Top 25 Greatest South Park Episodes of All Time: Nos. 5-1

We’ve reached the final installment of my personal favorite “South Park” episodes of all time. As previously mentioned, picking 25 out of 248 was seriously challenging. I’d love to hear your favorites and please feel free to comment below. The Season 18 (where has the time gone?) premiere airs on Comedy Central tomorrow evening.

If you missed the four previous installments, please find them here:

And now the crème de la crème of my SP universe:

5. “Chickenlover”

Original Air Date: May 27, 1998 (Season 2)

There is a criminal on the loose in South Park and Cartman wants to track him down. Famously, this is the show with a “Cops” parody in which Cartman informs us all to “respect his authoritah!”.

4. “Trapped in the Closet”

Original Air Date: November 16, 2005 (Season 9)

One of the most notorious episodes of all time, this SP mercilessly took on Scientology, Tom Cruise, R. Kelly, and John Travolta. Shocking and tear inducing funny, there’s a reason this created such an uproar.

3. “The Death Camp of Tolerance”

Original Air Date: November 20, 2002 (Season 6)

Mr. Garrison tries to get fired for his sexual preferences. There’s a gerbil named Lemmiwinks involved. It’s highly inappropriate as SP can often be. And it’s unforgettably hilarious.

2. “Scott Tenorman Must Die”

Original Air Date: July 11, 2001 (Season 5)

Perhaps the most famous episode of all time, this season 5 gem was a game changer in the show’s history. Why? Because it turned Cartman from just a bratty and foul-mouthed kid to a seriously demented and perhaps evil character. It was glorious… and Radiohead makes a cameo, too!

1. “Imaginationland – Part I – III”

Original Air Dates: October 17, 24, and 31, 2007 (Season 11)

The three-part “Imaginationland” episode arch tops my list for many reasons. It’s downright uproarious and endlessly clever. The “Imaginationland” song. The Saving Private Ryan themed war montage. The hilarious nod to James Cameron’s The Abyss. The skewering of Mel Gibson, M. Night Shyamalan, and Michael Bay. The longing for Cartman to get Kyle to perform a deed made on a bet (I won’t get into the dirty details). The Stargate references. Popeye is in it. So is Morpheus. And Luke Skywalker and Jesus and Aslan and Gandalf. And the Woodland Christmas Critters! I mean, come on! “Imaginationland” is stunningly great and the pinnacle of a show that has produced one classic episode after the next.

And there you have it, folks! I hope you enjoyed the list…

Comment away

Top 25 Greatest South Park Episodes of All Time: Nos. 10-6

This evening we’ve arrived at part four of my personal favorite “South Park” episodes and that means we’ve breached the top ten! If you missed the first three installments covering 25-11, you can peruse them here:

Let’s get into it:

10. “Good Times with Weapons”

Original Air Date: March 17, 2004 (Season 8)

The Season 8 premiere of the show has Parker and Stone going wild playing in the field of Japanese anime. The episode’s song “Let’s Fighting Love” is perhaps my favorite musical montage ever on the program.

9. “Woodland Critter Christmas”

Original Air Date: December 15, 2004 (Season 8)

The next spot belongs to the season finale of Season 8 and it’s the Christmas episode that makes Mr. Hankey look positively G-rated. The boys befriend a group of adorable animals only to find out they’re evil Satan worshipers. It’s even weirder than it sounds and side splittingly funny.

8. “You’re Getting Old”

Original Air Date: June 8, 2011 (Season 15)

An absolute stunner of an episode that generated significant publicity because it seemed to signal Parker and Stone’s frustration with having to keep the show going. The final montage set to Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” is surprisingly emotional for a raunchy animated series.

7. “Butter’s Very Own Episode”

Original Air Date: December 12, 2001 (Season 5)

Besides Cartman and Randy Marsh, my favorite SP character would be Butters. In season 5, he got his own episode dedicated to him where he’s presumed dead and his parents are suspected. This leads to a scathing and brilliant condemnation of the Ramsey parents, O.J. Simpson, and Gary Condit in one of the funniest closing scenes in the program’s tenure.

6. “The Jeffersons”

Original Air Date: April 21, 2004 (Season 8)

No one is better at mocking celebrities than this show and their take on Michael Jackson (five years before his death) is incredible. The musical number “Wishing Tree” is classic.

Tomorrow – I’ll announce my all-time top five… stay tuned!

Top 25 Greatest South Park Episodes of All Time: Nos. 15-11

Back at it continuing with my personal Top 25 favorite “South Park” episodes of all time, ahead of its season 18 debut on Wednesday. We’ve arrived at part 3 covering numbers 15-11. We’ll get into the Top Ten tomorrow! If you happened to miss the first two installments covering numbers 25-16, you can find them here:

And away we go!

15. “Mr. Hankey, The Christmas Poo”

Original Air Date: December 17, 1997 (Season 1)

Leave it to Trey Parker and Matt Stone to come up with the craziest Christmas mascot imaginable. Mr. Hankey made a few appearances on the show, but the first from season 1 is still the best.

14. “The Losing Edge”

Original Air Date: April 6, 2005 (Season 9)

Any episode focusing on Randy Marsh is usually a winner and this one is comedy gold where he can’t control his anger at the parents of teammates on his son’s baseball team.

13. “With Apologies to Jesse Jackson”

Original Air Date: March 7, 2007 (Season 11)

“South Park” has never been shy tackling taboo subjects and the season 11 premiere dared to undertake racial issues in a truly hilarious fashion. The opening “Wheel of Fortune” sequence is dangerous yet the creators pull it off, creating one of the most memorable sequences in the show’s history.

12. “All About Mormons”

Original Air Date: November 19, 2003 (Season 7)

Parker and Stone have famously never been shy about discussing all forms of religion on the program. Their take on Mormonism is brilliant and certainly helped lead to their most famous side project, the Broadway play “Book of Mormon” which is still going very strong.

11. “Kenny Dies”

Original Air Date: December 5, 2001 (Season 5)

One of the show’s hallmarks of “South Park” is Kenny’s death in every episode. It took until season 5 to treat his demise in a “serious” fashion and it’s unforgettable. When Cartman visits Congress and leads the body in a rendition of Asia’s “Heat of the Moment”, one of the program’s best musical moments was born.

And that’s today edition, my friends! The Top Ten will arrive tomorrow…

Top 25 Greatest South Park Episodes of All Time: Nos. 20-16

Today on the blog, we continue my personal favorite Top 25 “South Park” episodes of all time. Picking 25 out of 248 was quite a challenge, to say the least. If you missed part 1 covering numbers 25-21, you can find it here:

Let’s get to it!

20. “Cartman’s Mom Is a Dirty Slut”

Original Air Date: February 25, 1998 (Season 1)

This season 1 episode served as the first in a two-part episode arch where Cartman tries to find his real father… and there’s lots of suspects. This episode remains the highest-rated in the show’s history.

19. “Towelie”

Original Air Date: August 8, 2001 (Season 5)

How did Parker and Stone decide to parody the fact that their show had become a merchandising bonanza? By creating Towelie, a character ripe for product tie-ins who’s constantly reminding the boys “Don’t forget to bring a towel!” The problem is – he’s also an irresponsible drug addict.

18. “Cripple Fight”

Original Air Date: June 27, 2001 (Season 5)

The boys don’t understand their parents concerns with Big Gay Al being their scout leader. A great story to be sure, but the episode’s undeniable highlight is said “Cripple Fight” where Jimmy and Timmy duke it out. Their brawl is a shot for shot recreation from the 1988 John Carpenter B movie They Live. Amazing stuff.

17. “Best Friends Forever”

Original Air Date: March 30, 2005 (Season 9)

A prime example of “South Park” reflecting what’s happening in the news, “Best Friends Forever” took on the Terry Schiavo case mere hours before she passed away. This show won an Emmy.

16. “Crème Fraiche”

Original Air Date: November 17, 2010 (Season 14)

Pretty much any episode focusing on Randy is awesome. This time around, he’s uncomfortably obsessed with TV cooking shows and Sharon is displeased. Her subplot involving the Shake Weight product is a riot, too. Definitely a huge highlight in the last several years of the show!

And that’s all for now! I’ll be back with part 3 and numbers 15-11 tomorrow…

Top 25 Greatest South Park Episodes of All Time: Nos. 25-21

Time flies, my friends. Want proof? This Wednesday, Comedy Central’s “South Park” begins its 18th season with its 248th episode! The series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone is probably my favorite comedic program of the past two decades. Yes, I’d put it above “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy”. Don’t get me wrong – they’re terrific, too. However, I’m a “South Park” guy. I’ve never missed an episode.

This brings us to my personal list of Top 25 episodes of all time. Simply put, this was hard. Really hard. Like… Sophie’s Choice hard. Yet somehow I’ve managed to do it. Like other lists on this here blog, the top 25 will be a five-part series will additional entries coming everyday until Tuesday, the day before the new season’s debut.

Let’s get to it!

25. “It’s Christmas in Canada”

Original Air Date: December 17, 2003 (Season 7)

Season 7’s season finale and Christmas episode was a brilliant parody of The Wizard of Oz and managed to hilariously incorporate the capture of Saddam Hussein, which had occurred just earlier that weekend.

24. “Fat Butt and Pancake Head”

Original Air Date: April 16, 2003 (Season 7)

No show is better at excoriating celebrities and “Fat Butt and Pancake Head” is a perfect example. Fat Butt is Jennifer Lopez. Pancake Head is Ben Affleck. They were dating at the time. This episode shows Cartman at his crazy best.

23. “Canada On Strike”

Original Air Date: April 2, 2008 (Season 12)

Any episode that has great subplots for Ike and Butters is a winner in my book. The episode’s battle between YouTube celebrities is an all-time classic.

22. “More Crap”

Original Air Date: October 10, 2007 (Season 11)

“South Park” is better than no other at being uproarious yet making important political and social satire at the same time. Yet sometimes – we just want the show to be delicious lowbrow humor. “More Crap” is just that. And it features Randy Marsh at his best and a devastating parody of U2 lead singer Bono.

21. “The Red Badge of Gayness”

Original Air Date: November 24, 1999 (Season 3)

Probably not the favorite episode of Civil War re-enactors, but Cartman’s turn as a frustrated general is comedic gold.

And that’s all until tomorrow when I’ll bring you part two covering numbers 20-16!