Something You Can Do with Your Finger
|"Something You Can Do with Your Finger"|
|South Park episode|
Cartman's dream of the boys as a boy band
|Episode no.||Season 4
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||July 12, 2000|
"Something You Can Do with Your Finger" is the eighth episode of the fourth season of the animated television series South Park, and the 56th episode of the series overall. "Something You Can Do with Your Finger" originally aired in the United States on Comedy Central on July 12, 2000.
In a dream, Cartman sees himself and the rest of the gang becoming the next big boy band to sweep the nation, earning them, or at least him, the admiration of thousands of beautiful women and $10,000,000 (his pursuit of which becomes a running plot line over the following few episodes). Convinced that his dream is a message from God, Cartman corrals Stan, Kyle and Kenny into making a band called "Fingerbang." However, Kyle notes that most boy bands have five members (using New Kids on the Block, the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync as examples). As a result, they hold auditions for a fifth member. They seemed to fail until Wendy showed up and turns out to be the best out of all the auditionees. Stan, Kyle, and Kenny approve of her, but Cartman was stubborn about allowing a girl in a boy band; arguing that everyone will notice that Wendy's a girl due to "her huge freakin' hooters." Outvoted, Cartman admits Wendy into the group as long as she dresses up like a boy.
When asked by Stan what fingerbang means, Cartman interprets the term as referring to the action of pretending one's hand is a firearm. Only Kenny knows the actual definition of the term, but no one believes him. After an argument between Cartman and Kyle on the subject of being "the tough one" of the band, the boys and Wendy attempt to secure a gig at the mall, but must first evade two ornery mall security guards by causing a stampede.
Randy inexplicably throws a fit when he discovers what his son is up to and forbids him to take part in the band. It's eventually revealed that he was part of a boy band called "The Ghetto Avenue Boys" back in the 1980s. Randy dropped out of high school and left his friends and family behind to pursue this fame. Although initially wildly successful, the band was quickly replaced due to its members' getting "too old" to be part of a boy band. Deeply in debt and properly shamed, Randy was forced to sell his possessions and return home with the remainder of his earnings to complete his education.
However, after a heart-to-heart father-to-son conversation, Randy agrees to let Stan play, deciding that his son has to make his own mistakes in order to learn. The two rush to the mall for the gig, where Cartman is desperately stalling for time while they try to find a replacement for Stan. Stan and Randy arrive in the nick of time--just in time, in fact, for Kenny to be crushed by an elevator, reducing their numbers once more to four. Randy gallantly steps in to replace Kenny and perform the song. When one of the few remaining listeners asks for an autograph afterwards, the group realises that, what with all this "fame" that they have acquired, they will never be able to live normal lives. They promptly break up the band.
The mall manager is voiced by Marcus Vaughn, a friend of Trey Parker and Matt Stone who appeared in Parker's film Orgazmo as a "stunt cock". "Fingerbang" was going to be the name of Trey Parker and Matt Stone's band. They admitted they thought this was a good idea for about a day. Somewhere in time, they settled on the pornography-derived name, DVDA. On the DVD episode's commentary, the creators remarked this was the first episode where they really started to use the method of "straight-storytelling." Before this, almost all episodes had A-stories, B-stories, C-stories, etc. that would all come together in the end. In making this episode, the creators say that they learned that an episode can be about just one thing, with the characters' side stories all relating to the main idea.
Wendy's audition song—"Mrs. Landers was a health nut"—is an adaptation of the traditional schoolyard rhyme "Miss Susie had a steamboat". Randy's fit of rage, ending in him head-bashing the glass doors of a china cabinet and shouting "No! Nooo!!" parodies a scene in Star Trek: First Contact, in which Captain Picard, played by Patrick Stewart, acts in a similar manner. Randy's voice even changes from Parker's to a sampling of Stewart's voice from the film.The band's name, Fingerbang, references the band, Badfinger.
- South Park: Season 4 DVD Boxset Episode Commentary
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- "Something You Can Do With Your Finger" Full episode at South Park Studios
- "Something You Can Do With Your Finger" Episode guide at South Park Studios
- "Something You Can Do with Your Finger" at the Internet Movie Database
- "Something You Can Do with Your Finger" at TV.com