The Passion of the Jew
|"The Passion of the Jew"|
|South Park episode|
Kyle watches The Passion of the Christ
|Episode no.||Season 8
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||March 31, 2004|
|List of South Park episodes|
"The Passion of the Jew" is episode 114 of the Comedy Central series South Park and was originally broadcast on March 31, 2004. The episode (and its title) is a satire of the movie The Passion of the Christ, which was released in 2004.
The episode begins with the boys playing Star Trek in Cartman's mother's new minivan. They go on an away mission, with Cartman, as usual, giving Kyle a hard time about being a Jew, in this case a "Vulcan Jew". Cartman informs him that in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, Jews are stated to be evil, and dares Kyle to see it. Kyle goes to the film and is horrified by how Jesus is tortured. He admits that Cartman was right, and an overjoyed Cartman prays to a poster of Gibson, vowing he will dedicate his life to following Gibson's "teachings" and spreading his word. Kyle becomes paranoid after a terrifying dream of killing Jesus.
Stan and Kenny decide that they too must see the film, but they hate it and declare it a "snuff film". They demand their money back from the theater, but the theater refuses, stating that the boys have already watched the movie after paying for it and that they have to take their complaints to Gibson. Knowing that, Stan and Kenny decide to meet up with Gibson get their money from him. They contact the president of the Mel Gibson Fan Club, revealed to be Cartman, who yells at them for hating the film. Cartman slips and tells them that Gibson lives in Malibu, and Stan and Kenny decide to go find Gibson's home. Meanwhile, Cartman dresses in a brown Hitler-esque uniform and prepares himself for the fan-club meeting being held in his backyard, where the fan-club members have gathered to celebrate their rediscovery of Christianity. Cartman suggests that those in attendance each take one more person to see The Passion before they begin "the cleansing", and the fan-club members, naive to what Cartman is truly suggesting, agree with him.
Stan and Kenny hitchhike to Gibson's Malibu mansion, where Gibson refuses to refund their money. When they press him to pay them, Gibson prompts them to torture him, stripping to his underwear and chasing them around the mansion, shooting at them with a pistol. The two take their money and eventually board a bus back to South Park, but Gibson chases after them in the tanker truck from Mad Max 2 while screaming "Qapla'!" and wearing face paint from Braveheart. Back in South Park, Kyle talks to Father Maxi about Jesus and how he can deal with his guilt about the crucifixion. Father Maxi points out that the Passion was originally a play used to stir up antisemitism, but suggests that its subject matter can help viewers feel the force of the "atonement" of Jesus. In a rally outside the South Park theater at which The Passion is being shown, Cartman yells antisemitic German at his followers, who mistake it for Aramaic. The members agree to take to the streets, and begin marching after Cartman, who is goose-stepping and chanting in German "Es ist Zeit für Rache" and "Wir müssen die Juden ausrotten", which mean "It is time for revenge" and "We must exterminate the Jews".
Kyle goes to his synagogue and suggests that the Jewish community apologize for the Crucifixion. The other Jews are outraged, expressing their concern that the film is provoking antisemitism. The rabbi tries to calm them, telling them that "we live in a rational community, and everyone knows this is just a movie". No sooner has he said this, however, than Cartman and his followers pass the building, chanting again in German.
That night the Jewish congregation goes to the theater and demands they stop showing the movie, when Cartman and his followers arrive. Their argument about the film is interrupted by the arrival of the truck chase. Gibson's truck crashes and explodes in front of the theater, but Gibson emerges unscathed. Cartman rushes over to kneel before him, and Kyle and the fan-club members are shocked at Gibson's behavior, as he again prompts them to torture him. Stan makes a speech that Christians should follow the teachings of Jesus and not focus on the way he died, and the fan-club members agree and disperse, much to Cartman's dismay. Kyle feels better about being Jewish after hearing Stan's speech and seeing what Gibson is really like, and Gibson himself defecates on Cartman's face and runs off whooping in the tradition of Daffy Duck.
The New York Times' Virginia Heffernan praised the episode, writing "Depending on whom you asked, that episode, 'The Passion of the Jew,' proved that the show's still got it or that it's made a comeback or that it's better than ever. In any case, it was good." It was also praised by the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish newspaper The Forward, which called it "perhaps the most biting critique of 'The Passion' to date."
Besides appearing on the South Park complete eighth season DVD set, "Passion of the Jew" is also available as a standalone DVD release (which was released on DVD the same day that the DVD of the Passion of the Christ was released) with two bonus episodes: season six's "Red Hot Catholic Love" and season seven's "Christian Rock Hard".
- Virginia Heffernan (April 28, 2004). "Critic's Notebook; What? Morals in 'South Park'?". New York Times.
- Max Gross. ‘The Passion of the Christ’ Fuels Antisemitism — on ‘South Park’ "‘The Passion of the Christ’ Fuels Antisemitism — on ‘South Park’". Forward.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Passion of the Jew|
- The Passion of the Jew Full episode at South Park Studios
- The Passion of the Jew Episode guide at South Park Studios
- "The Passion of the Jew" at TV.com