South Park


Program Introduction

South Park is an animated television program that debuted on the Comedy Central cable television channel in 1997. The program is set in a small Colorado town, and follows the escapades of four elementary school students. The show is famous for the crude language of the boys and for the way it satirizes a wide range of topics.

The main characters are:
Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, and Kenny McCormick.
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The boys all start as 3rd graders at South Park Elementary School, but later move on to the 4th grade.

Stan is described on the South Park website as "your average, American 4th grader living in a pretty f*cked up town. When crazy things happen in South Park, he and Kyle often provide the voice of reason and help to fix the problem."

Kyle is the only Jew in the group, and often is portrayed as having greater morality and being the most intelligent of the characters.

Cartman is usually referred to by his last name, distancing him from the other boys in terms of closeness. Although he hangs out with the other characters, he is more like the guy who is not your friend, but you can't get rid of him. Cartman is portrayed as bigoted, obnoxious, mean, and his actions or attitudes often sets the plots into motion.

Kenny never speaks in a way that is understandable, and in the early years of the series, he was killed at the end of every episode.

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In today's episode "All About Mormans" a new Mormon family, the Harrisons, move to South Park, and their son Gary becomes a classmate of the boys. After Gary enthusiastically answers all the teacher's questions during class, the boys decide that Stan should beat him up during recess. However, Stan ends up becoming friends with Gary and then learning about the Mormon religion.



Today's Episode

We are going to learn about this episode today. Watch it before class.
http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s07e12-all-about-the-mormons

Here is a link to the original script to the episode:
http://www.spscriptorium.com/Season7/E712script.htm

All the South Park scripts can be found here: http://www.spscriptorium.com/ScriptGuideIndex.htm

Here is the annotated script that I prepared:


Here is an article about a Broadway musical written by the creators of South Park. It also discusses the episode of South Park that we will watch.
On a Mission: The new Broadway musical by the creators of South Park isn't anti-Mormon. Like all of their work, it's anti-stupidity

Vocabulary

Douche: device for washing out the vagina; the word is used as an insult to describe a person who is arrogant, obnoxious, and irritating.
Dude: something you can call a male friend who is part of your group
Initiation rites: something painful that new people have to go through to become part of a group
Mortgage: monthly payments you have to make to pay back the loan on your house
Rascal: a person that causes trouble; but this is used in a joking manner in the show
Kooky: strange and weird
Protestant: a Christian religion that broke away from the Catholics
Catholic: the original Christian religion that is led by the Pope
Yum-yums: something delicious to eat, sounds like a name a young child would use
Luscious: ripe and delicious
Goodies: something good to eat
Destiny: your fate, what you will become in the future
Wacko: crazy
Frosting: sweet and sugary stuff that is spread on the outside of a birthday cake
Gospel: literally this means good news, but in particular it refers to the story of Jesus or the "good news about Jesus" that Christians want to tell other people
Together: a person that is balanced and doesn't have a lot of personality problems
Make out: kiss and touch for a long time
Second coming: when Jesus is supposed to come back to earth and establish a new kingdom
Quill: a pen made out of a feather
Vision: when you see the future in a dream or when looking at an object like a crystal ball
Prophet: a person who has visions and tells other people messages from god about the future
Denounce: to publicly speak out against something
Weasel: to sneakily lie your way into becoming part of a group
Blindside: getting hit unexpectedly in the back; this is a term from American football referring to the quarterback getting hit in the back when he is trying to throw the football
Jilted: getting dumped by your lover

Phrases:
Who wants in?: who wants to join in and make a bet
So high and mighty: a person who acts like they are better than other people
You've got a lot of growing up to do: you have to become more mature

Listening Activities

Comprehension Questions:
  1. What are some of Gary’s achievements?
  2. Why do the boys dislike Gary so much?
  3. Why do the boys want Stan to beat Gary up?
  4. What is the result of Stan’s confrontation with Gary?
  5. What is family home evening?
  6. What were the activities during the Harrisons’ family home evening?

Intensive Listening Activity: Listen and fill in your part of the transcript. You can work in a group to do this. Then get into a new groups of 3 and act out the scene.


Discussion Questions

  1. What is Mr. Marsh's attitude when he goes to meet the Harrisons? How does Mr. Harrison win Mr. Marsh over?
  2. What do you learn about the use of first and last names from the interaction between Mr. Harrison and Mr. Marsh?
  3. What is your attitude about answering questions in class? How do you feel when someone enthusiastically answers questions in class?
  4. How do you like Gary's family? How does Gary's family compare to your family? How does Stan's family compare with yours? Would you be willing to join a religion with unusual beliefs if you could have a very happy family?
  5. Have you met any Mormons? What is your impression of them?
  6. Why does Stan reject the Mormon religion?



Cultural Notes

Joke Names

Bart Simpson Phone call name pranks: http://www.namejokes.co.uk/
Funny name puns: http://www.101funjokes.com/funny_names.htm

Birth Control

Mormons and birth control: http://mormon.lds.net/birth-control
Note the second line: "Contrary to popular belief, we are not taught to have as many babies has humanly possible ..." The episode is playing on this stereotype of Mormons.

Family Home Evening

Family Home Evening: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_Home_Evening
Explanation and Planning Resources: http://lds.org/hf/fhe/welcome/0,16785,4210-1,00.html

Rice Crispy Treats

Recipes:
http://www2.kelloggs.com/RecipeDetail.aspx?id=1605
http://www.cookingforengineers.com/recipe/104/Kelloggs-Rice-Krispies-Treats

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Black Names

Washington is the blackest name in America
According to the 2000 US Census 24% of Americans named Harrison are black

The Game of Life

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Clubber Lang

Clubber Lang was a villain in the Rocky III movie. He beat Rocky in a boxing match.
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John Elway

Quarterback for the Denver Broncos. South Park is set in Colorado, so John Elway is a football hero there.
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