Go Fund Yourself

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"Go Fund Yourself"
South Park episode
Episode no. Season 18
Episode 1
Directed by Trey Parker
Written by Trey Parker
Production code 1801
Original air date September 24, 2014 (2014-09-24)
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South Park (season 18)
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"Go Fund Yourself" is the first episode in the eighteenth season of the American animated television series South Park. The 248th episode of the series overall, it was written and directed by series co-creator Trey Parker. The episode premiered on Comedy Central in the United States on September 24, 2014. The boys from South Park decide to create a startup company funded through Kickstarter so that they never have to work again. In the process of deciding on a name, they realize that the Washington Redskins football team has lost its trademark[1] to the name due to it being considered offensive to Native Americans, so they decide to use that name for their company. The new company receives enough money for the boys running it to live luxuriously without doing any work, until the football team destroys Kickstarter's servers during a raid, meaning the boys are unable to access their startup company page and receive their money.

The episode received positive reviews from critics.

Plot[edit]

Stan, Kyle, Cartman, Kenny, and Butters decide to leave school and get rich quick by creating a start-up company through crowdfunding website Kickstarter. Because of the vogue for crowdfunding, they have a hard time getting an original name that is not already taken. When Cartman finds out that the Washington Redskins football team has lost the trademark to their team name, he suggests using it for their company. This angers Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, who confronts Cartman for using their name. Failing to convince Cartman to change his company name, Snyder and his football team try to disassociate themselves with the company as it gains popularity for its do-nothing policy. With ISIS also supporting them, Kyle and Stan leave to form their own start-up company, which Stan eventually also quits.

During that time, Snyder becomes increasingly frustrated by the company, and manages to convince the other NFL owners to use their connection to have Cartman change his company's logo. However, Cartman only responds to the demand by adding hand-drawn breasts, testicles and a penis to the Redskins logo. This leads to Snyder and his team breaking into Kickstarter headquarters at night and burning it to the ground. However, Cartman, Kyle, and Stan reconcile after losing the money they earned from their Kickstarter projects, and refurbish their company into a replacement for Kickstarter to make money off their clients. Everything goes well for the boys until the Redskins' game against the Dallas Cowboys when Snyder himself is forced to play in place of his disillusioned team and is severely injured in the process. Taking pity on the team owner, the townspeople form a mob against the boys' company (including ISIS), threatening to boycott them unless the boys change the name. Rather than change their company name, the boys instead decide to close it down and go back to school.

Production[edit]

Snyder smiling
Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is mocked in the episode for his stance on maintaining his franchise's team name.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone had an idea to spoof the Washington Redskins name controversy, and decided to go ahead and make an episode about it, thinking that the controversy would be "the big issue" in the National Football League that season. Several scenes were complete and it was decided that this would be the first episode of the season. However, around a week before air, the Ray Rice domestic violence incident happened. Parker and Stone felt that this complicated matters; they felt the Redskins controversy wasn't the big story anymore and if they aired the episode as is, people would wonder why they didn't spoof Ray Rice in an episode about the NFL. As a result, much of the episode was modified trying to find a way to fit this story in. Eventually, Parker and Stone settled on referencing the Rice incident rather than making it a major theme, and finishing the episode how they originally intended, focusing on the Redskins and Kickstarter.[2]

The episode was originally titled "Piling on", alluding to the fact that "everyone was talking about" the NFL and a South Park episode about it would be "piling it on".[2]

Parker originally drew the penis and breasts on a Redskins logo on a whiteboard in the writers room for fun. Everybody thought it was genius and it provided inspiration to finish the episode.[2]

The scene in which the Redskins owner sheds a tear while looking towards the camera is a parody of the famous 1970s commercial "Keep America Beautiful", which features "The Crying Indian". To make the owner's head turn towards the camera in a way that mimics the ad campaign, the animators needed to build a series of special head poses.[3]

Promotion[edit]

To promote the episode, Comedy Central purchased commercial time on Fox owned-and-operated station WTTG in Washington, D.C. while it aired the Redskins' game against the Philadelphia Eagles on September 21, 2014.[4] The teaser features Snyder, head coach Jay Gruden and quarterback Robert Griffin III confronting Cartman about using the Washington Redskins name. However, it is Kirk Cousins who appears in the actual episode to reflect the fact he had replaced Griffin on the field while the latter recovered from an ankle injury.[5]

Reception[edit]

The episode received a B− rating from The A.V. Club's Eric Thurm. Thurm praised the episode's parody of recent controversy in the NFL, but also criticized its startup satire for "happening at the basest level possible".[6] IGN's Max Nicholson gave the episode a score of 8 out of 10 and called it "an enjoyable half-hour of TV", particularly commending the prevalent cultural references.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Proceeding Number 92046185: Amanda Blackhorse, Marcus Briggs-Cloud, Philip Gover, Jillian Pappan, and Courtney Tsotigh v. Pro-Football, Inc.". United States Patent and Trademark Office. June 18, 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  2. ^ a b c Parker, Trey; Stone, Matt (September 24 – December 10, 2014). "Gluten Free Ebola". South Park: Season 18. South Park. Comedy Central. 
  3. ^ "Fan Question: Was that scene with Dan Snyder crying a parody of something?". South Park Studios (October 3, 2014). Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  4. ^ Jue, Teresa (September 22, 2014). "South Park Criticizes Washington Redskins Owner with Scathing Promo". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. 
  5. ^ "South Park 'Benches' RG3 for Kirk Cousins, Takes Down NFL in Season Debut (Video)". New England Sports Network. September 25, 2014. 
  6. ^ Thurm, Eric (September 24, 2014). "South Park: "Go Fund Yourself"". The A.V. Club. The Onion, Inc. 
  7. ^ Nicholson, Max (September 24, 2014). "South Park: "Go Fund Yourself" Review". IGN. 

External links[edit]