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:
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…