South Park Turns 20: How South Park Changed the Way I Thought About Cartoons

In 1997, I was a high-school senior when one of my friends brought in a VHS cassette of a show taped off of Comedy Central the night before to one of our regular lunchtime get-togethers. We convened in our (very cool) history teacher’s classroom because she had a TV in there and, as my buddy said to our group, “You all have to see this.”

The show was South Park, and the dichotomy of the crude, childlike animation and the TV-MA-rated language coming out of the mouths of third-graders Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny – not to mention the weekly violent end that the latter would inevitably meet – hooked my friends and I instantly.

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