Can you believe it's been 20 years since 'South Park' first aired? I know, I can't get over it either.
The adult animated sitcom was created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and it centres around four little kids - Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, and Kenny McCormick.
On paper, it could be an innocent kids' TV show. Like Ed, Edd and Eddy, perhaps. But no. Parker and Stone created the most controversial cartoon ever. They've been criticised countless times, but the pair refer to themselves as 'equal opportunity offenders'.
As we approach their 20th anniversary (South Park was first aired in August 1997), the makers have released this adorable advert for the upcoming 20th season, which is due to air this September.
As you can see in the video, they allude to quite a few of their more 'close to the line' episodes. But which ones were the most controversial?
Let's take a look...
This episode focuses on Mr Garrison running as a presidential candidate. However, it's clear that the creators intended his character to be a parody of Donald Trump.
When asked how Mr Garrison would 'deal with' America's immigration 'problem', he responds: "Yes. Fuck them all to death, let's make this country great again."
The reporter asks: "When you say 'fuck them all to death', what are you actually suggesting be done?"
Mr Garrison says: "I'm suggesting we round them all up, pull down their pants, and fuck them until their spirits leave their bodies."
Later in the episode, an orange-faced Mr Garrison is being confronted about his lack of clear polices. The reporter says: "In your campaign, you said that you would deal with our country's immigrants and enemies by personally fucking them all to death. How do you plan to actually achieve that?"
Mr Garrison then denies the claims, before being confronted with footage of him saying it to a crowd.
Interestingly enough, not many people complained regarding this episode as it was a clear pisstake out of Donald Trump. However, Comedy Central Netherlands chose not to air some scenes from the episode following the November 2015 Paris attacks.
'Hell On Earth 2006'
In this episode, aired in 2006, Satan decides to throw a huge Halloween costume party on Earth.
Bearing in mind that this episode aired seven weeks after the death of Steve Irwin, you can see why people were pissed off...
So, as you can see, Satan gets a complaint about someone turning up to the party in a Crocodile Hunter outfit, and says that it's a bit insensitive. Satan goes over to Steve, and tells him off. Steve then says that it really is him, and Satan kicks him out for not wearing a costume.
Teri Irwin, the widow of Steve, expressed real concern that their children would see the episode when they grew up.
The season nine finale pissed off a lot of Roman Catholics when a statue of Virgin Mary is depicted spewing out copious amounts of blood. Initially, they believe that it's coming from her anus. However, after a close inspection by Pope Benedict XVI of the statue's vagina and anus, he reveals that it is actually her period.
Formal complaints were made, and The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights even demanded an apology from the TV network and tried to get the episode removed permanently from the network's rotation and never be made available on DVD. They were unsuccessful.
'With Apologies to Jesse Jackson'
In this episode, Randy Marsh answers the question: 'people who annoy you' on The Wheel of Fortune with 'n***ers' instead of the actual answer, which was 'naggers'. He becomes a hated figure.
Surprisingly, the episode drew some support. Kovon and Jill Flowers, who co-founded an organisation called 'Abolish the "N" Word', which is linked with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, praised the episode.
They said: "This show, in its own comedic way, is helping people to educate the power of this word, and how it can feel to have hate language directed at you."
'Cartoon Wars Part I' and 'Cartoon Wars Part II'
So, in this one, the show's creators hoped to portray Muhammad onscreen. Unfortunately, this was around the time there was some serious controversy surrounding the publication of Danish cartoons depicting Muhammad.
The plot is basically that the Fox network plans to air an episode of 'Family Guy' that contains an uncensored cartoon depiction of Muhammad.
The South Park characters begin to panic about a possible terrorist response or protests and riots like what happened all over the globe in real life when some people felt Muhammad's cartoon depiction in a Danish newspaper was insulting and blasphemous.
The episode ends with a cliffhanger. Will Muhammad be shown uncensored? In the second episode, Kyle convinces the network to show the image uncensored.
However, the actual South Park broadcast itself ran a black screen that read, 'Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Mohammed on their network' instead of the scene containing Muhammad's depiction.
They actually censored it in real life out of genuine fear of upsetting people. However, Trey Parker and Matt Stone claim that they harbour no 'hard feelings' towards Comedy Central as the network reportedly confessed to being 'afraid of getting blown up' rather than refusing to air it uncensored out of religious tolerance.
There are countless other episodes that could be included, but this article would be the length of a dissertation. The fact that South Park is so controversial is why we love it. Don't ever change, and happy 20-year anniversary.
Featured Image Credit: Comedy Central
Topics: South Park