Night of the Living Homeless
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (June 2011)|
|"Night of the Living Homeless"|
|South Park episode|
|Episode no.||Season 11
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||April 18, 2007|
"Night of the Living Homeless" is episode 1107 (#160) of Comedy Central's South Park. It was first broadcast on April 18, 2007. This episode marks the end of the first half of Season 11, which continued on October 3, 2007. The episode is rated TV-MA. It parodies various zombie movies, in particular George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead (including its remake), Day of the Dead and Land of the Dead, plus Return of the Living Dead (the homeless repeatedly utter "change" instead of "brains"). The episode is also a satire and commentary on how people think of homeless people as less than human.
Homeless people have been showing up in South Park in large numbers. The boys are unable to play basketball, since homeless people are sleeping on the court. Kyle recommends that they do something about it, and Cartman agrees, and announces that he will jump over them on his skateboard, wearing a cape, insisting that it was Kyle's idea. The town council has also taken notice of the problem, and come up with ridiculous, ineffective solutions, such as turning the homeless into tires for their cars or giving them designer sleeping bags and makeovers "so they would at least be pleasant to look at." Park County's expert on homelessness advises that if no-one gives them anything, they will leave.
Kyle feels bad for the homeless, and gives a homeless man twenty dollars he'd been saving for an Xbox game. But the homeless man just asks Kyle for more money after being given the twenty dollars. The number of homeless immediately grows dramatically, and they wander everywhere asking for change in a zombie-like manner. Randy, the Stotches, Jimbo, and Gerald Broflovski wind up stranded on top of the town Community Center, with hordes of homeless below. Gerald attempts to escape to the bus station, throwing his change away to distract the hordes; he then realizes he has no change for the bus, and starts asking around for some. Randy watches and declares "he's become one of them".
The boys, meanwhile, are still seeking a solution. They leave the house and are stopped by one of the Mayor's Assistants who tells them to get in his car and informs them of a homeless expert right before he is killed in a car crash. The boys survive and escape to the sewers and head for the home of the homeless expert. He informs the boys that homeless people actually live on change, almost like food. He tells them that the nearby town of Evergreen had solved a similar homeless problem, and that they should travel there and find out what they did. Once they leave, homeless people try to get into his home, and he shoots himself in the head to "take the easy way out." This fails to work, since he consistently shoots himself nine times in various non-lethal areas of the head and torso (a close parody of the Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson shooting). As the boys travel, more adults escape to the Community Center roof. One of the adults, Glenn, discovers that because of the high amounts of homeless in South Park, property values have plummeted, and his house has been repossessed, making him homeless. He asks the others for "change" to put his belongings in storage. Randy then shoots Glenn's head off with a shotgun.
The boys make it to Evergreen, which has been devastated. There are only three remaining survivors, dressed in camouflage and heavily armed. They are distrustful of the boys and threaten to shoot them, since, being minors, they are not home-owners and are therefore "homeless". They appear ready to shoot the boys until one recognizes Cartman as the "boy who jumped 30 homeless". While talking to the survivors, who have clearly become paranoid, Kyle finds a pamphlet on the ground, which advertises South Park as a "haven for the homeless". He realizes the Evergreen townspeople got rid of their homeless by convincing them to migrate to South Park. The children realize that they must get rid of the homeless because, as Kyle reasons, their parents are as stupid as the people of Evergreen, and South Park would fall apart just like Evergreen did. At that moment, the leader's burned wife arrives, angry of him for burning her because he thought she was one of the "homeless". She then shoots him and one of his companions before being shot herself. The dying companion turns on the other and shoots him to death as he is falling.
The boys heavily reinforce a bus and take it to the Community Center in South Park, where the homeless have gathered below the adults. They advertise California as "super cool to the homeless" by singing a modified version of 2Pac and Dr. Dre's "California Love," and lead them there. Before heading back to South Park, Cartman shows off by jumping his skateboard over three homeless people. The episode ends with Stan saying to Kyle "Honestly, I don't know what you see in this."
Writing on the episode's basic story and jokes began at the show's writer's retreat at Hyatt Grand Champions Resort conference center, in Indian Wells, California during the break between seasons 10 and 11.
The episode was rated 7.5 out of 10.0 on IGN, reviewer Travis Fickett describing the episode as "a take-it-or-leave-it episode". Fickett suggested that the episode was "sustained by mostly non sequitur jokes that work all on their own", singling out the multiple suicide attempts of the homeless advisor and Stan's suggestion that Kyle was responsible for suggesting jumping over the homeless. TV Squad's Adam Finley gave a more positive review, rating the episode as 7 out of 7. Finley noted the parody of zombie films and also singled out the running joke of jumping the homeless on a skateboard.
- Travis Fickett (April 19, 2007). "South Park: "Night of the Living Homeless" Review". tv.ign.com. Retrieved 24 May 2009.
- Adam Finley (18 April 2007). "South Park: Night of the Living Homeless". tvsquad.com. Retrieved 24 May 2009.
- Vanessa Grigoriadis (2007-03-22). "Still Sick, Still Wrong". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 2008-08-10.
- Night of the Living Homeless Full episode at South Park Studios
- Night of the Living Homeless Episode guide at South Park Studios
- "Night of the Living Homeless" at TV.com