|South Park episode|
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||October 10, 2007|
"More Crap" is the ninth episode of the eleventh season of the animated television series South Park, and the 162nd episode of the series overall. It was originally broadcast on Comedy Central in the United States on October 10, 2007. In the episode, Stan's father Randy produces what is apparently "the biggest crap" ever taken, but his claims for the world record are challenged.
"More Crap" is a highly scatological episode of South Park, with the entire plot and many of the jokes revolving around fecal matter in some way. It is one of the very few episodes where Cartman, Kyle and Kenny did not appear. The episode satirizes U2 singer Bono for "seem[ing] like such a piece of crap" despite his talent, achievements and humanitarian work. The plot of "More Crap" satirizes the competitive nature of trying to become the record-holder in a peculiar category. It parodies elements of the 2007 documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, which is about the competition for the biggest high score in the arcade game Donkey Kong.
The episode aired shortly after South Park received an Emmy Award that year for the episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft". A running gag in "More Crap" makes reference to the show's Emmy-winning status, during especially scatological scenes.
Randy is suffering from severe constipation and has been unable to defecate for more than three weeks. After taking a laxative, Randy produces an abnormally large piece of excrement during an extremely painful bowel movement. Believing he has passed the world's biggest stool, he reaches out to the "European Fecal Standards and Measurements" office, headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland. The institute concludes he has the world record, weighing in at 8.6 courics – a fictional measurement unit (approximately 2.5 pounds) named after journalist Katie Couric. As Randy is the first American to ever receive the award, the American government holds a ceremony to honor his achievement. However, it is interrupted by a video of Bono, the previous record holder, claiming he has just taken a crap weighing 9.5 courics, and is therefore still the record holder. His claim is accepted, despite protests that his only proof is an unverified photo.
Randy is saddened by the loss of his record, and his friends convince him to train hard and reclaim the position. After three weeks of eating, an ultrasound reveals his feces have reached about 14 courics in weight. Bono successfully demands Randy be required to pass his stool in Zürich. This prompts Randy's son Stan to visit Bono's mansion and ask him to relinquish the first place record, saying Randy has never won anything in his life, unlike Bono. However, Bono angrily refuses to be "number two" at anything. Bono's butler takes Stan to Zürich and informs him of the truth – Bono set his record in 1960, the year he was born; Bono is not the record holder, he is the record itself.
Everybody is gathered in Zürich, where the institute's leader explains he produced the world's biggest crap in 1960 and was so proud, he raised it as a child. Over time, it grew up into Bono, explaining why Bono can help so many people through his humanitarian work while still seeming "like such a piece of shit." Bono's father says that even though Bono faked his newest record, Bono himself is over 80 courics in weight, and thus is still bigger than Randy's old record or any other feces in the world. At that moment, Randy finally produces a bowel movement so large it lifts him several feet off the toilet seat and is estimated to weigh more than 100 courics. Randy is hailed as the new record holder, as an institute member pulls the "advertisement" Emmy image off the screen and presents it to Randy by lodging it in his feces.
Production and themes
In the emotional elements of its plot, "More Crap" is based on the 2007 documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. The documentary follows Steve Wiebe as he tries to take the world high score for the arcade game Donkey Kong from reigning champion Billy Mitchell. In the documentary, Wiebe beats the record but is suspected that his machine may have been tampered with. To prove his gaming skills, Wiebe performs the high score live, in front of an audience, but then is trumped by a low-quality VHS tape sent in by Mitchell, depicting himself achieving a higher score. Bono's personality in the episode is much like the depiction of Mitchell in the documentary, including how he is allowed to play by different rules than other competitors. South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone spoke highly of the documentary, and called it a "really well-done movie".
South Park has a history of using toilet humor from its earliest days, such as the recurring character Mr. Hankey, a talking piece of feces. While the series gained reputation for its use of political humor as it progressed, scatological humor still remained to be a staple in its later seasons. "More Crap" was named as "perhaps [South Park's] most poo-centric episode of all time". In the episode, women – such as Randy's wife Sharon – are constantly portrayed as not understanding the pride men can feel for the size of their feces. This has been viewed as a conscious sign of the creators' awareness that such toilet humor is more appealing to men. This female–male divide in the appreciation of toilet humor was further satirized in the thirteenth season episode "Eat, Pray, Queef". Randy's love for his growing excrement is portrayed at one point in an analogy of a mother's love for her unborn child. In the scene, Randy's clinician shows him his "unborn" feces via medical ultrasonography, and warns him against travelling by airplane, as he is in his "turd trimester" – a pun on the third period of pregnancy.
"More Crap" was written and directed by Trey Parker, and was produced and broadcast as the second episode of the second run of the show's eleventh season, after the season premiere, "Le Petit Tourette". The episode originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on October 10, 2007, and is rated TV-MA. The episode features regular voice acting from Parker and Stone for most characters (with Parker doing the voice for Randy and Stan), as well as April Stewart and Mona Marshall for female voices. South Park staff writer Kyle McCulloch also provided his voice to the episode as Bono himself.
"More Crap" satirizes Irish singer, musician, and philanthropist Bono, best known for being the main vocalist of the rock band U2. Bono is portrayed as obsessed with being the best at everything and winning awards, and is criticized for not letting others claim success over him. Stan makes remarks about Bono's wealth and knighthood, as well as his highly successful band, and his "hot wife", Alison Hewson. The episode also shows Bono in Africa at one point, and makes reference to his numerous accolades, including his 22 Grammy Awards, and his nominations for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and the Nobel Peace Prize. In a joke, Bono is revealed to have first-place trophies in much smaller scale categories as well, such as "most Sports Illustrated subscriptions sold". In the episode, people claim that Bono is both "talented" and "caring", being "able to do so much, try to help so many people", but, despite all of this, he "seem[s] like such a piece of crap". As the plot progresses, this problem is explained when the comparison between Bono and feces moves from metaphorical to literal, as he is revealed to be an actual piece of excrement raised as a human. As such, Bono's obsession with being number one is his way of compensating for being born "number two" – a euphemism for feces.
Near the end of the episode, when Bono is breastfed by his father, they both refer to the breast milk as "bitty". This is an allusion to the British character-based comedy sketch show Little Britain, in which the character Harvey constantly insists on receiving "bitty" from his mother's breast, despite being an adult.
"More Crap" aired about a month after South Park received a Creative Arts Emmy Award for "Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour)" that year, at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards for the episode "Make Love Not Warcraft". The show makes fun of having won the award, by way of a running gag in "More Crap". Several times during the episode – such as when Randy is looking at the excrement inside of him through an ultrasound image – a caption appears on-screen, with a spinning Emmy Award along with the text "Emmy Award Winning Series".
TV Squad gave the episode a highly positive review, stating that "it's low taste but it's South Park low taste, which makes it funny", and said that the creators are "still on a roll. Possibly a toilet paper roll." IGN had mixed feelings about the episode, calling it "amusing, but not terribly so", and "both bizarre and pretty damn funny". The site gave the episode a rating of 7.4 out of 10.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone both professed their love of the episode, but said that it is a polarizing one for the audience, claiming that if a viewer is not on board with the episode's toilet humor, then the whole episode breaks down for them. The creators claimed that young people and women reacted poorly to the episode. Parker said that his father, who is the basis for Randy's character, was very thrilled by the episode.
The crew of The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters was flattered by the episode's plot being based on their documentary. Director Seth Gordon said that they "considered it such a flattering compliment that [the writers of South Park] would even consider borrowing the structure of King of Kong for one of their episodes." He added that he didn't think the episode was fair to Bono. The film's producer, Ed Cunningham, is a fan of South Park, and said that "hear[ing] about South Park that they actually spoofed the whole movie just blew [him] away." The makers eventually got in touch with the South Park studios.
P. F. Chang's China Bistro spokesperson Laura Cherry responded positively to the episode, and added that the restaurant chain's name has been used several times in the series. A Comedy Central spokeswoman said that the show's creators love the restaurant's food, and "have no bad experiences with P.F. Chang's to report".
After the episode, a fan-created website for the fictional European Fecal Standards and Measurements Institute appeared on the Internet. It is presented as the official website of the institute, with distinct pages describing its work and organization structure. In accord with the episode, the site names Randy Marsh as the current record-holder, but it also claims that the record's previous holder was President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, who "is still considered one of the most prolific faecal producers." Van Rompuy was not referenced in the South Park episode.
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