With all of this controversy surrounding Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s The Interview, the Trey Parker-directed comedy Team America: World Police has suddenly found its way back into the national conversation. More than the fact that the film is another example of one that goes to extreme lengths to lambast the leader of North Korea (Kim Jong-il at the time), there have also been reports of Paramount Pictures cancelling screenings of the puppet-filled movie that were programmed to replace The Interview. So what better time than now to revisit some of the film’s most shocking, unapologetic moments?
Thinking back on the awesome comedy, we’ve compiled a list of the top eight moments in the film that simultaneously made us laugh and dropped our jaws. Which did we pick? Read on to find out!
Puppet SexWhen screenwriters Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Pam Brady set out to make Team America: World Police, the idea was to satirize all of the ridiculous elements featured at the time in Jerry Bruckheimer-produced blockbusters. This included over-stylized scenes of the lead characters making love – but of course the parody had to take that concept to the next level. As ridiculous and funny as the theatrical version is, however, with the puppets having sex in a whole variety of positions, the unrated version is even more extreme and hilarious, with the reveal that Gary and Lisa are two very kinky people.
Kim Jong-il Sings "I'm So Lonely"Kim Jong-il is illustrated as a power-crazy despot bent on world domination in Team America: World Police, but perhaps more shocking than seeing him organize terrorists is the way that Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Pam Brady exposed the North Korean leader’s soft-underbelly: his loneliness. Obviously the key joke in this song is the fact that Kim has a bit of trouble pronouncing the letter "L," but it is more than a little bizarre that the film actually features a moment where the audience is invited to feel a little bit of sympathy for the tyrant.
So, So Many Celebrity DeathsThere are a number of A-list Hollywood actors who get lambasted for their far left-wing beliefs in Team America: World Police, with the filmmakers mocking the stars for their attempts to be relevant on the political stage – but that apparently just wasn’t enough. Not only are a whole lot of actors killed in the third act of the film, but they go down in horrific ways: being eaten by cats, shot in the head, falling off buildings, bifurcation, decapitation, etc. Fortunately, everyone in the Hollywood community allowed themselves to just laugh it off. Well, almost everyone.
The Cast of Cats RapeTeam America: World Police is filled with a ton of pitch black comedy and rather graphic images, but Chris’ explanation for why he doesn’t trust actors is perhaps the darkest of the dark. Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Pam Brady didn’t go full-bore with it by actually recreating the scene with puppets (thank god), but Chris’ vivid descriptions of the horrific acts of Mr. Mistoffelees are more than enough. It’s more than a little shocking, but it’s to Parker, Stone and Brady’s credit and the insanity of the rest of the movie that it kind of just rolls off of audiences’ backs and doesn’t stop the laughs.
Earning Trust via BlowjobI like that after making the aforementioned puppet sex scene between Gary and Lisa that Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Pam Brady discussed amongst themselves that Team America: World Police simply didn’t have enough exploration of lewd acts with puppets. Hence, we got the scene where Gary re-earns Spottswoode’s trust with a blowjob. We were spared anything too graphic thanks to the fact that the production didn’t use anatomically correct figures, but that in no way diminishes how over-the-top it is. It’s a rather perfect call-back joke that no audience member sees coming, and it only gets better later in the movie when Spottswoode reveals what happened to the rest of the team.
"Arabic"Admittedly, this was a joke that Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Pam Brady borrowed from their work on South Park (much like the "Montage" song), but that really doesn’t do anything to really soften it. While Team America’s version of Korean can be described as simple gibberish, the filmmakers take the Arabic language and boil it down to three words: "Durka" "Mohammad" and "Jihad." This speech is patently meant to mock the language of Middle Eastern terrorists, but it’s still certainly a pretty culturally insensitive maneuver (albeit one that’s still pretty damn funny).
Pussies, Dicks and AssholesIt’s definitely an odd thing to sum up global politics simply through metaphors involving genitalia, but the speech given by Gary to the world leaders at the end of Team America: World Police is really nothing short of brilliant. It’s a shot at three different parties at once - with the right-wing war mongers being the "dicks," Hollywood liberals labeled as the "Pussies" and the leader of North Korea being the representative "Asshole" – and it ultimately actually makes a cogent argument about the relationship between all three. At the same time is manages to be crude, offensive and genius, and that basically sums up everything that the movie is about.
Kim Jong-il Is Actually A Cockroach In DisguiseSeth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s The Interview takes a rather direct approach towards taking down North Korean leaders by simply discussing the idea of assassinating Kim Jong-un, but Team America: World Police took that idea to a much sillier place. It turns out that Kim Jong-il wasn’t actually a human being, but instead an alien cockroach with plans for world domination. It’s honestly hard to say which treatment is worse, as the Team America version is obviously more cartoony, but obviously also a much more outrageous thing to suggest. It’s probably best that we don’t make a competition out of it and just enjoy the fact that it actually exists and laugh.