South Park has always pulled off the gloves when it comes to taking on those that creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone see as the biggest targets. and one wouldn't be considered foolish for thinking Season 20 would continue to use the upcoming election as fodder for some effectively piercing political satire. But while Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (or a ideals-sharing facsimile) both showed up in Season 19, it sounds like Parker and Stone are going to put their attention elsewhere next season.
In this election, Garrison is our character. He's running for president, that seems like probably where we'll stay.
Disappointed to learn that South Park isn't going to attempt to reflect the funhouse that is currently the U.S. Presidential race? In any other election, that might have been more of an issue, but both of these main candidates have already had really memorable appearances on South Park. In the 2007 episode "The Snuke," Clinton is at a campaign rally when a bomb-sniffing pig discovers there's a bomb in her vagina, something that's sorta cleared up later.
And then last year, the episode "Where My Country Gone?" introduced a wall-building, toupee-wearing president of Canada that had more than a striking resemblance to Trump. By the end of the episode, Mr. Garrison had raped and murdered the Trump stand-in, soon adopting the same polarizing policies. In fact, Parker and Stone told everyone at their Paley Fest panel (via The Daily Beast) that Mr. Garrison will likely serve as the show's thinly veiled way of bringing in Trump's campaign highlights. Here's what they said about the decision to use Garrison as a shill like this.
Parker: [We] didn't really want to service Trump as a character.
Stone: We were like, fuck him, we don't want to give him the satisfaction.
No mincing of the words there. In any case, it was made pretty clear that even though the show is taking on an election this season, the point isn't to fall into political satire, as Stone would see that as sacrilegious against keeping South Park at the center of their attention. I stand by that 100%, since Comedy Central already has politics-skewing programming. South Park has always been great about tackling issues without necessarily invoking government bodies, so Season 20 sticking to those guns will be a great thing. (Those are metaphorical guns, Officer Barbrady.)
South Park will return to Comedy Central for Season 20 thankfully ahead of the election on Wednesday, September 14, at 10 p.m. ET. And don't forget about the video game Fractured But Whole that will hit stores on Tuesday, December 6.) To see when everything else is coming to the small screen, check out our fall premiere schedule.