehand. The heist plot was chosen because it was neutral with respect to who won the election, though the plot depicted Obama winning because the creators felt in the final weeks before the election that Obama would win. The scenes depicting the victory and concession speeches were animated with generic speech filler in the place of lines from the actual speeches and the backdrops behind the candidates that would be added after the real Obama and McCain gave their actual speeches, though Stone expressed amazement at how the filler they wrote matched the content of the actual speeches later heard on Election Night. The animators stated that they used a temporary lip-sync animation because of time constraints. The creators explained that had McCain won, they would've dealt with their own "Dewey Defeats Truman" situation at a later time, perhaps redubbing lines in which characters mention the election results, purposely doing it badly in the style of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Stone also explained some of the rationale behind deciding which characters would be depicted supporting which candidate, though he admitted that some of these choices were arbitrary.
- "South Park Episode Guide - 1212". South Park Studios. Accessed November 2, 2008
- "How South Park Pulled off "About Last Night..."". IGN. Retrieved 2010-01-23.
- Milian, Mark (2008-11-07). "'South Park' creator on his tricky Obama-beats-McCain election episode". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 20 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-17.
- Fickett, Travis (November 7, 2008). "How South Park Pulled off "About Last Night..."". IGN.
- "About Last Night..." Full episode at South Park Studios
- "About Last Night..." Episode guide at South Park Studios
- "About Last Night..." at the Internet Movie Database
- "About Last Night..." at TV.com