Shows that exist on TV for a long time often fall into a rhythm as they get older. But occasionally milestones still happen on long-running shows, and one recently occurred on Comedy Central's long-running series South Park. Last week's episode is now famous for the quick changes the show had to undergo after Hillary Clinton lost the election to Donald Trump. However, we should be talking about another thing that happened during the episode. Comedy Central finally let the show say "fuck" live on the air.
If you've caught an episode of South Park on Hulu or during late late night airings, you may have heard the show drop f-bombs before, but that's certainly not true of the show's initial airings. If you've ever caught or DVR'd the 10 p.m. episode of South Park, it should be relatively f-bomb free, well, at least it traditionally has had bleeped out f-bombs. But South Park chose to go bleep-free during one part of the episode, giving Mr. Garrison the honor of saying "fuck" live on the air, which I guess is fitting for a guy who has been running on a platform of "fucking people to death." During the rest of the episode, the show chose to use the regular format for the curse word. Comedy Central later told THR that was the first time that had happened.
This week's episode had to be changed on the fly. Originally, the episode was supposed to be called "The Very First Gentleman," and would have focused on Bill Clinton. However, after the Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton didn't win the election, the episode was reworked to be called "Oh Jeez" and to focus more on Mr. Garrison.
It's amazing how quickly South Park is able to adapt to real events in the world. Sometimes that pace sounds like a stressful nightmare, but in a way, it's probably what has kept the show innovating and changing for so many years. It's hard to get too formulaic when you're scrambling in just a few short days to put an episode together. There's no playing it safe, and because of that, the show is still breaking new ground and exploring new topics. Over the past few years, that new ground has largely involved telling one cohesive story throughout an entire season. This week, it obviously involved saying the word "fuck" without bleeping it. Not all goals are the same level of lofty.
Here's hoping South Park never changes and Comedy Central lets it continue breaking new ground every so often, even if it involves throwing the normal censorship rules out the window. You can catch new episodes of the beloved comedy on Wednesday nights on Comedy Central at 10 p.m. ET. To find out what will be hitting the schedule at midseason, check out our TV premiere calendar.