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South Park: "Le Petit Tourette"

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South Park has unquestionably lost some of its cultural relevance in recent years, but the past few seasons have featured plenty of truly funny, often pointed (though admittedly sometimes dull) moments. Season 11 has been pretty meaty already, with funny episodes about "the N-word" and homeless zombies. (The latter is funnier than that description sounds.)

The second half of season 11 begins with "Le Petit Tourette," which tackles a subject the show–amazingly–hasn't covered before: Tourette's syndrome. No target has been too easy in the past for Trey Parker and Matt Stone; maybe they were saving the last obvious joke for now.

The plot: Cartman learns about Tourette's, realizing that if he pretends to have it, he can swear all he wants without fear of getting in trouble. It should be noted, for those who haven't watched in a few years, that South Park now freely uses pretty much every forbidden TV word except "fuck." If the idea of hearing Cartman say, "Pussy! Pussy! Cock! Shit!" without bleeps isn't funny to you, though, jump ship now.

Slightly disturbed classmate Craig is in awe of Cartman's new freedom ("If I could say shitballs to the principal, I'd be soooo happy"), but Kyle knows Cartman is faking and tries to expose him. In one scene, Kyle is taken to a support group for children with Tourette's. Then, as is so often the case with 30-minute SP episodes, funny turns to dull: Cartman ends up booked on NBC, which changes its focus from "To Catch A Predator" (has South Park done that episode yet?) to Tourette's. And slowly unravels into a lame-ish gag about pedophiles shooting themselves. (Making fun of MSNBC's Chris Hansen, though, earns some solid points.)

Grade: C+

Stray observations:

— "One time, my cousin and I touched wieners!" (Cartman)

— "You must realize how this is all somewhat your fault, right?" (Cartman, talking to God)

— "If I could say asspussy to the counselor, I would be so happy…" (Craig)

— "Spooge, balls, bloody vaginal belch." (Cartman)


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