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The Top 25 Moments From "South Park"

March 8, 2007 11:19 AM ET

South Park is perhaps the only show in TV history that gets funnier and funnier every single season. Sure, you get the occasional clunker (are we the only ones who hated that Al Gore manbearpig episode?), but the overall quality continues to be astounding. Last season alone the show managed to skewer topics as diverse as Family Guy, smug Hollywood celebrities, Richard Dawkins and Warcraft. What makes all this especially unbelievable is that they throw together an episode in about one week. We're sure this list will generate controversy (looking through it, we admit that the first few seasons aren't very well represented), but here are our picks of the Top 25 funniest moments in South Park history.

MOMENT #25
Christopher Reeve gets superpowers from stem cells (Episode 702): A cartoon Christopher Reeve cracking open a dead human fetus and sucking its spinal fluids was offensive when he was alive. Watching it now that he's dead is absolutely cringe-worthy -- and the best evidence that there's absolutely no line Trey and Matt won't cross for a laugh.



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MOMENT #24: Kyle's dad gains a blowhole.

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MOMENT #24
Kyle's father is turned into a dolphin (Episode 901). Season nine began with the most disgusting scene in the show's history: Mr. Garrison's sex-change operation, represented by an extreme close-up live-action shot of a bull getting castrated. Later in the episode, Kyle goes to the same doctor to get transformed into a tall, black child. His father then fulfills his lifelong dream of being a dolphin. The whole thing is so incredibly stupid that it's hysterical. Next: They wouldn't go after the quadriplegic, would they?



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MOMENT #23: A legend is born.

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MOMENT #23
The shoot-out at the conclusion of Towelie (Episode 508): The character Towelie was born when Trey and Matt attempted to think up the dumbest character with the dumbest catchphrase. The result? A talking towel who always says, "Don't forget to bring a towel!" In his debut appearance, Towelie leads the boys into a confusing battle between aliens, the government and a mysterious corporation. Key line comes via Cartman: "You're the worst character ever, Towelie."



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MOMENT #22: Prog/Pop saves the world.

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MOMENT #22
Cartman addresses Congress about stem cells (Episode 513): After getting tired of finding new ways to kill Kenny in every episode, Trey and Matt decided to kill him for good. Cartman addresses Congress in an attempt to save his friend by convincing them of the merits of stem-cell research. They finally agree after he leads them in a sing-along version of prog supergroup's Asia 1980's classic "Heat of the Moment" -- one of many songs from that era Cartman has an affinity for.



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MOMENT #21: South Park takes on The Simpsons.

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MOMENT #21
The Simpsons-already-did-it ending (Episode 607): Without a doubt, South Park and The Simpsons are the two funniest cartoon shows of all time. In this one, South Park pays homage to its predecessor by admitting that The Simpsons has covered literally every plot imaginable. In the end, all the characters morph into yellow-skinned Springfield residents.



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MOMENT #20: Father Maxi takes a Pitfall in the Vatican.

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MOMENT #20
Father Max talks to the Vatican (Episode 608): Horrified to learn he's the only priest not molesting little boys, Father Max travels to the Vatican to confront the Pope. To save Catholicism, he's forced to travel through the sewers of Rome to find the Holy Document (in a hilarious parody of Pitfall). He then confronts a race of Catholic aliens known as the Gelgamek who say they're forced to molest little boys because "the Gelgamek vagina is three feet wide and filled with razor-sharp teeth."



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MOMENT #19: Cartman feels Christ's love all of over his face.

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MOMENT #19
Cartman talks to Christian music executives (Episode 709): Realizing just how profitable Christian pop rock can be, Cartman forms a group called Faith +1 with Token and Butters. They go on to sell millions. Sample lyric: "I wanna get down on my knees and start pleasing Jesus! I wanna feel his salvation all over my face!"



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MOMENT #18: Jimmy pulls a Barry Bonds.

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MOMENT #18
Jimmy beats up his girlfriend in a 'roid rage (Episode 803): Cartman pretends to be retarded to get into the Special Olympics (before the Johnny Knoxville movie The Ringer used the same plot). Meanwhile, Jimmy takes steroids to stay competitive and beats the shit out of his girlfriend with his crutches in a 'roid rage fit.



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MOMENT #17: Mel Gibson is crazier than Martin Riggs.

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MOMENT #17
The boys meet an insane Mel Gibson (Episode 804): One viewing of Mel Gibson's snuff film The Passion of the Christ transforms Kyle into a born-again Christian. The other boys attempt to find Mel Gibson to demand their money back, only to find out that the actor/director is insane as everybody says he is.



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MOMENT #16: Mr. Jefferson isn't like other boys.

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MOMENT #16
Mr. Jefferson turns into demon from "Thriller" video (Episode 806): Michael Jackson, er, Michael Jefferson moves to South Park and befriends all the children. The boys realize what a horrendous parent he is to his blanket and plan to break it free. Meanwhile, Mr. Jefferson's nose falls off and he proceeds to decay to the point that he looks like one of the zombies from the "Thriller" video.



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MOMENT #15: Butters molests a stupid spoiled whore.

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MOMENT #15
Paris Hilton buys Butters (Episode 812): The girls at South Park all turn into "stupid spoiled whores" trying to emulate their new hero, Paris Hilton, who comes to town to open a new shop. When Paris sees Butters, she attempts to buy him from his parents and turn him into her new pet. In a bizarre parody of a brief moment from The Shining, Butters dresses up like a bear and unknowingly molests a passed out Hilton.



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MOMENT #14: Stan learns what a bloody orgy is.

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MOMENT #14
Woodland Creatures blood orgy (Episode 814): For their 7th Christmas special, Trey and Matt decide to parody John Denver's "Critter Christmas" holiday special. Magical woodland creatures convince Stan to kill a mountain lion who keeps killing the animal pregnant with their savior. Stan realizes to his horror that the creatures are actually Satan worshippers attempting to give birth to the anti-Christ when they brutally kill Rabbitty the Rabbit and proceed to have a "blood orgy" with his corpse.



TALK BACK: Click here to comment on your favorite South Park moments.

MOMENT #13: An obese prostitute helps Jimmy with his growing problem.

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MOMENT #13
Jimmy has sex with a prostitute (Episode 906): Jimmy keeps getting erections at inopportune times. Worried he'll get one at the school talent show, he hits South Park's red light district, where he encounters a disgustingly obese prostitute named Nut Gobbler. After knocking her pimp Q-Money unconscious, Jimmy picks up Nut-Gobbler and carries her into a hotel where she presumably made a man out of him.



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MOMENT #12: Tom Cruise gets really, really pissed off.

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MOMENT #12
Scientology montage (Episode 912): In what turned out to be South Park's most notorious episode, Scientologists conclude that Kyle must be a reincarnation of L. Ron Hubbard. Kyle is given a brief overview of the cult's beliefs via an abridged version of the Scientology creation myth, which features frozen aliens in volcanoes, alien warlord Xenu...the whole she-bang. Throughout, the message "This is what Scientologists actually believe" is periodically flashed on the screen.



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MOMENT #11: A former main character is savagely killed.

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MOMENT #11
Chef dies, gets ravaged by boars (Episode 1001): Chef had gradually become a semi-major figure in the South Park universe when Isaac Hayes (who did the Chef's voice) abruptly quit in the spring of 2006 over the infamous Scientology episode. To give him a proper send-off, Matt and Trey had the Chef (speaking in spliced-together dialogue from previous episodes) join a brainwashing cult. In the end, he falls down a pit and is brutally killed by a mountain lion and a grizzly bear.



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MOMENT #10: South Park skewers the competition.

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MOMENT #10
The Family Guy is revealed to be the work of manatees (Episode 1004): Trey and Matt have never shied away from viciously mocking anything they deem lame, no matter how popular it may be. In a two-part episode too complex to get into here, Cartman finds himself at the Family Guy studios, where he learns the show is written by a giant aquarium full of manatees who mindlessly lob idea balls into holes.



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MOMENT #9: Butters gets an anal probe.

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MOMENT #9
Butters gets anally probed by doctors after seeing a ghost (Episode 906): Kyle and Stan get so mad at Cartman for eating the skin off their KFC chicken that they convince the whole town to pretend that he's dead. Butters take it literally and is so distraught after repeatedly seeing what he believes is a ghost that his parents take him to a psychiatrist. Butter's treatment consists of having his ass probed with a device roughly the size of his whole body.



TALK BACK: Click here to comment on your favorite South Park moments.

MOMENT #8: Miss Chokesondik lives up to her name.

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MOMENT #8
Miss Chokesondik has sex with Mr. Mackie (Episode 507): The school is forced to start teaching Sex Ed in the 4th grade when the boys are found "milking" their dogs. The only problem is that their teacher Miss Chokesondik doesn't know the first thing about it -- at least until she has sex with the school's guidance counselor Mr. Mackie in one of the shows most disgusting scenes ever.



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MOMENT #7: Cartman finally becomes obedient.

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MOMENT #7
The Dog Whisperer tames Cartman (Episode 1007): After Cartman leaves TV's Super Nanny an asylum-bound, human-shit-eating psychopath, Mrs. Cartman calls in the Dog Whisperer to tame her son. By treating him like a disobedient mutt, the Dog Whisperer is finally able to alter his behavior.



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MOMENT #6: Butters discovers his father "wrestling" men in a bath house.

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MOMENT #6
Butters discovers his dad at a gay bath house (Episode 514): Butters was designed to be the complete opposite of Cartman in every way -- naive, sweet-natured and idiotic. When he finds his father has been visiting a gay bath house ("He went to the gym and wrestled with all kinds o' guys. He wasn't too good, though. This one black guy had him pinned down for fifteen minutes straight!"), his mother tries to drown him out of shame.



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MOMENT #5: A pig-tailed Satan almost out-bitches spoiled rich teenagers on MTV.

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MOMENT #5
Satan throws a fit at his Super Sweet 16 party (Episode 1011): Satan's probably the most sensitive character in the South Park universe. In this episode, he decides to throw a humongous, exclusive Halloween party and, in a biting parody of MTV's My Super Sweet Sixteen, throws a complete shit fit when his life-size Ferrari cake arrives in the shape of an Acura.



TALK BACK: Click here to comment on your favorite South Park moments.

MOMENT #4: Two handicapped nine-year-olds beat the living shit out of each other.

Click here to buy South Park on DVD, and for all the latest South Park scoops, check out their home at Comedy Central.

MOMENT #4
The Cripple Fight between Timmy and Jimmy (Episode 503): Wheelchair-bound South Park elementary student Timmy proved to be such a popular character that in the middle of season five, Jimmy (who walks with the help of crutches and has a speech impediment) joined the cast. When Timmy gets jealous of all the attention Jimmy receives, the two get into an epic fight, which is a shot-for-shot parody of the obscure 1988 John Carpenter movie They Live.



TALK BACK: Click here to comment on your favorite South Park moments.

MOMENT #3: Richard Gere never did it, but Mr. Slave certainly did.

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MOMENT #3
Lemiwinks goes into Mr. Slave's ass (Episode 614): Mr. Garrison wants the school the fire him for being gay, so he shoves the class pet gerbil Lemmiwinks up his assistant Mr. Slave's ass in front of all the students. In a bizarre parody of the original Hobbit cartoon movie, Lemminks must make his way from Mr. Slave's anus to his mouth while facing a series of challenges and meeting many enchanted guides.



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MOMENT #2: Cartman gets a handful of Ben Affleck.

Click here to buy South Park on DVD, and for all the latest South Park scoops, check out their home at Comedy Central.

MOMENT #2
Cartman jerks off Ben Affleck (Episode 705): At the peak of J. Lo mania, Cartman convinces the whole town that his hand -- which he uses as a ventriloquist dummy a la Senor Wences -- is Jennifer Lopez. The real J. Lo comes to town with boyfriend Ben Affleck, who promptly falls in love with Cartman's hand. The pair goes on a date and, in a scene unimaginable on a live-action show, hooks up.



TALK BACK: Click here to comment on your favorite South Park moments.

MOMENT #1: Cartman promotes cannibalism, mope-rock

Click here to buy South Park on DVD, and for all the latest South Park scoops, check out their home at Comedy Central.

MOMENT #1
Cartman feeds Scott Tennerman's parents to him, Radiohead mock him (Episode 501): Cartman seeks revenge on an older student by killing both his parents and feeding them to him in a bowl of chile, as Radiohead (voicing themselves) look on and mock the grieving kid. Cartman had always been a sick kid, but this Jeffrey Dahmer-worthy act launched him into a different stratosphere. Trey and Matt both later claimed this was a key moment in the show's evolution.



TALK BACK: Click here to comment on your favorite South Park moments.

Click here to buy South Park on DVD, and for all the latest South Park scoops, check out their home at Comedy Central.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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