Cartoon Wars Part I
|"Cartoon Wars Part I"|
|South Park episode|
|Episode no.||Season 10
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||April 5, 2006|
"Cartoon Wars Part I" is the third episode of the tenth season of the American animated television series South Park, and the 142nd episode of the series overall. It first aired on Comedy Central in the United States on April 5, 2006. It is part one of a two-episode story, which concludes with "Cartoon Wars Part II". In the episode, it is announced that a Family Guy episode will air with the Muslim prophet Muhammad as a character, leaving the whole of the United States fearing for their lives. Cartman apparently believes that the episode is offensive to Muslims and decides to go to Hollywood to try to get the episode pulled.
The townspeople of South Park are in a panic late one night when they discover that a cartoon is going to show an episode featuring Muhammad as a character. Everyone hides in the Community Center for fear of an Islamic terrorist attack and Randy announces that the cartoon is Family Guy. The next morning, everyone is thrilled to find out that there was no attack. Jimbo hears on the radio that Fox censored out the image of Muhammad at the last minute and tells everyone, much to their delight.
Kyle, who likes Family Guy, tells Cartman, Stan and Kenny that he TiVos every episode of the show and the four boys go to Kyle's house to watch the Muhammad episode. After watching it, Kyle finds no problem and thinks the censorship is wrong, but Gerald wrecks the TV with a baseball bat, and then his mother Sheila tells him that he and his friends need "Muslim-sensitivity training", in which Mrs. Garrison teaches the class a lesson about why the Muslims are angry, saying it is because they live in sand and are not allowed to jack off or have pre-marital sex. Cartman, uncharacteristically, exclaims that this is "ignorant and racist", leaving the rest of the class shell-shocked.
It is later announced that the Family Guy episode was just part one of a two-parter, and that part two will air the following week—without censorship. Cartman believes that this is insulting to Muslims, declaring that Fox was right to censor Muhammad. Kyle thinks that he is faking, but, when Cartman gives an impassioned speech about keeping people from getting hurt, Kyle is guilt-ridden and believes him. Kyle agrees to go with Cartman to Hollywood to get the Family Guy episode pulled after being convinced by a disturbing nightmare about Ike getting killed by a terrorist bomb that destroys the town and himself (referencing Sarah Connor's nightmare in Terminator 2: Judgment Day).
The people of South Park, meanwhile, decide to literally bury their heads in the sand, so as to show Islamists that they have no part in the insult. On the way to Hollywood, Kyle discovers something shocking: in his rambling, Cartman accidentally reveals that he only wants to get Family Guy canceled, does not care about the Muslims, and is only using them as a means to get the episode pulled, thus setting off a chain of events which will cause other episodes to get pulled until Family Guy is taken off the air altogether, endeavoring to use fear to destroy Freedom of speech. Cartman reveals that people always assume that he loves Family Guy, when in fact he hates it since he believes it employs jokes without a point or relation to the main plot. Kyle tells Cartman that it is not right to have Family Guy taken completely off the air, even though he agrees on the content of the Muhammad-depicting show.
Knowing that Kyle will not be helping him now, Cartman decides to go at it alone, but Kyle insists he will not let that happen. The two start racing one another on their Big Wheels to Hollywood in order to decide the fate of the show. In an exaggeratedly dramatic (because Big Wheels move slowly) car chase, a police car loses control and Kyle rides his Big Wheel over a ledge after various objects are thrown at it by Cartman, jumping off it seconds before it falls down a steep hill and explodes. Cartman laughs manically and bids his friend farewell: "So long, Kyle!" Kyle angrily yells back at him, "You son of a bitch! I won't let you win!! You hear me?!". Cartman, riding into the distance, emphatically replies, "Suck my balls, Kyle!".
U.S. President George W. Bush meets with the Fox executives. Bush and the Fox president call each other "Mr. President" back and forth. The Fox president says that there is something secret about the Family Guy writers that Bush needs to know. At this point, it is revealed this is a two-part episode and that the conclusion will be given in the next episode. According to the ending and the "Next Week on South Park" segment, President Bush and Cartman will learn a horrible secret about the Family Guy writers that supposedly "explains everything", while the entire nation buries its head in sand. The "Next Week on South Park" segment hints that Cartman and Kyle are finally going to have a fight, at last venting years of hatred against each other.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone have clarified their opinions on Family Guy on the DVD audio commentary, Parker stated "we totally understand that people love it, that's why we put it in the show, we understand that it speaks to some people and it can just be a simple laugh and that's great and we certainly don't think it should be taken off the air or anything like that, we just don't respect it in terms of writing", later referring to the writers behind the show as "smart" but emphatically criticizing their overuse of "gag-humor".
Events somewhat similar to the ones depicted in the Cartoon Wars episodes occurred four years later. In 2010, South Park released episode "201" which contained a depiction of Prophet Muhammad. Fearing a backlash, Comedy Central censored all images of and references to Prophet Mohammad before broadcast.
- Parker, Trey, and Stone, Matt. Audio commentary. South Park The Complete Tenth Season. Dir. Parker, Stone. DVD. Paramount Home Video/Comedy Central, 2007, 1:07, "We can tell that Family Guy writers are intelligent, but we have no respect for them because they tend to overuse 'gag-humor'"
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