Super Fun Time
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (February 2009)|
|"Super Fun Time""|
|South Park episode|
Stan "in character", playing along with the villagers
|Episode no.||Season 12
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||April 23, 2008|
"Super Fun Time" is the seventh episode of the twelfth season of the animated television series South Park, and the 174th episode of the series overall. It originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on April 23, 2008. In the episode, Cartman and Butters narrowly escape a horrific hostage situation at South Park's Pioneer Village, where historical reenactors take their jobs very seriously.
The episode was written and directed by South Park co-creator Trey Parker and is rated TV-MA LV, the fourth episode of the series to do so. During pre-production, the episode was under an working alternate title "The Living Museum" until it was changed later on. The show's plot was largely influenced by the film Die Hard.
Mr. Garrison takes his fourth grade class on an educational field trip to Pioneer Village, a 19th-century themed living history museum, where dedicated actors perform as if really from 1864 and never break character. Garrison tells the students to move in pairs and hold hands. Since nobody wants to be partners with him, Cartman is forced to take Butters as his partner and Garrison tells Butters not to let go of Cartman's hand until they are both back on the bus.
Suddenly, a group of trigger-happy thieves led by a man called Franz have robbed a Burger King and fled to Pioneer Village, taking everyone hostage. Stan, Wendy, Jimmy and Kyle flee with two townspeople to an office where Kyle calls the police. The thieves find a locked mine shaft door in the back of the park. They start to interrogate the workers to find the code to the lock, but none of them will break character, not even to save their own lives. An actor called "Pioneer Paul" even shoots one of the townsfolk for breaking character in an attempt to save his own life.
Meanwhile, Cartman and Butters go to an amusement arcade called "Super Phun Thyme", and Butters will not let go of Cartman's hand, which leads to Butters sullenly being dragged around as Cartman plays games and rides. As they return to Pioneer Village and see the entrance surrounded by police, Cartman and Butters believe the police are there because someone has noticed they left the Village. They therefore decide to sneak back in and claim they were there all along to avoid getting into trouble.
By then, seeing that interrogating the actors is not going to work, Franz threatens to kill the kids instead, starting with Kenny, but the workers still refuse to break character. Stan then decides to portray a character from the time period and manages to give the workers an in-character way to divulge the door code, 1864.
Cartman and Butters jump the fence into the village, where one of the thieves sees and attacks them. In an attempt to capture the two he tries to make them put their hands on their heads, but a very dedicated Butters simply will not let go. When the bandit threatens to shoot their hands off, Butters uses Cartman as a weapon, boldly flinging him at the robber, and running away. In their attempt to flee, the two boys are knocked out by a grenade. The confusion causes most of the robbers to investigate, leaving only the leader guarding the hostages. When his back is turned, Stan points to him and tells the village "criminal", Murderin' Murphy, that "he done killed yer pa", giving him an in-character reason to attack him. With the leader temporarily occupied, the police raid the camp, killing the robbers and catching the leader.
Finally a bell rings, signaling the end of the work day, and all of the village workers break character, revealing to everyone an efficient evacuation route through the stables. As Franz is being arrested, he gives a speech about the things he has learned from Pioneer Village, that people in 1864 did not have the conveniences that people in modern times take for granted. The episode ends as Butters drags a still unconscious Cartman all the way back into the school bus, letting go of his hand and firmly stating, "Teacher, my partner is back on the bus", before passing out from exhaustion.
The episode received a mixed response. Travis Fickett of IGN rated the episode an 8/10, stating "A lot was in play here, and it's a well executed episode. They play on our expectation that Kenny would die, Mr. Garrison's cowardice, Cartman's troublemaking and Butters' steadfast compliance with the rules. There's a lot of fun stuff here, and it's a cool way to wrap up the 'half season' before we get new episodes in the fall".
However, Josh Modell of The A.V. Club graded the episode a C+, stating "It was okay. Not great, not horrible. Funny, but not hilarious. There was a noticeable lack of proselytizing, which can be a good or a bad thing".
- "Episode 1207 Press Release". South Park Studios. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-04-22. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
- "Summer Does Not Suck". South Park Studios. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-04-22. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
- "Welcome to the FAQ archives! July 2008". South Park Studios. 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-17.
- Fickett, Travis (2008-04-24). "South Park: "Super Fun Time" Review". IGN. Retrieved 2011-10-08.
- Modell, Josh (2008-04-23). "Super Fun Time". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2011-10-08.
- "Super Fun Time" Full episode at South Park Studios
- "Super Fun Time" Episode guide at South Park Studios
- "Super Fun Time" at the Internet Movie Database
- "Super Fun Time" at TV.com