South Park has spoofed Stephen King on several occasions, with references to IT and The Shining intermingled with The Stand and Pet Sematary nods over the years.
Over the show’s 25 seasons, South Park referred to the work of Stephen King repeatedly, showing an enduring affection for the horror icon’s work. Since its creation, South Park has never been afraid to parody various subjects. No subject is safe from ridicule in saucy animated adult comedy, as proven South Park Season 25 parodies of everything from gentrification to St. Patrick’s Day.
In particular, movie parodies have always been a reliable source for South Parkis an anarchic comedy. Over the years, By southka spoofed all sorts of famous films, though the works of horror author Stephen King seem to be of particular interest to the writers of the series. South Park has parodied King’s writing at least half a dozen times, parodies on the show ranging from throwaway references to entire episodes skipped to comically recreating the author’s stories.
South ParkThe first parody of Stephen King dates back to the first season of the series, which made fun of Stephen King Pet sematary. Since, South Park usurped Corn Children, The stall, Thisand the brilliant, as well as bring back their Pet sematary usurp on more than one occasion. South ParkThe preoccupation with parodying King is likely rooted in the fact that the author’s works are dark horror stories that lend themselves to animated parodies. It’s easy for South Park to re-contextualize serious elements of King’s stories for comedy, whether it’s turning the gruesome killer clown Pennywise into an attention-grabbing parody of Donald Trump or redirecting The stall‘s Saccharine Mother Abigail in the famous face of a brand of sweet confectionery.
It/It: Chapter 2: “Splatty Tomato”, “Post-Covid: The Return of Covid”
“Splatty Tomato” (Season 21, Episode 10) portrays President Garrison as a Pennywise-esque figure, as well as the spoofing of Stranger Things and misguided ’80s nostalgia in general. Much like Pennywise, President Garrison appears to the children of South Park in threatening visions. Yet unlike Pennywise, these appearances see him desperately inquiring about his approval rating, poking fun at former President Trump’s apparent insecurity regarding his popularity with the public. The episode also parodies It’s by Stephen King via film nostalgia for 80s pop culture, with the kids of South Park listening to a compilation of 80s hits and not seeing the appeal of the decade’s horniest pop songs. However, that was not the last time South Park parody This. 2021’s “Post-Covid: The Return of Covid” also features some subtle nods to Stephen King’s bestseller: like Jimmy becoming a successful stand-up comedian who overcame his Richie Tozier-esque stutter in It: Chapter 2 (which, oddly enough, was played by the former South Park contributor Bill Hader).
Children of the Corn – “The Wacky Adventure of Molestation”
A part of South ParkStephen King’s winks are eye-popping gags for the writer’s superfans, but South Park Season 4, Episode 16, “The Wacky Molestation Adventure,” is almost entirely about impersonating a specific King adaptation. The episode’s plot is essentially a largely forgotten recreation of 1984. Corn Children, with a pair of adults accidentally entering the titular town and finding the place empty except for the tribes of feral children. The only major change, as the title of the episode suggests, is the fact that the children of South Park got rid of their parents by accusing them of “molesting” rather than killing them like the mortal offspring of Corn ChildrenThe film adaptation full of intrigue. Other than that, the episode is a direct homage, right down to Cartman’s quote, “Foreign ! we have your wifeFortunately for the children of South Parkhowever, their parents returned safely before the episode ended.
Pet Sematary – “Marjorine”, “Asspen”, “Spookyfish” (and more)
“Marjorine” is an absurd South Park episode in which Butters poses as the eponymous new girl to find out if the girls in her class have invented a device that can predict the future. This plan involves him faking his death, thus prompting a subplot where a taciturn farmer shows the distraught child’s parents how to revive him via a cursed graveyard. It’s a beat-for-beat parody of Jud Crandall’s character’s subplot in Pet sematary, except that the child in question from Stephen King’s original story is really dead. This isn’t the first time the Judd Crandall parody has appeared in South Park, Is. This same parody of King can be found in episodes like “Asspen,” which spoofs inspirational ’80s teen movies, and “Spookyfish,” which takes the haunted graveyard horror cliche more broadly.
The Booth—”Gluten-Free Ebola”
‘Gluten-Free Ebola’ Sees Cartman, Appalled at an Increasingly Gluten-Free World, Having Prophetic Dreams Like Those Who Guide The stallStu’s hero to Mother Abigail. Of course, since it is South Park and the dreams belong to Cartman, instead he is advised by syrup mascot Aunt Jemima. Although The stall received a 2020 miniseries, it’s one of the more obscure Stephen King nods featured on the show. Due to the book’s large page count and sprawling story, The stall has only been made on screen as miniseries and never as a movie, meaning the popular novel has never gained as much influence on pop culture as the likes of the brilliant, Pet semataryand This.
The Shining – “Nightmare on FaceTime”
South ParkThe 2012 Halloween special of “Nightmare On FaceTime” is a long parody of the brilliant, arguably King’s most famous film adaptation to date. Although South Parkthe parody of is not as faithful to the film as The simpsons“”Treehouse of Horror” segment parodying Stanley Kubrick’s the brilliant, “Nightmare On Face Time” still taps a lot of comedic potential from Randy Marsh buying a Blockbuster video franchise just as the era of DVD rentals was coming to an end and the company was going bankrupt. This causes Randy to slowly lose his sanity as promised customers fail to materialize, and the isolation drives him to heinous acts though he could leave the store at any time. Randy’s Jack Torrance-esque death at the end of “Nightmare On Facetime” might be the most explicit nod to Stephen Kingis back catalog which South Park has ever done, but it’s far from the only reference to the horror legend in the series.
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