The Biggest Douche in the Universe
|"The Biggest Douche in the Universe"|
|South Park episode|
Cartman in the hospital
|Episode no.||Season 6
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||November 27, 2002|
"The Biggest Douche in the Universe" is the 15th episode of the sixth season of the Comedy Central animated series South Park. It was first broadcast on November 27, 2002 and was the last in a mini-arc depicting Cartman being occasionally possessed by Kenny. The episode is centered on Liane Cartman and Chef attempting to exorcise Kenny's soul while Stan deals with trying to debunk self-proclaimed psychic John Edward, whom the entire crew of South Park Studios agreed to be "the biggest douche in the universe." The episode is rated TV-MA in the United States, except on syndicated broadcasts, where the episode is rated TV-14, instead.
Cartman is rushed to the hospital after again being possessed by Kenny, the first occurrence of which was in the episode "A Ladder to Heaven" when he mistook Kenny's ashes for chocolate milk mix. The doctor tells his mother Liane that Cartman is 'running out of time'. Upon hearing of all this, Chef decides to take everyone to the Crossing Over TV Show in New York and have John Edward talk to Kenny from beyond the grave. At the show, Edward merely makes uselessly vague statements about Kenny, and advises Kyle that his grandmother wants him to "look for four white doves".
Disappointed with Edward, Chef takes Cartman to his parents in Scotland and has them perform an exorcism. About to fly back to Colorado, Kyle spots a poster advertising a school called Jewleeard, with four white birds as its logo. Convinced, he rushes off to enroll himself. Stan goes to Edward's house, and offends him by trying to get him to admit that what he does is not real, and calls him a 'douche' and 'the biggest douche in the universe'. Before Stan leaves, he steals some of Edward's books, to learn more about cold reading. In an attempt to persuade Kyle that Edward is a fake, Stan demonstrates cold reading on some passers-by as they stand in the street but backfires when the crowd believes that Stan actually has psychic powers, and he is immediately given his own show. This prompts Edward to challenge Stan to a psychic showdown.
Meanwhile, Chef's parents successfully exorcise Kenny's spirit from Cartman, but since Chef has not brought a "victim child" into which to transfer the spirit, it flies around their house before occupying a pot roast. Cartman returns to his normal self and Chef's parents give him the roast to take back to South Park. Chef's mother then touches Cartman and says "This child is clean!", a reference to the medium in the movie Poltergeist. However, Chef, Cartman, and Liane end up forgetting to claim the pot roast at the baggage claim in the airport.
At the psychic showdown, Stan finally convinces Kyle and much of the audience that, although it may be comforting to think of their deceased relatives talking to them, such a fate isn't a particularly desirable one- especially if it means that they have to talk to Edward. A large spacecraft suddenly crashes through the studio roof. The nomination committee for the annual "Biggest Douche in the Universe" award, made up of several different aliens, comes to take Edward to the award ceremony. Once taken there, Edward wins the prize despite throughout the entire episode yelling "I am not a douche!" — beating out a variety of aliens including one that is literally a giant douche.
Throughout the episode, fictional trailers play for Rob Schneider's latest comedy vehicles, The Stapler, A Carrot, and Da Derp Dee Derp Da Teetley Derpee Derpee Dumb. Near the end of the episode a trailer is shown wherein Schneider finds the abandoned pot roast and eats it, thus allowing Kenny's spirit to possess him. The resulting movie is titled Kenny and shows him living out Kenny's former life; at least until he is shot and impaled on a flag pole.
At the time of this episode's original broadcast, Rob Schneider was about to star in The Hot Chick, and had already starred in The Animal. The running gag is that all of the fictional trailers follow the same basic plot: a man is somehow transformed, whether it be into an animal, a woman, a stapler, or a carrot. This point is furthered in the episode with a trailer clearly showing a plot exactly the same as these, but with almost every word spoken in complete gibberish. The term derp that is used in one of the Rob Schneider trailers (and would later become a popular term on the Internet) was coined when South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone were shooting the movie BASEketball; a derp is "a stupid joke that you could see a mile away," commenting on their criticism of Schneider's movies. Mr. Derp, for example, was the name of Chef's replacement in "The Succubus". Asked about being parodied on South Park, Schneider responded in an About.com interview: "I loved it. That was genius. I thought the only thing, they were too nice to me...When you’re spoofed by the best people in the business, that's an honor."
The episode title, "The Biggest Douche in the Universe," refers to the self-proclaimed psychic John Edward, and was referred to by Penn Jillette in his and Teller's show, Penn & Teller: Bullshit!. Penn and Teller are friends of Trey Parker and Matt Stone and have stated that this is their favorite episode. According to the commentary for this episode, Trey Parker described the creation of the episode as being centered on John Edward who the entire crew of South Park Studios agreed was "the biggest douche in the universe." That was until Matt Stone asked the question "Well, what about Rob Schneider?" leading to the fictional trailers. Parker and Stone credit James Randi with Stan's explanation of cold reading.
- Trey Parker and Matt Stone; The Biggest Douche in the Universe DVD commentary
- "Talking To The Dead". Penn & Teller: Bullshit!. Season 1. Episode 1. January 24, 2003. 23 minutes in. Showtime. "They forget their own misses, or as John Edward, the biggest douche in the universe, does..."
- "Trey Parker & Matt Stone - TAM 5". James Randi Educational Foundation/YouTube. April 26, 2013. Retrieved April 27, 2013.
- The Biggest Douche In The Universe Full episode at South Park Studios
- The Biggest Douche In The Universe Episode guide at South Park Studios