How do you want to login to your MUCH account?

Don't have an account? Sign up now.

It looks like you haven't changed your password in a while. For your security, please change it now.

You can opt-out from either of these at any time

Any questions or concerns please contact us.

loading

Revisiting South Park’s First Season: ‘An Elephant Makes Love to a Pig’

Thu, August, 24 by

This is part five in a 13-part series of hand-typed Internet posts concerning the first season of South Park, the show not the town.

I trust the edibility of my local hot dog cart’s questionable corn relish more than I trust my withering memory, but I have no other choice but believe my brain when it whispers into my inner-ear, “The first South Park episode you ever saw was this one.”  Whether or not this is true, there’s something about the appearance of Dr. Mephesto and his fondness for extra asses that really strikes a chord with me. How will this affect my rating of this classic episode? Who cares!

Here are previous posts on Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4

“An Elephant Makes Love to a Pig” premiered September 10, 1997

Plot Description

In the last episode, Stan got a new dog and in this one, Kyle gets a new elephant, while Cartman all of a sudden owns a potbellied pig—what is this, the damn Littlest Pet Shop? The problem with the elephant is that the thing is too big! The gang gets an idea to splice the genes of the elephant with Cartman’s pig and thus begins an adventure that includes a lesson in genetic engineering, sex education and LOVE, both platonic AND exotic. Oh, and Stan must battle his sister and mutant twin.

Pop Culture References

Dr. Mephesto is a crystal clear goof on Marlon Brando and his role as the titular character in The Island of Dr. Moreau (he plays the doctor, not the island). Also influential to this episode was the clone craze of the mid-’90s that really exploded when Dolly the sheep was created via cloning by Scottish scientists for purposes seemingly unrelated to the stereotype of Scots’ fondness for physical intimacy with the woolly mammal.

There’s a couple references to legendary Canadian band Loverboy and a song of theirs called “Pig and Elephant DNA Just Won’t Splice,” sang by both Chef and Mephesto. Later, when Chef sings “Love Gravy” to put the elephant and pig in the mood to get down, he’s joined by Elton John, a famous singer known for singin’ and piano playin’ and getting new hair.

Officer Barbrady warns the kids they’ve been watching too much X-Files, a show that was hard to avoid in 1997 unless you were scared of aliens, creatures, or David Duchovny.

The very last line of the episode is “That’ll do, pig,” which is from Babe, one of the best pig movies that ever oinked.

Best Quote

“Yeah, if some girl tried to kick my ass I’d be like “HEY, WHY DON’T YOU STOP DRESSING ME UP LIKE A MAILMAN AND MAKING ME DANCE FOR YOU WHILE YOU GO AND SMOKE CRACK IN YOUR BEDROOM AND HAVE SEX WITH SOME GUY I DON’T EVEN KNOW ON MY DAD’S BED!”” – Cartman

South Park-isms Introduced

  • We get our first taste of Shelley Marsh and her penchant for beating up her younger brother, Stan.
  • I believe this episode is the first of many instances of Cartman warning someone that he will kick them in the nuts.
  • In this post’s best quote we’re introduced to the idea that Cartman’s mom is promiscuous and that she’s also a single parent.
  • We meet Dr. Mephesto and his son Terrance.
  • Randy is finally revealed as Stan’s dad and Stan’s mom Sharon makes her debut.

Facts We Stole From Wikipedia

  • “The scenes of Stan getting beat up by his sister were inspired by Parker’s real-life childhood experiences with his own sister, who is also named Shelley.” Poor Trey Trey!
  • “Parker and Stone intended to call this episode “An Elephant Fucks a Pig”, but changed the title under pressure from Comedy Central.” Makes sense, that word is dangerous.
  • “It was during the writing of this episode that Parker and Stone decided Kyle would be the good student and “school-smarter than the other kids.” He’s not the cutest though.
  • “The scene in the cafeteria, in which the four boys are annoyed by Pip, is a cut scene from the original version of the South Park pilot, “Cartman Gets an Anal Probe.”” BORING.

Does It Hold up?

Cartman is more straight up mean in these early episodes compared the more nuanced and conniving Cartman of today. They say “retarded” and there’s a visual gag involving a special ed class that doesn’t really fly in today’s society. Also, the Island of Dr. Moreau references don’t really hold up but I guess if you had no idea that movie existed then it’s just another eccentric character.

Rating

This classic episode gets 3 out of 4 asses for being yet another reminder of how good this show was straight out the gate.

South Park returns for its 21st season on September 13 on Much!