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Comedy Central's South Park can always be counted on to lampoon some of the biggest trends in pop culture, and the fast pace at which episodes are produced means that producers Trey Parker and Matt Stone can poke fun at fads almost as soon as they arise. There's no greater fad at the moment than the Pokemon Go mobile game that allows users to attempt to catch Pokemon in the real world. Pokemon Go seems like it would be perfect for South Park to mock, but Parker has revealed that the show won't be touching the game. Here's what he has to say about South Park and Pokemon Go:
People keep telling us about this Pokemon Go thing and asking if we're going to do something on that, and I'm like 'We did, in 1999.'
Trey Parker commented on Pokemon Go at the South Park panel at San Diego Comic-Con. The reveal that South Park won't be tackling Pokemon Go might come as a disappointment to younger fans. Those of us who still remember the early Pokemon hysteria of the 1990s, and are pretty unfazed by the Pokemon Go craziness, might be okay with Parker's refusal to touch on Pokemon again. The show's original spoof of Pokemon back in Season 3 was so great that South Park might not actually be able to top itself, even with all the new material that has come with Pokemon Go.
The original South Park parody of Pokemon aired back in Season 3 in 1999. The episode was titled "Chinpokomon" and followed the stories of the kids as they became addicted to the Chinpokomon phenomenon. Unbeknownst to them, the Chinpokomon cartoon contained subliminal messages that ranged from encouraging the purchase of merchandise to converting viewers into child soldiers on behalf of the animators. The episode even gave Kenny a seizure after watching a particularly flashy installment of Chinpokomon that was a nod to the real life neurological reactions suffered by some Pokemon viewers. Check out one of the parody commercials of Chinpokomon from Season 3:
Even if South Park did manage to produce an episode nowadays that's funnier than "Chinpokomon" back in 1999, the show might not be able to create something fictional that is more absurd than some of the real life side effects of the Pokemon Go popularity. The game became Apple's most downloaded game ever in only its first week of availability, and there have been multiple arrests of folks who are so entranced by the game that they lose touch with the real world. Some players have strayed into the Holocaust Museum in their attempts to catch 'em all, two kids were almost shot in Florida, and a teen discovered a dead body when she was looking for Pokemon. Even South Park might not be able to out-crazy the current craziness.